Anyone who has been following the story of grandchild Kate's swimming endeavours to raise funds for a life-saving defibrillator - by swimming the equivalent of the width of the English Channel (22 miles) - will appreciate why I wanted to make her a special folder in which to stick and hold all her goodwill messages of encouragement.
I took a thick piece of furnishing fabric and fused onto it a sheer cover fabric, and similar on the reverse. Both fabrics were cut from chiffon shirts I bought for next to nothing at the charity shop. The cover, to me at least, represented the ripples and reflections on the water as Kate swam - 352 lengths per session. The inside, cut from the shirt I coveted but which would have looked far too silly on a grandma, had the same colours as her pretty swimsuit. I used a portion from the sleeve as it already had lace and ribbon attached, so no extra embellishment was needed. I extended the cover so that it could be folded over to make a pocket - to hold all the letters she had received.
And then, I punched the cover and paper pages to bind into the book. On the first page I fused a printed map showing the cross-channel route Kate would have swum, had she been swimming the Channel for real. There were two graph-paper pages, onto which she could write the times of all four swimming sessions. The other pages were blank ready for adding the post-it note messages written at the pool side by those who came to watch her as she swam.
With her name machine-stitched on the cover (barely discernible, just as modest as the child who swam), I hoped this would be a memento and record of her self-imposed fund-raising challenge to help others. If you want to read more, click here on my other blog to see the final episode, written whilst she completed the last leg of her epic swim.
These folders - I made something similar for the birthday of Kate's sister last week (see the last post) - are really easy to make, with or without the pocket. The combination of fused fabric on each side of a stiffer textile base creates a flexible but suede-like feel, and each folder created can be personalised to the recipient and occasion for which it is made.