Saturday, September 17, 2011

Journal-making class with K. Grace Howes

Today, I took a journal-making class with my friend, K. Grace Howes of Redbarn Studios. It always find it fun – and liberating – to take a class in something I’ve never done before; this was a perfect example. Using Grace’s design for her “Coptic Stitch Journal,” I learned how to cover chipboard with fabric and paper for the covers, how to create signatures of paper for the inside, and how to stitch the whole thing together. 

Grace demonstrates one of the techniques.
Barbara stitches her journal together.
Elyse pulls her waxed linen thread through the binding.
Grace shows us how to do one of the trickier parts of the project.
The front of my journal is shibori fabric I made several years ago by stitching with a running stitch into white cotton fabric, pulling the thread very tight so that the fabric bunched up, knotting it, and then dropping the fabric in a vat a black dye. I think it looks like dental x-rays!

The front cover of my journal.
The inside of the front cover is a sparkly glitter paper:

The inside cover of my journal
I chose a Halloween theme for my journal. Don’t you just love that spiderweb paper (below)? These special papers separate the signatures, or folded bunches of paper inside the journal.

In this photo showing an overhead view, you can clearly see the four signatures:

Stitching the signatures and the book covers together with the waxed Irish linen was the trickiest part. Here’s how the side of my journal looks. I’m not sure that I did everything exactly right, but it looks pretty much okay!

I will probably do some embellishment on the front cover, but I’m going to let my ideas percolate for a while before I do. What a nice way to spend a Saturday morning!


  1. Your journal turned out so good Susan! It was fun having you in class today.

  2. There is no way that isn't an xray of someone's teeth!!! ... It is so Very, Very COOL! You are one creative lady.

  3. Can't beleive you are done! But it is nice to take a class and have a finished product. Your's is spooky good!

  4. It is nice to take a class in a different medium once in a while. I am told it is good for your art as well. This looked fun!

  5. I like your works, they are beautiful.
    I congratulate them
    happy weekend


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