journal with fabric cover

This workshop brings together two of my passions, stitching and book binding.
You will make a Fabulous Fabric cover, stitched and embellished to your own design, and then we’ll build the pages into the book with a simple and elegant binding.
The pages can be created from any papers you like. Sort through your stash and bring along drawing paper, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, old envelopes, printed matter ...anything interesting or useful. We’ll trim them to suit your book.
I will provide all the necessary equipment, and the stuff that will form the basis for the cover of your book. You can bring along your favourite fabrics and papers, and be ready to play and experiment.

Lesson Plan

There's a wide scope for playing with these covers, and they're very appealing to touch.
I'll demonstrate some techniques for creating interesting effects on your fabrics and introduce lots of possibilities for obsessive stitching, if that's what you like to do.
part way into the second day we'll prepare the pages and bind the book.

Requirement List

You will need all your usual tools of the trade. Bring any of the following that you happen to have:
sharp pencil, good ruler (steel is best), a set square, scissors, craft knife (snap blade) a cutting mat a couple of bulldog or binder clips
sewing needles for binding the book (I use size 18 or 20 tapestry needles)
a dead ballpoint pen or a knitting needle or a bone folder (for scoring)
an old table knife with a smooth blade
you may need dress making pins
Bring fabric to use for book cover, which will measure approx 335 mm x 155 mm
..inside ( a single piece of cotton )
..and out ( can be pieced and patched and embellished )
Bring some plain cotton or calico as a base to work on
and any fabrics you like for colour and pattern. (fabrics that are not too heavy are best) You can also use silks, synthetics, glitz, lace, trims, braids, ribbons, etc. as decoration.
Transparent fabrics such as organza can be very interesting, especially if layered over other fabric or images.
Piecing and patching is great fun and leads to more stitching.
Bring threads and suitable needles for stitching on your fabrics.
Additional decoration can be achieved by stitching or gluing on objects such as beads, buttons, feathers, leaves, found objects, whatever you like. Give this some thought and bring any stuff you might want to use.
And then the paper for the pages : make a collection of odd papers ... drawing, writing, coloured, wrapping, painted, printed, bits of magazines, envelopes, tissue, tracing, ......
The basic size of the pages will be 150mm square, which means that most of your paper will need to be 150 x 300 mm and then we’ll fold it.
However, I often use odd sized scraps as well, which all adds to the interesting look of a journal.
You’ll need enough to make about 60 pages. (that’s 30 of the folded ones)
I will provide the construction materials you will need for the book: the base to build your covers on, fusible web,
an extra selection of fabrics to extend your stash, threads for binding, etc. some extra papers that you might be interested in.
I also provide the essential book binding equipment, and notes on technique. There will be a charge of $10 to cover all of this.
Check out the website : for images of books others have made. Look under ‘workshop examples’- ‘journal with stitched cover’, also ‘handmade books’ in gallery.
Any queries to: Ailie Snow

motheaten cover

blue beaded book

blue journal

selvedge cover

by Kathy. Warkworth

book for Rosy

heart book

purple haze by Ros Snow

by Marianda, Warkworth


Workshop Info

6 hours a day for 2 days

Skill Level » suitable for all levels
Class Size » 12
Cost » $50 per hour plus travel and accommodation