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Project :- Embroidered Book Cover

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2 December 2007

Project :- Embroidered Book Cover

OK. There's been a bit of a change of plans.

My dear friend Kit has been struck down by shingles and post shingles neuralgic pain.

So I framed the first of my embroidered panels, and sent it to her.

This one :-

I have designed a new cover, rather than re-doing the piece. I don't mind, because I learnt a lot doing the two panels in the needlepainting style.

The cover design uses elements from a few of the embroidered book covers from the British Library of this type: (noting that spangles is a term for thick, old fashioned sequins)

Satin and Spangles
"A third common type of luxurious book cover is embroidered on satin, often light colored, with long stitches of bright silks, and is often further decorated with spangles and sometimes pearls. This style, and the previous one, become even more popular in the generation after 1600, appearing not only on book covers but also on sweet bags — which were sometimes specially made to hold a particular book.

This particular example is rather informal in design, with flower and insect motifs filling the space very nicely but not at all symmetrically. Other examples feature formal “arabesques”, coats of arms, Biblical scenes, or symmetrical leafy arrangements. Some examples have areas thickly covered with seed pearls. Others have needlework portrait panels, raised flowers in detached buttonhole stitch, or coils of gold or silver wire that have been carefully flattened to appear like braid made from a close series of wire loops. Again, all these are also found on contemporary sweet bags, glove cuffs and other small ornamental items. A few examples are so thickly encrusted with decoration that to modern eyes they seem like overkill!"

This is taken from a page linked to
I can't find the actual page again - I had it copied into my notes so I could copy it here.

A Satin and Spangles embroidered book cover might look like
Another cover that was a source of inspiration was

As well as these Satin and Spangles covers, I have taken an idea from

for the border, including the corner detail.

One of the corners, close up :-

That flower in the corner, as well as the smaller flowers coming off it, are all sequins - (spangles, paillettes) placed closely together.

Two sizes of sequins are used. I've bought some French black patent leather sequins from AllWildJewels on Ebay. I'm going to get some 2.5mm gold spangles from Berlin Embroidery when I can.

Using this border design is a bit restricting on the amount of embroidery I can put in the interior. It uses quite a lot of space on what is only a pretty small bookcover - 12 by 16 cm.

What will show, with the cover closed is :

Those squiggle lines forming the outermost border will be lines of gold thread, couched down with more gold thread - about 8 lines of them. I noticed that most of the BL book covers had this.

The flower on the right of the cover will look like this :-

but in shades of teal.

This flower was orginally embroidered by Mary Corbett, of

Mary has been of huge, huge help to me in learning needlepainting and is a lovely lady.

This flower came from her silkwork embroidery sampler :

The front cover (when the cover is unfastened, and the extension of the back flap is pulled up) looks like :

(I need to add in that carnation bud to the drawing that shows the back cover closed - not that it really matters since the drawing of the front cover by itself is correct - just a bit confusing for young players)

I also need to get those sequins pronto, because I can only embroider a few elements before neeing to do the "spangling border" so I can place elements near it correctly.

I do have loads and loads of couching to keep me busy, should I run out of elements that have plenty of room, tho!

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Blogger Mary Corbet said...

Aw, shucks. Thanks for the mention! I LOVE this design!! It's going to be absolutely stunning! I can't wait to see your updates as you progress! You absolutely must keep us posted!

I think the book covers are fascinating and would love to do one myself - perhaps a good project for the new year?

I'm glad you've had a chance to update your blog - I will have to point it out to folks!

Yep, I love the design, and I think you're going to have a blast working it.

By the way, your little embroidered motif that you're sending to your friend, looks terrific!

Monday, December 03, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow. As usual. I think I want to convert one of the pansys into needle point for the parasol project. I converted the daddodil and it really works great. I'll post a picture as soon as its done.


Sunday, April 05, 2009  

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