Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Making A Quilted Book

I've been keeping journals for as long as I can remember. Often times, when I'm in bed at night but not quite ready to sleep, I write down small phrases or poems. I've liked several of them, but until recently didn't know what to do with them. At a recent SAQA meeting, another member brought in a book she put together in order to showcase some painting samples/techniques she wanted to remember. I had an "Aha!" moment when I saw it. Finally, a way for me to share my poems!

I couldn't find any instructions on making a book, so I just went to my studio and started experimenting. The following are instructions for how I have found making the books works best for me.

I have also learned to work in even number pages, in order to have a pretty front to the book and a pretty back as well!

You will need:
  • Pellon stabilizer (or any other brand stabilizer you like as long as it's fairly stiff)
  • Thin polyester batting (scraps would even work)
  • Backing fabric (hand dyes work great)
  • Assorted paints/brushes for surface design
  • Sharpies or fabric markers

 This is the order of layers:

Front: Pellon
Middle: batting and then another layer of Pellon
Back: Backing fabric

Step 1: Cut strips of Pellon - I cut mine 6" wide, by the 20" length so I will get 5 "pages" per strip

 Step 2: Paint the Pellon strips

Step 3: Cut the painted Pellon into "pages". These are 4" by 6"

Step 4: Write your poem, or journal writing onto the Pello with a Sharpie marker or fabric marker

Step 5: Use fusible applique to "baste" layers together for quilting. I line them all up close to one another to make quilting quick and easy

Step 6: Quilt the piece as desired, I've been sticking with just lines to keep from distracting from the writing so far...

Step 7: Trim out the pages up to the edge of the Pellon pages

Step 8: Add surface design such as stamps, stencils, etc. I've also taken the back of the pieces and added some texture to them with paints as well

Step 9: Set your machine to a zigzag stitch and zigzag around all four edged of each page

Step 10: You are now going to put your book together! This is where working in even numbers comes into play. I take a scrap piece of Pellon to test the width and length as well as the tension of the stitch. You will be butting up the edges of the pages together and stitching them, make sure all the pages are word side up. Use the center guide line on your foot, and make sure to keep the "gap" directly in the center, and stitch all the way down, back tacking at the start and at the end

Step 11: As the pages pile up just keep folding the book to keep them manageable

Here is the front and back of the book. Because we have used an even number of pages and have sewn them all word side up, we now have a pretty cover, and a pretty back to our book!

Your book is now complete!

As you can see below, you can cut the pages any size you want, offering a great variety in sizes and formats. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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