This past week was spent with one of my son’s and his family. I also got to spend a day with a friend and her grandson. Needless to say, it was a busy, fun, happy, non-stop action week.
When I returned home, I decided to unwind a few days before I got back to the projects I left in progress. I like to relax by hand stitching while I watch classic movies. It just so happened that it was Irene Dunne Day on Turner Classics, so this was perfect. 👵
- I have a bin with muslin and batting already cut in different sizes for making small-to-medium sized signatures for journals.
- My threads, beads, scissors, and all necessary items for a small hand stitching project are in a pink box, that was formerly a jewelry box. This box was a gift my youngest son gave me back in the ’80’s, so it has a lot of sentimental value.
- I began the fabric collage process by looking through the scraps trying to find particular designs that I could shape into a bird body or wing
- I free-cut the bird shape and wings by following the designs on the fabric.
- Then, I use an Elmer’s Glue Stick to secure the bird to the fabric.
- This makes it easier to hand stitch the birds.
- The muslin signatures for this project are about 8″x 12″. The measurements are not exact, since I prefer the unfinished, uneven look. The bird fabric journal I made is very simple compared to the beautiful, elaborate fabric journals on Pinterest.
- I used the sewing machine to zig-zag the edges of the signatures.
- The wrap cover was made with strips sewn onto canvas.
This journal project was a great way to relax and unwind. The unfinished projects are calling me, so I will get to them this week.
What do you do with 100, 2.5″ x 3.5″, fabric art pieces? I had stored my 100 Day Project pieces in a box, then in a photo album. Thanks to Mariss, of Fabrication, I decided to make a fabric book. I was able to problem solve a way to collate my 100 Day project into a book after Mariss shared photos of one of her fabric journals.
To start the project, I made a page consisting of four of the art pieces. Some of the pieces were larger than the rest, so I had to make single pages. This left me with 29 pages that I would have to figure out how to bind. Initially, I was not going to make signatures, but I changed my mind. The pages were too bulky to just top-stitch together. I liked the patchwork look of the back of each page, so I did not make the signatures with pages back to back. I attached each page to a 1.5″ strip of muslin that had the quarter-inch sides folded down. The signatures were sewn onto a felt spine that measured 4.5″. I sewed a strip of felt onto each side of the felt spine. These strips were folded back and hand-sewn to give the spine structure after all the signatures had been sewn onto the spine. Then, I had to figure out how to make and attach a book cover. I have a bin of denim from an old pair of jeans. I cut the denim into three sections: front, back, and spine. I decorated the denim with a bird thread sketch that I made a few years ago. On the spine, I attached a strip of denim that I had embroidered. I have quite a few denim patches that I embroider and stitch as I watch television. I chose another stitched block that I had in a bin to use for the back. I thought I was going to have to hand-sew the cover onto the book, but I was able to use my machine. I used a zipper foot to help me sew along the edge of a very bulky situation. The covers were lined with a fabric remnant that I have had for a few years.
Signatures: After sewing two signatures together, I would add another set of signatures on top by sewing down the center line of the muslin strip.
Thanks, Mariss! You were a big help in getting this project completed.
This morning, I started making a block for my 2019-2020 fabric journal. When I finished with the piece, I decided to make it a quilted block to hang on the door to my studio.
I started out by painting some canvas with fabric paint, markers, and crayons. I cut a flamingo from pink fabric. Then, I thread sketched, using different threads. I am having trouble with the stitches when I thread sketch. I have adjusted the tension, but I think the trouble stems from how I stitch. I find myself pulling the cloth, instead of gently gliding it along. This is an area where I need to consult with someone who knows what they are doing. Any suggestions, hints, and feedback is welcomed. Even with the uneven stitching, I am happy with the results.
For my May entry of the fabric journal, I found a denim block that I had pieced and started embroidering a few months ago. I cut out some flamingos and outlined stitched them onto the denim. I need to add some more embroidery and label it for the month of May.
It has definitely been a Flamingo-Kind-of-Day.
Since I have finished making rugs and bowls, I was looking for something to do. Then I remembered that I had not yet made the monthly block for my 2019 fabric journal.
This is what I have made for the journal so far:
This will be the title page.
For the April quotation block, I used one of my orphan blocks that I made years ago. Instead of embroidering over the printed quote, as I did on the others, I embroidered over a handwritten quote. It did not come out as neatly as the printed quotes, so lesson learned.
My tendency is to save even the smallest of fabric scraps. I have tried to be more practical and organized, but my two scrap bins are full. I also save thread scraps. 🙄 As I was getting ready to throw these scraps away, I decided to upcycle them and use them in the April block instead. I threw a small amount of fabric scraps onto 10″ X 10″ muslin block. I scattered and played with the fabric before I threw on some of the thread and ribbon scraps. Then I covered the block with Sulky Wash Away Stabilizer.
I was able to practice some free motion quilting over the stabilizer. Then I cut some larger brown scraps into a tree limb. My sister had shared some birds that she drew, and she gave me permission to print them on fabric. I have made some items for her with these birds, and today, I used one of the birds for this textile art piece. I appliqued the bird and leaves to complete the piece. This fun process just confirmed that I will not be throwing away tiny scraps of fabric or thread. 😉
The other day, I found this YouTube video by Gina Ahrens. She demonstrated a quick and easy way make a fabric journal with scraps of denim, muslin, and whatever is available. I loved the uneven edges and scrappy look. I had been wanting to make some sort of Poetry Month project, and I thought this journal was just perfect for this project.
I pulled out some scraps of denim, muslin, and lace and made two journals. The journal I made with a lace cover has been set aside for now.
The second journal I made and dedicated it to my mom. Mom loved birds, as do I. The birds would come to her kitchen window and let her know they were ready to be fed. We would sit out on her back porch swing and listen to and watch the birds.
For the cover of the book, I used an art piece from my sister. I had asked if I could print her birds on fabric and embroider them. The embroidery was finished this past March, but I did not know how I was going to use the piece. It makes a perfect cover. I used an old floral handkerchief for the free end covers. I also used some birds that I had stamped onto muslin. The blue thread sketched bird on the first page was the bird I made when I was first trying to learn how to thread sketch. For the border, I tried out some of the stitches that I can make on my sewing machine. I have not really taken the time to try the various stitches, and I found it quite enjoyable. The yellow triangular bird and the heart with the bird that is on the cover, were made from quilted scraps that were in my sewing trash bin. One of my goals is to learn different embroidery stitches, so I took the opportunity to try some new stitches out.
Throughout the process of making this journal, my sewing room became a disaster. Thread, buttons, ribbon, scraps….a huge mess. It took time, but I was determined to clean and organize. I do not like starting the day with a messy sewing room.
On July 4, 1978, I experienced fireworks in the form of contractions.
Two days later, I was blessed with the birth of my two sons. They were born, a minute apart.
One weighed 6 1/2 pounds; the other weighed 6 3/4 pounds.
Frank and Ed are the stars that light up my life.
I am so proud of them.
Since I was out celebrating their birthdays, I was not able to make the block for my journal until today.
Stars Bright, Stars Light
Background: Patriotic star fabric; red and white star fabric for backing
The first part of my day was crazy and busy. When I finally was able to get back home, I went to my stitch meditation bin for materials. I knew this would help me put the craziness behind me.
My plan was to create a stitch meditation. But as I looked at the stack of meditations I have made so far, I suddenly switched plans. Originally, these little stitch blocks were to be created just for fun, peace, and with no project in mind. I have been looking at videos on how to make fabric journals. A few years ago, I took a class on making a journal book, with paper signatures. With this bit of experience and research, I decided to try to compile some of the stitch meditations into a fabric journal. Since the stitch blocks are all done by hand, I made the signatures by hand also. The only machine stitching I did was on the journal cover. I thought it would make it more secure, but I did not like the way it looked. So I stitched around the book cover with embroidery thread.
Making this fabric meditation journal was a very relaxing way to end a crazy day.
I am not the best videographer, but I finally got it on YouTube.
The fabric journal is finished and in the mail.
Whew! I made the mailing deadline.
This is the front cover. The back of this page is the same as the green strip.
This is the front of the last page. I drew myself at my sewing machine.
The back is the same as the multi-color frame.
The buttons help stabilize the book binding.
I made a video of the booklet, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to post it.
I downloaded it onto You Tube but I can not find it!
So much for my technology skills.