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January 23, 2010

Another Bookbinding Adventure

I use watercolor journals for my daily sketchbooks/visual journals and for the last 18 months I used books I made with commercial bookcloth on the covers.  This year, while experimenting with corn dextrin resist, I created pieces of fabric that I thought would make fun book covers for my art journals and remembered a blog entry about "paper-backing fabric as book cloth" by Roz Stendahl.  I made 4 different pieces of cloth to try and decided to make a completely experimental journal - one that I wouldn't grieve over if it didn't meet my expectations.

I used Fabriano Artitico to make my watercolor journals with 140 lb soft press paper that was grain long - and could use full sheets to make books that were approximately 5.5" X 7.5".  I love this size because it fits comfortably into a small leather backpack, is portrait format, and  and the pages are just big enough for my drawings.  However, last year Fabriano Artistico paper was changed to grain short and I could no longer make that size book from 1 1/2 sheets and with 2 full sheets, there was considerable waste.  So this experimental book was redesigned to be 7.5" wide and 7.3" high.  I never worked in a square format, so this was a perfect time to try it.

I followed Roz's instructions precisely (I thought), but was unable to glue (PVA) the fabric to the Thai mulberry paper without bubbles.  I allowed it to dry and then carefully peeled it off and then tried option #2.  In her blog entry Roz describes book cloth made by someone in her classes using Stitch Witchery as the fusible.  I used Wonder Under (another polyamide) in machine applique since it was marketed in 1986 - and remembered a scientific study done by Drs. Evenson and Crews, of the International Quilt Study Center, at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, in which they studied "selected quilting products containing adhesives" (Quilters Newsletter, March 2004). Stitch Witchery and Wonder Under were comparable in their lightfastness tests and artifical aging experiments - both were proved acceptable for quilts intended as heirlooms to last less than 100 years.  At 100 years of artificial aging, there was slight yellowing.  Since I have no guarantee that my family won't put my sketchbooks in terminal storage considerably before 100 years, I considered this an acceptable risk! 

Here are photos and a journal page celebrating my new, beloved, watercolor journal.  The fabric was made with green and blue procion MX dyes and corn dextrin resist to make the squiggly lines.  It was then ironed onto the paper using Wonder Under and handled just like book cloth to make my journal cover.  I'm in love!! 

Book Front:


Book Back:


Standing Book - the dark green is the metallic end paper


My Happy, Happy Journal Page:



December 30, 2009

Christmas Creativity 2009

I always sew ornaments and presents for Christmas - but actually made fewer things than last year.  How could I be busier in retirement than when working?  Not pictured here is Annabelle's cotton velveteen quilt, which is now a family tradition - one for each grandchild on their 2nd Christmas.  My blog name, Paper and Threads, reminds me that textiles are an important part of my life and I try to periodically post the other half of ME!

A Mixed-Media Ornament for my Children's Christmas trees:  Created with paper, fabric, and fabric paints.



Giraffes for my 4 grandsons:  I dye painted unbleached muslin to make the giraffe skin and then made the ornaments.


Peacocks for my two grand daughters (and of course me!):  I knew Sydney would love the Swarovski crystals on each tail feather! 


Zach's Stocking:  Each new grandchild needs a stocking for Grandma to fill for Christmas Eve.


Zach's Gift Bag - for all of the bigger gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.  We don't wrap presents at all any more.  Over the last 15 years I made gift bags for veryone in the entire family.  The antlers, ear, and tail are all 3-D, not patchwork. 


September 28, 2009

Paper and Threads Representations of a New York City Subway Mosaic

I was invited to applique a square for the Empire Quilt Guild 2011 Raffle Quilt.  All of the eighteen 11 inch squares are based on New York City subway mosaics and I was thrilled to be assigned the Chambers Street IRT mosaic of Kings College.  We are a Columbia University family and Kings College was the original college which became Columbia University after the Revolution.

I was gvien an applique pattern that was drafted from a photo in a NYC subway book, but decided that I wanted to make my own.  I photographed many of the mosaics which run along both the uptown and downtown platform walls trying to find one that wasn't too damaged by age.


I drew and painted the mosaic in my daily sketchbook, to try to familiarize myself with the complex design before making a new pattern and selecting fabrics.


I just completed the applique square - which required more time than any single 11 inch square I ever made - mostly because I decided that I wanted to applique every stone of the building on individually! 


August 29, 2009

More Baby Zachary Sketches

I took a few photos when we visited Zachary in the hospital and used them as references for these paintings.   It will be fun to see when my figure sketching skills have improved to the point where I can sketch him better.  So far I sketch my grandchildren from the back because I can't capture their facial features.


Zachary's Baby Quilt:  My daughter-in-law brought me nursery crib linens when she finally found some that she liked.  We decided that I would use a star pattern, like I did for Zach's big brother Robbie's baby quilt.  Robbie's quilt was yellow and blue with an all over star pattern. 

I selected fabrics from my collection, including 3 fabrics that were in his parent's wedding quilt and Robbie's baby quilt.  I love the continuity and did the same for my daughter's wedding quilt and baby quilts for her 3 children.  This was my journal page for the day when I planned the quilt and started the process.


Racing to the Finish:  I needed to speed up the quilting when Zachary arrived one week early, and spent two full days finishing the quilting of the border triangles and attaching the binding.  It is hard to speed up the hand quilting process, it just requires marathon quilting sessions for me while watching old movies on TV!


The Finished Quilt:  I delivered this quilt to my son and his new son Zachary yesterday and it looks wonderful in the baby nursery!  I always feel as if I am wrapping up each and every grandchild in my love - in ways that just add to our bonds.


Annabelle and her parents just arrived from Washington, DC to meet her new cousin.  She is too young to realize that she is not the family baby any longer! 

March 15, 2009

Rice Mice for Callum and Annabelle


My son called today to tell me that Annabelle (now almost 1) discivered her Rouse Mouse (singular of Rice Mice) this week and now needs it taken from the shelf and given to her everytime she is lifted out of her crib.  He went searching for more information on the origin of these mice and asked why I didn't have any photos of the two newest ones on my blog.  Just coincidentally, we're having dinner tonight with the person who gave me the Rice Mice book when my children were young.

Both of these mice have long suede tails and embroidered eyes for safety.   Annabelle's pink mouse was made from fabric used for the quilt I made for her for Christmas.  Callum's mouse is made from fabric leftover from an earlier quilting project and the turquoise and apple green color matches his room.

My earlier post about Christmas Rice Mice and a picture of the book appears here.

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