This is Part Seven of my Color Book Tutorial/Sew-Along. For an introduction to this tutorial, the finished book and links to all the other parts of this tutorial, see this post.
Assemble all the parts for your cover page: the cover pages sewn from solids (see this post), the quarter-circles left over from trimming your pages, and your hand-embroidered pieces.
1. Choose your four favorite quarter-circles from the ten that you have. I like to choose the ones with the most appealing combination of fabrics, particularly if there are any “objects to be discussed” visible. Arrange the four into a pleasing circle. (You can discard the remaining six quarter-circles at this point.)
2. Sew the right side and the left side together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seams open.
turtles and ducks!
3. Sew the two halves of the circle together, also with a 1/4″ seam allowance nd press the seams open. It’s OK if your seams don’t make a perfect point in the middle. It will be covered by the embroidery.
4. If necessary, trim the edges so that the circle is relatively symmetrical. Set aside.
5. Iron both embroidery pieces so that they are as wrinkle-free as you can get them. Trim each piece so that there is approximately 1 and 1/4 inch of excess fabric on all four sides.
6. Iron in all the sides of the Front Cover embroidery piece (“________’s Color Book”), so that there is approximately 1/4 inch of white space on all four sides of the embroidery. You may need to trim the fabric slightly more to get it to fold onto itself smoothly. You do want the fabric to overlap significantly at the back so that the cover fabric won’t show through. Iron in the long sides first, then the short sides. Trim the short sides to a point to lessen the bulk. You should end up with a piece like this:
7. Lay out your two cover pages so that they face each other and arrange your embroidery as pictured here. Make sure your stripes are facing the correct direction.
(The “Author” piece isn’t fully ironed and ready to sew at this point in this picture!) This arrangement looks wrong when seen like this but remember that this is a book cover so it will be wrapped around the rest of the pages. The left side becomes the back cover.
8. Center the piece of embroidery on your patchwork circle. Sew on, using white thread and a scant 1/8″ seam allowance (just sew very close to the edge).
9. Sew your patchwork circle to the front cover, using white thread and a scant 1/8″ seam. making sure to center the circle top to bottom and side to side. Also, refer to the picture in #7 and orient it correctly, as shown.
Don’t worry about the circle edges fraying. Fabric cut on the bias like this (i.e. around the circle) doesn’t fray far. I think it adds a nice textural dimension to the cover!
10. Repeat step 6 for the “Author” embroidery piece and sew it directly to the back cover, placing it in the lower right hand corner (or somewhere else, to your liking). Sew it directly onto the back cover, using white thread and a scant 1/8″ seam allowance.
Your cover is finished!
Next time: Assembling the pages of the book! (We’re getting close!)
When sewing detail stitching, particularly when the stitching will only be seen from the top, it’s better to pull both threads to the back of the fabric, rather than sewing back and forth to secure your stitches. If you pull both threads to the back of the fabric, you can knot them and the stitches on the front will look continuous, without any repeated stitches to mar the look. To get the top thread to the back easily, tug on the back thread. This will cause the front thread to come through and form a little loop. Put a pin through that loop and pull it through. If you are stopping and starting your sewing in the same place, you can pull all four threads to the back and tie them together in one knot.
I recommend doing this when sewing on both embroidery pieces and when sewing the patchwork circle to the cover. It’s not necessary but does make for a slightly higher-quality finish.