Sunday, August 13, 2017

Downeast Stitch Book...

We just returned from a refreshing visit to the state of Maine. It was a welcome respite from hot and humid Florida. It's referred to as "downeast", and in fact, that's the name of a magazine that celebrates Maine's history and culture. Early sailors navigating from Boston to Portland were sailing downwind and to the East-hence the term. While we were away, a brand new online class called "Stitch Bookery" taught by Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA began. I watched some of the Week One videos and gathered photos and brochures I could use to make my first class project- this sewn, meander-style accordion book with a nautical Maine theme.

I've enrolled in other classes on Mary Ann's site and have enjoyed all of them. It's fun and relaxing (not to mention messy) to sift through paper and combine images to convey a story, or just to create a pleasing collage.

And using the sewing machine on paper scraps is indescribably soothing. The number tag 862? That is a piece of street litter. I walked by it every day on our way to the beach, and it caught my eye every time. Finally I said to myself, "If that's still there on my last beach walk, it's going in my journal." I was kind of half hoping it would not be there because I love using "found objects" in my projects, but road trash? Not so sure about that. But, there it was on the last day, so here it is in my book!

I used a canvas paper base for the book, and found it easier to bend and get under the needle for sewing than stiffer watercolor paper would be. The photo is of beautiful Perkins Cove, Maine, a pretty small port on the Atlantic.

Because of the way the book is folded, some of the pages needed to be stitched as panels before securing them into the book. That way the stitching of the page behind it is covered up.

Lobster is a recurring theme in the Downeast book, too. We had a few, and they do taste so sweet right there at the source. I did read that studies show that lobsters are migrating to colder waters of northern Maine.

This is the back cover, and features a lobster image seen through the clear window of an envelope. This is a four week class, so lots more ideas are in store. I'll be stitching and whistling my way through more stitched books.

Another class project is a small accordion book. I made an abbreviated version of stitched together panels on watercolor paper (gelli printed) layered with dyed cheesecloth and sentiments of healing for a friend undergoing surgery.