ATC Card from Vivika

Today we welcome a guest post from Vivika DeNegre, editor of our sister publication, Quilting Arts. Vivika shares with us how she first started making Artist Trading Cards–and some tips for making them yourselves.

When I was searching through the ATCs from our 2004 swap, I came across my entry to the challenge. This geisha is holding a tiny purse made from French ribbon dangling from a length of 14k gold necklace chain. I crocheted glass beads on a piece of copper wire, and added one of my favorite vintage velvet flowers.

Summer is the perfect time to take a break from the usual routines of daily life and make time for art. An afternoon at the beach with a sketchbook, a week at an art retreat, and a visit to some local (and not-so- local) museums are all on my short list of goals, but in reality, I only have a few hours here and there to devote to artwork this month. I am always looking for ways to incorporate a small amount of sewing and artwork into my busy schedule.

Several years ago, when I was just discovering Quilting Arts Magazine and becoming enthralled with quilts as an artistic medium, I joined a growing number of artists from around the world making small pieces of art to trade. The Artist Trading Card (ATC) movement is going strong and growing every year

I first learned about ATCs in the Spring 2004 issue of Quilting Arts. Artist Janet Ghio explained that the artwork is typically the same size as a baseball trading card, and can be made with any technique the artist uses. Printmakers, collage artists, stampers, and fiber artists have embraced the format, and formed groups on the Internet that network and trade these miniature pieces of art.

Here are some tips or making fabric ATCs from Janet's article:

  • 1. Begin with a piece of quilt batting cut to 2 ½" x 3 ½".
  • 2. Choose a background fabric and fuse it to the batting.
  • 3. Next, fuse on your transferred images and other small pieces of fabric, creating a small picture.
  • 4. Machine stitch using straight, zigzag, or any decorative stitch of choice.
  • 5. Finish the card by gluing or stitching ta a decorative cord along the edge.
  • 6. Add any hand beading or embroidery to the piece.
  • 7. Stitch or glue your fiber-based ATC to a card stock backing.
  • 8. Sign and date the back of your ATC.

These miniature pieces of art are small enough to complete in a short time, and the perfect fix for my need to be creative. Apparently, I am not the only art quilter who has embraced this art form. One of the most successful challenges hosted by Quilting Arts Magazine was the ATC swap: 823 cards were submitted by our readers, and they make an amazing display on the pages of the Winter 2004 magazine.

The good news is that you have the opportunity to join in another ATC swap with our readers. In our upcoming August/September 2012 issue we are announcing another ATC swap with the theme "What's in your heart?" Check out the guidelines in this issue, and consider spending an afternoon or two in your studio making art!

Happy stitching!


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