I needed a bookmark, so I made one. Random scraps of paper and bus transfers do the work of marking my place in a book, but they are not special. They just are.
I knew it had to be botanical, because… exhibit a thru z… and it was a pressed leaf that provided the inspiration. I often slip leaves into books only to discover them months or years later. This is why I always flip through the pages before I get rid of a book. They sometimes hold more secrets beyond the words that are written inside.
In this case it was a leaf from a tulip tree leaf (Liriodendron tulipifera) that I picked up on a walk last fall. The tulip tree is a North Eastern native that is gaining popularity around here. The leaves are simple and elegant and they turn a beautiful golden yellow in the fall. I find I want to take them all home.
I stitched my bookmark onto a piece of scrap cotton. It is 2″ X 6″ but I realize in hindsight that 8″ would have been a nicer length. The leaf was yellow when I put it into the book but had browned with age. I used variegated thread to represent this colour shift, but any solid colour will work, too.
You Will Need:
- A small piece of heavy cotton or linen cut to 2″ X 8″
- 1 spool sewing machine thread (I used golden mustard)
- Leaf pattern (See below.)
- Iron-on transfer pencil
- Tracing paper
- 1 skein # 111 DMC variegated mustard, six strand embroidery floss
- 1 embroidery needle (available at any craft store)
How To Make This:
To make the fringe at the bottom of my bookmark, I simply used my embroidery needle to pull out horizontal threads. This is easily done with a heavy, open-weave fabric.
To prevent the rest of the bookmark from fraying, sew a zig zag stitch around the top and sides of your bookmark. Sew the bottom too if you do not want fringe. I did not have a thread colour on hand that matched my fabric, so I chose a golden mustard that matched the leaf pattern.
Print out the pattern I have provided or draw your own. I transferred the drawing onto my fabric by tracing it onto tracing paper, using an iron-on transfer pencil (these are brilliant). For this reason, I have posted the pattern flipped so that it will transfer correctly.
Cut a 12″ or so length of floss and separate the threads in half so that you are working with 3 strands. Thread your needle and you’re ready to roll. BTW: I recently discovered this needle threader by Clover and now I don’t know how I lived without it. Sweet relief for my weary eyes.
Stitch along the lines of the pattern using a back stitch (there is an excellent video tutorial here). I used this stitch because the iron-on pencil I am using is permanent and the back stitch covers it all up perfectly. Secure your stitches and you’re done.
Please come back and share your bookmark with us here!