Keeping my eyes open….

When we travel overseas I am always accompanied by my small notebook and pen….just so I can take note of interesting things that I see.

I was thinking the other day that I become complacent when I am back home and…..

1) don’t notice things

2) don’t write down the things that I do notice.

SO….to remedy that, I pulled out a small notebook that will fit nicely in my purse.   As I was cleaning out my studio, I found a small piece of fabric with fusible already attached so I used that bit to cover the book.


Hopefully I will be diligent with taking notes…..only time will tell!!

Books Number 4 and 5 ….only 3 more to go


This week I have been able to continue working on the covered books.

The first one started with a piece of fabric that I used to soak up excess dyes.  I really liked the mottled pastel color and  added the four borders.



Next step was to fuse the design and add some threadwork…..


Here is the finished product……._7035911

The next book started  by going through a box of orphan blocks (those that were made but not used in a project).  I found a small hand painted design that I have NO idea where it came from.

I started by adding yellow borders and was just going to put another border around the edge.  Then I thought  BORING!!!!!!  so, I started angling the strips instead…..

 _7045912 Every so often, I would place a cut out design that is the same size as the book cover it to see how it was looking. 


Here is the finished product……_7045916

Books, Books & More Books


I have been continuing to cover books these last few days.  I plan to take them to Italy when we go in August and give them as gifts to our hosts, so I needed to get moving!!!

For the second book, I wanted to re-d0 the blue challenge quilt that I did a few months ago (original post is here)

First step was to pull out the bits drawer (pieces smaller than 1-1/2  inches) and  search for blue fabrics. _6215707 _6215708  

Second step…..cut a piece of extremely lightweight fusible interfacing.

Next, cut out shapes and place them on the interfacing.   Iron into place.



I failed to photograph the next part, but it included appliquing the white vase and flower and then stitching all of the pieces into place.

When I finished the book, I wasn’t happy with the fabric on the spine.  So, after sleeping on it, I decided to stamp some gold flowers on the fabric and I think that it helped to pull it all together.

Here is the finished product……..




When I was starting the next book, I decided to use some of the fabrics that I had painted many months ago.    I simply did some outline quilting / threadwork on the piece, added a few beads and glued it onto the book.

Here it is……


Looking at this photo, I realize that I dont like the white dots in the center…..I may put some dots of paint on them

Of books and birds

First of all….the bird update.   My daughter and some of my friends are starting to call me the “bird lady”….oh well, I have been called worse!!!!

Here is a video of one of the feeding times today.  Notice how big the birds are now…….

This video shows lots of movement in the nest.  I am wondering how they are all fitting……. 

Later in the day, we realized that they were moving around a LOT so I went outside to set up the camera again.  As I set it up, one of the babies just sat very still and watched me.  I knew Michael was just inside the door, so I whispered for him to bring the still camera.  The bird eyed me off carefully as I took this photo, but didn’t attempt to hide like they normally do……

Best bird

Now, onto the fun that I have had this weekend…….

On Saturday, I spent some time looking thru the book “Fabric Art Collage” by Rebekah Meier.  As usual, it inspired me to get into the studio and try a few things.

My first step was to use one of the dyed silk hankies that I bought when we were in Australia.  If you haven’t seen these before, the large hankie is made of many fine layers of silk mesh. 

Here it is with all of the layers in tact……


This is what it looks like when a layer is peeled off.  One hint that was in the book was to use lotion on your hands before you pick up the silk layers as they are very sheer and will stick to rough spots on your hands.


Following the instructions in the book, I laid it onto parchment paper, sprayed it with starch (the book called for a fancy stiffener, but I just used what I had), covered it with more parchment and ironed the daylights out of it.


The result was a slightly fused, stiff piece of fabric that could easily be picked up and moved.

I then pulled out some stamps and started stamping the silk with various colors.  These stamps were NOT designed for fabric, so I wasn’t sure what would happen.


I also read in the book about using batting as the backing for felting, so I decided to try that this time.  I added some wisps of wool and felted the background down, using the Felting Machine that I bought too long ago and never used!!!

I then placed the silk piece over the top and felted away again.


One unexpected thing happened here……the felting needles disturbed the stamps so that the designs disappeared, but it left wonderful little dots of ink through out the piece.

_6195677I added a few more stamps on the top and tried to figure out what to do next.  My husband suggested that I start by following the blue blob in the middle of the piece and I went from there to adding a couple of flowers and lots of free motion lines.

It was time to move into the living room to spend time with hubby, so I grabbed my box of lace and paint and did some more playing.  I started with some tatting that my Grandmother had made.  After trying to color it with stamps (and not liking it), I ended up painting it with gold.    I used some gold thread to attach the lace to the top and then added french knots to the center of each flower…..

_6195682  The final step was to take the brush that still had gold paint on it and brush it around in various places…..waste not, want not!!!!

This morning I added a backing fabric and used the piece to cover a journal book.

_6205685 I loved the idea of trying some new ideas and really like that I was able to put the new ideas to good use and get a finished product from it!!!!

Now….back to bird watching!!!!

Making of A Covered Book


Today I had the opportunity to make another covered book….this time as a Birthday present for a friend who I was having lunch with.  As you can guess, I was in a bit of a hurry….

The first step was to pick a pattern.  For this, I went online and searched for  free Stained-glass patterns and was rewarded with a huge number of ideas.  These are great for simple applique designs.



So, I started with a pattern and a blank Composition Book.





Next step was to draw the pattern pieces onto the paper side of a sheet of “Wonder Under”.   I knew that the pattern would be reversed, but was actually happier with it that way.




I turned to my 2-1/2 strip drawer and picked out four yellow prints for the sunflower and ironed the Wonder-Under onto the back. 




Next step was to cut out the petals and remove the paper from the back.  This is easily done by taking a seam ripper and scoring the backing paper so that there is a tear in the paper ( but not in the fabric).  It is easy to peel off this way….much easier than trying to separate the fabric and paper at the edge of the piece.




I then put the pattern, right side  down onto a light  box and placed a Teflon pressing sheet over the pattern.  I proceeded to place the cut out flower petals over the pattern.





After all were in place, I carefully scooted the Teflon sheet off of the light box and onto the ironing  board, and gave the entire flower a good steam press.

This attaches the fabric to the pressing sheet, but it can easily be peeled off and the flower removed in one piece.



After selecting the front cover fabric, I placed all of the pieces on the background and pressed it in place.





Now for the fun part……  pulling out all of my threads, both normal and funky, and enjoy adding details, as well as securing the fabric edges to the base fabric.

11 12



After I had  measured the size of the book, I added almost 3 inches to the vertical and 1-1/2 inches to the horizontal measurements.  I cut out a piece of wonder-under that was this size and applied it to the reverse side of my front piece. 




14 After trimming it a bit, I removed the paper and placed the fabric over the top of the book, leaving an overlap on the top, bottom and edge of the book.  The left side of the fabric was placed just outside of the book binding.


I ironed the fabric to the front of the book….carefully, with steam.





The corners were cut out….remember doing this when you covered books back in school!!

The top, bottom and sides were pressed to the inside of the book.






These last few steps were repeated with the back fabric.




The final step was to cut a piece of Wonder-Under 2-1/2 inches 17wide and fuse it to a selected 2-1/2 fabric strip from my scrap strips.  I used the rotary cutter to make a slightly curved edge on both sides of the strip.





This strip was cut to the proper length and then carefully fused to the binding and onto each side of the book cover.







Voila…..a fun finished project….and in less that 2 hours!!!!