Thursday, 12 January 2012

Wednesday Worktable - on Thursday (again!) - 12th January 2012

On my table this morning...

This post is a day late, but it's what I have been working on for the past day-and-a-half (had to go out this afternoon).  The photo above shows the situation first thing this morning, with bits of a Wedding Guest Book scattered around, in various stages of construction:
Pages ready for binding - I did these on Tuesday; hand-torn and cut, arranged in sets of two folded sheets (ie. 4 pages per signature), with hand-punched and folded spacers, then the holes pierced on the fold, for a Coptic binding.
The boards were covered with hand-lined white, dupion silk bookcloth
This lovely bookbinding leather (suede leather) was chosen for the edge trims of the covers.  I was a bit worried that it might stretch when I began to work with it, so I lined it with fine paper, as I do with the fabrics, to stabilise it and prevent any colour-bleed into the white silk underneath (it is "real" bookbinding leather, so I'm sure it wouldn't bleed any colour, but this is a special book and I wanted to be 100% sure of it!).  
I attached the suede leather to the bound edges of the covers. 
I first pre-punched the binding holes - I don't want to punch through the leather and make huge holes; I'll pierce the holes with a small awl, to the thickness of the binding needle/threads, but these small punched holes allow a little bit of leeway for the binding, without being so large that the binding will be loose.   
I have lined the insides of the covers with this lovely, soft mauvey-purple art paper (this is Canson paper, for media such as soft pastel, charcoal, coloured pencils, crayon, chalk etc, but it's also a great paper for bookbinding, with a slight texture, a good range of colours, a good weight and also being acid-free, which is important with books that need to last a long time).  
This is the finished back cover.  I added a satin ribbon trim, at the edge of the leather, for a nice contrast and to avoid a sharp "edge" or step between the leather and the silk.   
I have part-made a tassel, using threads of the white silk that covers the book-boards and tied with a piece of Madeira silk.  I'm not certain if this tassel will be used - I need to approve it with the customer first, but I think she will like it; it will be attached by a loop of the purple silk thread, to the top stitch of the cover. 

The thread on the two cards is a lovely waxed linen, in a grape-purple colour.  In daylight, it almost exactly matches the leather - which is a lucky coincidence! It will look great when stitched, as there will be six rows of great little chain stitches down the spine-edge of the book, with a fabulous contrast between the white paper and purple thread. 

The covers and pages are all under pressing boards just now, so the pages are nice and flat for binding and the covers have dried and flattened.   I hope to stitch the binding tomorrow - watch this space! 


  1. Love the punched edges of the page spacers! PRETTY!

  2. Such very beautiful and careful work, Lizzie - I am sure she will be delighted, and it will be treasured. Just think of all the hands which will touch it, and the many, many years it will survive ... :).

  3. Looks beautiful already Lizzie, and I agree, the contrast of purple chain-like stitch against the white will look beautiful

  4. How wonderful to have crafted something that will become part of someone's family history.

  5. This is going to be beautiful Lizzie
    Alison xx

  6. Love the scalloped edge trim on this!

  7. ooh i love those pretty punched edges too and have been asked to make a special hen weekend memory book for the lil sis's friend. might be phoning for expert tips,
    jo xxxx

  8. The contrasts of texture and colour with the leather and silk are beautiful! This will make a wonderful keepsake full of special memories!

  9. What a beauty - I am full of admiration.


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