January Book Of The Month Winter Flowers

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I have just completed the first piece of a year long project to make one ‘textile’ book per month. I may not limit myself to producing a cloth book each time as I think a painted or sketched one is just as likely to evolve, depending what I’m working on during the year. This first one is a direct result of the Christmas card project, which used winter flowers as the inspiration. At the moment I have snowdrops and viburnum blooming in the garden so I’ve added these to the mix, along with cyclamen and hellebores, which will be appearing soon.

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This hellebore image is a ‘cheat’. I had a particularly nice greetings card with a watercolour image of the hellebore on it, so I scanned the card then printed it onto a piece of white polycotton that I had ironed onto freezer paper so that I could send it through the printer. I have an ordinary inkjet printer – the ink is usually running low – but nevertheless it gave a nice watery reproduction. I then peeled off the freezer paper, ironed the cotton hellebore onto bondaweb and then cut it out with sharp scissors. The bondaweb paper is pulled off and then the flower ironed onto the fabric background. It does need a little stitching to blend it in, but in works well in this instance.

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I added snowdrops in two areas, using a simple homemade stamp and little stencil. After using the white paint I worked into the areas with inktense pencils to give some extra colour.

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As you can see, slightly different effect depending on the thread used – but I like the way there is a hint of background coming through from the first layer of stencilling.

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Finally, although the book is finished and folded into four I have put on some large paper clips to hold it in position for a few days to help it bend in the right places. The finished book, because it is double-sided, is rather thick so it is difficult to bend the pages.

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