Sunday, July 15, 2012

Folky Fiber Book

My mom is a quilter.  A few months ago, she came to visit and we had lunch and visited a local fabric shop.  I've always been drawn to colorful and patterned paper, beads, markers, felt, yarn, and anything else that is colorful.  Only recently have I caught the colorful fabric bug as well.  The problem is that I don't really sew and I don't quilt.  I don't have a clue how to use a sewing machine.  Regardless, I've gradually started incorporating fabric into different projects. 

This particular fabric shop was like a candy store - colors, patterns, textures - it was intoxicating.  My mom insisted on buying me some fabric (and who am I to refuse).  I brought it home and then it sat here for a bit because I wasn't sure what to do with it.  I tend to do that sometimes.  I am mostly self taught in many different arts and crafts.  I am always wanting to learn something else.  I am often envious of people who have just one passion and excel at that one thing.  Lately though, I started thinking about the different mediums and things I know how to do.  What if I started to find ways to pull it all together?  Photography, writing, crochet, embroidery, chainmaille, jewelry, recycled materials, etc.  That is what set the idea of this blog in motion.  Maybe my passion is to combine art forms into one that suits me.

As that idea came together, I started this project as a gift for my mom.  She was my inspiration.  I wanted it to be colorful, full of texture, use mediums that I know she likes, and full of positive words.

I started by crocheting the front and back cover for the book.

I then worked on each page of the book.  I'm new to embroidery and I kind of make it up as I go along.  I worked a word into each page, embroidered on fabric, and then sewed the pages onto 4x4 pieces of felt or crocheted 4x4 granny squares.

The pages started to stack up as I went.  I worked on this over the course of a couple of months.  I wasn't always consistent with how often I worked but I tend to work that way.  I would prefer to finish a project I love as it comes to me, rather than force myself to finish sooner and then not be crazy about it.
Music always helps the process flow.  I was digging Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros quite a bit during this project. 

More is a textured felt background and the other is a granny square of the same size in white acrylic yarn.

Putting it all together was the tricky part for me.  I started out by binding the pages to a sturdy piece of felt.  I figured this would be a good way to bind the pages and make sure they are secured and can still be turned easily.

Once they were bound to the brown felt, I crocheted the spine and sewed the felt with the pages to the spine.
The bound pages from the inside of the book.

The spine attached to my cover.  It must be my folk roots but I love a rustic feel to my projects.  I left the edges of the fabric on my pages frayed and I crocheted the edges of the spine to have a frayed look too.
The front cover and the finished product.

My mom loved it and I was really pleased to see my idea come to fruition.  I'm excited to try some other ideas for mixed media fiber books.  I'm thinking about incorporating some different chainmaille techniques for a more industrial look and maybe trying to incorporate fiber and paper collage art.

First blog post complete!  I have more projects, ideas, and snippets of things I'm working on in store.  Please feel free to share my blog with others.  Thanks for reading!

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