Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Stitching and finishing a commission

I have been fortunate to be involved with a poetry commission and I posted earlier about the calligraphy for the cover of the book.

A colleague Katie did the layout and design work for the booklets, and I was asked to complete the work by hand stitching the booklets.

The first job was to fold the covers, and the pages.

There is an edition of 22, and it took me a while to work out the best thread, the best stitch and so on.

I had planned a chain of pearls stitch with little baubles on the spine; however because the cover had imagery that wrapped around; and was soft and quiet, it felt quite wrong to distract from the quiet beauty of it with lots of little stitches.

I never cease to be amazed when my plan for something is quite clear in my head until it has to happen and then it just can't possibly be!

So it was back to testing and trialling threads and stitches.

Until I landed on the soft grey embroidery thread - two strands of DMC 234.

 And began to stitch.

The pile grew slowly.

Until it was finished.  I had asked for extras to be printed in case of stuff ups, so there was more than 22 to stitch.

Once stitched, I had to trim the pages.  You know the thing when you nestle pages within pages and the inside ones stick out more?  So Barry came and helped the guillotining - by holding the book firm whilst I pulled the lever. Excellent team work.

A stack of books.

I went back and trimmed all the inside stitching thread ends.

And loved the thin foredge trims as well.

And then we were done.


  1. a beautiful & elegant resolve

    1. Thanks so much Mo - sometimes simplicity is the answer - let the work you do serve the work itself...go well.

  2. Ha, I know what you mean about clearly decided plans becoming suddenly wrong, wrong, wrong. I love your solution. The books are so graceful and quiet.

    1. Thanks Dana! It happens too often for me to be shocked or surprised yet I still get a tad disconcerted. They worked out to be beautiful just the right way...


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