Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Lesson: Bayeux tapestry Stitch

I know its a bit difficult to see, but on this little piece of linen are two beasties that my Laurel sketched out for me from the Bayeux Tapestry. She is going to teach me how to do the stitching that covers that piece of lovely embroidery. They are two beasties facing one another, gryphons I believe. I have been given four colors of wool and instructions on how to do the outlining.

This is the outlining stitch I am using for the beasties.

Ive been working at it for about half an hour and have gotten the tail outlined and the startings of one of its back feet.

More updates as I progress but right now...a little WoW I think.

Ernst's book: Part 3: Assembly

Here are all the pieces laid out on Markessa's table, ready to start the assembly process of the book.
With assembling the book, I had to cut the book board for the hard cover. Using the text block as a guide, I cut the book board a hair larger than the actual block. Used the exacto blade in the picture to cut through the board. (and oh boy did my hand hurt the next day!)

While I was at it, I cut the end papers to the book board size as well.

Pictured above is the three pieces cut out. Next I laid out the embroidered silk face down and laid the book board pieces in place to make sure they would line up. I lightly, and I mean VERY LIGHTLY coated the book board with glue so that it would adhere to the fabric. I did not want the glue to seep through to the silk layer, hence the very light layer of it. Once glued, we placed it under a heavy book for about ten minutes to let it set up before I started stitching the corners.

I trimmed some of the corner fabric away to lessen the thickness and then mitered the corners stitching it with burgandy thread.

Once all corners were stitched, I again applied a light layer of glue to the inside flaps to keep them from slipping or lifting during the process of gluing the block text in.

Next I began gluing in the text block by gluing the outer pages to the inside of the book over the mitered corners, making sure to press from the spine of the text block outwards towards the covers edge.

After letting that sit for a short, I glued in the end papers in the same fashion as I glued in the pages of the text block.

I applied two small strips of gold braid trim to the outer edges of the cover and then the book was complete.

Here are pictures of all sides of it.

Inside Cover showing End paper
Inside book showing blank text block.

Im quite pleased with how it went. One or two things Id do differently and a couple lessons I learned in making a book like this but it will allow me to improve on it with the next one.

Quickie Project

Just a little something I whipped up today. The idea came to me so I ran with it. Love how it came out, though. Thinking about making this a badge for myself...hmmm.

Ernst's Book: Pt. 2 - Embroidery

So, now that the text block was assembled and being pressed, with the measurements I took off of it (with the book board thickness included in that), it was time to start the embroidery.
I bought a half yard of burgandy silk dupioni fabric that had very little slubbing in the weave. Was actually quite pleased with this as I found it at Joanne's and usually their dupioni is pretty slubby.
At the same time I purchased burgandy linen to match. I felt if I embroidered directly onto the silk with nothing behind it, it wouldnt be strong enough and the stitching would pull through or bunch up the fabric showing more of the needle holes.

I used the scroll frame pictured here to do all the embroidery.

Design...let me speak on that for a moment. Other than the "E", I had free reign to do what I wanted. Since I was told this was a gift for someone (and I still do not know who), I wanted to make the design so that it was appropriate for either a male or female. I did a lot of searching online at medieval embroidered book covers and found a lot of resources and images. This database from The British Library was exceptionally helpful:

This 16th century binding was a big inspiration for me:

I decided that tudor roses would be appropriate for either gender and to throw in a little bit of myself into it, I added a grape cluster and ivy. If you know me, you know I love grapes. :D

With a tape measure and the measurements from the text block, I measured out the spacing for the embroidery for front, back and spine of the book. Then with a ruler and a fabric pencil, I drew in the outline of the book cover and then started sketching the design.

Then I basted the linen to the back of the silk.
This is a close up of the sketching for the front cover with his requested "E" on it.
And of course the back cover.
I began embroidering the "E" as i was still waiting on cards of silk floss to arrive in varying shades of purple for the grapes. I used split stitch to embroider and fill the letter in.
When the purple silks arrived and after the completion of the letter, I began the grapes using three tones of purple for the grapes and two tones for the leaves, again using split stitch. I went with this stitch mostly because a book gets handled quite a bit and the split stitch would be the least snagging and most durable to cover a book, in my opinion and was what is primarily used on covers in history.

The finished grapes now outlined in their gold frame. Then next i framed out the covers and started in on the roses.

Next I began adding ivy work growing from rose to rose.

And here is the completed embroidery. my opinion, it still needed something. Then I figured it out....
SPANGLES!!! :D I discovered I still had a small pouch of gold spangles in my supplies so I "speckled" them around and tacked them down with some silk floss.

Thus completes the embroidery.

Part 3: attaching cover to the text block.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ernst's Book - Part 1: Book binding

So, sometime back, around November I was asked to create an embroidered book cover as a commission project for Baron Ernst. I was given the instructions of it had to have an "E" on it and it couldn't be earlier than 13th century.

The supplies used in making this book are:
1/2 yard of silk burgandy dupioni
Silk Splendor twisted floss
1/2 yard of burgandy linen (for backing and strength)
Linen paper (a commercial brand readily available in stationary stores...or Walmart)
Linen thread (for the sewing of the signatures)
Book board
Decorative end papers
Coats and Clarks burgandy sewing thread
Binding tape

Tools used:
Exacto blade
Cutting pad
Sewing needles
Scroll stretcher frame (for embroidery)
Book press
Bone folder

Since my book binding experience is limited to soft leather bound books such as very early period styles, I turned to my friend Christine (Lady Markessa de Carvalhal) who is well versed and studied in this area. She was kind enough to instruct me. It was best to start with creating the text block for the book first.

After deciding on a size of 4x6 inches, I began measuring and cutting the pages for the signatures using an exacto knife and a ruler.

Folded the pages in half and made the crease sharp with a bone folder
Each signature is 10 pages and there are 11 signatures total in the book.

Viewed here is one completed signature.
All the signatures completed and together, ready for pressing.

Markessa, who has a wonderful book press made by her husband, placed it within the press and tightened it to get a nice flat text block.

Once out of the press, I could commence with sewing the signatures together. I used a kettle stitch.

When the stitching went over the folded edge of the paper, I stitched over the binding tape. When all signatures were sewn together, I glued down the tape to the outer pages and again, placed in the book press.

Next entry...starting the embroidery.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another Quicky Project Completed

So sometime ago I started these tippets for myself but they were put on the back burner and never finished.....until today. My first set of tippets: silk velvet and white linen.

I bought the velvet on ebay and there wasnt enough to make the tippets completely out of the velvet so it was suggested by a friend that I line them with linen so I did. Project finished this evening...WAALAA!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another Quicky Project

While on a shopping trip in Phily a week or so ago with a friend, we went to an embroidery shop there where I picked up a nice card of Splendor Silk twisted thread in a yellow green. I thought (being a period color made from a local weed called mullen it would make a nice contrasting color to decorate the blue wool hood that I made a couple years ago. Last night I did all the stitching. The pics arent the best but, you get the idea. These quick projects that finish up in a day are quite satisfying.