Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My first fabric book

While I am waiting for administrative approval of my application for membership on the new textile arts forum Stitchin fingers I will post pictures of the fabric book I made last year. I took a class, taught by Christiane Kühr, at the annual Patchwork Guild conference in Berlin and enjoyed it very much! I had already been fascinated when I read her article on the subject in Patchwork Professional magazine and had decided to make my favorite poem from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings the subject. I ended up changing plans somewhat and using the cover with Tolkien's picture for a scrapbook which I take with me to Tolkien events and when meeting friends. It's a good place to keep my commemorative pins from various occasions (including seeing the Hobbiton movie site in New Zealand!). Since the pages are quite stiff, it is easy to have people sign them, draw on them, and of course embroider or sew on them.

I took my pictures and the poem which I had set up on my computer to the copy shop which then printed everything on my fabric. I have since then printed directly onto T-shirt iron-on paper myself, which works the same way. The finish is stiff and shiny, like plastic, which is fine for the purpose - though it does have to be ironed with care.

The cover is softer than the pages, with a thick layer between the visible surfaces. I decided to go for a clean look, so sewed the layers right sides together, then turned them. I allowed for additional thickness with more fabric for the spine; until it is needed, it's laced to hold it together.

The pages are backed (both sides) with a very stiff iron-on facing. I sewed them right sides together as well, leaving the side for the holes open for turning. I then sewed a sturdy twill tape to that edge to finish it and give stability before punching holes and eyelets into it. I sewed matching cords to the cover spine, which go through the holes and are tied together at the top. I also used my sewing machine's embroidery stitches to embellish and stabilize the page edges.

I like the loose-leaf principle for a book like this that is used as a scrapbook. It gives me the option of adding pages in time, as needed. I am currently working on a family scrapbook along the same line (which will be a gift, so I can't show it until after the occasion).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blog Reloaded

This blog began as a travel report, coupled with a weather theme. Now I am changing the emphasis. The name I chose for myself back then - RainbowCatcher - already hinted at my interest in fabric arts, especially patchwork and quilting. Since blogging has become such an important means of communication in the world of creativity, I am now setting this up to be my patchwork blog. I will show pictures of my work; talk about projects past, present, and future; and hopefully exchange comments with other quilters.

Good-bye, "I weather the weather"; hello, "Sewing Rainbows"!

More to come soon.