Round Robin Library Altered Book

Kathleen Brulc 2005

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A Round Robin Altered Book Cover

Many crazy quilters enjoy participating in round robins. Generally a small book or journal accompanies each block on its journey. These booklets are sometimes stored on the back of a framed block or wall hanging. When round robin blocks are finished as pillows or other items this isn't always possible. Here is an idea for storing round robin journals in a manner that creates another work of art.

You will need a book suitable for altering old volumes of children's encyclopedias or other hard cover books work well. Thrift stores are good places to find books. Make sure the book is large enough to accommodate your largest round robin journal.

  • Additional Supplies needed:
  • Sand paper
  • Art knife
  • Foam brushes
  • A good paper adhesive
  • Decoupage media
  • Envelopes of various sizes to accommodate round robin journals
  • Gesso or white acrylic paint
  • Various scrap booking or rubber stamping supplies
  • Various embellishments

Altered books allow you to be as creative as you like. As with crazy quilting there really are no set rules so you can let your imagination fly. Following are some basic techniques to get you started.

The cover of your book can be prepared by sanding lightly. Dust and wipe clean the cover with a damp cloth. Once the cover has dried, a light coat of Gesso applied with a foam brush will cover any text or illustrations you wish to obscure. After the Gesso has dried add color with rubber stamp inks. Simple sponging techniques or applying ink with a brayer both work well. After the color has dried adhere paper images, stickers, etc. As a final step the cover can be protected with a coating of decoupage medium. Metal charms, buttons or beads can be glued to the dried decoupage with a suitable adhesive.

The envelopes and round robin booklets stored in them will make the book bulky. Extra pages can be cut from the book using an art knife. Be sure to leave enough pages to support your envelope pages.

Pages can be decorated in numerous ways. Stickers, rubber stamps, inks and paints will all blend with the page text to make interesting designs. Decorative napkins which have been separated into layers and are glued to the page with paper adhesive make very nice backgrounds. If you would like to cover a great deal of text, paint the page with Gesso, let dry and then decorate.

Decorate the envelopes that will hold the round robin booklets. Embellishments might coordinate with the various round robin themes. Glue the envelopes to the decorated pages of the altered book.

Several pages of the book may be sewn together to add interest and more support for larger round robin booklets. It is not necessary to alter every page of the book. Leaving some pages unaltered can add to the mystery and appeal of the book.

The round robin altered book is a wonderful way to document your cherished needle work. Ribbons and textured yarns make lovely bookmarks.

Altered book pages with photos of the completed blocks and corresponding journal   
Altered pages painted with Gesso. Round robin journal is in clear envelope on left.   

The Artist:
Kathleen lives in Arizona with her husband and daughter. She learned needle work from her mother and grandmother. She discovered silk ribbon embroidery and crazy quilting about 10 years ago and they have become her favorite forms of needlework. She has taught ribbon embroidery classes. When she isn't stitching or doing the mom and wife thing, Kathleen is a junior high school Spanish teacher. Kathleen is especially grateful for the online needle work communities that she is a part of. They keep her inspired and in love with this wonderful art form.

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