McColl Family Bible: A Project

There are so many things you can do in embroidery, and thinking out of the box is one of the best ideas.  I always try and think outside the box and come up with something interesting to work with, a new idea and a new platform.

I recently came into possession of an old, old family bible.  The date that it was printed was in 1898.  Wow.  Its very old, quite delicate but absolutely fascinating.  Sadly the binding of the book needs to be redone, but what can you expect for a book that is 118 years old?  The cover of the book fell off when I touched it, and the whole book is huge and heavier than I thought it would be.  The front and back covers are really really thick, and you can see by the picture below, the front cover has worn off in a delightful pattern!

Ok, so what can I do with this book?  It took me a few minutes of looking through the book when I found the jackpot!  there are a few pages for recording the family’s events, and in this case, the McColls did just that!  I was super surprised to find some entries.  There is even a marriage certificate in there from 1920.  These are the pages that I am going to have fun with and create something original and interesting to add to my embroidery wall of fame.


If you take a good look at at the picture you can see some beautiful scroll work and design for the outer edge of the marriage certificate.  Sadly there is no date on this certificate, but they William and Beatrice were married around 1898 or so – I will take a few moments at some point to learn the actual date and add it into the finished embroidery, maybe at the bottom right or left side.

Other than the cool border to this document, there is writing – some that is printed with the form in a calligraphy font, and some that is handwritten too.  I think for the handwritten parts, Wilcom Hatch’s freehand tool will be able to do the job!  Its actually going to make it much easier to copy the writing style with the freehand tool – it might take a couple of tries at first, but I think I can do it quickly and easily, and I am going to say that thanks to Hatch, the result is going to be amazing.

The other part that I am going to love working on are the fancy letters for H in Holy and the M for matrimony.  Wow – look at the scrolls and swirls and details on those letters!  I love typography, and these look incredible.  I can’t wait to see them in stitches.  Once i get the hang of it, I am going to consider making an entire alpha bet with this style – I can see quilt blocks or fancy subway art with this style!!  The first one that I can imagine would be LOVE, with an original scroll L and smaller calligraphy letters.

This is Part 1 of my new project, the McColl Family bible.  I am going to be working on this design for a long time, so I will blog updates.

If any of you are working on a history based book or document, let me know what you guys are working on – I would be super interested to see.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my outside of the box embroidery work!


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