Binding my fabric journal is simple and is just sewing on a button
The fabric journal had three signatures and a cover
Each signature consisted of two fabric section that were folded in half. You can have as many signatures and pages as you like.
To sew my signatures to the cover, I used buttons and waxed dental floss. You can use waxed bookbinders thread or whatever you prefer. I use dental floss because it's already waxed, it's strong and it's available.
I start with the center signature. Lining it up where I want it on the book spine, I start at the top or bottom and sew the button on. I bring the needle from the outside of the book, through the button and through the center of the signature.
I sew all signatures separately using a new piece of thread for each signature.
leave a length of thread as you will be using this to tie off a knot.
bring the needle back out to the front, gliding it into the opposite hole in the button, just like if you were sewing a button on a shirt.
if you have a four hole button, repeat the sewing through cover and signature for the other set of holes on the button. For a two hole button you only need to do this step once.
Tighten up button and thread, then continue to the second button. I used five buttons on my journal. You can use as little or as many as you want. I don't measure the spacing but eye the placement but it you are the measuring kind this can all be penciled out in the beginning.
when you finish sewing your last button, bring the needle back out but this time bring it back out behind the button. Wrap thread around underneath the button and knot it off. Do the same for the first button. When knot the first button re-thread the needle with the thread and bring the threat through one button eye so that the tread lies behind the button and then tie off.
Repeat with the other signatures using one thread and line of stitching for each signature,
There are so many ways to bind a fabric journal but this one is quick and easy for me.
After months of work, the fabric journal is built.
Now comes the fun part, all the embellishment, hand stitching and other good stuff
I had no plans for this journal to get so big and fat. Or should I say it has Big Bones. For fun, I put it on my postal scales and without the embellishments that will be added, this journal weighs 3 pounds 8 ounces.
I did not plan on this journal becoming so large, it just seemed to grow and grow. At each sewing session, the journal would gobble up fabric. This journal has a big healthy appetite for fabric scraps.
Decades of foreign travel, digging through the rag markets has supplied a good portion of the makings of this journal. Nothing is wasted in the studio. When I was taking apart old kimonos, the lining was saved and used a base for the fabric pages.
the naked cover that is awaiting stitching, beads, ribbons and other embellishments
a pocket in the front to tuck in feathers, leaves, dried roses. A good resting spot for found treasures. working with all the fabric resurrected memories of the years of travel and that nomadic feeling is starting to stir once again. I really thought this time I could put down roots that would take hold.
bright fabrics, vintage and dark all found their way onto the pages The bold graphic fabric along the left side is from Africa the aqua flower on brown on the right side is from a Wal Mart in Mississippi what silly partners they make Designer fabric from LA rests beside an old German quilt, while an old feedsack quilt square from Delaware tries to dominate the conversation.
an old laundry pin has found it's place on a page
salvaged lace and ribbon will continue to be added There is a small collection of pre-civil war buttons waiting on a shelf in the studio and I think this journal would be a good place for them. Binding this journal was a wrestling match and it was not pretty. I won. Sore fingers, a pliers, two broken needles, a bit of lost blood and some cussing was involved. The binding did not turn out as pretty as I planed, instead it a chunky mess but sometimes it just goes that way.
and this is the end of the story of the journal that gobbled the fabric stash and kindled the wanderlust in my soul.
This weekend, I made some progress in the fabric journal and finished all the pages that I want to include in this book. Just the cover and binding remains. this chunky fabric book is nearly three inches thick all sorts of bits and pieces have been added to the pages it is a collection of tattered treasures collected over the years a piece of a quilt top that is whisper thin more hand stitching will be added so that the fabric will not blow away in the breeze even a dish towel was thrown in for good measure all of grandma's linens and towels had hand stitched blue birds on them someone emailed me a while back saying they just "don't get it" the whole idea behind a fabric journal I was asked what can you do with it, you can't write or draw on the pages. Well you could but this journal is about texture, pattern, the feel and love of fabric. In this journal, I will: -play with some hand stitching -pins things to the fabric (like the old numbered laundry pin above) -add some milagros, maybe -sew in pieces of lace -maybe sew in more fabric -stitch words here and there -sew beads -maybe add an old costume jewelry pin and on and on
fabric has always had that kind of hold, capturing me in a web of warp and weft time and days slip by as I work my way through the fabric journal using all those special little scraps of fabric that I have been setting aside, collecting for something special like the small sample of a lovely textured dupioni silk this is a textural journal, running my fingers over the bumps and lumps caressing the silk playing with color and patterns then finding combinations that are pleasing to my eye last week, I tacked pieces of vintage 60's wallpaper from my collection to the studio wall and I have been finding inspiration in the colors and the psychedelic patterns I think I may add a shelf to this wall with a strip of wood to make it easier to switch out papers and fabric and it has not been all fabric, all week at night, I work in my daily visual journal playing with some color combo's and finding faces in the globs of paint
this morning as I was preparing the photos for this post, I remembered a photo of Ralph the Dog and one of his favorite babies. The picture below was taken a couple of years ago. I think I see something familiar in last night journal page and Ralph's froggie baby. How funny is that!
what started out as crazy quilt has turned into fabric graffito a fabric graffiti journal - I like that this page may be finished or maybe not I am thinking it may need something
some may appear plain but my eye needs a break every few pages from the craziness this one has an old mock up that I made years ago for an embroidery monogram that I was testing on my sewing machine
glittery beaded fabric from a vintage dress my skin was scratchy and crawling by the time I finished with this page I think who ever wore this dress may have gone insane by the end of the night who could wear such a fabric
I appreciate all the enthusiastic response for the fantasy altered book class. One of my favorite things about this class is that this project takes only minimal supplies and most of them you probably already have. AND it is also a good recycle project using old books and magazines. Can it get any better, it sure can because at the end of this class you will have your own unique altered book, from trash to treasure.
So here is the supply list for those who have asked and for those of you who are curious
-book for altering -magazines for cutting up -any other images you would like to use -glue either Mod Podge or white glue -scissors -wax paper -foam brush -old credit card **optional -ruler or straight edge for ripping pages **optional -tape (clear packing tape or duct tape) -small matchbox (the small one that measures 1 1/2" by 2") -xacto knife or box cutter **optional -bead -needle for attaching bead to matchbox -thin cord, ribbon or string -foam tape **optional -paper napkin **optional
and in other crafty news, a few pages were made today for the fabric journal I would never think of putting up a blog post without any pictures to look at or how about a couple of pictures to look at tonight, I will do some hand stitching on the old quilt square on the left did you notice the frog on the branch in the upper right corner on this piece of fabric now how cute is that!!