A fabric keep safe book


1 Day

Sun, 24th November, 2019

10:00am - 4:00pm

Made by using a combination of new and old fabrics these soft tactile books are more than likely to become heirlooms in their own right holding the special treasures you’ve collected over the years. I use them as places to keep my precious snippets safe, little bits & bobs in progress and for collections of personal stitcheries that I’ve made inspired by my journals.

Today we will embark on creating the front covers to your books. We will use hand appliqué to add a richness of textures to the surface, use different hand embroidery stitches to give them depth and add strength to the spines.

We will share the stories and tales behind the fabrics we’ve brought together and examine the materials you’ve have brought with you to create the pages inside. Leave the day feeling enriched by the threads we’ve stitched.

Materials List:

General sewing kit: pins, needles, scissors etc

Threads: in a variety of thickness and colours depending on your fabrics.

The majority of the stitching is all done by hand for this project.

I do use my sewing machine though towards the end when I am ready to put my book together. I will have my machine set up and ready if anyone would like to use it.

Haberdashery: safety pins, buttons, lace, ribbons, collected bits and bobs (old pieces of jewellery, tiny keys, sparkly items) etc. to add to the covers/pages of their books.


Cover: I have used new and old pieces of fabric, pieces of quilts or embroidery or linens as a background to my covers.

I like to appliqué smaller pieces of fabric onto this surface and stitch into it so something quite plain can end up quite embellished or patch worked.

I use a flannel fabric as the interfacing between the front cover and the inside to stabilize it. As an alternative a 100% fine cotton batting or wool blanket or wool felt would work, as long as it wasn’t too chunky.

I like to line the inside of my covers with a plain linen or 100% cotton fabric.

Pages: I’ve used a little bit of everything for the pages in my books from upholstery fabrics, napkins, pillow cases, old quilt pieces, tray cloths, dress material, discarded patchwork pieces, handkerchiefs, dollies and linen. Bring along the pieces you would like to use. Don’t dismiss the humble tea towel!

Iron on Vilene can be useful for stabilising fine fabrics if you have some.

Little bits and pieces of fabrics: I love using fabrics that look and feel washed and worn but I’ve also really enjoyed using a combinations of modern novelty fabrics, for example I have used Janet Clare’s hearty good wishes and clipped some of the fish/whales/seaweed pictures and appliquéd them into my books. So don’t discount a fabric because it seems “too” modern, the theme might just suit the project you’re working on.

I also love adding a pocket to the inside of the covers and have made these out of handkerchiefs.

I have found that I don’t just make one book or cloth wrap from the fabrics I’ve pulled together in a session but many, I’ve continue to work with the themes and ideas that are generated whilst stitching and I’m always thinking of new ways of combining treasured pieces.