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
 

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Once again we ran out of time just when we got to the stitching part.  I hope the stitching instructions that we sent home with you are clear enough.  Please email if you have questions.

Here is a link to a 5 minute video showing the stitching for a 4 hole stab binding.  I know our books have 3 holes but the visual demonstration of the stitching may help you understand the stitching directions more clearly.  I know that I like to see a demonstration.

Stitching demo


For Class 3 you want to bring your decorated cover to the class.  In your kit, you have the long piece of flexi-firm that needs to be covered.  It has been cut to the correct size for this book.  You can either wrap the edges as we did on the pamphlet and stab bound books or use a decorative stitch to overcast the edges  -- see General Rules of Thumb in the Overview.

You will be using 8 1/2 x 11" paper for the signatures.  You will need about 20-25 sheets of paper.  Remember to bring your bone folder or something similar to use on the signatures.  You will be making five signatures with 4 -5 pieces of paper in each.  If you want, you can add a piece of decorative paper to the outside of each signature.

Think about the type of closure that you want on your book.  The flap will not stay closed without one. 
  • It can be a button and loop closure -- in which case you will want to sew the loop onto your fabric before fusing it to the cover.
  • It can be a clasp closure -- you can find two part clasps at Fabricland
  • It can be a buckle and strap closure  -- you will want to make sure that you sew the strap to your fabric before fusing.
  • It can be a buttonhole closure -- this is done after the fabric is fused.
  • It can be an elastic headband from the dollar store attached with a button
  • IT'S YOUR CHOICE
If you want to add beads to your stitching on the spine, make sure the hole in the bead is large enough to accommodate the needle you will be using to sew the signatures together.

You may want to bring a weight, e.g. the bag of rice or glass beads that Jan mentioned, paperweight, something to hold your signatures still while you are sewing.

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


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