Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Little Book

The germ of an idea...some of the bits and pieces sent to me by Cathie in exchange for a fabric postcard, plus an image cut from a greeting card. I'm sure that had not that small piece of metallic-painted twill arrived folded, the idea that it could become a book cover would not have occurred to me. The inchie looked to have the letter "V" on it, and so I began to think of my niece Vanessa, and what the pages of a book to her might hold.

Working out the page sequencing...I remembered something I'd pulled off of Margaret's blog back in 2008: Reasons to leap out of bed. I'm not much of a leaper out of bed, but was feeling that I should be back then, so jotted down these excellent suggestions. When I asked Margaret if I could use them for my little book, she graciously replied, "
'Great artists steal' said Picasso - go ahead! Not that I regard using ideas as stealing - they never come out the same when someone else does it, and that's the interesting thing." And as I look back at that blog entry, I see that I have indeed done something different with the idea.

Working out layout for printing and test prints...I discovered that a regular 8-1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper divided up into 4 equal sections horizontally and in half vertically would produce the perfect size for the signature to fit my cover.

Working on the cover...I may have figured out the page layout, but there was still some mulling to do about them. On the other hand, I knew what I wanted to do with the cover. However, once the beads were out, I went from simply attaching the inchie with a bead in each corner and finishing the edge with a blanket stitch to something a bit more involved.

Choosing endpapers...If you click on the photo, you can see that I added beads around the inchie. Just couldn't stop with the four beads, not with lovely teal beads staring at me. I remembered some small pieces of fabric I'd marbled a long time ago, and found one with the appropriate blues and teals to compliment the cover. I little Misty Fuse holds it to the inside of the cover where it nicely hides the beading stitches.

Finishing the edges..I meant to do a simple blanket stitch with the rayon embroidery floss from Cathie, but I just kept staring at those teal beads. I'd recently watched an episode of Quilting Arts which showed adding beads while blanket stitching the edges of leaves. Oh, yes. This would make a lovely edge finish. Oh, Timothy Ely, you have influenced me greatly. Viewing the elaborate covers to his artist books was a revelation, and I spent undue amounts of time on my own. While the actual technique used in this edging is simple, my use of that embroidery thread was problematic. It's heavier than my normal beading thread so I had to find a needle with a big enough eye to accommodate it. Yet the seed beads are very small, so I had to find a needle with an eye small enough for them to still slip over. I did find one, but then ran up against the other reality of beading: the holes in beads are not necessarily consistent in size. What you are looking at here is the capful of beads I went through to find the ones that fit over the needle for that short stretch of stitching. Also, that rayon thread was a bit difficult to work with, especially since I had to peel off individual strands instead of using it in its three ply form. Nope, I'm not going to tell you how long I spent on this part - it's too embarrassing.

Cover ready to go...Gosh, isn't it beautiful though? This is the point at which I want to say, "Look, Mary, look!" That would be Mary Stori from whom I've learned almost all I know about beading on quilts. I always hope she will be proud of my efforts!

Preparing the final pages...I composed the text layout in a word processing program and printed it out on a medium weight matte presentation paper. Regular 20lb copy paper just didn't have the heft that I wanted, and I didn't have anything else on hand. I'd searched around for more images to illustrate my little book, and those that came from jpgs got printed out to size on the same paper. The rest of the images were clipped from magazines. All were chosen because of their significance to Vanessa. The text was cut into pages, folded and nested in the proper order. Then I cut out and added the illustrations using a scrapbooking double stick tape on the back.

Signature sewn to the cover...I just joined this 3-hole pamphlet style, using the same embroidery thread used on the blanket stitch. Yes, and I couldn't resist adding beads to the dangling ends after tying them off. on the outside. It is a mere 2-3/4 inches tall by 2-1/2" wide when closed.

A peak inside...Seriously, I had no idea how many decisions would be involved in making this little book. It was as bad as making a quilt, one innocent idea leading to another not so innocent one. Just deciding on size and style of font could have gone on longer than it did.

More pages...This was a totally absorbing and enjoyable process, and I am itching to take it further.


RHONDA said...

What a great use of Margaret's idea! I'm sure your niece will be thrilled. And I see that you learnt some more about wrestling with beads. :)

The Idaho Beauty said...

Yes indeed! Good thing I love them so much... ;-)

Cathie said...

Oh my that little book came out beautiful. What a treasured gift that will be. So happy you were inspired. Any time you would like to do another little trade -let me know!

Fran├žoise said...

What a lovely little book! :-)