I got this pattern at my local sewing center. At the time I got it, I was very new to ME, and I am glad I waited a year to tackle it. I'm sure I would have been very frustrated as a beginner to figure out all the little details that make a big project like this a success. I felt like I learned a lot about proper hooping with this project. I really learned to use my little grid thing that came with the hoop to help me get the fabric where it needed to be to allow for stitching on grain, and to allow for enough overage on each side to be able to sew the project together. Also, because each page is so heavy with stitches (over 25,000 per page), I floated an extra piece of stabilizer behind each page.
These two books ate up a LOT of thread. I went through 9 complete pre-wound bobbins. Lucky for me, my sewing center had a give-away for one day only the day after Thanksgiving. I happened to go in there and got to choose a pack of 12 pre-wound bobbins in any color and I took the black with this project in mind. They also had a recent coupon for 2 free spools of Floriani thread. In checking out what I already owned, I realized I lacked a bright blue and bright yellow, so those are the 2 I got so I could complete this book.
Each page took over an hour to stitch out and that is without thread changes! I had the machine going all day for a week, doing about 4 pages a day. Cutting out pieces, batting, stabilizer, and prepping each page was tedious, but the end result is worth it. The pattern came with 2 sets of 3-D glasses, so I made one for each grandchild. I doubt the kids will want to put the glasses on, but when you do the effect is amazing! The neon colors really pop and do appear to be on different planes in each picture. It looks as though one could reach a finger in behind them and pull them out.
I bought the blue fabric for the covers at IKEA. It is a little heavier than regular cotton. The black is just plain black cotton purchased on sale at Hancocks. The colorful fat quarters used on the handles, spines, and back cover came from Gathering Fabrics. That dot print just happened to work perfectly with the dots (bubbles) on each of the pages of the book. The zig-zag trim is just random bits from my stash. Lucky that I had colors that worked.
Assembling the book was quite easy. Really that part only took about an hour! It was a challenge to zig-zag stitch the spine cover over all the thicknesses, but I discovered my sewing machine has a feature where you can reset the presser foot to handle super thick loads like this. In some of the Brother machines this is automatic (Automatic Height Adjustment, or AHA). Mine is not TOL, so I have to do it manually, but it takes only about 2 seconds and it really works! One more reason that I LOVE MY BROTHER!
Each book took about 15 hours to make. That is with cutting, ironing, fusing, seaming, and the embroidery. I'm really happy with how these turned out and so excited for the kids to have them.