Fabric Book for Memories or Dreams

Continuing my book fascination, today I made a fabric book full of pockets from this oh-so-pretty map print I picked up at Chestnut Bay Quilt Shop. The concept of the book was inspired by a later 19th century sewing kit sometimes called “A Friend In Need.” For more on this book style case, read Dawn Cook Ronnington’s article in Piecework.

The fabric I used is a backing fabric that is 108″ wide. I only used 37″ of the 2/3rds of a yard I bought. In other words, piece 37″ by 24″. Plus, a little strip for the ties.

While the Victorian sewing book version was made with a single layer of fabric and bound with tape, I opted for two layers of fabric and turning the edges in rather than tape. Four inch scallops fold down over the eight interior pockets. I could add buttons or ties to each pocket, but they currently feel nicely secure.

It bothered me that the front of the book was upside down. So, I added a linen “plate,” which I will may embroider with “Memories” or “Dreams.”


Romantic Pages

This summer I came across a book title Dubious Documents this summer. It is a puzzle book comprised of envelopes each filled with a document clue. As we’ve been working on puzzle boxes at work, the beautiful little book caught my attention and had to come home with me.

The construction, envelopes made of decorative paper bound at the side, captivated me.

I had to create my own.

I found a set of scrapbook paper with a romantic feel combining late Victorian ephemeral images with beautiful roses. It had just the look I wanted. (I also have a couple other sets in my cart including one of maps and one more celestial.)

I made each of the envelopes first. To do this, I made a template the size of the finished envelope and folded the sides of the paper diagonally over it. I secured the folds with double sided tape, a first for me. I find I like this product. Each envelope page got a folded, hole punched tab at the base to secure it to the binding.

The book needed two sheets of paper for each the front and back cover. I find it was important to pre-score the fold for the binding. (This is where I made a mistake and scored the wrong side requiring an additional fold for each envelope.) It is important for the exterior paper to wrap around the entire folding section on the inside. I am considering a fabric for this part of the cover on future books like this because I can see the paper is already cracking at the fold.

Total materials included 1 24 sheet pack of 12″×12″ scrapbook paper, two sheets of thick pasteboard, double sided tape, and ribbon. For tools, I found I needed scissors, a ruler that doubled as a folding edge, a hole punch, and awl, and bodkin. I did end up running out of tape. Ooops.

I love this so much, I will be making another.

Story Through Textiles

Earlier this morning I was talking with a friend, who I have had the pleasure to work with for the past two decades. As we talked an idea unfolded, an idea I hope will come to fruition this school year and maybe beyond. This discussion has me dwelling on the idea of story through textiles, the many ways we can tell story through textiles, the many ways we can record story through textiles, weaving story and textiles together.

I find I need a place to list these as they come to mind, both those that I am aware of other doing or have done, and those that could be done….

  • Embroidery Wheel of the Year or “Year of Stitches”- This is something I think may have been an embroidery challenge as I saw a few examples in my Instagram feed last year. A circle, representing the year, is divided into wedges for each month. Daily, a single embroidered motif representing the events of that day is added.
  • Embroidered or slow stitched fabric books – A fabric book with a page for each month or week, each slow stitched or embroidered (or combination) daily or weekly with the events or emotions of that time. (See Summerhousesewing on Instagram for the projects that inspired this idea.)
  • Pictural applique quilts or mats – A particular wool quilt comes to mind but I can not recall which museum has it. While this quilt in memory may not be telling a story, the concept and construction could be used to tell story. Each block could use applique images to tell story or part of a story.
  • Woven story tapestry – Stories written, drawn, or sewn into strips of fabric which are woven together.
  • Braided story rugs – Stories written or drawn onto strips of fabric braided together each day/week.
  • Flag/banner Streamers – Small flags or banners with stories sewn, painted, embroidered, etc., on them strung together. An example of this that comes to mind is the Medicine Spoon Memorial. Spoons, each representing a woman who was put to death during the witch hunts, were printed on fabric flags which were further embellished along with their name, by people around the world. The spoons were then hung together as a unified story of these women.
  • More coming as my mind wanders…..