DMTV and an old map or two

19 March 2016

Dear reader - I signed up.

Talk about procrastination. I have dithered and dithered for what must have been years - should I sign up to DMTV?

I have been following the blogs of both Linda and Laura Kemshall for some time, and spent a lovely day last year in Laura Kemshalls 'garden shed'!  Also, and quite a few years ago now, I did a course with them on 'The Painted Quilt' at the Bramble Patch. It resulted in a painted cushion cover.

In fact, I credit the Kemshalls as being one of the main influences that 'got me going' - got me away from traditional Patchwork and Quilting and into art quilts and modern embroidery and onto my present journey.

So quite while it took me so long to subscribe to DMTV I cannot say. But there was a moment sitting at my desk for the day job when I just suddenly 'did it'!  I am not sure quite what lead up to that moment.

And I have to say, it is such a worthwhile investment. What is so fantastic is that you get 'two for one', because, while they might be mother and daughter, they are of course different artists and have different styles and ideas.  And they have several ideas running at the same time.

So far I have got some fabulous things to pursue - Laura has been working with mono prints using cartridge paper and then stitching into them (a lady after my own heart!). And she has a nifty technique for registering the paper and print block so you can print in more than one colour.

And Linda has been doing a series on altered books.

Now last year I started a couple of Altered Books (in fact that was my adventure in Laura's garden shed - or rather her converted cricket pavilion) but for one reason and another I never really got into them.  I am not quite sure why not - I never really 'connected' with them.

But Linda's videos have sparked my interest again.

Now, I was about to rush out to find a lovely old book to work into, and then it struck me that rather than alter a book, I could alter a map.  Last year, after my Dad died, I cleared a few bits and pieces out of my Mother's loft and this included a box of old maps.

Too good to dispose of, I shoved the box onto a shelf.

I could, of course, have just kept the map as a map, but instead I decided to make a 'book' from the map using a cut up bonio box for a cover.

I also used part of the map for the inside the cover - the endsheets.

I cut the map long it's folds. Not every fold, but rather letting the folds dictate how the pages might work. The books pages I created by doubling up the map paper and stitching the pieces of map together, back to back.

Some pages, or signatures in book binding terms, are 'triple' and fold out. That was really so as to make the most of one single map ( I actually used two for this book).

 I stitched several signatures together to make a folio, simply by machine  stitching along the fold in the paper.

Then I used ribbon to hold the sections together. I did not stitch through the ribbon, rather I 'caught' it with a longer stitch. The ribbon stays flexible, but is stuck down under the endpapers onto the hard cover.  I like this bookbinding method.

Before assembling the whole thing, I covered the sections cut from the bono box with brown paper and gessoed it.

Then I used Chalk acrylics rollered onto the gessoed cover.

And finally strips of the map, stuck down with a good adhesive matt medium.

 My altered map/book is now ready to be altered some more.


  1. Brilliant idea to use those maps like this and fascinating to see how you worked with the folds. I've run across other ways of using maps (made into envelopes or as part of a collage) but not so completely as this.

    I've been mulling my own next foray into bookbinding & always let myself get stuck at two points. What kind of paper to fill it with (you've shown me - just about any!) and how to work the cover. Since seeing your first bono box book I've been saving sturdy cracker boxes, several of which I've painted with varying success. While thinking about a tissue paper texturing method seen on a friend's blog, the two projects suddenly merged - I can try the tissue paper texturing over the box. Why I hadn't thought to glue something over the box rather than painting I don't know (except that I do get very tunnel visioned) but again, seeing what you've done with the maps on yours is showing me I'm on the right track. Great minds and all... :-)

    I don't dare sign up for dmtv - I've got so many videos in the queue & saved already. But indeed - those two amaze me with all that they are up to and share in such an accessible way. Carry on!

    1. On the box covers you do need a sturdy box. In my experience the best ones are the ones that contain dog biscuits etc. Cereal boxes are just too flimsy.

      I always cover the boxes with brown paper glued down liberally with PVA glue. Then I gesso over the brown paper.

      The paper can wrinkle a bit but I brayer it onto the card - that keeps wrinkles to a minimum. But I actually rather like the texture.

    2. That info is really helpful. The cracker boxes I've saved are not quite as flimsy as cereal boxes. Not as sturdy as I remember dog biscuit boxes but I don't have access to those anymore - we recycle what's avaiable!

    3. Then you might have to experiment. You could try doubling up the card or pressing it under a weight while the PVA dries to stop it curling.

    4. More good tips - thanks! Yes, curling was a bit of an issue on one of the painted ones and I plan to weight it after I add endpapers inside, but not so much on the one that I gessoed first. Yes, more experimentation!

  2. That's a fabulous altered map! I really enjoy DMTV too but make sure you keep up with the clips, consider it studying as it's so depressing when a video or 2 falls off one end as they are replaced with lovely new ones!Come visit at my blog!

    1. Oh thank you for that tip! I'm still new so that has not happened yet. Do you subscribe to the archives too?

      I will pop over to your blog shortly, but do share it via TQTS on Facebook. H xx


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