View Full Version : Floppy Bookmark Dilemma
09-11-2010, 11:00 PM
I've just finished another of Lene Bjorn's bookmark patterns. It's beautiful, but it is very floppy. When I hold it up, it folds in on itself.
I know that I can use diluted Elmer's glue, starch, or hairspray to stiffen it. But I am very concerned about how they will react to our extremely humid weather. I would hate for glue or starch to soften and stick the book's pages together.
Any suggestions for something that will stiffen it, but not soften in high humidity?
Here's the bookmark.
I've been looking at that book, listed on the back of her snowflakes book, and wondered about the patterns. If this is any indication, I'm going to have to break out the credit card again.
My suggestion for your problem is to do an experiment with some of your tat-bits; of course this is not the high humidity season, but others who live in areas that are consistently humid may have ideas. There's also a commercial product called Stiffy which you can dilute to the degree you might want. Stiffy will not wash out, so it complicates cleaning. Starch will wash out and means that you'll have to re-starch after washing.
10-11-2010, 12:28 AM
Plaid puts out a product called Petal Porcelain which when applied per directions will make your bookmark very stiff, no thicker than it is now and when it gets dirty it can be run under water and it will be ok. Petal Porcelain was formulated for the Florist industry for silk flower arrangements.
10-11-2010, 12:56 AM
I love it and the colors are awesome as well!!!!!!
10-11-2010, 01:04 AM
Thanks, Judy and Carol. I will look at both and get which ever one I can find first. I knew someone here would know.
Judy, the book is wonderful. I am so glad I got it!
Thanks, Betty Jo. The thread on the ball looked kind of muted and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. It REALLY surprised me--especially the way the 4 center rings ended up the same color!
10-11-2010, 01:31 AM
What is the name of the book and where can it be found?
10-11-2010, 02:13 AM
Wonderful pattern and colors. I love it.
10-11-2010, 02:45 AM
LindaJo, it is Tatted Bookmarks - cross shaped. It has the names Lene Bjorn and Forlaget Akacia on the cover, so maybe they are co-authors?
I got it online from Handy Hands Tatting.
Sunny, it's a bookmark, not a Christmas tree ornament nor a sun catcher. Why does it need to be stiff? It's going to live between the pages of books, not stand up and take a bow. Just my personal idiosyncrasy, but I never stiffen bookmarks.
10-11-2010, 07:30 AM
I can't help you, but i must say it is great cross!
10-11-2010, 07:53 AM
would the cause of this floppiness from threads? what can be the cause any one know?
10-11-2010, 08:05 AM
[QUOTE=Sunny_0ne;35265]LindaJo, it is Tatted Bookmarks - cross shaped. It has the names Lene Bjorn and Forlaget Akacia on the cover, so maybe they are co-authors?
Lene Bjorn is the designer, Akacia is the publisher and not a co-author.
10-11-2010, 11:17 AM
Found this information in a thread on Petal Porcelain - it's talking about using the product on silk flowers but it should translate to tatting - anyone want to give it a try?
There are a few things that are very important..
1. Be sure to dip the flowers completely so that everything part of it has been covered with the Petal Porcelain.
2. Be sure to strip off the excess PP...you won't remove too much.
3. After the flowers and ribbon has been arranged on your item and dried thoroughly (over night!) **THIS IS IMPORTANT** Spray the entire basket...at the very least, the flowers and ribbon...with the white or off-white spray..or at least a lighter neutral color.
4. THEN you go back over the flowers, leaves and ribbon with the appropriate painting and shading.
5. After the paint dries, then you use the clear coat to achieve the finish you want...glossy, satin, pearl, etc...
Many people fail to spray paint the flowers first...this step is crucial as it adds a depth that isn't otherwise there.
A lot of people make it much harder than it has to be. I am not artistic or crafty AT ALL, but I've been able to make some very pretty items and even do a good job at painting them....and believe me, I CAN'T paint!
10-11-2010, 11:39 AM
I think I'll go looking for some Petal Porcelain after school today. I'm willing to experiment!
10-11-2010, 01:48 PM
Lynn, I am happy to leave the other bookmarks I've made as they are. I don't like them stiffened either. But this one truly does collapse when you hold it up--it is very floppy.
I noticed that the other pattern I did out of the book did not do that. And I was looking at this one. I think if I take a needle and thread and join the middle of the rings at the inside corners that it will give it just enough added structural strength that it won't totally collapse. If not, I wouldn't be happy giving this one as a gift unless I can do something to help it maintain its shape.
Thanks, frakira. It is prettier than I expected it would be. :)
10-11-2010, 01:48 PM
post deleted due to replying to wrong person and using wrong name....
10-11-2010, 01:50 PM
Kersti, thanks for that info. Just noticed your post. I definitely don't want to use that on the bookmark!
10-11-2010, 01:55 PM
Lene Bjorn is the designer, Akacia is the publisher and not a co-author.
Thank you, dantatter! :)
10-11-2010, 04:42 PM
Kersti, I used Petal Porcelain on crochet when I made 100 baskets for Flower Girls for an order for a Florist Shop. They all worked out great! I never painted any of my peices though. Didn't see any need for it. The Petal Porcelain is a very faint pink color, but I didn't notice it changing the color of any of the work I have used it on as it soaks into your thread very nicely. It is very sticky though, so make sure you have everything you need right at hand when you work with it.
10-11-2010, 08:12 PM
I was just looking more closely at the cross itself. I believe some of the floppiness is due to large picots being used in the joins. It pays to know which picots will be in a join and which picots are decorative. To make a firm construction in this case, the picot at the halfway point of the rings needs to be just big enough to join to. That would stiffen up the whole framework of the piece.
When deciding what size to make a joining picot, I consider how many elements will join to it (in this case, just one). It takes a little thought up front to get what you want in the end. The decorative picots can be any size that you think suits the pattern. Most pattern directions are pretty hit or miss when defining the size of a picot. Typically they may distinguish between small and large (bigger than a bread box?), but what size thread are you using, how tightly do you tat?
I have come to understand that the best way to plan how large a picot is going to leave a length of working thread that is equal the width of some number of DS. 2 DS is usually a nice size joining picot, except that threads size 10 or larger may need a little more. The decorative picot that you worked (with a picot gauge?) look to be about the width of 5 or 6 picots.
The real point is to consider where the joins are and which picots to reduce to something that will make the join crisp.
10-11-2010, 09:23 PM
Patty, I really appreciate your thoughtful analysis of the problem. I had come to the conclusion that the problem was that those inside corners were too loose. I hadn't processed it far enough to connect the size of the picots. I did realize the pattern needed some reinforcement there. I do plan to try to match the thread color with sewing thread and join those two inner corner rings about a third or halfway up.
If I make this pattern in the future, I will make all the joining picots smaller, and I think I will add a very small picot to those inside corner rings so I can join them when I work the next ring.
It truly is a gorgeous pattern, so I probably will do it again.
Thanks again for taking the time to explain what was wrong. :)
10-11-2010, 09:52 PM
I use spray starch and a pressing cloth. It works pretty well. I live in a high humidity area. I guess it depends on how stiff you want it to remain.
Why dont you get some plastic sleeves to put your bookmarks into...far better than using other things to stiffen it..... the sleeves also are acid free and keep the bookmarks clean....you can get them from any lacemaker site....I use them myself and they are not expensive
11-11-2010, 12:15 AM
Thank you Joy for the sleeve information as I was just wondering where one might find those things. Thanks to Patty for the explaination of why it would flop. I will also watch my picot size too.
11-11-2010, 02:21 AM
I got it fixed! I took sewing thread and joined the two rings in the two upper corner circles. It holds the cross shape now when I hold it up.
And dsmiddy7, I did use spray starch and a pressing cloth on it after I sewed it. It is really nice now.
I am going to make others, but I will definitely make all my joining picots smaller--and add extra tiny joining picots on the inner corner rings.
11-11-2010, 06:08 PM
11-11-2010, 06:32 PM
I love the sleeves idea! Thanks for bringing that one up!
17-11-2010, 05:09 PM
Sunny - it's gorgeous!! I just love that variegate.
Thanks to everyone who offered help/tips/information here. It's great to have so much information for future reference!
(This is why I've been missing y'all so much!)