japanese stab binding tutorial: maple leaves

jsb-mapleleaf

The maple leaf pattern tutorial, as requested in the poll! I’d say this one is pretty simple. The instructions for the ‘V’s at the edges are written differently than usual, but I hope it make it a bit easier.

*Tip: make holes 1, 14, and 26 a bit larger than the others, as the needle will have to go through them eight times.*

**click on an image to enlarge**

hole pattern

jsb.maple-leaves-holes

sewing pattern

jsb.maple-leaves

EXIT = needle pointed DOWN and ENTER = needle pointed UP
=====
enter 1, leave a tail but don’t knot it
exit 2, wrap around right edge, exit 2 again
enter 1
exit 3
enter 1
exit 4
enter 1
exit 6
enter 1
exit 7
enter 1
exit 9
enter 1
exit 11
enter 1
exit 12
enter 11
exit 10
enter 9
exit 8, wrap around spine, exit 8 again
enter 7, wrap around spine
enter 6
exit 5, wrap around right edge, exit 5 again
wrap around spine, exit 5 again
enter 4, wrap around right edge
enter 3
exit 2
enter 3, wrap around right edge, thread needle through loop at edge, point up
enter 4
exit 5
enter 6, wrap around spine, thread needle through loop at edge, point right
enter 7
exit 8
enter 9
exit 10
enter 11
exit 12
enter 13
exit 14
enter 15
exit 14
enter 16
exit 14
enter 18
exit 14
enter 19
exit 14
enter 21
exit 14
enter 23
exit 14
enter 24
exit 23
enter 22
exit 21
enter 20, wrap around spine, enter 20 again
exit 19, wrap around spine
exit 18
enter 17, wrap around spine, enter 17 again
exit 16
enter 10
exit 15
enter 13
exit 15
enter 10
exit 16
enter 17
exit 18, wrap around spine, thread needle through loop at edge, point right
exit 19
enter 20
exit 21
enter 22
exit 23
enter 24
exit 25
enter 26
exit 27
enter 26
exit 28
enter 26
exit 30
enter 26
exit 31
enter 26
exit 33
enter 26
exit 34
enter 26
exit 35, wrap around left edge, exit 35 again
enter 34, wrap around left edge
enter 33
exit 32, wrap around left edge, exit 32 again
wrap around spine, exit 32 again
enter 31, wrap around spine
enter 30
exit 29, wrap around spine, exit 29 again
enter 28
exit 22
enter 27
exit 25
enter 27
exit 22
enter 28
exit 29
enter 30, wrap around spine, thread needle through loop at edge, point right
enter 31
exit 32
enter 33, wrap around left edge, thread needle through loop at edge, point down
enter 34
exit 35
enter 26
exit 25
enter 24
exit 14
enter 13
exit 12, tie off

tutorial poll #1

I’m way behind in providing binding tutorials here, and I apologize if you asked me for one and I didn’t come through. It has been so long I can’t remember which design I was asked for last…so here is a poll with some of the most recently popular designs. Cast your vote and let me know which pattern needs a tutorial!

**update** Wow, thanks for the great response, everyone! Next tutorial up: maple leaves!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quote book

This was a birthday gift for a huge fan of the radio show/book/movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is one quote per each of the eight pages, arranged so that when the book is closed the words form a ‘word cloud’. The pages are laser-cut and etched acrylic plastic and are sewn with waxed linen thread using the same method as in my previously posted book. I wanted to create a gradient of sorts using paint in the etched letters, fading from white to black. It mostly worked the way I wanted it to.

Let me just say, photographing this thing was a nightmare. First, smudges! Ack! And then the waxed thread left marks all over the surfaces. Plus having to dodge the reflection made taking pictures super fun. Not. Anyway, I really like the possibilities of laser-etched acrylic…but if I ever do clear again, I will be using non-waxed thread for sure, and waiting to peel the backing off until the very last minute! (Scratches seemed to come out of nowhere.)

HG2G-acrylic quote book1

HG2G-acrylic quote book2

HG2G-acrylic quote book3

HG2G-acrylic quote book4

HG2G-acrylic quote book5

HG2G-acrylic quote book6

HG2G-acrylic quote book7

japanese stab binding #38: snail

Another spiral. I am actually not too fond of snails, as I think they’re gross and slimy (and I encountered way too many when I lived in England)…but how could I not try for the stab pattern? You could modify this and make the snail’s body longer, but I thought it looked odd, so I shortened the spine width down by an inch.

I’d rate this bind as very easy. There are segments that could be easily missed while sewing the bottom edge, but it’s very simple to add in the missing stitches later.
39 holes. 5″(12.7cm) wide, .25″(.64cm) thick. I forgot to write down how many times I wrapped the spine for the thread length (sorry!), but I think that it was around 8 times.

jsb-38

japanese stab binding #37: sushi

I’ve been on a spiral kick lately. I was going for cinnamon rolls with this design, but was informed that it looked more like sushi. Later I might try a vertical, ‘stacked’ version so the sushi pattern is more obvious when the book is displayed correctly. But here you go! Advanced beginner, just because of the number of holes. Very easy to sew.

58 holes, 6″(15.24cm) wide, .25″(.64cm) thick. I wrapped the spine about 9 times to get thread length.

jsb-37

jsb-37detail

obscure word book: volume 1, light edition

obscure-light-1

For a while now I’ve been wanting to create a project using obscure or old-fashioned English words. I just wasn’t sure how I would do it. Enter the fabrication lab and the laser cutter! I decided to create a ‘book’ of laser cut and etched acrylic plastic sheets, sewn together with one of Keith A Smith’s techniques. Though the bind looks ok, I think I might have to redo it with a modified version. There just aren’t enough pages for the design to look right.

obscure-light-2

First I sketched the designs on paper, then digitized them in Illustrator. The darker the color, the deeper the laser will etch the plastic. It was similar to the thought process behind intaglio printmaking – the darkest colors will be the lightest, and the lightest colors the darkest. It took a a couple of tries to find the right setting for the laser, but I was fairly happy with the second run.

obscure-light-3

obscure-light-4

I tried a couple of different colors of acrylic paint, but settled on white and a shimmery gold. I smeared the paint into the etched lines and gradients, then wiped (or scrubbed, if it had dried) off the excess paint.

obscure-light-5“lucubrate” – to work diligently by artificial light

obscure-light-6“ignivomous” – vomiting fire

obscure-light-7“fulgent” – shining brilliantly, radiant, gleaming

obscure-light-8“ascian” – a person or thing without shadow

obscure-light-9“clinquant” – glittering, showy, dressed in tinsel

obscure-light-10

Finished size: 6 in x 4 in (15.24 cm x 10.16 cm). I’m planning several more ‘volumes’ of obscure terms. If you’re curious about where I found these words, check out this book: Mrs Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words.

japanese stab binding #35: dancing snowflakes

I have been reunited with my bookbinding tools! Also I have some free time to do more experiments now.

This bind has 84 holes. 84! It’s a bit ridiculous. But other than the prep taking forever, the actual sewing is straightforward. I wrapped the spine about 10.5 times to get the length of the string. 5.75″(14.6cm) wide, .25″(.64cm) thick.

jsb-35

jsb-35-detail

japanese stab binding #34: cobwebs

This is from a super-old sketch that I never actually sewed. But I got a new toy (picture below) and I wanted to try it out on a simple test before using it on a real project. The design has only 9 holes, and they’re in a straight line! That almost never happens anymore, haha.

This bind is a blend of Marionette and Woven.
jsb-34

Exciting experiments and shenanigans are coming…
dremel press

japanese ledger binding: a tutorial

Not that it’s much of a tutorial. I drew these instructions a couple of years ago, fully intending to post them…and then forgot. Or was distracted by other things. Not very hard to believe, if you know me! I was asked for more information about a ledger bind I previously posted, so here is what I know.

This is about as simple of a bind as you can get…it just looks complicated. The most difficult part is gluing it all together and keeping it aligned. This bind should be landscape, or wider than it is tall.

Start with a book block made of single sheets. You’ll need to drill three evenly spaced holes at least half an inch in from the spine edge, though ultimately where you place your holes depends on how wide your book is.

I generally cut a thicker piece of paper to wrap around the book block, like below. It isn’t necessary, but it makes the spine look much cleaner and if the paper of your book block is thin, the thicker paper is more durable.

Sew the block together by starting in the middle hole, and making a figure eight. Tie off. Cut the ends of your thread short, but they don’t have to be tucked in or hidden.

brh tutorial002a

The boards for the front cover should leave a gap that is twice the thickness of the board. If you skimp on the gap, your book will not open all the way. Don’t go overboard with the gap though, because the section of the cover with board #2 will flop too much and be more likely to eventually rip off. Board #3 should be wide enough to cover the stitching.

Glue the boards to the book block. I generally glue them in the order they are numbered below.

brh tutorial002b

A look at the finished product:

A blank journal for a friend

japanese ledger bind2

An art history paper for grad school. I had to make four copies of this book.

japanese ledger bind1

Hope that helps! If something doesn’t make sense, leave me a comment and I’ll try to clarify.