Saturday, December 19, 2009

Padfolio Round 2

For my second padfolio (see my first effort here), I had a specific person in mind, so was casting about in my studio and my memory for a suitable fabric. I found myself gazing at this bright batik that I'd leaf-printed about the same time as the fabric in the first padfolio. I wanted to see the effect on a busier fabric, and wanted to try a metallic paint with some rather large maple leaves. I also printed a few smaller leaves with red acrylic paint. Those showed up, but the metallic ones were incredibly subtle. (Click on this or any picture to see a larger view.) I couldn't think of anything to do with this, short of perhaps a vest or purse lining, so it has been on one of my design walls for 3 years. My recipient rather likes splashy colors and the subtlety of the stamping would not be a disadvantage on a padfolio, so yeah! More unfinished business coming down off my walls! This one I'm stiffening with Peltex per Beth Wheeler's padfolio instructions.

(By the way, I think I failed to mention that there is an error on the first page of the pattern in the materials list. The dimension of the focus fabric for the outside is listed as 14-3/4 x 5-1/2 but that second dimension should be 8-1/2. That becomes obvious as you work through the directions, but I nearly cut my fabric first off that initial list. Also, if you are shy the full 14-3/4 inch length, you can fudge a bit as I did on my first one. As long as you have 2 inches of flap, you'll be fine.)

One of my thoughts as I played with the first padfolio was I might not need to pick different lining and pocket fabric from the outside, and if that were true, there might be an advantage to cutting the front and lining as one piece. So here you see that piece, the Peltex fused on one side, the Wonder Under on the other. In truth, I don't think cutting one big piece saved me much time or fuss, but in this case, I did like using the same fabric throughout. I'm a bit confused about the Peltex, though. I thought only one side had fusible, so I am very glad I used my Teflon sheet under it when I pressed from the fabric side. Had I known it would fuse on both sides, I wouldn't have needed the Wonder Under on the lining side. The gaps you see between the Peltex pieces allow the padfolio to easily fold around the notepad.

Remember me mentioning that I thought the pockets could use some stiffening and that I needed to address the slippage of the two layers during stitching? I fused these narrow strips along the inside of the larger pocket to hold the two layers together, and it did help. The smaller "pen" pocket got entirely lined with Wonder Under to add that stiffness I felt it needed as well as holding the two layers together.

After fusing on the Peltex and before stitching on the pockets, you can add decorative stitching to your focus fabric. I decided to leave it as is, let the subtleties of the stamping shine on their own. I didn't think I could enhance that at all with stitching (especially in my still somewhat under par condition). I just needed to get this done. So I loaded a bobbin with an Aurefil variegated embroidery weight cotton thread, same as I would be using through the needle, and started the stitching process. Cough. Cough. CCOOUUGGHH!

Yes, no sooner had I sat down at the machine than my nagging cough decided it wanted some attention. So I took a quick break to fix a cup of lemon-ginger tea - an excellent move!

I'm not sure this was the best choice of thread - the fabric with the metallic paint has a more formal look than the cotton thread changing color so often - but at least I had plenty of it (unlike the rayon I used on the first one and ran out of 2 inches from the end...). I really like where the leaf stamping falls. I only wish it were easier to photograph metallic paint.

All that was left now was a closure. I decided to search my button and bead collection and see if I had anything suitable for this type of a wrap closure. I'm not sure I did this properly but it seems to work. That's an Oliver Twist hand-dyed chenille thread and four beads I got "free" during a promotion at my bead shop 3 or 4 years ago. Note that I chose not to trim angles into the flap. The Peltex is so stiff that it lies perfectly flat, and trimming would have eliminated some of the stamping.

I penned an inscription right onto the fabric on the inside before treating with a protectant. You can see faint glimmers of the leaf stamping.

And here's the inside of the flap, more stamping showing and just a dot of thread where I threaded it through.

I like this version too, very stiff like a store bought journal. I was worried that stitching through the Peltex (which is dense and about 1/8" thick) would be a problem, but it wasn't. I'm pretty excited about this vehicle for using up some of my surface design experiments. I see more of these in my future.


Deborah said...

What a lucky recipient!

Beth Wheeler said...

Cool! Glad you are enjoying the project instructions. I made more this weekend and discovered the error in measurement. Thanks for mentioning the correction!