North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Monday, November 23, 2015

November NORBAG workshop - The French Stitch

The November workshop was presented by Michele Kamprath. She taught the French Stitch binding for use on a 10 signature journal that was 4 ¼ inches by 5 ½ inches. The covers were also paper (8 ½ by 5 ½ inches folded in half). 

Generally, the French Stitch is used when sewing onto tapes in a traditional case binding. This gives the book a little more structure, but isn’t usually visible as it is hidden under the spine. Today book artists have integrated it into exposed bindings. We used the French Stitch with a kettle stitch at the end of each signature to give the book stability.

Michele Kamprath brought several samples for us.

We started by folding our covers and signatures. Then, using the sewing cradle and a jig, we put holes in the covers and signatures.

We used a kettle stitch at the end of each signature and did the French stitch between.

This is how the interior of each signature looked.
Michele helped as needed.
After finishing the signatures, we sewed through the cover and tied off our stitches.
Here are samples of the covers and a peek at the French stitch on the exposed spine.

Wow! That's more than a few French stitched spines.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Santa Fe Book Art Celebration

Last month I had an opportunity to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico and see a wonderful book art exhibition at the Capitol Rotunda put on by the Santa Fe Book Arts Group (BAG). Included below are some photos from the exhibit, but if you have the chance to visit in person I certainly recommend it. You can also see photographs of all of the entries at this website:!2015-rotunda-show/c1zeu.  Congratulations to two NORBAG members, Barbara Macks and Beverly Wilson, who are also BAG members and have books in the exhibit.

Running from September 4 through December 11, the exhibit features a wide range of events and activities open to the public.  All of the 65 artists represented in the exhibit are members of BAG. According to the website, "they all use a wide range of materials, designs, and techniques to create original works of sculptural or multi-dimensional book art. Dr. Cynthia Sanchez, Executive Director of the Capitol Art Foundation, is the curator and juror. This is the sixth time that the New Mexico Capitol Art Foundation has invited Santa Fe BAG to exhibit. The exhibit is open to the public, weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm.” For more information about BAG visit their website at:

Two books by NORBAG member Barbara Macks, Aunt Sylvia's Dress on the left and Off...Into the Night on the right

The Journey Within by Pamela MacKellar

What If? by NORBAG member Beverly Wilson

Something Fishy by Margy O'Brien

The Four Seasons by Brooke Remmert

Garden of Unearthly Delights by NORBAG member Beverly Wilson

Lily Carousel by Moira Garcia

Dangerous Divas of the Desert by Gary Shallcross

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

FRENCH STITCH BOUND JOURNAL taught by Michele Kamprath

Come join us Saturday November 14 to make a small journal or blank book that is bound together with the lovely French Stitch binding. Your completed book size will be: 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. You will need to cut your paper ahead of time. 

Detail of Michele's lovely French Stitch bindings

Materials to bring:
For the cover:

  • Cut two pieces 8 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" tall, grain short. Choose decorative cardstock, watercolor paper, or other heavier weight paper. (Note: Michele has also put photographs on the front and back covers mounted on folded cardstock.)
For the signatures:

  • 20 text-weight pieces of paper 8 1/2" wide by 11" tall, cut in half. (Note: you should end up with a total of 40 pieces of paper that will then be folded into 10 signatures--four sheets per signature. Each piece will measure 8 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" tall, grain short when done. We will fold these to make our signatures at the workshop. The folded signatures will measure 4 1/4" wide by 5 1/2" tall. Or if you prefer, 10 signatures made of heavier watercolor-like paper. Each piece would measure 8 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" tall, grain short.)
Other materials needed:

  • Needle
  • Waxed linen thread, perle cotton size 5, or embroidery floss
  • Bees wax if using unwaxed thread (Michele will have some to borrow if you do not have any)
  • Piercing tool
  • Piercing cradle - extras available if needed
  • Pencil
  • Paper clip
  • Bone folder
  • Glue Stick
Materials Supplied:

  • Instructions
  • Jig paper
  • Tape for cover (if needed)
November Meeting Details:

When:      Saturday, November 14 at 12 noon
Where:     Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
RSVP:       YES! by Nov. 9 to Michele, 
                 (her contact information is in the newsletter)
Cost:         50 cents
Materials:  Check above list