Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jan Van Fleet and I are teaching a six lesson course for the Canadian Embroiderer's Guild, London, Ontario during the fall session.  I will be using this blog as a venue to post the class information.  Each participant will be responsible for their own decoration of the fabric covers.  The lessons, themselves, focus on the actual preparation and binding of the fabric covered books.  Below, you will find the overview for the course.





Fabric Covered Books


This course will show you how to create five distinct book structures that you can use for journals, sketch books, purse sized to-do lists, and finally, a bound set of class notes.
 Materials you will want to gather from your stash:
  • A selection of fabrics for book covers and for your design work and embellishments
    • Stiff denim can be used in fused layers for your cover
    • Cotton duck or canvas can be used as a cover material or as “fabric pages”
    • Cottons can be used for covers and as applique embellishments
    • Laces, doilies, and scraps for decorative purposes
    • Your personal favourites for decorative work
    • Book 5 will need fabric tapes to attach the cover
      • Examples: heavyweight fabric, upholstery fabric, leather scraps, layers of then fabric fused together or sewn together to provide firm support, grosgrain ribbon, velvet ribbon
  • A selection of threads or fibres to:
    • Embroider or embellish your cover fabric
    • Use as a binding thread when sewing your book together
      • Examples: perle cotton, fine crochet thread, heavy top stitching thread, embroidery floss, waxed linen thread (some will be available in your kit for Book 4)
  • Embellishments:
    • Beads, button, fibres, appliques, charms, embroidery, ribbon and trim
  •  Parchment paper for ironing your fabric and Wonder-Under fusible web.

  •  Paper:
    • Copy paper can be used folded into 5 ½ “ x 8 ½ “ booklets or cut down into two 4 ¼ “ x 5 ½ “ booklets (these smaller booklets will have the grain of the paper running in the correct direction – parallel to the spine of the book)
    • Decorative papers: scrapbook paper, mulberry paper, handmade paper
    • Card stock
    • Watercolour paper
    • Drawing weight paper
    • Mixed media paper
    • Combinations of the above
  • Cover boards can be made from a variety of materials:
    • Flexi-firm (some will be provided)
    • Peltex (some will be provided)
    • Layers of stiff fabric fused together
    • Stiff cardboard or pages from a children’s board book
    • Artist canvas boards (from the Dollar store)
  • Adhesives to adhere fabric to cover boards
    • Wonder-Under fusible web can be ironed to the wrong side of fabric and then ironed to cover board material.
    • Misty fuse
    • Aileen’s Fabric Glue
    • Aileen’s Tacky Glue
    • Welbond adhesive
    • Elmer’s glue stick (large size)
  • Closures for books:
    • Clasps, buckles, ribbons, inexpensive elastic hair bands (think Dollar store)
  • Tools:
    • Something to make folds - a bone folder, side of a pair of scissors, bowl of a spoon
    • Cutting tools: scissors, exacto knife or utility knife for cutting cover board or pages, rotary cutter for fabric
    • Cutting mat for fabric and paper cutting
    • Hole punching tools: awl (or tapestry needle in a cork, paper piercer, large push pin) to make holes in page signatures; Japanese screw punch (or Crop-a-dile, eyelet setter) to make larger holes in cover for Coptic book
    • Binder clips to hold pages of signature together for punching holes and sewing
    • Punching cradle - a phone book makes an excellent cradle
    • Weights - wrapped brick, fabric bag of rice, heavy books – to press signatures and reduce swell of spine
    • Iron - should be available on site
    • Needles - bookbinder’s needle or tapestry needle for sewing signatures, embroidery needles for embellishments, circular needle for sewing Coptic book
    • Sewing machine - if desired for home use in preparing cover fabric or sewing satin stitch or decorative edging for fabric cover


General Rules of Thumb

1. 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. For example: a booklet with 5 ½ x 8 ½” pages with a 1” spine would require flexi-firm or peltex that is 8 ¾ “ tall and 12 ¼ “ wide (5 ½ + 5 ½ + ¼ + 1)
2. The fabric for the exterior of the cover should be ¾ “ wider and taller than the cover dimensions so that it may comfortably wrap around to the interior side.
3. The fabric or paper for the interior of the cover should be ¼ “ smaller than the cover dimensions. This will leave a small margin around the interior cover so that the edges of the endpapers or fabrics will not receive wear and tear through use.
4. If you are using satin stitch or a decorative edging for your cover, both the flexi-firm and the interior and exterior fabrics will be the same size – ¼ “ wider and taller than the measurement of your pages and the spine width.

Book Structures: 

Sept. 26   Class 1:    Pamphlet binding – 3 or 5 hole, one signature
Oct. 10    Class 2:    Stab binding – standard stitch, single pages
Oct. 24    Class 3:     Long Stitch binding – fold over cover with closure, long stitch on  spine
Nov. 14    Class 4:    Coptic Stitch binding – kettle stitch, multi-signature book of  printed class notes
Nov. 28    Class 5:    Sewing Over Tapes exposed binding – French stitch,  multi-signature book
Dec. 12     Class 6:    Show and Tell – time to finish up projects and show final results

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