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,
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.
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.
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.