Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Book

First I want to thank you all for the encouraging comments on my last post about 2009 goals.  Oh my gosh!  People are watching!!!!  Nothing like a little pressure, huh?

So, for the last little while I've been teasing you with pictures of the memory book I was working on.  Now for the finished work as promised. . . I do try to keep my promises.

Here is how it all came about:

My Dad died this spring, at the age of 90.  We went through so many pictures in preparation for his service that I wanted to do something to preserve the memories they invoked.  So I decided to make a memory book for my Mom. 

PC230001In true Liz-fashion, I started gathering pictures, fabric, and ideas - but no deadline!  I even drew up a mud map and had the cover completed (one side) in June. 


Now, for most people, if they say they have been working on something for six months, you would think that they have done a bit of work on a monthly or weekly basis and steadily accumulated completed pieces.  Liz doesn't work that way!  Oh no!  I did the cover, then several months later I cut out more pages.  Then I scanned photos.  Then, well, there is always something else to do - "I'll just finish this up first."  You know how that works?  Hint:  it doesn't! 

Fast forward to December.  I now enter into a sewing marathon hoping to have a finished book for Christmas day.  If you have been reading this blog, you noticed that I did not post an awful lot last month - only the aforementioned teasers really.

But I made it!  So, Mom has the book - and I got some wonderful hugs and kisses - and now it is time to share it with the blog world.   There were 18 pages - NOT necessarily in the order shown below (blogger/wordpress and I don't always get along!):

 pp2-7 pp14-18pp8-13

I wish you could see it in person.  Photographs do not do it justice of course, and there are too many details to share effectively or efficiently on the net. 

I learned some things that may or may not help me in future projects:

  • Preparing a sketch ahead of time really helps!  The "mud map" is what allowed me to do the stitching and fusing in the short time I ended up with.
  • It would be easier to plan ahead when choosing thread colors so that you can stitch everything using that thread at the same time.  I must have changed thread six times per page - at least!  And I never exaggerate!!
  • Fusing photos and cheap, meltable ribbon on the same page is a bad idea!
  • Hand embroidery is fun and a nice touch, but you need to have more time for that.  There's that PLAN word again!
  • My Dad would have gotten a kick out of some of the pages.  Wish I'd started a lot sooner.

This project was both fun and stressful.  I worked through some grief and had a lot of happy memories.  I loved experimenting with my sewing stitches and new ways to display the photos.  I would love to make more of this type of book - but not yet!  I have a huge backlog of projects and work to get through now!!!  Not to mention my 6 tasks in 6 weeks list . . .


Vicki W said...

What a wonderful gift for your Mother!

Orice said...

This kind of project can be a real tear jerker, I know. A definite Healing thing to do. Your Mom is blessed with you as her daughter.

Paula Hewitt said...

What a wonderful memory book for you and your Mum. I bet your Dad would have got a kick out of it!
your style of working is not dissimilar to mine. its good to know Im not alone. planning does help!

Anonymous said...

The book is wonderful. Both you and your Mum can enjoy the memories.
But that four letter word, plan, keeps coming up. Almost every plan I make I change, but then if I don't plan in the first place I don't know what I can change!

Annie said...

That is such a great keepsake. I love the shape. Planning helps, but it's never as much fun as just diving in an 'doing'.

Good luck with your 2009 goals.