I love using up what I have on hand, and I have stashed away an embarrassing quantity of colourful cotton, printed with polka dots, stripes and checks. Here is the working sketch for this year's design, with scraps of cotton glued to paper, and with a black marker used to signify the stitching line. I know the colour scheme is not a traditional Christmas palette, but I like the lively, fun feeling of this combination.
I began by marking white cotton with a blue fabric marker, dividing it up into rectangles of 6" x 4", leaving a margin of 1/4" around each postcard. You might be able to make out the blue lines in the photo below.
Then I cut out rectangular shapes from polka dot prints that had been backed with fusible web, positioned them on each rectangle, and fused them to the white muslin backing. You can see how I like to work on these in assembly-line fashion.
I had on hand some white polyester quilt batting, from Thermore, that I spray-basted to the white cotton. Because it didn't slide very nicely on the bed of the sewing machine, I added another layer of iron-on, lightweight, synthetic interfacing to the back, which gave me a stiff sandwich (cotton-batting-interfacing) that glided nicely under the needle.
Using quilting-weight (40) thread, I free-motion stitched the black outline to indicate the packages, ribbons and bows. The idea was to go for a "sketchy" effect, which gives more fun and whimsy to the design.
Then I pulled out a pad of watercolour paper, 18" x 24", and, using spray adhesive, glued the stitched sandwiches onto the sheets of paper. At this stage, I was working with units of 9 - 12 cards. Then it was a matter of trimming the paper-backed sandwiches to the 6" x 4" size, and sealing the edge using a closely-spaced zigzag stitch in white thread.
The greeting on the paper side of the postcards reads "Wishing you all the gifts of the season". They will go into the mail without further packaging, with a standard postage stamp.
I can see this design modified to make candles or houses. Will save these ideas for another year!