I had a small, but very enthusiastic group in the Long Stitch Workshop, which was re-scheduled to April 7th because, well, WINTER!
Part of the challenge of designing this course for me was deciding on a long stitch pattern that was easy for beginners, but not too simple! There are literally hundreds of exposed sewing patterns to pick from thanks to the astonishingly hard-working Keith A Smith. I wanted to focus on the long stitch and span stitch for these books, primarily. Other courses have touched on the various sewing methods - link stitch, kettle stitch, etc - but for this one I wanted to explore the decorative aspects of the simple line.
My models for the course - one a paper cover and one a hard cover with a cloth spine. I used a "rat-tail" rayon thread for the hard cover book which was delightfully variegated, so the long stitch with a pearl sewing pattern looked very fun. It's not a traditional thread of course, but I couldn't resist the colours. The solid colour paper is from the amazing St. Armand Mill in Montreal. Love the "Colours" line of cover weight paper - it's so satisfying to work with and has an amazing feel in the hand.
The most fun part is seeing what the students end up picking for their books. I love seeing what combinations they think of!
The other part of teaching is trying to re-create the "bindery" type of experience without breaking the bank. To that end, I made up student tool kits, but was stumped on the issue of weights. Practically every step in hand bookbinding can be made better by a weight close at hand to convince the materials that flat is the goal.
Bochord Bookbinding is lucky to have a minion (my husband, Martin) and his idea was to use tiny ice bags filled with sand as weights. We've used them a couple of times, but they still completely amuse me.
And here's a gratuitous shot of Chiyogami - I like to give students lots of choices!
Japanese paper is both a marvel and inspiration.
And some St. Armand Paper Mill love