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Ten CETG members and two visitors joined Viki Jenkins at Great Kingshill Village Hall for a day of friendly stitching.  Viki began by showing us examples of her beautiful fabric-covered journals, explaining how she began making them during lockdown to clear a period of creative block.  She outlined the anatomy of a stitched book: page, folio and signature, and the options for covering and filling a mini-journal with a variety of papers, images and text.


We began by decorating the fabric for our cover with applied fabrics, stitch and beads, buttons and bling.   Silence reigned as we all concentrated on our work, apart from the occasional request: “Does anyone have any blue perlé thread”, “ … a purple button” or “…some ecru lace?”  Stash was generously shared around the room.  It was as quiet as our memories of the exam hall, only more companionable.


After a break for a well-earned lunch and cuppa, we re-joined Viki as she explained how to assemble and stitch our cover and pages together, with suggestions about what we might put in our finished book.  She’d prepared a handy leaflet to take away, to remind us of the basics and including details of suppliers.


By the end of the afternoon, our books were beginning to take shape, some nearly finished while others needing a little more work to complete them at home.  When we displayed the journals together, we all commented on how varied they were in colour and style, taking notes of ideas from other people’s work that we hadn’t thought of ourselves. 


Everyone agreed how enjoyable it was to return to in-person workshops, spending a day in congenial company and learning new techniques we will use again for our own private journals.  Thanks to Viki for sharing her expertise – showing that good may come even from what seemed to be a creative cul de sac.

Words © Liz Wilmott/CETG 2023

Photos © Liz Smith /CETG 2023



















Vikis example books_sm.jpg
Rosemary sewing_sm.jpg
Everybodies books_sm.jpg

Stitching in progress

The finished journals

Viki's sample journals

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