Tuesday 31 May 2016

Covering journals and a gorgeous poetry book ...

My Garden

I have a garden of my own,
Shining with flowers of every hue;
I loved it dearly while alone,
But I shall love it more with you;
And there the golden bee shall come
At summer-time at break of morn,
And wake us with their busy hum
Around the Siha's fragrant thorn.

Thomas Moore

Hoping that you all enjoyed your long weekend, we certainly did in Devon it was wonderful, more about that later in the week as photos to collate.

Well the journal covering has gone well and also I have covered a beautiful garden and flower poetry book.  You will see from following photos that is was quiet battered and worn so I felt that some vintage embroidered linen to hold it all in place was just the ticket.  The inscription inside reads: 

Isabel,  from S & N  Christmas 1918.

So you can see it is 98 years old and therefore in need of a  little help in preserving it.  I did not want to take it for restoration to a book binder so I have decided this is a sympathetic way to preserve such a beauty. The poem at the top is an exert from it and there
are some beautiful poems inside its pages .. There are poems by Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson to name but a few.

So I can report the coverings have gone well and I am more than pleased with the results.  I started by pressing the fabrics and also spray starching them to get a perfect finish. I used spray mount as it is sticky but moveable.  

It can be a little tricky and intricate getting it right and tucking it into the spine on the book with out taking it apart and book binding it back ( which I have not been taught the art of ) so it is patience and determination that pulled me through and of all things a cocktail stick with the sharp bit cut off and sanded (not to tear the fabric) ....  The spine of the book was loose and inside it had cracked so I added strips of vintage fabric ribbon to keep it together back and front.  This was a hard project because the book did not square up so getting it to look right took some doing but as you can see it has a new lease of life. Ta Dah!

  I bought a book at Eridge covered in vintage liberty fabric and for years I have covered journals in vintage blanket with hand embroidery and embelished myself, as I said I did it for a magazine in America called Somerset Life this was about 4 years ago now I believe.  But then I thought about using already embroidered linens.

Originally I was going to put the daisy embroidery on a blank journal but I had this little garden poetry book and it needed restoration and being a daisy I thought it fitting for such a beautiful old book.

I then got the bug and covered two of the art journals with high grade paper inside (it will take water colour paint too) and I did use that beautiful tray cloth with the birds.  I weighed it up in my mind.  If I had kept it for a tray cloth, more than likely it would have got tea or coffee stains on it and this way it covers a book and stays in better condition basically.  It was a tight fit but I managed it.  I am in love with this one so much.  As there was a bird in two corners of the tray cloth I have one on the front at the bottom right and one on the back on the top left .... so pleased.

Then having another one of these art journals to cover I used another tray cloth with an oval embroidered flower pattern and that looks amazing as the oval is back and front of it and across the spine at the top and bottom.....  I now want to do more and more.   I will have journals and workbooks coming out of my ears!

This is the front of the journal with the bird tray cloth ...

I love this one but love the one above equally too, which to be honest when I started out I thought the bird one would be the favourite but they are both really pretty.

This is the back of the book with the bird
looking down I am so pleased how it turned out.

I have enjoyed this project so much and it is time consuming to do it properly, being they had to be taught and neat with mitered corners even though there would be a page covering it to keep it all neat ... If something is worth doing and all that!

So the obsession goes on and now I am busy getting ready to do some more.  I bought two large tins of spray mount so that's ok but it is £14.50 a tin, all the costs do add up, it is a shame because I people have already asked if they can buy them.

Take care and hope you have a great short week. Whatever you are doing today have a good one and as always Happy Stitching!


  1. They look absolutely beautiful
    Julie xxxx

  2. Thank you Julie I am very pleased with them. Xxx

  3. These look fabulous Sarah!
    I've just started to learn traditional bookbinding!

    1. Thank you Gill .. Bookbinding sounds fabulous!
      Hope you are well.


  4. Oh my, what a good idea. I have lots of vintage material and I do like notebooks. Might have to see if I can combine the two. Your books are lovely.