January 27, 2011

Cloth Alphabet Book

Cloth Alphabet Book
For several months now, when I've gone to my Language of Color & Design class, I've seen this material panel of an old-fashion alphabet, and I finally bought two panels. Then I also got several fat quarters of kid material to go with the panel colors and theme. It would have been easier to just make blankets from the panel, but no, I have to go all out ...

I made two cloth books for the Grandson's birthdays. Emery's first in January and Will's second, coming up early February. Now that I've finished Will's, with more improvements, I want to undo Emery's a bit and improve it also.

When my kids were growing up, they'd often tell us their dreams, or have adventures, or create an imaginary something. So we sometimes made these into books - paper-bound books with covers - books added to the book shelves and would be taken out and read. I wish we would have done more of this. I'll make blank books now for journalling, which is easy. But when you're assembling pages of ordered text, it takes a lot of thinking.

I was doing fine till the other day, one of Will's pages did not have the alphabet going in the right order, and might have even been upside-down, when placed in the page's order. It's best to have a table to do a complete layout on, and keep checking for correct positioning before putting together the whole page, with batting sandwiching, turned right-side-out and edge stitched along the outside edges and down the middle, closing the open part for turning. That was a lot of stitch ripping!

For Emery's I sewed the pages down the middle (had to do sections, as it was too thick to totally sew through it all - that's how we did our paper books - just sewed with a basting stitch on the machine down the middle of all the pages (I'll have to do a post on our paper homemade books). For Will's I bought some colored eyelets, punched holes and added the eyelets. Rather than use ribbon or yarn, I thought a braid would be stronger, so I wove a Kumihimo braid (I'll do a separate post on this) of crochet cotton threads - crayon colors. That threaded through the eyelets and tied holds the book together.

I like the old-fashion pictures and some of the words are no longer used - I didn't know them! I like how they turned out. I'm going to be making some more cloth books soon. One idea is to do some family photo transfers so they can look at family pictures and remember! Then there's always the activity book ideas.

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