I took a break from quilting to…quilt with paper.
Thanks to my mom and one of my best friends, I have a wonderful hoard of vintage stamps from around the world. I’ve used some to make cards, but I wanted to do something at a larger scale to celebrate their detail and history. I thought about a collage, but never hit on a structure that seemed very satisfying.
To start, I separated out all the Queen Elizabeth stamps I could find from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada—they all use the same basic cameo as their central motif. And look at those colors! Tangerine; a rose garden of pinks and peaches; spring and olive greens; buff and royal blue; milk chocolate; cognac; scarlet. Best of all, they’re all the same size, so the process stayed simple.
I arranged them by value and color, just like I would a quilt. I used a classic drunkard’s path design. It was nice needing a design wall only a foot across.
I snipped off the corners of the stamps using a curved template I cut out of scrap card stock. Only the fanciest tools for me! I tried to work with the composition of the stamp and any postmarks as best I could, enhancing curves that were already there.
After that I glued it all up. I mounted the stamps on a sheet of smooth, white, acid-free paper using an acid-free glue stick, working from the center of the design out. The grid of my self-healing mat underneath showed through just enough to help align the tiny rectangles.
I framed it and was finished! It only took an evening, which was a refreshing change of pace in the midst of more involved projects. It was fun to blur the lines a little between media.
Do you keep old stamps? What do you do with them?