Yesterday I attended a bookbinding workshop. How hard could it be? Sounded easy. NOT, very I found out. Especially when we had to cover all those prongs. Aaauugh!
This workshop was a lot harder than the little blurb describing it let on.
It was mainly that there were a lot of steps. If you love fidddling, then this is the workshop for you.
Other than that, the workspace was great. It was in a gallery, (la de da).I liked working in a large space with all kinds of inspiration surrounding me. The area was Gastown, so there's lots of great cafes for after.
Okay, so more about the workshop itself. Suzan, our capable teacher had already folded signatures for us. She also upcycled some colourful hanging folders for the covers. When cut out they look kind of like , little kid versions of jellyfish.
Basically I had to make a corresponding jellyfish. Then fit the 2 pieces together like when you're clasping your hands together. That is represented by the wine coloured paper.
Just like the old saying, "it was well worth it in the end."
It was a really good workshop and well taught. Suzan Lee was a great and ever patient teacher even staying on to help us finish up our books. The environment was wonderful. Our hosts gave us snackies and coffee. I was really happy with how my book turned out.
Now onto the next workshop. 'A Venetian Portfolio'. Can't wait.
3 things bloggers do before writing a tutorial
Getting ready to do this bog post and realizing all the things I do before a blog post.
1 - Wash tools
Yes, I wash my tools, even my cutter. If a family member passes by when washing your cutter casually say, "Doesn't everyone wash their paper cutters?" That way you can deflect any thoughts that they may have of you being OCD.
2 - I don't do this but I see a lot of nice manicures on Blog TUTS.
3 - Taking and editing LOTS of photos.
This tutorial will show you how to assemble a Traditional Japanese Stab Stitch book and point out the parts of the book that makes it traditional.
I will NOT show you stitches as there is a dearth of info out there. However I've added some useful video and blog links.
This tut will give you a 5¼" x 4" book with 80 pages (counting front and back of leaves like a book with page numbers).
3 things to remember
- the bull dog clip is your best friend
- it's all about the measuring
- make a practice stitch first
THE INSIDE PAGES
I start with 10 pages of printer size paper 8½" x 11.
I use a 32 lb paper. This paper has a really nice pen feel to it.
Cut the paper in half, then cut in half again. You get 4 pages out of 1 sheet.
Stack them up. You now have your inside papers.
TYING THE KOZO
Cut a strip of Kozo about ½" wide. Now twist it until it forms a string. This step always reminds me of being bored at school. Thread the string through the holes. I always start at the smallest hole. When threaded it should look like the photo below.
Then tie the Kozo in a reef knot. Remember Brownies. If you don't then tie the right over left and left over right.
If you don't have any Kozo use waxed linen or hemp, whatever you're using for the stitching.
Now your pages are secure and won't move during stitching. Leave the clips on for now.
I put the knot end under some cardboard and give the knot a couple of taps to flatten it and push the paper from the hole in.
NEXT COME THE SQUARES - An Origami moment
Cut 1" cloth squares. fold each square twice so the indents make a cross. Halfway along one indent put i bit of glue. I took pictures of each step to make it easier to follow along.
ADDING THE COVERS
The best paper for covers is a supple, handmade paper like Lotka paper or Choigami.
Cut the cover the same HEIGHT as the book but twice (2x) the LENGTH. See photo below.
The cover is folded in half. This is the traditional cover for a Stab Stitch book.
The rough ends go right to the edge of the spine. This gives the traditional look to the book. This is where it all comes together. It separates the regular from the authentic. Your book spine will look like this.
Once the cover is on you may be itching to trim it. Don't do it. Wait until the book is done, then trim it.
If your cover papers are without a design you can go ahead and stitch. Or you may want to make sure all your hard work stitching shows up so you can add a leather strip down the spine edge like the green book on top of the previous photo. Or stitch on top of the pattern. It's your own choice.
I GLUE THE COVERS - OPTIONAL
t just works better for me.
Line up the loose ends of the covers. Put a drop of glue on each cloth corner and press it down until it doesn't move. Then on the inside of the cover do the same. I found everything stays put easier.
NOTE: Lotka paper has the same color of paper on the front and back. So I cut a strip of paper and glue it on the book to create a seamless space for my stitching. Use a strip for each of the front and back covers.
NOTE: Always be mindful that the back of the book shows all the stitching. If you mess up on the back but not the front, then take it out. That mess has nowhere to hide.
Move the bulldog clips to hold the punching pattern. After punching, hold the book up to the light to make certain the punched holes go all the way through. The holes should be a bit roomy as the thread will go through the same hole 2 or 3 times.
THE SEWING - WHAT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR
The thread should be 6 time the height of the book.
For example if your book is 4" high your thread will be 24" long.
TIP: Keep your thread in the place it's meant to go. See the above sketch. If the thread crosses over like in the second pic, then it WILL show up and make your sewing look crooked. Like I say, "No where to hide".
ANOTHER TIP: Keep your tension even and adjust the stitching as you go. If one of your stitches is leaning you can't go back later and straighten it, then pull that that straightened stitch tight. It will always be a problem.
I'm not going to demo the stitching because there are already tons of videos on it. I will send you off to check out these great resources.
Here's a link to Becca's blog. She is the queen of Japanese stitching. This post offers some more thoughts on the stitching and a basic stitch you can make a template with.
BeccaMaking Faces different stitches
Rose Newton has a video on the Tortoise Shell stitch
Sea Lemon video on basic stab stitch
Paul at iBookbinding has a wealth of tutorials on Japanese binding.
Leave a comment below to ask a question or showcase your book.
Here we go again. On May 15th I will close my Etsy shop for good. You know how when you break up with someone and then get back together.
I quit Etsy before.Then went back to my rankerous, dysfunctional relationship with them. I'm so done with them.
Etsy takes all my listings to populate their new supply site. Can I make them stop? No. That's just one of my beefs. Their total indifference towards sellers creates a neverending stream of abuses against sellers. It's the nature of the beast.
Time to move on.
All my books will be sold here after May 15.
I have moved everything else to Zibbet because my plan here doesn't include downloads. To get things like international shipping options and downloads is way too expensive. for me.
I'm looking to post more often on this blog. Most bloggers say that. But I am going to go outside of my policy to include posts that are not about bookbinding and occasionally add snippets of bookbinding info like the post below.
If you are a bookbinder and want to add a free link to your bookbinding site in my sidebar, then let me know. You can supply a clickable logo or pic link for me or just email with your URL.
Not be a Snob or Anything
Cut a strip of paper about 3½" wide. Cut a strip of Bristol Board, watercolour paper the length and width of your text block for your spine.
Glue the spine card down in the center paper. Then flip the entire paper with glued spine card over so the spine card is facing down.
Measure 8mm or 5/16" out from the side of the spine card on each side. That will be your groove. See photo below.
Make certain everything is square. You can line up using the lines on your cutting mat. Or you can align the bottom using a ruler and a triangle. There's a photo below of using this method to line up. Make certain the bottom is straight.
My continuing 6 year journey. into the world of bookbinding.
5 Different Styles Of Notebook
CBBAG Islands Course
Double Spine Notebook
Fixing A Bookbing Cradle
Making Book Cloth
Using Thin Papers For Covers