Needle and ThREAD

Bold VS Shy Bookmarks

There is a form vs function issue with bookmarks that I’d like to discuss. The primary purpose of a bookmark is to mark one’s place in a book. A bookmark without that purpose is what–a paperweight? A tongue depressor? A hat? Bookmarks need to serve their purpose, first and foremost. (Don’t we all?)

However, as Dena pointed out, bookmarks are also beautiful, funny, touching, heirlooms. Stitchers are spending precious time embroidering gorgeous bookmarks to give away during the Bookmark Challenge. Part of the purpose is to celebrate and introduce readers to needlework. Wouldn’t it be more effective if the needlework was actually visible?

Personally, I hate to see gorgeous bookmarks hidden away inside books, but how do we allow a bookmark to function while simultaneously showing off its form?

Answer: bookmark forms and ribbon.

bookmark-ri-150.jpgThere are a variety of bookmark forms available. I use shepherd’s hooks. The curved metal hook attaches to just about any bookmark with a split ring. The hook marks your place in the book and the embroidery hangs outside, visible and inviting. The hooks can be used on the ready-made fabric bookmarks, too. When you want to stuff your book in a backpack, simply tuck the needlework inside the front book cover.

ribbon-bookmark.jpgRibbons can work like the hooks, attaching to bookmarks with a split ring, threading through a hole, or being stitched along an edge. When I thread a ribbon through a fabric bookmark, I stitch an eyelet to open and reinforce the hole through which the ribbon passes. Applying a grommet would be another way to create a hole through fabric.

I recently acquired this bookmark from my critique partner, Linda K. Stanek.
It’s a very special bookmark. I want to use it, but I don’t want to hide it inside a book.

Now it looks like this.


Suddenly bookshelves are bookmark displays!

Categories: Needle and ThREAD

3 replies »

  1. You are so right! The truth is, any scrap of paper can hold one’s place in a book, and has for us all, I’m sure. But we like attractive bookmarks, we enjoy them, we craft them, give them, remember books and events with them and I love the idea of having them show. A bookmark I have of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gague Railroad once started a great conversation on a plane- my seatmate had also ridden it and was readin a book on the San Juan Mountains. We would probably not have said a word to each other the whole trip if not for that bookmark.