It was spring 2017 when I got inspired by various stitch samplers and textile books on Pinterest, it took me until early summer to formulate my ideas enough to start the project. I wanted a usable sample of stitches with a page or two per group. My original plan was to include little snippets of news too, but the news seemed very doom and gloom at the time, so I switched to making it my own little journal, where I was when I stitched a page, notable dates, it’s made a lovely record of 18 months of my travels and stitching.
I learnt lots of new stitches along the way, there’s over 150 different ones in the book, helped hugely by Sharon Boggon’s website Pintangle. She must have instructions on hundreds of stitches, a veritable treasure trove! I also used a different DMC variegated thread for each one, it does help to see how they stitch up and you know how much I like variegated threads!!
I stitched seven double page spreads and a front and back page too, I stitched the pages together by whip-stitching the back-stitches I’d made round each double page. Each page also had a bit of interfacing behind to to give it a bit of crispness. This is where I was last time I shared it with you…
All I had to do was make the cover!
I decided to keep the cover fairly simple and practical, so it’s made from quilting fabrics rather than embroidered. In my stash I had a gorgeous selection of William Morris inspired teal and navy fabrics, I’d been waiting for the right project for them and decided this was it! I did decide to embroider a little label just saying ‘Stitch’ though, with variegated thread of course! This was my original layout plan…
I worked out the measurements I wanted for the book with 3″ added on each end to fold over and make a pocket, this would also cover the end pages nicely. I stitched the top together, I initially added a layer of batting on the back to help soften it, but it came out too bulky so I cut it off later! I added interfacing to the back of the lining, I found in my interfacing drawer some very thick ‘stuff’ I have no idea what it is, I think I might have bought it to stiffen a pincushion a couple of years ago, it has a slight crunchy feel to it. I tested a scrap to see if it was iron on but it didn’t appear to be so I cut the exact size I wanted the book to end up.
I layered the cover together, securing it with clover clips and stitched three sides, I left the short back end completely open so I could manoevre the thick ‘stuff’ in afterwards! I turned it and pressed it, this is when I realised the batting was too bulky. Having cut it out I could wriggle in the thick stuff fairly easily. Luckily I did a few small adjustments to check it was in the right place before I pressed it as the pressing fused it all together! I’ve still no idea what the ‘stuff’ is but it’s made a nice finish and takes a crease well – I pressed either side of the spine and it’s shaped the book nicely. Having slip-stitched the end I edge stitched round the whole piece to help keep the edges crisp. This is the one thing I would change – I didn’t think to change my bobbin thread and the start and finish looks a bit untidy!
The next job was to stitch the pages in. I spent a while fiddling here, trying to ensure the pages sat OK, I used the clover clips to hold them in place again before slip-stitching the sides and using herringbone over the end. The final stitching was to slip-stitch the flaps down and the basic book was finished.
The ‘Stitch’ label is just attached with Bondaweb, I wanted a pretty fastener so I made a cord with two DMC threads and stitched on two silver buttons, it just finishes it off nicely. I’ve a pretty co-ordinating booklet it slip in the back pocket in which to write the names of all the stitches.
I’m really pleased with how this sampler book has turned out, I’ve already used it for ideas on stitches. It’s also really nice that sharing this here has inspired others to start their own…
Happy dance time again!