I’ve been looking forward to sharing this very cool idea for keeping track of your creative mixed-media experiments that I discovered in the 10th Anniversary Issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. I’m always looking for new and inventive ways to keep track of my studio trials and errors.
Jill Amanda Kennedy created this really bright and texturally appealing book filled with her art techniques, and I knew you would all like to learn a little about this.
You can easily make a similar book with your own art by adding pockets and a newly decked out cover on an existing blank book (or try making your own hand-bound book block of signatures).
Here are Jill’s directions for creating your very own technique book.
- Heavyweight interfacing
- Acrylic paint and brushes
- Materials for decorating your cover
- Sewing machine or hand sewing tools
1. Measure the page height, page width and spine width of your purchased book to ascertain the size of the cover you need to make. Cut a piece of heavyweight interfacing to the height of the pages and to twice the width of the pages plus the width of the spine.
2. Paint the interfacing with fabric paint or diluted acrylic paint and allow paint to dry.
3. Embellish your cover as desired; you can add stamped designs, apply heat-transfer foil using fusible web, etc. To create a collage, arrange scraps of fabrics and paper on your cover, secure these materials with adhesive spray, and use free-motion or hand stitching to integrate them into the background.
4. Embroider your cover as desired. Jill stitched several different motifs.
5. Position any decorative embellishments on the front and back covers: stitch or glue them in place. Attach scraps from your stash of fibers, yarns, and lace to the outside edges of the cover.
6. Using strong glue, firmly attach the cover to the blank book.
7. Have fun decorating your book’s pages, and use them as a place to showcase your textile work.
Other fun things to try:
Create a short pocket and insert a tag with an example of your different techniques or color palettes on them.
Add extra paper to create a fold-out page and/or make a pocket by securing a piece of lace or ribbon to the bottom edge of the page.
No matter what your book looks like—covered in fabric or plastered with paper, it will be a true expression of you and all your trials, successes and moments of learning.
Have you ever kept a book like this? What form did it take? Did you use a journal, or tags? Let us know in the comment section here. We’d love to hear what has worked for you, and what new things you’d like to try.