Questions from Earl in Dallas

Thanks, Earl, for making me think about this. (Comment below) Certainly the page layout and the binding came out exactly as I originally envisioned them. I decided to include all the emails after I had completed the first 20 or 25 pages, so that meant reworking those pages. Fortunately, the computer and page layout program makes that fairly easy.

I toyed with the idea of sewing the binding with a thick hemp cord to emulate the cords used to differentiate sacred objects in Japan, Shimogamo_4
but decided it might make opening the pages more difficult. I began sewing with waxed Irish linen carpet cord, decided I didn’t like it (too much of an industrial look) and used DMC embroidery perle cotton. My instruction book, Japanese Book-binding, by Kojiro Ikegami, calls for silk cord, a better choice, but I didn’t have any.

The picture on the cover took a lot of time, mostly for thinking. I began with a pattern, played with it, looking  and moving pieces around for a week. I finally used some pieces from the pattern and more pieces I just cut to fit. In the end I used only the thrust of the pieces: diagonals moving left and right at the bottom; pieces in the center more or less vertical.Dsc06684

The pattern called for appliqué stitching by hand. I tried it; made a mess; ripped everything out. My eyesight, and patience, just aren’t up to it. I tacked the pieces in place, using something called Heatbond, then machine appliquéd around each piece. Detail
For the quilting, I found a pattern in a Dover book of Japanese clip-art; sized it on the computer; printed it on translucent paper; and stitched directly over the pattern. I had already couched the border using rattail cording directly on to a piece of the handmade paper cut to size. I think the whole thing took me about two weeks of not very steady work. I can only do this kind of work early in the day. My eyes (and brain) don’t function well at night.

Am I satisfied, Earl? Not really. I wanted the cover picture to be as professional as the layout. It didn’t make the grade, but it’s the best I can do for now.

2 thoughts on “Questions from Earl in Dallas

  1. You can satin stitch or turn the pieces under and use a very shallow decorative stitch ( —-^—-^ ) sort of thing too. You can keep the rough edges and fray them even more after just using the iron on stuff to hold it togther. Yes, there are a number of ways to attach the fabric. I hope you are having fun in Chicago and staying warm.

  2. Dear Ruthe,
    You are way too hard on yourself. It looks Great! Enjoy the beauty of your creation. It didn’t make the grade? I give it an A+

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