It might be said that I am a few stitches short of a full sampler. Well, not any more. I have a place for all my stitches now!
I like to learn new stitches. I find them in tutorials, so I have one batch of fabric scraps by my computer. I like to stitch when watching TV so I have some fabric scraps by the couch, and I have one in my sewing studio space. When I'm working on a new design, my mind searches for the perfect stitch. I know I've stitched it, I think I might know where, but, hmmmm, where is that darn practice sample?
That is no way to keep the creative juices flowing. Frustration is creative molasses. It is distracting. It keeps me from moving full forward and takes time I should be spending on my project. Maybe it's just me, but I think this is the answer to this ongoing problem for me.
I created a stitch journal.
It comes with 4 blank pages. The pages are simply tied in, so adding more pages in the future is easy. It would also be easy to take the pages out and hoop them, but I think the batting offers plenty of stability to work alone. I am not a hooper, but I know some stitchers are.
On the inside covers I've added some simple features. The front inside has a wool scrap to hold and clean my needles.
The inside back cover has a button to hold bobbins of embroidery thread of floss. You can add as many bobbins in there as you like. It is important for this journal to be ready at a moments notice to start stitching.
I watch a sewing show in the morning and she always features an embroidery master who walks through stitches and their variations. I like to work along with her. Because it's at 5:30 am, I am sure to start my day off creatively.
I created a yellow journal (shown above) and a blue diary (shown below) for my Etsy shop. The covers are already stitched, beaded, ribboned and trimmed so they are ready for gift giving. You know, for the stitcher that has everything ..... she doesn't have one of these.
If you would like to make one of your own, here are the materials needed and directions on how to make one.
Decorative fabric for the cover, Cut or rip 2 pieces- 7 x 10 inches. (This size is up to you. Just be sure to adjust the page size to fit in your cover)
One will be the front outside cover and the other will be the lining of the cover. The inside can be a different fabric or muslin. Your choice.
To create the pages you can use muslin, linen or any other stitching fabric. Cut 4- 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches if you want them to fit snuggly inside of the cover. I like them to stick out a bit. I ripped my fabrics so the final product has that shabby "chic" look.
Cotton batting, cut 3 pieces. One the same size as the cover, 2 the same size as the pages.
a scrap piece of woven, felted wool or felt about 3 x 3 inches square.
2 large buttons.
One piece of embroidery fabric for the front cover embellishment. Can be any size as long as it fits on the cover.
1. Complete your cover embellishment design. When doing words, you can stitch over stamped letters, free hand your letters, or write out your words on a word processing document in the exact size as your finished design. (I prefer this method).
2. Construct the cover.
Sew the embellished fabric to the right half side of the right side of your fabric. (When the book is closed, your image will be on the front).
Sew the decorated cover on top of the larger piece of batting and the a lining piece of fabric. You can use muslin or a complimentary fabric.
Pin and sew around the outside edges. I sew a few times in a wiggly stitch for decoration. Sew 2 lines down the middle. This will be your book
3. Construct your pages. These are simply the page fabric on top and under a piece of batting, like a batting sandwich. Pin and stitch around the outside edge. I like to
stitch numerous times in a wiggly line for a decorative effect. Sew one stitch down the middle. This will be the center fold of your pages.
4. Hand stitch the wool scrap to the inside of the front cover. Try not to stitch through the back layer.
If you would rather machine sew, be sure to do so before you construct your cover.
5. Sew in the button to the inside back cover between the fold and the outer edge. Try not to stitch through to the outside layer.
6. Fold the pages in half, one at a time. Lay one page on top of the other.
7. Stitch them into the cover. Begin by marking 2 inches down from the top of the journal and pages and 2 inches from the bottom. (use disappearing ink or a very tiny pencil mark. Using a 7-8inch piece of floss or embroidery thread, tie a knot about 3 inches from the end. Thread your needle. Enter the binding on the outside of the cover. Then catch just a bit of the pages, one at a time. You want small stitches so the pages open fully. Bring the needle back out to the outside of the cover. Tie the thread tightly to hold the pages in. Add beads to the ends if you would like. See the blue journal to see how it should look when you are finished.
8. Add more embellishments or stitches to the cover or pages. Just try not to sew all the way through to the lining.
You are finished! Now give to your favorite stitcher or keep it for yourself.