Monday, December 24, 2018

Little house quilts turned into a book

Time for my annual blog post!  (Updated Sept 2021 with more instructions at the end)

Summer holidays are here and I've finally got around to doing something with my 100 day project quilts. I made 16 of them... in 2016! 

I had a lot of fun making this book. The cover is my usual rubbing, stamping and stencilling on white fabric until I've built up a good texture.

There are lots of videos out in YouTubeland on how to make a book. I've made this one with a cardboard box that was the right depth to make the spine (Mini Magnum box) and used a pamphlet stitch. Just search for pamphlet stitch if you fancy making one like this. Enjoy!

Update: I found my purple ink and script stamp. It just needed a little bit more. Spot the difference!

Updated with more instructions in 2021. This would have been easier as a video or with photos but I didn't take any of the process. I hope my wordy instructions make sense.
  • First, I sewed the 16 mini quilts into back-to-back pairs to make 8 pages. Then I sewed each pair of pages to a grosgrain ribbon spine to make 4 signatures. I used ribbon so that it reduced the bulk at the spine and allowed the pages to fold easily along the spine.
  • I stacked all the pages and measured them for the depth of the spine, making sure to not compress the pages. I found a food box that was an appropriate depth. Turned out to be an ice cream lolly box. Yum! Cut the box a bit bigger than the pages to give a front and back cover and spine all in one big rectangle.
  • The next stage I made overly complicated by sewing on the "Home" letters and also using double sided sticky sheet. A thin coat of mod podge or tacky glue would work just fine. Cut the fabric slightly bigger than the cardboard and glue down. Fold the book closed to make sure that the fabric can stretch over the folds at the spine. Fold the fabric around the edges and glue to the inside of the cover, trimming if necessary. Don't cut the corners off completely. The fabric will just fray and make the corners messy. Cut a few mm from the edge of the cardboard.
Attaching the pages to the cover
  • From cardstock or patterned paper, cut two endpapers very slightly smaller than the inside covers. This will cover up fabric from the outside of the cover. Cut another piece the height of the endpaper and the width of the spine plus about 6cm/2 inches. 
  • Cut a piece of cardboard the same height as the endpaper and very slightly smaller than the width of the spine. This has to fit inside the spine when the book is closed.
  • Now for some maths. Measure the width of the extra cardboard spine that you cut. Divide this measurement by the number of signatures that you have. This is going to be the spacing between your signatures.
  • Mark the position of the holes in the cardboard spine to attach the signatures. Mark the first line are half the spacing distance from the long edge. The rest of the lines will be spaced out at the distance you calculated so that the final line is half a spacing from the other edge. Round as nessary for easy measuring and the make sure that the signatures are centered. For example, my spine was 47mm. I had 4 signatures so my spacing was 11mm and a bit. I rounded it down to 10mm for the full spacing and rounded up to 8mm for the half spacing. So I had lines at 8mm, 18mm, 28mm and 38mm, which meant I had 9mm space at the back.
  • Now to find the position of the holes for stitching in the signatures. Draw a line across the vertical lines half way down the length of the spine. Draw another two lines across at equal distance for the top and bottom holes so that the holes will be inside the page size (not the cover size).
  • Glue the spine patterned paper the the other side of the cardboard spine, centering the cardboard on the paper.
  • Punch holes in the cardboard at the positions you marked. I have a very small hole punch but an awl or anything sharp can used to make the holes.
  • Sew in each signatures using a pamphlet stitch. As I said at the top, there are plenty of videos showing this and it is hard to explain without photos or diagrams.
  • Using a strong glue, tacky glue or silicon, glue the cardboard spine in place and glue the extra flaps of paper to the front and back covers.
  • Glue the front and back endpapers to front and back covers respectively.  These will go over the extra paper from the spine to help secure it.
I have to say that this isn't a traditional bookbinding method. Endpapers are meant to be a double page and glued to the text block (the book pages) and the inside cover. I've adapted it because obviously I didn't want to glue paper to fabric. My book is still looking good three years on. The cardboard spine didn't glue down properly but the endpapers have kept it all in place.