Fringe Embroidery Soft Books

My plan was to make soft fabric books as birthday gifts for the 3 two-year-old nephew and nieces using machine embroidered fringe animal designs from EmbroideryLibrary. If I had started them as scheduled in late June/early July, I reasoned I could finish all three in time for their birthdays in July/August. But instead of starting the fabric books, I made cool ties through most of July.

I finally started the embroidery for these right around the end of July, still thinking I could manage to finish three books in a week if I did nothing else all day but stitch and embroider. Hah! That was before the air conditioner decided to blow only hot air . . . it was so hot in the sewing room during the day, I was lucky to stitch one page a day -- 3 times.

I made very slow progress and was lucky to almost finish one book in time for Lauren's birthday party on August 3. The individual pages were all embroidered and sewn to the backing fabric on 3 sides but the raw edges had not been covered and I still had to put in the grommets for assembling the book. So I had to give her the unfinished pages and then take them back home to finish up.

And then I had to make two more books for the other two kids. I finally finished those two books at the end of August.

The front page of each book features a fringe embroidery sun design and one of the pages is the Digging Dog fringe design. The rest of the pages are from the fringe animal design pack (small), all purchased from EmbroideryLibrary. I added the lettering using one of the built-in fonts on my Designer SE.

Fringe Embroidery Fabric Book Fringe Embroidery Fabric Book

Fringe Embroidery Fabric Book

Before embroidering, I first had to decide how big I wanted each page to be. I used an air-soluble marking pen to mark the center for the placement of the embroidery and also to indicate where the grommets would be inserted to join the pages. I loosely followed EmbroideryLibrary's instructions for making a fabric story book, but I improvised here and there.

The designs were stitched on cotton quilting fabrics. To embroider each design, I used a medium weight permanent stabilizer (Sulky Cut Away Plus), rayon thread in the needle and YLI cotton bobbin thread and in some cases Wash Away thread in the bobbin. EmbroideryLibrary has instructions for stitching their fringe designs here.

Some of the designs are meant to have loopy fringe and others are intended to be cut and fuzzy.

To make the loopy fringe, I used the Wash Away thread in the bobbin for certain color stops indicated in the design instruction sheets. After the design was finished stitching, I spritzed the back with water and the bobbin threads dissolved so I could pull the loops to the front of the embroidery.

To make the cut fringe, I used regular bobbin thread and when the design was finished, I cut through the rayon threads and pulled the cut edges to the front of the design.

In both cases, it was a little tricky to get the fringe to come to the top of the fabric and to cut in just the right places. In my finished fabric books, the puppy, horse, sheep and toucan are supposed to be loopy and the sun, chick, bumblebee and lion are intended to be cut fringe.

After all the embroidery was finished, I trimmed the pages and decided to add some colorful ric-rac to the edges. On Lauren's book I also added some cute buttons to the pages; I wasn't sure if the other two would pull off and possible ingest buttons, so I left them off the other two books.

Fringe Embroidery Fabric Book

Once the pages were embellished, I sewed the backs to each page, cut out and attached a coordinating binding strip for the raw edge, and inserted the grommets. To tie the book pages together, I made a tie from a length of fabric that I fed through a bias tape maker, then sewed flat using the adjustable bias binder foot for my machine.

Lauren's book was finally finished and ready to go but needed "packaging". So I made her a scaled down Lazy Girl Designs' Miranda in purple (more about Lauren's Miranda in another post):
Mini Miranda for Lauren
(I learned that purple was her favorite color at her birthday party --
I wonder what color will be her favorite next year.)

Richie D's book was delivered along with the extra Billy Wagner bobblehead doll we got as a freebie at the Mets-Marlins game in August inside a With Love Tote (a Lazy Girl Designs free pattern):
With Love Totes

Abby's was packaged in a scaled down With Love Tote in pink to match the fabric used in the book.
Fringe Embroidery Fabric Book


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