Velvet was the theme for the July #areyoubookenough challenge that runs on Instagram every month. One has to be brave to sew with velvet, so the innuendo in the catchphrase Are You Book Enough? really did taunt me this time around.
Having made small quilts in a series of Trees on Velvet, I knew that the book I stitched would come out skew. And so it did. That was the lesser problem because, before I could make a book, I had to find an idea associated with velvet. Let me first show you the book.
The thought that inspired the book was the simple idea that precious objects (particularly jewelry) are often displayed on a bed of velvet. The three items that I stitched into the book all have sentimental value to me and I thought it would be nice to display them in this way, rather than to leave them to languish in the bottom of a box. The inside front cover contains a pocket which has become a refuge for single earrings.
Another, temporary problem was to find my stash of velvet fabric. My sister in law kindly gave me a piece of silver-sequined fabric some years ago and it took me a while to unearth it. I had been saving it for the perfect project and so it had migrated down to the bottom of the pile. The yardage of plum velvet that I used for the inside of the book was a bit easier to find.
This book was made to the same format as the six previous concertina books made for the #areyoubookenough challenge. I described the form of the book in detail in this previous post. This time I again inserted cotton batting between the velvet strips that formed the inside and the outside cover of the book. To finish off the edges I crocheted the three layers together, with a lustrous no.8 microfibre yarn. This was a bit of a challenge as the fine crochet hook would not go through the fabric when it hit one of the sequins embedded in the velvet, so I used my dressmaking awl to first make a hole in the fabric through which to insert the crochet hook.
The next step was to divide the pages by stitching along the fold line. This time I used cotton perle thread (no. 12) as it is much easier to work with than the microfibre which easily shreds and fluffs. Despite my best efforts, and some unpicking, I didn’t manage to get the foldline stitching perfectly straight. Velvet really does have a mind of its own and likes to shift about as one stitches through it. Finally I made a ‘window’ in the middle of each of the facing pages by quilting the border, and then stitched down each of the three pieces of memorabilia.
Do you recognise this? It is another iteration of House Portrait #2, this time making the house grey to match the colour it currently is.