Monday, 18 September 2017

Oriental Themed Fabric Book

I joined a brand new group on FaceBook last month, simply called 'Fabric Books'. After going to the James class and making a book with recycled materials including fabrics and envelopes and also watching Teesha Moore YouTube Videos to create fabric book covers using small pillows, I now want to make a totally fabric book. This is one of the reasons I joined the group as I needed a starting point. A lovely lady in the group called Katie Williams has been working very hard to create lists of information for absolute beginners including searching for YouTube tutorials. I was immediately hooked and loved the way a lady called Janette of ScrapinHappyxo Crafts created her Bohemium Gypsy books. She has lots of tutorials on the various stages, I watched them all and was totally blown away and inspired by her creations, so here goes.

The first thing to do was decide on a theme, so I went for Oriental. I printed the above images onto fabric using freezer paper and couldn't believe how well they came out.

On Sunday I paid a visit to the car boot and picked up some lacey clothing, some doylies and...

Some lovely trim on a scarf which I picked up for 20p.

I started to compile the pages around the images using trims, ribbons, lace and anything else I could find in my stash to be honest. As I came across more bits I kept adding to the pages.

I glued all the pieces down.

I experimented wth different types of glue.

I sprayed the white pieces with red bister to give them some colour.

Next I prepared the pages and the cover from a thick upholstery fabric.

And sewed the pages onto the cover using my sewing machine. Sew the middle page in the middle of the cover and then another page either side leaving about 1/4 of an inch of a gap.

I started to assemble the pages in the book. These are going to be the first two.

And these the third and forth pages.

I really wanted these two images the other way around so they were facing each other, but I needed to have the black lace on the right hand page or it would have got crushed on the other page. Something to think about for the next one.

And the same happened with these two pages, I've had to put them the opposite way round to which I would have really liked.

I then took everything out so I could add trims to the inside edges of the pages.

I glued the pages together using a glue gun.

The back page will get some trim added when I put the front cover on.

I then set about covering the pages with some lace.

And once glued in, I cut them down so you could see the trim between the glued pages.

The pages are now glued in, these are the first two with a few additions to fill up the page.

Pages three and four and some extra doylies.

The fifth and sixth pages, again I added in more fabrics to the bottoms of these pages.

And the last two pages. Again added more fabrics to both the bottom and the top and some beads on the right of the right hand side page.

This is what the book looks like from the top with the pages all closed.

Next I made a spine from corrugated cardboard and covered it in some scrap fabric.

I glued the spine to the book to give it extra strength. I also manipulated it so it didn't go really stiff.

I finally completed the cover of my book today and here it is.

And this is the back. I wanted to keep the back fairly plain and flat so it sat okay and I'm happy to say it does. I just need to go back in and stick that last flap down as you can see it's a bit flyaway!

These are the first two pages of my completed book.

The second pair of pages, three and four.

Pages five and six.

Back set of pages, seven and eight.

And the back and front covers which won't squish down flat as I put the corrugated cardboard spine in to strengthen it.

Sorry the photos from today are a bit dull but it's a really gloomy day! May edit when and if the sun comes out!

I really, really enjoyed making my very first totally fabric book and I love how it turned out. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Wet Felting Workshop

I have to say that I very nearly didn't go to this workshop due to feeling so ill, and it wasn't the workshop that put me off, it was the drive, but anyway, I thought I'll set off and see how I feel and I'm sooooo pleased I did. I had a fabulous day.

Just to get a feel for the merino wools and how to layer them up, we started off making a brooch. You layer the first colour, then the second, then the third directly on top.

Totally dowse it all in a soapy warm water mix.

Place the second piece of bubble wrap over the top and then start the tickling process which is basically running your fingers along the lines of bubble and pressing lightly. By this point the felting process has already started to happen.

Next step was to roll everything around a long cylinder.

Then roll everything in a towel and roll backwards and forwards about 10 times, unroll everything and turn the felt around 90 degrees and do the whole process again, and then turn another 90 degrees, complete the process again, and then again with another 90 degree turn, until you end back up where you started.

It's one of those processes where you don't really know what you are going to end up with until it's finished. You can also wet it again in the soapy water and then slightly wring it out and then literally throw it at something hard (like a concrete floor) and it felts even more. It has the same effect as putting it in a tumble dryer apparently.

We made a ball of felt to go in the middle and then just shaped the felted piece around it, sewed it in and added a brooch back.

The class was meant to be about making a picture of flowers in a vase, but I didn't want to do that, so found this picture by Picasso and asked if I could do this instead. I was delighted when Dawn said yes!

We started by covering about an A4 sized area with white wool. Then from here on in, it's all about breaking down the layers. So my next layer was pink for the outside edge. The next layer was black. I forgot to take photos of those stages, but the next step was the green and blue for the hair. This is a different type of wool and was curly at the ends.

Then I simply built up the remaining layers.

Added more blue for definition.

And I decided at this point it was finished.

These are everyone elses in the group, they all chose to do the flowers.

Then the wetting and rolling process as shown above with the brooch was started. So this has been dowsed in warm soapy water and I used the bubble to press it down, it's meant to be flat so if it's still puffy in any areas, more water needs to be added. The 'tickling' process also has to carried out before it is rolled.

This time we rolled it 50 times for each 90 degree turn and you can tell if it's felted or not by pinching the back, and if it doesn't pull away fluffy then it's done.

This is my finished piece, as you can see the mouth moved sightly but now she has some expression - lol. Absolutely loved the process and loved the finished piece. It's still wet at present and will take approx 24 hours to dry, so I think I'm going to mount it on black card and then frame it.

Dawn, third from the left was the tutor for the class and the other three ladies took the class with me.

And of course, I couldn't go all that way without buying a little something.

Dawn has a FB page where she lists the events she has going on, why not pay her a visit here, you won't be disappointed.

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