Trading Post Tutorials

Fall is officially upon us, which means Fall Festival is just around the corner! Who (besides me) is excited and counting down the days?

Prayer Flags

Two prayer flags I have made so far to ring in autumn, my favorite season. I dyed a vintage table runner, and cut it into several 5″-wide pieces to create individual flags.


If you are coming to the show, not only do I hope that you are making Pet Postcards for our Pet Postcard Project fundraiser, but we also have some fun opportunities for our Trading Post, where we invite you to trade your ATCs (artist trading cards), Inchies, Mug Rugs, and Prayer Flags. Sharing a bit of your art with other show attendees is a fantastic way to explore new techniques (without committing yourself to a large quilt), and also bring home some (free!) handmade mementos by other quilters. There is no limit as to how many items you can bring and trade. There are no rules for the Trading Post, except to trade like-items at the show (i.e. if you want to trade out your Inchie you brought to the show, you must trade it for another Inchie, not an ATC, prayer flag or mug rug).

All four of these small trading projects are a snap to make, and a great way to use up scraps and embellishments. We invite everyone to use all kinds of media and techniques–don’t feel you must stick entirely to fabric!

4 Simple Projects for Trading

Prayer Flags

Prayer flags can be as sturdy or delicate as you like, but keep in mind that it is quite possible the recipient will be placing your prayer flags outside, such as hanging off the railing of a front porch. Prayer flags are celebrated and cherished for their frayed, weathered look, so feel free to upcycle those vintage table lines too worn or stained for daily use.  The suggested size for this particular prayer flag trade at Fall Festival is in the range of 5″ w x 6″h, and make sure to stitch a sleeve across the top for a piece of cording or string to slip through. Some of my very favorite prayer flags are by Vivika Denegre, who challenged herself to make a prayer flag every day for the month of June a couple years ago. She recently told me that she spent just one hour each day making them, using materials she had on hand.

Vivika Denegre's prayer flags

A sampling of Vivika Denegre’s prayer flags she made in 2011.


Simple two-step construction instructions:

1. Cut your background fabric to size, about 5″ x 6″ for this trade, and fold over the top by about 1″ to the back. Machine stitch closed to create the sleeve at the top. Don’t worry about the fabric fraying along the sides, that’s part of the prayer flag’s charm!

2. Now the fun part: time to stitch and embellish! You are limited only by your imagination for materials and techniques. Feel free to combine paper and fabric, too!

For more prayer flag inspiration, visit Vivika’s prayer flag blog where you will find lots of inspiring examples.

ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) 


ATCs give you a good excuse to use up fabric scraps and share a bit of your art with someone else. Only guidelines are they are 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size, and are signed on the back with your name, date, and contact info (if you would like the recipient to contact you).

I find it easiest to make a batch of ATCs at once, creating and machine stitching on a larger piece of background fabric that I later cut up into individual ATCs.

Suggested materials to make a batch of ATCs:

• Fabrics for the front of your ATC

• Approx. 9″ x 12″ piece of craft felt or batting

• Fusible web or fabric glue

• Fabric scraps (cottons, laces, and sheers) in various colors
• One larger  piece of backing fabric the size of your top fabric to cover the back side of your batting
• Threads and embellishments
• Sewing machine
• Rotary cutter, quilting ruler and mat
• Iron and ironing board
• Embellishments (beads, buttons, trims)
• Fabric scissors

• Cardstock

My ATC Recipe:

1. Create your larger background fabric that you will later cut up into individual 2.5″ x 3.5″ pieces. You could wholecloth dye, paint, stamp or stencil, or piece the background. (This is also a good project to use up unfinished blocks that you don’t think will ever get into a quilt.)

2. Baste the top fabric to batting or felt, cut to same size. Before cutting into individual ATCs, I like to practice my machine stitching and free-motion the background at this point.

3. Cut the top fabric and batting into individual 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATCs.

4. Make them personal! Add motifs or designs using raw edge appliqué, hand stitching.

5. Cut the card stock to size, and glue to the back. Sign and date your ATC.


See the above instructions for creating ATCs, except the finished size is 1.5″ square. Inchies are perfect for wearables–they make terrific brooches as well as charms for bracelets and necklaces.

Mug Rugs

Mug rugs are small(ish) patchwork placemats approximately 6″-7″ in size for a cup of coffee or tea and a small snack to rest on while stitching in your studio. For a host of mug rug tutorials and styles, visit this mug rug page!

We hope you will be creating and bringing a lot of stitched art with you next month to Quilt Festival!

Make ATCs & Mug Rugs to Trade at Quilt Festival & More Pet Postcards!

More fabric postcards for Festival’s Pet Project are arriving and looking fantastic! Some more eye candy for you:

An assortment of fabric postcards by rebel quilter, Jamie Fingal. (I love the googly eyes!)



A sampling of fabric postcards by Pauline Salzman. These pooches are going to be gobbled up fast at the show!



Cute kitties by Terri Stegmiller. The bottom card reminds me very much of my own rescue kitty, Khaleesi!


There is still plenty of time to make fabric postcards to benefit Friends For Life! (All of the information is in this post.) We are accepting them here at the Quilts offices through October 23rd, and we will accept them at the show through Friday, November 2nd, in Room 213 on the 2nd floor of the convention center. Please note: Fabric Postcards will go on sale for $20 each at Quilt Festival (not Market) beginning on Preview Night, October 31st.

Share Your Art!

Make Art To Trade at Our Festival Trading Post!

Just because you may not have entered a quilt into our quilt show doesn’t mean you can’t have your art displayed! Our Trading Post where you can trade ATCs (artist trading cards) and mug rugs will be right next to Open Studios near the Food Court, and we hope you will make and bring as many ATCs and mug rugs as you can. This is a very lively section of the show floor, and a great way to share new quilt, surface design, and embellishment ideas with other quilters.

I cruised the web to find some good tutorials for you in case you are not familiar with ATCs or mug rugs:

ATC Tutorials online:

Mug Rug Tutorials:

Fabric Winner!

Congratulations to Corky Eden for being randomly selected in my last post. Thank you for making fabric postcards to benefit Friends For Life, and I will email you to get your shipping address.


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