In a few weeks, several of my art friends and I will gather for our annual retreat (it's been ten years now!) The idea of devoting the entire weekend to working with techniques from Traci Bautista's Collage Unleashed was suggested by Allison. Allison's idea was brilliant! This past weekend a small group came together to play with the concepts and prepare for the retreat. After that wonderful day and the book that I have finally completed, I have to say "Hats Off To Traci!" The book that is pictured is actually my second cover. The first set didn't match the way I wanted them to but they were very cool. More muslin was visible on the first set which I ended up framing. This cover is the tie-dyed paper towel technique and was machine quilted onto muslin. Stencils were used along with my favorite little girl image that pops up in my art from time to time. A transparency is sewn over the image.
This is a shot from the top which shows a bit of the papers we produced. I absolutely loved making the paper and could have done that one thing all day. The inside of the covers are visible in this shot. They are made from white on white which is also described in Traci's book.
The latch hook binding was my first latch hook anything. I learned that I need to use the 'neat' strips first, muslin strips next and finish up with fiber. I didn't think about it this time but just jumped right in. I found myself untangling fibers often and grinding my teeth more. The lesson was learned well and it will be easier next time. Attaching the covers to the binding and pages was the greatest challenge. I know there must be a trick to this and maybe experience is the trick. I struggled with this but again, I learned from it too. I absolutely love the binding and the challenge was well worth the result.
The covers were finished off with a blanket stitch. Another option is to let it fray a bit but I decided to go with the stitch this time. I am amazed at the texture of the paper towel. I used a liquid sealer on the covers and the texture is much like leather. It remains flexible and easy to sew through as well.
My next book will have more muslin on the covers which are already dyed and ready to go. If you haven't taken a look at Collage Unleashed, check it out. It's a great book!