Friday, July 20, 2012

Something Different from Hooking

Sometimes I like to do something different other than rug hooking, so I recently took an on-line altered art journal cover class from Nellie Wortman through Artful Gathering.  Nellie makes wonderful recycled materials (fabric) journal covers and other fun stuff.

I was looking for a way to decorate a three ring binder for my rug hooking teaching materials and Nellie's class was perfect for my needs.  And when I take my new binder to rug camps, I think everyone will oooh and ahhh over it and think I am so very clever to have an artsy binder; or I hope they will think that.  What an imagination huh?!!

You can see lots of Nellie's work on her blog Early Morning Thoughts at  She also maintains an Etsy shop you can access via her blog.  Here is the journal cover I purchased direct from Nellie.  I love it!  She is so very clever in her way of sewing the covers.

I think I was the last person in our on-line class to complete the project, but I did get it done by the last day of class!  And my journal cover is much larger than the class project, so it took a bit more thought on my part to increase the size by nearly three times the size of the class project.  The journey to making the journal cover also took me in a direction I had not planned!  It led to my purchase of a new sewing machine!  

My old sewing machine is a Pfaff and I've had it since the 1980's and it is a little Sherman Tank!  German made, it is the essence of well organization but of course, given its age, it doesn't have all the fancy-dancy new features to it:  automatic thread cutter, knot in place threading and the 60 stitches I can use at the touch of a few buttons on my new Janome sewing machine.  My Pfaff does have around 24 clever stitches to it and it is such a well organized little machine but I figured after 30 years I might consider upgrading to new technology.  If anyone is interested in my Pfaff,  please email me for some discussion on it.... I regret letting it go, but two sewing machines is a bit much.  My email is

So onward to sharing pictures of my binder cover.  
I can't wait to fill the pages for the binder which will be my organizational structure for teaching at rug camps. 

The front of my binder.
Since I won't be able to use PowerPoint to show pictures of rug examples when I teach, I can at least have lots of handouts to share.  The binder will be the home for my handouts.  I think it will be really cool once I place all my handouts into the binder.  
The back of my binder.  I stained the fabrics for a worn look,
thus the brown areas you see on the fabric.
Front cover detail.
Close-up of front cover detail.
Close-up of front cover detail.
Here's the inside of my binder with a pocket area for pens and business cards.
I glued scrapbook papers to the inside panels of the actual binder.
Then the panels of the binder are inserted into the fabric sleeves of my cover. 
You can see some of the fancy stitches I can make with a quick touch of the buttons on my new Janome.  I am having fun with the variety of stitches.  I don't think sewing will ever take over for rug hooking, but some sewing here and there is now lots of fun!  


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