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Embroidered Book Cover - Leaps and Bounds

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24 December 2007

Embroidered Book Cover - Leaps and Bounds

I've made a heap of design decisions, and I've also almost finished embroidering the front cover.

The Embroidered Book Cover overall


OK. To recap, here's the book I'm making the cover for. (well, the embroidered slips that will be sewn onto the cover once I make it) :-

As I've described before, the back cover folds over and extends over the right hand side of the front cover to cover half of the front cover. Those blue leather strips at the edge of the extended back cover have strings attached, which are wound around leather buttons on the book's spine, and lo, the book is secured closed.

Here is the embroidery slip for the front cover of the book. This will be half hidden when the book is closed. (The left hand side will show)

And here is the design for the part of the back cover that extends over the front cover (this is new)

About the front cover :-

I haven't done much work since last showing the front cover, but it's near the end so it seems like a lot.

I finished the poppy that is in oranges at the top left.
I needed to give it some leaves, to fill that curlique a bit.
Since that poppy now had leaves, I gave some to the other poppy.

I attached my gold spangles. These are the ones that I got on a fragment of material from an op shop and I used almost all of them.

I read an article on "How to attach spangles" - an SCA article, the other day. It said to use 3 connections, 2 being in a V shape.
Mary Corbet, at NeedleNThread.com uses only two connections.
I think 3 is a bit much, having done it.

I've also swopped to using a gold coloured cotton thread, rather than gold Madeira thread to do my couching, and attach the sequins. I've read in Mary Brown's Goldwork book that you are supposed to use gold coloured cotton thread (gutenberg 968). It makes life easier, not having to struggle with *two* gold threads when couching.

I have one more element to satin stitch - a leaf. I'm going to do it using the same colours as the other leaf in the same shape, only inverted. (The dark colour on the outside)

I also have those curliques that are currently tacked in brown thread to add in DMC stranded thread, that I'm waiting to arrive in the post.

Back to the Embroidered Book Cover overall :-

I've attached some black and gold trim around two edges of the front cover. (currently only pinned).
It intensifies the colours, and gives it more of a finished look, in addition to the couched gold thread edging using stranded DMC that I complete once I have more of the thread.

It's only on two edges because
- any increase on the right edge of the front cover would get squished by the fold over of the back cover
- any increase on the bottom will get squished when the book sits up.

Because this trim is black and gold, I'll do the supporting base book cover (to which the embroidery will be sewn) in black velvet, so it all hangs together.

I will attach more of this trim to the back side, top and bottom, so when the book is closed there is a double layer of the trim extending from the edge of the book on 3 sides, separated by the thickness of the book.

The trim came from a not very nice napkin that I picked up years ago at a garage sale. I didn't like the design on the napkin at all, but I thought the trim on it might come in useful one day - and it has :-)

The Back Cover :-

I've sketched up a preliminary design for the back cover.



It's strawberries with a single rose (which I plan to do in needlelace or other fancy method). I'm using Jane Nichol's Complete Stumpwork book heavily as a reference for this part of the book cover.

I really like my design, but am wondering if it'll work given it's a "theme" (strawberries) and the front cover is just a general collection of flowers. I've had a think, and can't get any of the elements from the front cover to work on the back cover in conjunction with the strawberries at the moment.

Maybe I could put in another of the small blue/green flower from down the bottom of the front cover, or small versions of the frilly edged leaves (which are similar to the strawberry leaves anyway) could be repeated. Or use the frilly edges ones *instead* of the proper strawberry leaves.

I don't want to do a poppy, because I want to do some cross hatching on the strawberries, and it'll be cross hatching overload.

It has to be a smaller version, whatever it is, because the back cover extension is only half the size of the front. I've marked in the 3mm where the gold thread couching (which I will also be doing on this piece) appears on the borders. With just one long vine with things hanging off it, there's not a lot of room.

I will definitely be repeating some of the colours from the front cover or it it just won't hang together as a coherent design for the whole book cover. I'll use the colours of the carnation (the pinks, dark red and olive greens) for the strawberries.

These are the strawberries (and strawberry leaves) that I'm basing my design on. I'll do some with french knots in red, pink and cream, and some with satin stitching in those colours with cross hatching over the top in god. I don't like the 'layered' one so much.


I did consider using some of the black/gold trim on the left hand side of the back cover extension - but it'll just hide more of the front cover when the book is closed. So I won't.

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