Stitched stamp panel

One of the unpleasant tasks of using old stamps is soaking them off the envelopes. They tend to come off easily and don't lose their postmarks, which is something I used to worry about, but the water goes a nasty grey colour and the thought of how many people must have licked those stamps makes me go ughh. Thank goodness for rubber gloves! 
Putting that image behind us, I now have a huge box to work with and so I am in making mode. Below is one of recent panels I have made. When soaking off the stamps I noticed how great the envelopes were and so kept them. To make this sample I used photo transfer paper to put the pattern onto the fabric then placed it on top of a piece of felt. I hand stitched around each fragment, as you can see in the first photo. I really liked the way it looked at this stage. I then placed some stamps on top, trying out different layouts. Once I was happy with the arrangement I hand-stitched them on using a variety of threads. 

The finished panel, below, is now in my sketchbook. I like the design, but I don't love it. I prefer hand sewing, but feel that machine may have worked better here. So as usual, one sample leads to the next...