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Making a fiber book...Tutorial from my studio

I am no expert but I have received interest in sharing my method of making the little fabric books that I seem to be hooked on lately so here goes. Take what you want and gather more information through various creators. WARNING: Like crazy quilting, these are addictive!

First I decide on the subject matter. This was a book I just completed for a client in Indonesia. She sent great photos and letters to include in a book for her daughter's birthday. I added some backgrounds and played around in my editing program to get the colors I wanted. I printed them off on cotton poplin and organized them in the order they would appear in the book.

I then decide what size I want the book, usually smaller is sweeter in my opinion. This book was 5" by 7". I cut a muslin base for each side of a "page" usually going with three to four pages so I would need 6 to 8 muslin pieces.
I also cut a few smaller pieces of muslin for additional flaps on various pages for a more personal and fun book. The flap on page below opened downward exposing a small locket that opened to reveal a photo of mother and daughter. Each completed flap is sewn onto the page before book is assembled.

 The next step is to go to your lace/ doily/dyed textured fabric bin and begin selecting interesting bits.
Her daughter likes blue so I chose a few blue fabrics but tried to stay with neutrals to be safe. I then layout the photos on each page, telling a story as I go if possible.I decided since this was such a thoughtful gift for her daughter, I would put the photo of  the mother on the cover. She is a beautiful woman and what daughter wouldn't like to see her mother on the cover? I added a  birthday tag and a photo of a vintage girl. The next page included two photos of vintage mother and daughter and a little girl plus a sweet letter from mom. I just continue the layout of pages before I start selecting fabrics and such.

Instead of keeping everything straight and perfect, I angled photos and such for more interest. Now the fun part of choosing the fabrics and laces. This is a great way to use up those laces and trims you have been collecting. Keep in mind, the colors do not have to match, especially if you will be aging the pages. They are so much more enduring when aged I think. (Just my opinion)

 I iron fusible web (wonder under/pellon) to the back of the image sheet before cutting out. I also cut along the edges in an uneven waving pattern to make it appear torn and tattered.
The next steps are for your imagination but here is the layering process I use.
1. Muslin base

2. Fabric, either a determined color or a neutral shade

3.Sheer fabric or lace overlay allowing fabric to show through

4. Photo image (s) placed and ironed down to hold and not shift while embellishing

5. Trims, appliques, more lace bits, etc

6. Any sewing or silk ribbon embroidery

7.Buttons, beads, charms, etc.

8. If adding a "flap" to a page, use the same steps to make flap decorating both sides. Attach it on any side, top or from bottom.

9. That is one page, now finish the rest!

10. If you are going to age the book, make sure your images are waterproof. If not, spray with a product like Scotch-guard and allow to dry, then lay each page out on covered surface to protect from distressing method. I use a liquid distressing solution from Tisha's Needle Art Studio (810-678-8191) Just spray it wherever you want it to "age", I spray it all over then come back and spray edges where it it more likely to be worn/used.
Let air dry or place pressing cloth on page and press with iron while damp. This sets it as is and gives it even more of an aged look.

11. Layer pages in order, placing the last page on bottom and so on  ending with cover on top of stack then either glue pages back to back or sew around the edges. Either works, sometimes I do both. I leave the edges raggedy but trim any unwanted muslin showing through unless it was aged as well.

12. Mark where you want the binding to be. I use two methods, I cut a hole in the top left corner and feed several yarns, ribbons, rick rack through and tie off. Or I place 3 evenly spaced grommets along the left edge of pages then feed the fibers through.

12. Tie a few special charms, beads, etc to the thinner fibers and let hang. This can personalize and add interest to your book.

13. Check each page making sure it looks evenly embellished throughout the book. You can always add a button or applique if needed.

14. Wrap it up or send it off and smile knowing it will be warmly received because you put your heart into it.....not to mention at least 16 hours :-)

 Now I warned you, don't come knocking on my door because you have another addiction...unless you are here for tea.

Read more: http://gatherings100.blogspot.com/#ixzz2ISr4tXKP
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
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My Fabric Transfer method using Heat Tool on art-e-zine here

Embroidery Scissor Purse with Clasp

I take my crazy quilt projects with me to every doctor visit and I thought it would be nice to have a crazy quilt purse to keep my sharp embroidery scissors safe. I use those little clear rubber point protectors for the scissors which will also protect the interior of the purse free from snags. I always make my own patterns because honestly, I can't follow a commercial pattern with much success. I lose something from paper to brain and it is frustrating so making my own simple patterns and sharing them for others like me, or for beginners is enjoyable and keeps me creating. 
I hope you enjoy the tutorial and perhaps you can make some for your favorite stitcher/crafter friends. If you have any questions just email me at the link on my blog left top sidebar. I'll answer as quickly as possible.

I start with the actual scissors I am making the purse for. I select a clasp that will allow the scissors to slip through with ease. You can find a huge clasp assortment on etsy, www.baglady.com, www.lacis.com and many other online sites. 
1) Place the clasp on a piece of muslin and trace around entire clasp for approximate size and placement.

2) Place embroidery scissors beneath clasp and freehand a design using clasp outline and scissor length. You can see the clear point protector on the scissor tip.


 Piece the muslin using your favorite method. I use the five sided center piecing method with a fabric image in the center. You may print and use one of the images below if you wish. Lisa's altered art on etsy offers a page of  vintage sewing themed children you may want to use.



When the muslin is pieced and embellished place it right side facing a lining fabric. Sew around edges leaving space to turn. Repeat this process using a backing fabric and another lining fabric piece. Turn both right sides out and press. Place the clasp on top of each piece and mark where the hinge will be.
Place lining fabric sides together and begin stitching 1/4" below hinge mark on one side to the other. This will create a pouch. Now you will add the clasp. You might want to place scissors in pouch with clasp open to check for size once more before sewing on clasp.
If scissors fit nicely thread your beading needle and start attaching clasp by making sure it is centered on either side (front or back) and bringing needle from the inside through the first hole in clasp, feed on a seed bead (size 11 works well) and go back through hole and fabric then on to the next hole continuing through all holes on one side checking to make sure purse is still straight and will line up as planned. After last hole/bead is sewn on knot twice from inside. Repeat on other side. I cover the sewing lines on inside with a matching small trim or gimp by using Fabri-tack clear fabric glue following clasp design. But the trim/gimp edges together before cutting to make sure you have enough to cover neatly.
You can attach this purse to a chatelaine as well.
Note: I decided to make a purple scissor purse for my Hussif so this one is for sale in my etsy shop here.