6 x 4 Lives fabric postcard for January

6 x 4 Lives fabric postcard for January


I just bet some were wondering if I was going to make the 6 x 4 lives journal postcard challenge. Well here it is. Phew! She wipes forehead with back of hand in overly dramatic manner.

In the back yard one hot day early in the month I managed to catch a photo of dragonfly. This provoked a series of thoughts and I returned to the image as a design source.

As you can see this is a postcard (or will be when I trim it) that could never go through the post as the wings lift away from the card. Since the idea is that the postcards form a kind of a journal each month I figured that meeting that criteria was not necessary.

How did I make it? A while back I treated myself to a copy of Stumpwork Dragonflies by Jane Nicholas. This is not one of the designs in her book as I designed it myself but I have used her technique for making the free standing wings.

To make the wings one of the techniques Jane Nicholas uses is to fuse two pieces of organza together. This is stretched in a hoop and you create individual wired wings from this fabric.

I over stitched the wire using rayon machine embroidery thread which took me 5 hours. After that was done the rest moved along quite quickly in comparison. All up including faffing about trying to design the thing, I guess it is about 7 hours work.

Needless to say with all that stitching I had plenty of time to think about why I was doing it. That why am I doing THIS question is still nagging me but I like hand embroidery because there are some things that you can do by hand that you can not do on a machine. I think that’s why I made it. To be honest I am still not that sure except to say when I took the photo I thought about it. In other words intuition drove the desire to make it and I went that way. I am not sure as to why I chose this technique over another except that stumpwork always presents interesting technical challenges which I enjoy so from that point of view this fabric postcard is a self indulgence.

Below is a page from my visual journal – as you can see the notes are brief, the source image is there and notes about the threads I used . Also I used two different types of organza one had a real sheen which I used for the back of the wing. Swatches of the fused organza front and back are also included on the page.

Since it is the last day of the month there is a few more finishers over on the 6 x 4 lives journal postcard challenge site do check them out. It’s shaping up to be a fun challenge and for all the why questions running around in my head as I over stitched the wire for the wings I enjoyed it.


  1. Hello Sharon. πŸ™‚ Hope this finds you well and in good creative spirits. I found your blog via Flickr after seeing my first piece of stumpwork and finding your dragonfly postcard.

    I know that there is a great deal of work involved and that you had made this for a swap but would you consider making another in exchange for a handmade book? My nickname is Dragonfly and the blue in the photo is my favorite color, it couldn’t be more perfect. If not, I hope to see more of your work, it is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing your process!

    Ria πŸ™‚

  2. Sharon!

    Absolutely gorgeous! I don’t take a lot of time to scope out all the blogs or Flickr pics but did today, in between water changes for the yard. Anywhoo…I love what you did with this dragonfly! I am trying to master the wings of the one in one of Helen Stevens books using the buttonhole stitch. Haven’t spent a ton of time with it…but… may just sidetrack and try your method! Really neat!

  3. This is wonderful! I just bought the Stumpwork dragonfly book to try my hand at this beautiful work. I love stumpwork and received a heart with stumpwork raspberries made by Zandra from the chain of hearts group. After seeing your dragonfly, I can’t wait to try one as soon as my book arrives.

  4. Rose – if you alredy have the book do try theem the techniques are not hard just time consuming and you need to have a persoanlity that likes detail and pays attention to detail. The actual stiches etc are very basic however. Do give it a try

  5. I love this! I am always working on dragonfly designs…and I really like the way you keep track in your visual journal. It is a wonderful idea. I have been sketching more than usual…in fact I started a evening drawing class at a local college. I am seriously considering really early retirement, so I have time for all of the things I love. I am just getting back to being creative post Katrina….and I want to take advantage of that.

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