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Backgrounds #1

Backgrounds #1

For the first themed week I’m going to be talking about Stitchbook Page backgrounds.

It makes sense to look at these first as they form the foundation which everything else is added to, and literally hold your book together.

A background can make or break a page. It provides consistency and coherence to the different elements and sets the tone of your page. If you get it right it may not even be immediately noticeable, allowing the feature parts of your page (the text and photographs) to shine. Get it wrong and the background will become intrusive and detract from the other parts.

So… how do you get it right?

This week i’ll be posting 3 parts to this theme:

  • Today i’m giving advice on what you need to consider when choosing fabric for your Stitchbook background.
  • On Wednesday I’ll be showing you how to make a foundation page  to start to create your first Stitchbook backgrounds
  • On Friday I’ll be showing you some lovely pages with simple 1-piece backgrounds so you will be inspired to make your own.


What you need to think about when choosing background fabric:

  1. Colour scheme to set the tone

    Colour theory is a huge topic and there are loads of guides out there to help you to chose which colours would suit the content of your work.  The important thing is that the colours of a page tell your eyes what expect before you even look at the details. Therefore you should try and match the colours to the tone and theme of your pages.  If you fail to do this a page can look confused and clashing because there are too many ideas on the page  (Imagine a page of photos of a sunny beach holiday on a background of Christmassy darks greens and reds!).

Below are some examples of fabric colour schemes and their possible uses:

Maritime Fat Quarters perfect for holiday themed backgrounds

Fabric from this maritime fat quarter bundle would set the scene perfectly for a seaside holiday journal or day out on a boat.

Baby fat quarter pack perfect for Stitchbook backgrounds

This gorgeous fat quarter pack would be perfect for a page about a new baby. Thee light pastel colours are often found on baby clothes and blankets and so immediately make you think of little ones!

2. Busy or Minimal?

Chose complex and clashing prints for busy pages and plain fabrics for a more minimalist look. Examples below of two fabrics using the same colour, but because of the pattern the tone of the page would be completely different.

Linen grey fabric

This grey fabric would be perfect for a minimal page with lots of space. Possibly a nature walk or to focus on an old photo.

Art Gallery Fabrics: Wonderland-pret Tea

Whereas this grey fabric is much ore highly patterned and would suit a more busy page. Perhaps to celebrate an exciting or fun occasion (when plenty of tea was drunk!)

3. What types of fabric are suitable?

The backgrounds need to be accurately cut and stable to be a good base for your photos, therefore the fabric you choose must help with this.

Stretchy fabrics are unsuitable as they won’t provide a solid base, as are silky and fluid fabric as these can be difficult to cut accurately, and will be difficult when constructing the pages. These fabrics can be added later but you’ll need a foundation sheet first (see Wednesday’s post for more info on this!)

Remember that your fabric has to be sewn together to for the pages for your Stitchbook so it can’t be too thick or the pages will be overly bulky.  This means upholstery fabric is probably a no-go for the backgrounds (although can be used on other elements). Too thin will also be a problem as the fabric will not be stable and may be transparent (again, a foundation page may help with this).

The best fabrics are medium weight cottons and this is good as they come in a huge range of colours and patterns. These also press well, so you can make your pages flat .

So you need fabric that is:

  • Stable
  • Able to be cut accurately
  • Not too thick
  • Not too thin/transparent
  • Non-stretchy
  • Able to be ironed and pressed with flat seams.

Basically, anything suitable for patchwork and quilting is probably suitable for a Stitchbook background (and you’re lucky because there are so many gorgeous fabrics out there!

So…what are you waiting for? Start choosing your background fabric!

Next steps:

  1. Tune in on Wednesday when I will be posting a tutorial on how to make foundation pages which will form the base of your Stitchbooks.
  2. Sort out your stash and find some beautiful fabrics to use.
  3. Look at my Pinterest boards for more instpiration




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