90th Birthday Gift Book

For our mother’s 90th birthday celebration, we three of the next generation made her a gift book – a brief look at her life titled Stitching Our Lives Together.   We’ve made books before, but in the past they relied heavily on my sister’s graphic talents.  For this one, we wanted to focus on Momma’s lifelong sewing abilities and decided to go with a fabric/sewing theme.

Donna provided the inspiration and text; her daughter Devon made the paper dolls; David made the cover; and I did the page layouts and construction.  All spread out across the country! 

David sent us the precise measurements for the pages so that they would fit in the cover.  I was a bit concerned about placing the first page so what we wanted would be visible thru the heart cutout – it worked like a charm!

Donna sent us the text. I drafted a layout and sent them photos of it.  Donna placed text and suggested pictures in the layout and sent out a .pdf file.  I played around with fabric and canvas and settled on the recent Sew It Book fabric line by Amy Barrickman with Red Roosters Fabric.  The designs for the fabric are based on a charming 1929 vintage sewing book. 

For each page of Momma’s book I fused fabric to both sides of a piece of canvas, then embellished with a strip of contrasting fabric and zig zagged around the edges.  For the paper dolls I included vinyl pockets.  Side note – in order for the vinyl to feed properly thru the sewing machine, I placed a piece of wax paper over it as recommended by Betty Sanderson at Quilting Adventures. 

I printed the text on cream colored ink jet fusible fabric, and the photographs on white, then cut them out and fused to the pages. 

For the paper dolls, Donna printed full figure photos of Momma at 7 inches tall.  They traced the figure and Donna photoshopped photos of Momma’s head onto the doll.  Then Devon designed the clothes based on photographs of various outfits Momma wore in the various decades.  When all was ready, Donna printed them on cardstock and we cut them out and inserted in the pockets. (After we played with them for awhile!)

The morning of the Celebration was the first time everything was in the same place! David fitted the pages into the cover and with Daddy’s tools and assistance in the Covenant Woods workshop, drilled holes to attach it all together.  We used scrapbook pins in the holes for a nice finish.

I’ve included above photos of most of the pages – a job well done!


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