Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Andrew, if you are reading…

…stop and exit now or you’ll spoil your surprise!

I made a gift for Andrew, my SIL, for Christmas this year. It had occurred to me that last year, he made a handmade gift for me. I hadn’t planned to make gifts, but decided I had better make at least ONE! So I put on my thinking cap.

Here is what I came up with:

Andrew had asked for a sketchbook. I purchased two: a large one and a small one. I decided to make a cover for the small one only.

I started by finding a picture of Andrew and taking it into Photoshop. I chose BLACK for my color sample, then, on the top toolbar, I chose FILTERS. From the Filter drop-down menu, I chose SKETCH…then PHOTOCOPY as the type of sketch. Voila! The color photo now looks like a sketch of Andrew!

I created a 'picture package' to print multiple images…I chose one that had several 2.5” x 3.5” pictures on it, as that was the size I wanted the finished block to measure. To do this, I went to the top toolbar again….to FILE, then AUTOMATE, then PICTURE PACKAGE. To print this, I cut a piece of freezer paper down to 8½ x 11” and ironed it to some muslin, and cut the muslin to be the same size. I put this into my printer and printed the picture directly on the muslin.

I don't know WHY Blogger sometimes insists on rotating my pictures! Nor can I figure out how to prevent or correct this...

I wasn’t sure how permanent this was, so I ironed it first….then got my finger wet and put a tiny bit of water on the image in the lower right corner. Sure enough, it did smear a bit! I know there is a product that can be used to make images permanent, but I don’t have any of that product right now! I dabbed it dry, ironed it again and decided I will NOT get this near water! Then I used a marker and redrew the image areas that smeared…although there were plenty of images and I didn’t plan to use that particular one.

I chose some stash fabrics and started piecing, just random colors and sizes…designing as I go. I created a pieced strip, then turned under its two long, raw edges. I placed it over a larger piece of fabric and stitched it on…using a zigzag at the top and a straight stitch at the bottom using gray thread. Then I changed to brown thread and did some more rows of stitching, zigzagging over the first row as well as doing a blanket stitch on a couple of other seams. I used a variegated thread to zigzag over the straight stitch on the lower edge of the strip.

I trimmed it roughly to size and fused some DécorBond onto the back. I put another piece of the background fabric over the DecorBond (like a sandwich).

Next I folded under about 4” at the right end, to create a pocket to slide the front cover into, then I serged around the edges. I decided to trim the corners off of what will be the flap. I cut a wide strip of fabric and folded it in half, lengthwise, stitched and turned, then pressed flat to make a large belt-loop like thing to slide the back cover under…I pinned this in place. Then I cut some strips to use as binding. I decided to piece the binding, for a more scrappy look. A bit of blanket stitching held it in place.

To make the closure, I put some wooden and copper beads onto2 or 3 strands of embroidery floss…cannot remember how many I finally was able to get through the beads! It was tricky…I ended up using a dental floss threader! Anyway, I tied knots to hold the beads in place, then used the variegated thread to zigzag over the embroidery floss to make cording. I sewed the cording in place on the flap, then sewed another bit of floss onto the flap, which I used to tie the button on. More floss and another button on the cover and Voila! The cording wraps around the buttons to keep it closed.

I wanted to add a pencil pocket on the inside, but since I was making this up as I went along, I didn’t know exactly WHERE to put it. So the pocket was created last, and sewn on by hand. Arrrgh! I did the zigzagging around the edge in variegated threads first (by machine!), then hand sewed it in place using brown thread and a blanket stitch.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

1 comment:

gluehead said...

This is my favorite gift btw! One of those things i'll keep 4ever. Thankyou & Blog on!

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