There are a myriad of ways to make these fun pieces of memory and art, but I’ll describe the generalities of the process.
- Most important. Decide what you want to do. I know, it’s a toughie. I decided I wanted to let the fabric I collected while living in Japan see the light of day. So, I pulled it all out and stared at it. Then I decided I needed to narrow down the colors so I decided to stick with traditional indigo and white ( for THIS one, bwahahaha).
- Pull out all the fabrics and any associated bits you want to use. This included some random rice paper that had been used to stitch together scrap bundles, a charm I had from Mt Fuji, those kinds of things.
- Choose a base fabric to which to attach everything and decide how wide and long you want your storyline to be. I had some long indigo scraps that had been haphazardly torn into random widths. I found the widths that were pretty close and sewed them into a great length until I figured it was long enough.
- Start to lay out your fabric and associated bits on the base fabric. Experiment with tying knots into your fabric or otherwise manipulate the fabric into different shapes for variety.
- Once you are happy with the placement, tack it down either with basting stitches or misty fuse or some other fusible.
- Decide if you want to sew everything down in a continuous stitch pattern or permanently sew everything down with embroidery stitches or some other basic stitches. I also attached things in such a way I could cut them off if I needed them more in a future project. Sort of like keeping your creative inventory out and beautifully displayed.
- Once everything is sewed down, decide if you want to add extra beads or buttons or whatever. I also used the beads and buttons to help secure the fabrics and bits.
- Decide if you want to finish the back or make it two sided. I didn’t for these as they will hang against a wall, but if you display them with two sides visible, might be worth it to take this step. I am thinking about writing my narrative about the storyline onto Lutradur or Timtex or felt or something similar to finish the back for anything displayed this way. Might be a good idea to do even if it hangs on a wall so future people know the story behind the storyline.
- Attach it to a hangar. I flipped the fabric over the top and secured it with a line of buttons just under the bamboo stick I used to hang the storyline.
- Stand back and marvel at your wonderful storyline (aka variation on a snippet roll).
I went through the same process for the colorful storyline. I chose to use this one as a visual inventory of my Indonesian wood print blocks. It added a couple extra, but fun, steps in which I made a print (or two) with each block, backed it with thin batting, and cut it out in silhouette. I then attached the prints down the base fabric with a calendar theme going from January to December.
You can use anything you want for the base fabric (the brown and crème storyline base was an old velvet belt) and anything you want for the snippets of fabric and associated bits.
My greatest joy in these projects was bringing all these bits into the light and spending time with them. Some I hadn’t looked at in years and years and they all brought back memories.
Most of all, have fun. Once you get past the decisions in item 1, don’t overthink this. Go with your gut and enjoy the ride.
I hope you enjoy putting together your storylines as much as I did.
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