a tutorial of limited use....
My friend John Dobbin who is the superintendent at my synagogue, was kind enough to make the wooden top for this mantle. I was blown away by the care he took in making it. When we examined the Torah scrolls in the ark, we began discussing construction methods. he asked about the braid and then suggested to me that if I constructed the mantle "like a bag" then I wouldn't need to do the hand stitching.
This is the lovely Torah mantle top that John made for me.
Fusing the fleece to the wood, using a cotton napkin as a press cloth. This way I end up with both a fused mantle top and an ironed napkin. I had purchased this fleece for use in a different project. it was too thin for my needs. Rather than stopping my work to go downtown to buy thicker fleece, I used two layers, fusing the second layer to the first.
The underside of the mantle top with two layers of fleece fused to it. You can see that the edges are also covered by the fleece. you can see the Sharpee marks. but since this fleece covered form will be covered in dark blue velvet, there is no need to worry about the pink marks showing through.
A Torah mantle top, neatly covered in fleece. Hurray!!!