Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bookbinding Workshop Day

Yesterday I taught my first ever Bookbinding workshop.  The two sock-pet workshops I taught before, were for children, but this was a course at my local sewing & patchwork shop, for adults.

I spent much of this week getting my stuff together, making notes, preparing paper-packs for the students and making some "props" for teaching (such as a "paper sizes" chart, samples of different papers and cards for students to see/feel,  books at different stages of binding, so I could demonstrate techniques etc).

I didn't think I was nervous, but I must have been, because I couldn't sleep properly for several nights and was so jumpy and tired.  That didn't help my preparations much and I managed to forget a couple of things yesterday - my crop-a-dile hole punch and a pile of book-binding books - and make a few errors too (though the students said they liked to see how I put right my mistakes, so they knew what to do when they made them!!).  Nothing major though and it all went pretty smoothly on the whole.

I had five students in total and it was a nice, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  I'm quite glad I didn't have a lot of students to start off with, although it did reduce my course fee and the possible sales for the shop too (obviously they hope the students will buy some of their equipment/supplies from the shop, or there isn't much point in hosting a course, especially as they passed on most of the course fees to me).  I hope they felt it was worthwhile and will let me tutor there again.   The students all said they had had a nice time and enjoyed themselves. 

We made two kinds of books:

6"x4" notebooks, with fabric covers
8"x6" sketchbooks/journals, with soft covers made of fabric, stiffened with card and lined with art paper.

These are what my clever students made:

Pair of 6"x4" notebooks and 8"x6" notebook, made by Bridget
Matching notebook and sketchbook, made by Linda

Notebook and sketchbook, made by Nicolette

Matching London notebook and sketchbook, made by (Mr) Sam
Notebook and sketchbook, made by Sarah

We spent a fair bit of time on the basic techniques for making bookcloth and dealing with paper-grain, folding, cutting etc. in order to make the first notebook.  I was a bit worried that we wouldn't have time to finish the stab-stitch binding on the sketchbooks, but everyone got to a point that they were happy with and the books all looked great.  I was quite proud of them all!

I think it was a success, on the whole and I'm thinking hard about what to offer for the "follow-up" (which they seemed to expect)! 

I was at Scrap Club today.  It was nice to go and chat, relax and just do my own projects for a bit. The last few weeks have been so hectic.  I was working on "teacher presents" and cards, as well as completing a scrap page - which I will post soon.

Off to bed now, after a successful weekend! :-)


  1. im so glad it went well :) xxxxxx

  2. so pleased it went well. my first lesson as a teacher was a bit hairy but i managed to fool my students i knew what i was talking about. i did so well, luke even got his nursing qualifications so i must have taught him something helpful,
    jo xxxx

  3. I'm so impressed you could teach that all in one class. Great job!

  4. Beautiful books! Would love to live nearby so that I could have joined in!

  5. So glad the workshop was a success:) The students produced some great work in a fairly short time. That was a lot to pack in!

  6. Well done Lizzie...I know how hard it is, all the preparation and thinking is huge. But the lessons you will have learned will be so useful and it won't be half so much work next time. And then one day you'll not have to think about what you will teach at all, it will just be water off a duck's back.
    The first time is always the worst and you have to be brave to take the plunge.
    So hurrah, you did it and all their work looks amazing.
    I expect they were all proud of themselves too

  7. Thanks everyone, for such supportive and nice comments! I do feel that it went well - and that I did quite well too. It's a nice feeling!
    I hope the students were pleased with the results of their hard work (and I did make them work hard - they got their money's worth!). I felt quite proud of them all.

  8. Well done Lizzie and what beautiful books.

  9. Hi Lizzie, I'm having a catch up today! Well done to your very own Master Chef, it's obvious you have passed on a bit of an artistic touch!

    I'm delighted that the class went so well and I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to do for part two - you managed to pack a lot into part one!

  10. i wish i could learn from you!

  11. Glad your class went well Lizzie.... you are obviously a very good teacher, as your students produced fantastic projects!
    Alison xx


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