[google6a7b7d93c7100df5.html] Sunshine's Creations.Vintage Threads Inc.com: T.A.S.T. & sampler book

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

T.A.S.T. & sampler book

I have wanted a sampler book for some time, so the TAST project pushed me into making one. If you don't know what a sampler book is, they where popular about 100 years ago. Women would make books to keep samples of tatting, crochet, knitting, quilting, embroidery or any other type of hand work they could think of. They usually have a cloth cover and cloth pages for ease in attaching samples. I have a vintage one that has lost its cover; I'll take photos of that later and show it. Now that I have this made, I can get started on my samplers and get caught up. I was going to use perforated paper, but that doesn't lend itself to curves very easily, and I think this will be more fun this way.

Mine has gabardine wool pages and a silk/wool cover. The gabardine was given to me in trade of a repair job and the cover fabric was given to me by a lady at MJF (I can't remember who at the moment). There are fourteen signatures (sections) in this one, with four sides for a total of fifty-four surfaces to attach too. Also the pages are eleven inches tall by fifteen inches wide with a pocket for storing information of patterns associated with items on the outside of the pages. The cover is a half inch bigger on top and bottom flush on spine and hangs over about 1 1/4 inches on the end. This is so, if I decide to attach lace samples to the edges of the pages, they will still be protected from wear and tear.

I want to make a few more of these for my tatting, crochet, and other lace making. Might be fun to do one for quilting too.

Vintage sampler books like the one shown here from my collection had colored pages for the lace samples to be displayed on. This way it was easier to see the patterns in the lace. In embroidery sampler books it doesn't really matter as you will be sewing in the samples on their own fabric. This way they are removable if you want to use them later. So the ones I will make later for lace samples will have colored pages like these. They will either be made out of heavy cotton as these antique ones are or they will be made out of wool which was also common. This book is c. 1900.


  1. I think this is a great idea. I am doing something similar. I am making fabric pages to where once I get all my samplers done I can sew it together and make a fabric book.

  2. How do you make the pages and how do you attach the lace/embroidery samples to the pages?

  3. to lil
    How to make pages.
    Step one figure out how tall you want the pages I cut mine 12 inches tall with 1/2 inch seam allowance. finished size 11 inches. I cut from selvage to selvage this 12 inch height by in this case 62 inches weird size fabric. Mark middle of fabric. Fold both side ( selvages) into the middle stopping 1/2 inch from middle on each with each side. Pin in place. Right sides are together and you are looking at the wrong side. Sew a straight seam up each side top and bottom of page. Pull right side out. Selvages are your finished edge and your pocket opening.

    The way the samples are attached is with a basting stitch. I am doing my samples on little little wool squares that I wove. So I embroider on the square first then stitch it in the book then attach a little tag that states what this sample belongs to. I also print out the TAST for each week and insert it into the pocket. Each pocket will have 18 weeks inside of it when done. There are 9 samples to a side and each page has two sides so 18 samples per individual page.

    I will post pictures tomorrow of samples in book as I got caught up today. That might help more.

  4. What a super idea. I have never heard of cloth sample books. Thanks as well for the link and instructions.

  5. Sunshine, I love your sampler book! Does each page have a pocket? That's a great idea! And nice size pages to work with. It looks like you've used Coptic binding; is that right? I've made journals with Coptic binding, but hadn't thought to use it in a fabric book. Another great idea! I can't wait to see your other sampler, too. Thanks for sharing these!


  6. Yes each page has a pocket. Yes I used coptic binding. It makes the
    book easier to open with out stressing a hinge. I also used linen
    cord like what I use to stitch braided wool rugs together. I wanted
    it to be able to last for a while. We have another book binder out
    there. I didn't think any one would know that. Very cool.
    Thanks for looking

  7. Your book is awesome. How did you learn to do that? Thelma

  8. When I was in collage I was an art major. Enphasis in printing and
    bookbinding. My teacher who taught me how to make books is Robert
    Espinoza he use to be the Head curator at the "library of congress".
    I actually never made a cloth book while attending the university.
    But it wasn't a far leap in the mind from what I already knew. The
    pocket came about because of laziness. I wanted less sewing and that
    was the easiest way and it was more functional too.

  9. what is coptic binding, would the average person able to do this coptic binding? just curious.

  10. I am sure the average person could. I might even be able to come up with a tutorial enough people want one.

  11. VERY nice Sunshine and a lot of work!!

  12. Well, you have done a great job! Have you thought about selling them?

  13. Not a bad idea I just hadn't thought of it as I just figured out how to do this Saturday this is my mock up so to speak.

  14. always love seeing your work. very nice!

  15. thanks. That book seems a little popular. Got a few hits on it at flicker too. I think it came out well considering I just sat down and started cutting and sewing without a pattern except of course for the one in my head.

  16. Thank you for the info! I'll let Anie know as I'm sure she'll really appreciate it.


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