About a year ago, I got a shipment of mixed decorative papers. They’re of all different types — rice paper, banana paper, sheets with (slightly annoying) glitter (which ends up all over everything and a piece of which is invariably picked off my eyelid by one if the kids later that evening). The point is that each sheet is unique and I have a difficult time using them. Well, to make this next Keith Smith book, I opened the special paper drawer and pulled out this thick embossed floral sheet.

I had already done a longstitch book, but wanted to try another, this time with an accordian spine insert. As much as I loved how the last book turned out, the space between the folios bothered me. An insert solves that problem. I used kraft paper for the insides and cut the insert from thick coverstock. I have to say that folding the insert was one of the hardest parts, getting each fold of the accordian to match up.

Second in difficulty was sewing the first few stitches. The insert shifts, making it difficult to match up the holes of the insert and the folios. I used heavily waxed Irish linen thread in a contrasting but complementary color, because with the longstitch binding that’s pretty much the point.

I really like the way the book turned out. It was much easier than it looks. I pulled a bit too tight when I was sewing, causing some of the cover slits to crinkle, and would be more careful with the slits next time. I could see that it would be nice binding for a photo book, or any book that breaks down naturally into sections. In any case, it’s definitely one I’ll make again. 

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