Thursday, December 12, 2013

I just wanted to take a moment, on behalf of Jan and myself, to thank you all for your participation in Fabric Covered Books.  Your creativity, ingenuity and enthusiasm made the class a wonderful experience for the both of us.  You were a teacher's delight and I speak from experience.

I mentioned some worthwhile bookbinding videos on you tube and I'd like to post the links for quick reference.  Sea Lemon has an excellent series of DIY bookbinding tutorials that I'm sure you'll find useful.  You'll find her channel here:  Sea Lemon

For those of you who'd like to learn more about bookbinding, Sage Reynolds, a professional binder, has a wonderful series of tutorials.  You'll find his work here:  Sage Reynolds

Have a safe and happy holiday.  Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Last Day

It's our last class together and a chance to finish up any outstanding books.  Bring your favourite completed items for show and tell.  Also bring any books that you need to finish up or want some help to complete.

We'll also take some time to discuss problem areas --- covering the corner of your boards comes to mind --- and see if we can develop some alternate strategies.

Tools needed for the last class:  whatever you need to complete your projects.  Jan will be bringing her selection of waxed linen thread so if you ran short, you'll be able to pick some up.

Don't forget that it's the Christmas Pot Luck lunch!

Jan and I are looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Making Fabric Books


Class 5  Sewing Over Tapes  - Exposed Spine Binding

Paper Preparation

1.      Determine the size of the paper you plan to use.  i.e. 8 ½ x 11”  or 8 ½ x 5 ½ “ (standard sheet cut in half)  or custom size.
2.      Determine the number of pages in the signature.
3.      Ideally, the grain should run parallel to the spine of the book.
4.      Fold the paper in half.
5.      Nest the papers inside each other and align the folds.
6.      Create the desired number of signatures.

 
Punching Holes in Signatures

1.      Open your phonebook to the middle to use as your cradle.
2.      Place the first signature, opened to the middle, into the fold of the phone book.
3.      Make a stitching template, using a 2” wide strip of paper that is the same height as your paper.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and mark the stitching holes on the inside of the fold line.

a.       To measure for the stitching holes, lay your tapes across the template with one tape lying at the middle and the other two tapes evenly spaced above and below the first tape.
b.      From the top of the template, mark a hole at least ½ “ from the top.  Mark the next holes just above the top tape and just below it.
c.       Mark holes above and below the middle tape.
d.      Mark holes above and below the bottom tape.
e.       Mark the final stitch hole at least ½ “ from the bottom of the template.

 


4.      Place the template into the centre fold of your pages in the cradle.  Align the edges carefully.
5.      Use your awl or piercing tool to punch the holes indicated on the stitching template.  Hold your piercing tool perpendicular to the paper to make sure the holes go through the folds of the signature.
6.      Repeat for all signatures.  Use an arrow or letter H to mark the top or head of the signatures.  This will make sure that the holes on the signatures line up when you begin to sew.


Cover Preparation

1.      This book has an open spine so you will be making a separate front and back cover.
2.      Determine the dimensions of your front and back covers.  Your covers will be ¼ “ taller and about 1/8 “ wider than the pages.  The covers will align, on the left, with the folds of the signatures.
3.      Determine the number and width and length of your tapes.  The example uses three tapes approximately 1” wide.  The length is 2” + 2” + the width of the spine  (measure the spine width of the stack of folded signatures).
4.      Decide how you will edge your cover.  i.e. wrapped edges or decorative stitching on the edges.  This will determine the dimensions of your fabric.  Refer to the General Rules of Thumb in the overview section to determine the measurements of your fabric.
5.      Decorate the cover as you wish.  Keep embellishments away from the area that will be covered by the tapes.

 
Stitching the Signatures

1.      Determine the thread length needed by measuring the height of the book once for each signature and once for the kettle stitches between each signature and tying off the ends.
2.      Use binder clips to hold the pages of the signature together for sewing.
3.      Enter the top hole from the outside and leave a 3” tail of thread.
4.      From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, lay the thread over the first tape and enter the hole on the other side of the tape.
5.      From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, lay the thread over the middle tape and enter the hole on the other side of this tape.
6.      From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, lay the thread over the third tape and enter the hole on the other side of this tape.
7.      From the inside of the signature, exit the last hole in the signature.












8.      Align the second signature on top of the first.
9.      Enter the bottom hole of the second signature from the outside.
10.  From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, lay the thread over the third tape, slide your needle under the stitch laying on the tape at the first signature  and enter the hole on the other side of the tape at the second signature.  This will have connected the two stitches over the tape in an X shape.
11.  Repeat this step for the middle tape. From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, lay the thread over the middle tape, slide your needle under the stitch laying on the tape at the first signature  and enter the hole on the other side of the tape at the second signature.  This will have connected the two stitches over the tape in an X shape.
12.  Repeat this step for the top tape.
13.  Exit at the top hole of the second signature and tie a square knot with the 3” tail.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
14.  Align the third signature on top of the second.
15.  Enter the top hole of the third signature from the outside.
16.  From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, slide your needle under the top half of the X (above the point where the threads cross) from the second signature and enter the hole on the other side of the tape.
17.  Repeat this step for the middle tape.
18.  Repeat this step for the third tape.
19.  Exit at the bottom hole of the third signature.
20.  Make a kettle stitch between the second and third signatures at the bottom hole.

a.       A kettle stitch is a half hitch knot.
b.      Use your needle to go under the thread that attaches the first and second signatures together at the bottom hole.
c.       Don’t tighten the thread all the way at this point, but leave a loop.
d.      Cross over the thread and pull the needle through the loop.
e.       Pull the knot firmly and vertically to tighten without ripping your pages.

21.  Align the fourth signature to the third and enter the bottom hole of the fourth signature from the outside.
22.  From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, slide your needle under the bottom half of the X (below the point where the threads cross) from the third signature and enter the hole on the other side of the tape. 
23.  Repeat this step for the middle tape.
24.  Repeat this step for the top tape.
25.  When you exit the top hole of the fourth signature, make a kettle stitch between the third and fourth signatures.
26.  Align the fifth signature and enter the top hole from the outside.
27.  From the inside of the signature, go out the next hole, slide your needle under the top half of the X (above the point where the threads cross) from the fourth signature and enter the hole on the other side of the tape.
28.  Repeat this step for the middle and bottom tapes.
29.  Exit the fifth signature at the bottom hole.
30.  Repeat until you have sewn all your signatures.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
31.  When you have sewn the last signature, make your final kettle stitch and re-enter the final hole.  Make a square knot in the interior of the signature.  Trim the threads.


Attaching the Cover

Tapes may be attached to the cover by fusing with Wonder-Under, gluing with fabric glue (or another strong glue), or sewing.

1.      Fuse Wonder-Under to the underside of the extended part of the tapes.  Remove paper, align tapes on cover and fuse to cover. Repeat for other cover.
or
2.      Apply glue to the underside of the extended part of the tapes.  Align cover and press down tapes.  Apply weight to the tapes until dry.  Repeat for other cover.
or
3.      Sew tapes by hand or machine to the cover after pinning them in place.  Repeat for the other cover.         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Just a reminder of the things that you'll need for your next book:

  • Prepared covers using your favourite substrate - canvas, flexi-firm or mill board
  • Thread for sewing - perle cotton, waxed linen thread, fine crochet thread, fibres of your choice.
  • Tapes for sewing over - about 3/4 to 1" wide.  The length is your choice - you determine how much you want to show on the front and back covers.  The tape material should be sturdy so feel free to fuse layers together if you are using a soft fabric.  My sample book used pieces of leather 1" wide and 5" long.  I wanted about 2" inches showing on each cover.  Remember:  You can always make it shorter once you've finished sewing the signatures together.
  • At least 5 signatures for sewing -- the more you have the more attractive the stitching looks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Please bring the following to your next class:
  • your prepared covers -- use the two pieces of book board provided in your kit
  • your set of folded signatures -- you should have seven signatures of 4 pages each.
  • a weight to hold down your signatures while you work
  • a circular needle -- a straight one will do but a circular one can make life easier
  • your voucher for the waxed linen cord for sewing
  • a phone book or punching cradle and awl
  • your usual assortment of basic tools


Just a reminder:   If you are willing to allow your work to be put on display at the next meeting of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, please bring one or two of your books to the next class -- November 14th.  Don't forget to include your colophon with your name on the last page.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Fabric Covered Books

 

Class 4  Coptic Binding  - Class notes as signatures

Paper Preparation

1.      This has been done for you.  You will be given a set of class notes prepared in signature format.

 

Punching Holes in Signatures

1.      Mark the first page of each signature with an H (meaning "head") at the top to indicate the orientation of the signatures.
2.      Make a stitching template, using a 2" wide.strip of paper that is the same height as your paper.  Mark both sides of one end of the strip with and H to indicate the top.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and mark the stitching holes on the inside of the fold line.
 
Note: The number of holes and their placement is your choice but for the purpose of these instructions, we will use five holes spaced as shown.


 
   

·         From the top of the template, mark a hole at least   ½ “ from the top. 
·         Mark a hole in the centre.
·         Mark a hole between the top and centre holes.
·         Mark a hole the same distance below the centre hole.
·         Mark the final stitch hole at least ½ “ from the bottom of the template.

3.      Open your phone book to the middle to use as your punching cradle.
4.      Place the first signature, opened to the middle, into the fold of the phone book with the H at the top.
5.      Place the template into the centre fold of the signature.  Align the edges carefully
6.      Use your awl or piercing tool to punch the holes indicated on the stitching template.  Hold your piercing tool perpendicular to the paper to make sure the holes go through the folds of the signature.
7.      Repeat for all signatures. 
8.      Stack signatures, all with the H at the top, ensuring that the signatures are in the correct order. 
 

Cover Preparation

1.      This book has an open spine so you will be making a separate front and back cover.
2.      Determine the dimensions of your front and back covers.  Your covers will be ¼ “ taller and about 3/8 “ wider than the pages.  When finished the text block will be 1/8" from the top and bottom of the cover; 1/8" back from the cover edges at the spine; and 1/4" from the fore edge of the paper to the cover edge.
3.      Decide how you will edge your cover.  e.g. wrapped edges or decorative stitching on the edges.  This will determine the dimensions of your fabric.  Refer to the General Rules of Thumb in the overview section to determine the measurements of your fabric.
4.      Decorate the cover as you wish.  Keep embellishments away from the area ½ “ from the spine side of the cover.  You will be punching holes in that area
 

Punching Holes in the Cover

1.      Lightly mark the top of each cover (on the inside) with an "H".
2.      With the wrong side of the covers together, align the spine side of the front and back covers, ensuring that the "H" is at the top of both.
3.      Fold the stitching template along the punched holes and place it 1/8" from the spine edge.  Centre it between the top and bottom edges of the cover and secure with binder clips.
4.      Use your piercing tool to punch holes as marked on the template through the top cover and slightly into the bottom cover.  The puncture marks on the bottom cover will be your guides for punching that cover.
5.      Placing your pages on a foam pad or piece of corrugated cardboard will make the holes easier to punch.

 
Stitching the Signatures and Cover

1.      Calculating the length of thread needed for a Coptic book is an art form to be studied later.  For this sample book, we estimate that you will need 2.5 yards of waxed linen thread.
2.      Open the last signature.  Use binder clips to hold the back pages of the signature to the inside of the back cover.  Make sure the "H" of the signature and the cover are on the left side.  Place the punched holes of the signature next to the holes punched in the cover.
3.      Use a small weight to hold the pages in place while you sew and keep the signature open to facilitate stitching.
 




4.      Using a curved needle, enter the top hole (left side of the graphic) from inside signature and leave a 3” tail of thread.
5.      Wrap the thread around the edge of the cover and come up through the first hole from the bottom. 
6.      Loop around the thread that attaches the cover and signature together and re-enter the first hole in the signature.  Tie a square knot and trim the tail to 1/2"
7.      Exit the second hole in the signature, and repeat the step described in 6 above.
8.      Repeat step 7 for the remaining holes in the signature.
9.      When you reach the last hole in the signature, use a bone folder to smooth the stitched section.  Do not re-enter the same hole after you have looped your thread, but align the next signature and enter the bottom hole of the signature (at the right of the graphic).
 


 
 
 
 
10.  Exit the next hole in the second signature and loop thread around the stitch made between the cover and the first signature and re-enter the signature hole.
Tip:  When looping the thread around the stitch below, always point the needle "in the direction from whence you came".  In other words, when sewing from right to left, point the needle to the right when making the loop, when sewing from  left to right, point the needle to the left when making the loop.
11.  Repeat that step for each of the holes in the second signature.
12.  When you reach the top hole of the second signature do not re-enter the same hole but align the next signature and enter the top hole.
13.  When you exit the next hole in the signature make a kettle stitch around the stitch made between the first and second signatures at the bottom hole.

*  A kettle stitch is a half hitch knot.
*  Use your needle to go under the thread that attaches the first and second signatures together at the bottom hole.
*  Don’t tighten the thread all the way at this point, but leave a loop.
*  Cross over the thread and pull the needle through the loop.
*  Pull the knot firmly and vertically to tighten without ripping your pages.



14.  Align the next signature and repeat steps 12 and 13 for the remaining signature, except the final signature, always making the kettle stitch around the previous joining stitch.
15.  When you reach the last signature (the first section of your book) you are going to sew the signature and front cover at the same time.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16. Wrap your thread over the edge of the cover and enter the hole from the top.
17.  Loop around the thread that attaches the cover and the signature together.
18.   Make a kettle stitch around the stitch from the previous two signatures and enter first hole in the final signature.
19. Exit the next hole in the signature, make a kettle stitch around the stitch from the previous two signatures and then wrap thread over the edge of the cover and enter the cover hole from the top.
20. Loop around the stitch that you just made between the final signature and the cover and re-enter the signature hole.
21.  Repeat steps 19 and 20 until you reach the last hole in  the signature.
22.  When you repeat the steps for the last hole, you will tie a knot in the inside of the signature when you re-enter the last hole.  Trim the tail of the thread.
 
      Here is a link for a video tutorial of a Coptic Book binding.  The tutorial does not show the use of a circular needle but is pretty comprehensive.  Most of the tutorials made by Sea Lemon are quite good and I recommend checking out her work.

 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Fabric Covered Books

 

Class 3 Long Stitch Binding  -- fold over flap

 
Paper Preparation

1.      Determine the size of the paper you plan to use.  e.g. 8 ½ x 11” or 8 ½ x 5 ½ “ (standard sheet cut in half). 
2.      Determine the number of pages in the signature.
3.      Ideally, the grain should run parallel to the spine of the book.
4.      Fold the paper in half.
5.      Nest the papers inside each other and align the folds.
6.      Create the desired number of signatures.

 

Punching Holes in Signature

1.      Open your phone book to the middle to use as your punching cradle.
2.      Place the first signature, opened to the middle, into the fold of the phone book.
3.      Make a stitching template using a 2” strip of paper that is the same height as your pages.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and mark the stitching holes (4 in this case) on the inside of the fold line.   The top and bottom holes should be at least ½ “ from the edge of the paper.
4.      Place the template into the centre fold of your pages in the cradle.  Align edges carefully.
5.      Use your awl or piercing tool to punch the holes indicated on the stitching template.  Hold your piercing tool perpendicular to the paper to make sure the holes go through the folds of the signature.
6.      Repeat for all signatures. Use an arrow or the letter H to mark the top or head of the signatures.  This will make sure the holes on the signatures line up when you begin to sew.

note that paper strip is folded in half lengthwise and the holes are in the fold

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cover Preparation

1.      Determine the dimensions of your cover.  Remember the rule of thumb:  Your cover should be at least ¼” wider and taller than your pages -- be sure to add in the width of the spine for your final measurement.  Add additional length for your flap.
2.      Decide how you will edge your cover.  i.e.  wrapped edges or decorative stitching on the edges.  This will determine the dimensions of your fabric.  Refer back the General Rules of Thumb in the overview section to determine the measurements of your fabric.
3.      Decorate your cover as you wish.  Keep embellishments away from the spine area.  You will need space for stitching the signatures to the spine.
4.      Determine the closure that you would like for your book.  If you are going to use a button and loop, you will need to determine the placement of the loop or tie before you finish the edges of your cover.

                


 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Punching Holes in Cover

1.      Using a 2” strip of paper, the same height as your pages, make a template to indicate where the holes should be punched on the spine.  You will need one column of holes for each signature. The columns will be about 1/8" apart from each other.
2.      Find the spine area of your cover and centre the template between the top and bottom edges of the cover.
3.      Tape or clip the template into place.
4.      Place your cover on a cutting mat or piece of card board and use the awl to punch holes in the spine fabric.

 


             

 

Stitching the Signatures

1.      Determine the thread length needed by measuring the height of the book once for each signature and once for the loops between signatures and tying off of the ends.
2.      Use binder clips to hold pages of signature together for sewing.
3.      Line the first signature up with the holes punched into the spine of the cover.  Make sure the head of the signature is at the top of the cover.
4.      Enter the top hole from the outside and leave about a 3” tail.
5.      From the inside of the signature, go out the second hole (this will begin the long stitch).  You can add beads at this point, but make sure they will lie snugly along the spine between the second and third holes. 
6.      Enter the third hole from the outside of the cover.
7.      Enter the last hole from the inside of the signature.
8.      Place the next signature on top of the one just sewn and prepare to use the second column of holes punched into the spine.
9.      From the exterior of the spine, enter the bottom hole in the second signature.
10.  From inside the signature, go out the next hole (this is the long stitch).  Beads can be added at each long stitch if desired.
11.  From the exterior enter the next stitch.
12.  From the interior enter the top stitch.
13.  Use the tail from the first signature to tie a square knot.  The tail can be left long and beaded or trimmed.
14.  Line up the third signature.
15.  From the exterior enter the top hole of the third signature and continue to work your way in and out, down the spine.
16.  When exiting the bottom hole of the third signature, loop your needle under the thread that attaches the first and second signatures together.
17.  Line up the fourth signature and from the exterior, enter the bottom hole.
18.  Continue the stitches up to the head of the book. 
19.  When exiting the top hole of the fourth signature, loop your needle under the thread that attaches the second and third signatures together.
20.  Line up the fifth signature and enter the top hole from the exterior of the spine.
21.  Continue the stitches to the bottom of the book. 
22.  When you exit the final hole in signature five, loop your needle around the thread that attaches the third and fourth signature together. 
23.  Re-enter the last hole of the fifth signature and tie a square knot around the inside stitch.  Trim the tails.

 

 



 

 

 
Here is a link to some samples that I made a while back.  Samples
 

 

 

 

 

 


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