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As my interest in quilting grows, so does the list of different kinds of quilts I would like to make. Having a file of photos of them on my computer is a good way to keep track of all those ideas, but a book containing those inspiration photos and a place to record the process and end results is even better. It's as if I've already put the ideas into motion because I've already created a home for them in a permanent personal record.
Since this is a book about quilts, more specifically my goals for quilting, I thought I would incorporate lots of fabric and stitching. I thought about making the entire book from fabric, but since I hope to make a lot of notes about the processes, having a paper base seemed more sensible.
To make a book like this, begin by cutting a piece of fabric that is about 1 1/2 inch larger in height than your book and long enough to wrap from the cover, around the back of the book, and back around about 2/3 the front cover again.
Cut a variety of squares of a similar color as the base fabric. I used 2 inch squares, but I also included some strips that were 2 inches x 4 inches. The idea is to layer them and having some overlapping strips, instead of just individual squares, gives a softer look to the design.
After laying out the squares in strips on what will be the front cover of the book, stitch them in place. You can pin them to help keep them from shifting. Using fusible web to hold them in place would also work but would take away the soft wrinkles and folds of the fabrics.
To create the heart applique, use a Fiskars heart-shaped punch to create a stencil. I used the My Funny Valentine punch. Even though it is scalloped, I was just using it to achieve the basic heart shape I was looking for. Preciseness with the shape was not needed. Use the stencil to trace the shape onto the back side of a double thickness (right sides together) of fabric. Stitch along the traced line using a needle and thread and do not worry about leaving an opening for turning. To turn the heart right side out, snip a small slit in the center of one side of it, making sure to not catch the stitching.
Turn the heart right side out and attach it to the center square on the cover using needle and thread. The hole for turning is hidden! Attach a button to the center of the heart if desired.
Create a pocket for the inside front cover by cutting a square of fabric that the same height as the cover fabric and long enough to accommodate the cover of the book plus 1/2 inch. Fold one side edge of the square over 1/2 inch and press it to crease with an iron. Stitch along that edge.
Place the square on the back side of the front cover, right sides together, placing the hemmed edge of the square so that it is facing toward the center of the cover wrap. Pin it in place and stitch around the 3 outer edges. Turn the cover right side out. Slip the book cover in the pocket to make sure it isn't too loose. If it is, turn the cover inside out again and stitch slightly inside your previous stitch line.
Wrap the cover around the book. The flap of the cover should extend over about 1/3 of the front cover, plus 1/2 inch. Cut some of the length off if necessary, keeping in mind that as the book gets filled with photos and scraps it will get thicker. It's OK, and preferable, for the cover wrap to fit loosely to allow for expansion of the book.
Remove the book and fold in the remaining edges of the cover wrap 1/2 inch, ironing them to crease, and pin them in place. Stitch the hems in place. I used a wide zig zag stitch to minimize fraying and to make it more interesting.
Place the book back in the cover wrap and determine the size you want the spine cover to be. Cut a piece of fabric to this dimension adding 1/2 inch to each side if you want to hem the edges instead of having them fray. Fold the edges over 1/2 inch to hem if desired, place the spine cover over the spine area and pin it in place. Remove the book from the cover wrap and stitch the spine cover in place. Add fabric remnants and buttons as desired to embellish it.
Add a length of ribbon or fabric long enough to wrap around the book twice and tie. I created a fabric tie by cutting 2 inch wide fabric remnants, folding them in half lengthwise, connecting them end to end, and stitching around the edges of the strap. I also added a length of lace to the section of the strap that shows on the front cover. Wrap the finished strap around the cover wrap with the book inside and where the strap touches the spine cover, pin it in place. Untie the strap and stitch it to the cover wrap at the place you pinned, making sure you don't pick up the pocket material on the reverse side.
Create a decorative patch for the cover flap and stitch it in place. Words can be printed directly onto fabric using a printer. First, print your text out onto plain paper. Place fabric over the printed area and attach it to the paper using either a temporary spray adhesive or by taping the edges all down so the printer mechanisms don't catch them. To allow the printer to pull the paper through properly, the edges of the paper should be free of tape. Run the paper back through the printer again.
If your fabric was new and unwashed, you can wet it in a sink, wring it out, and throw it in the dryer to add some wrinkles and softness to the materials. Be aware that unwashed dark materials could bleed if you do this.
Create tabs for your quilting ideas using fabric remnants and text printed onto fabric. Stitch these to the edges of the book pages.
Place the book in the cover wrap and tie the strap. Looking at your book, you are probably now very motivated to get started on your quilting goals!
1/4 yard fabric for cover wrap, fabric remnants for embellishment, variety of threads, buttons (optional), mini album