Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quilted Photo Album Cover

When my son was first born, we used film, had the pictures developed, and put them in albums. As we transitioned to a digital camera, we didn't print as many pictures.

When my daughter, Sydney, was born in 2004, we did print a few pictures from her first two weeks. And that is when her album ends. She recently noted that while there are four albums for her brother, she has but one. Also, she spent some time with a friend seeing all of her baby pictures.

Sydney requested we print some of the digital pictures and update her album. We spent one evening searching though old pictures and choosing which ones to print. She doesn't remember many of the pictures and was surprised by the number of pictures.

The Quilted Album
After selecting over a hundred and finding an awesome coupon, they were on their way. I considered finding her a new album that was more her style, then I realized I could simply cover the blue album. She had already found fabrics she liked when we were designing her friend's quilted bag.

Crazy quilting seemed to be the way to go. In a few tutorials, I noted that making the cover a couple inches larger than the album is a good rule of thumb. I cut a template out of white fabric and used that to check my size. Crazy quilting seems to take me longer than other quilt as you go methods.

After adding some thin batting, the backing, and pins, I was ready to quilt. I thought I would probably use decorative stitching along each seam, but then I thought free motion quilting would go more quickly. As I started free motion quilting, I started to form a circle and remembered I indented to try out some pebbling free motion quilting.
The Album Before

At first the pebbles seemed to be dimpling the fabric too much. I changed my tension and perhaps became more comfortable with the technique and it started to go more smoothly.  Pebbling certainly does not take less time, but it was fun to try something new.

The Whole Quilted Album Cover
Close up of Pebbling FMQ
After the quilting, I added unquilted flaps to each side after finishing one long edge on each. After testing out the sizing a few times, I was ready to baste on the flaps. The final step was to add binding to the edges. I used a 2.25" strip folded for the binding and it worked well with a 1/4" seam allowance. After sewing right sides together and tucking the first and last edges, I just folded it over and sewed closely along the folded edge.

Sydney is very happy with her new album and can't wait to fill the pages with cute pictures of herself.

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