Thursday, 10 May 2012

Try It Out Thursday : Journal Covers (Decoration)

On Tuesday's blog, we made the basic cover for a soft bound notebook.  Now, we're going on to embellish it a bit, before we cover the book itself.  The painted colours were quite strong, so I wanted something that would stand out.  And I started with a button, a lovely pink button, which I put in the middle of the cover and thought...yeah.. that's the centre for a flower.  Not any old flower, either, but a daisy.  So, I went to find some fabric, thinking that I really wanted something yellowy, and found some white fabric with an abstract daisy print (I bought it some time ago, and have never used it; it's now on the pile to be used sooner rather than later...). 

I cut a piece of the fabric roughly the same size as the front cover of the book, and ironed on some fusible.  I put the button roughly in the middle of the paper coated fabric, so that I could see the scale that the petals needed to be drawn at, and drew a freehand daisy shape onto it.  With each petal, I started at the button, and returned to the button, drawing round it slightly before making the next petal.  You might want to practice this on a piece of paper, first.When taking a photograph for the blog, I discovered that you couldn't make out the pattern, so inked it on with a marker pen.  This proved to be a mistake, as you will see. 
The original drawing, just using a ballpoint.

Inked in with marker pen for visibility.

AAARGH... See those blue marks?

 I had forgotten that I had been working on a soft surface (my ironing board).  As a result, when I used the ballpoint pen on the fusible backing paper, it had torn, slightly.  When I then inked up the design so you could see it, the ink travelled on the greaseproof paper, and got onto the cloth, mostly around the middle.  The button doesn't cover it enough, and it looks truly out of place.  Next time, I'll use a pencil for this task!  Right now, though, I need to think about what to do to camouflage the rogue marks. 

I fused the flower shape onto the front section of the cover, overlapping the petals at either side (if you click on the image directly above, you will be able to see the fold lines that indicate where the flap is on the right hand side, and the centre of the cover on the left.  That makes the design much livelier, as you will see in a moment.  I then stitched round the petals using straight stitch.  I did that to ensure that the stress of opening and closing the book would not unstick the flower.  I used straight stitch, instead of the zig zag stitch you might have expected because I like rough edge applique, but also because the flower shape is quite delicate; zig zag, even in white, would have detracted from the fresh look of the piece.  The stitching is barely noticeable, which for me, in this particular design, is what I was aiming for.

I then went on a hunt in my studios for something to camouflage the blue dots.  I found a small piece of scrap silk paper, which I had used on a hat project, and cut a freehand circle larger than the button.  That worked very nicely, and pulled the whole piece together.  We assume that mistakes are Bad Things; I prefer to look at them as opportunities...this certainly proved to be the case here.  I stitched the button to the silk paper circle, to create a single unit (much easier to handle than trying to add two separate elements at once, or separately), and then stitched the button in place.  Success!

Before I assembled the journal, which is now nearly finished (above), it struck me that I wanted to make the covers for these paper bound journals permanent.  The original covers are relatively flimsy, much less so than the Lutradur XL.  So, I devised a different way of finishing these journals, compared to the quick and easy version I have already showed you.   We'll look at that on Tuesday.  Meantime, happy sewing!


Gill said...

I love this Marion but I haven't got my lutradur yet! I'm hoping to find some at Malvern show next week!
Looking forward to your next version of this!!

Sandy said...

Good save. the blue wasn't too bad - at least in photos - because there is blue in the background. But the circle makes the blue much less obvious.
the straight stiching is also a good choice!

DIAN said...

This is very interesting with lots of coloour.

marion barnett said...

Sandy, I agree that it didn't look too bad overall, but it was obvious that those marks weren't supposed to be there, and the other solution, adding more, would not have worked. I'm fairly pleased with the way it turned out though, and it made me take an extra step that I hadn't recognised was necessary.