Embroidery is something I never learned to do as a kid, even as I was needlepointing Snoopy pillows and knitting endless (in length and quantity) scarves. It always seemed a bit old-fashioned, the sort of thing you’d do on a doily.
The home crafting explosion has modernized all those seemingly granny-like skills (and the needlepointed cover of the re-issued Jane Austen’s Emma was so beautiful I actually bought it despite having two other editions); a new book cover seemed a good place to try something new.
The binding is the longstitch through slotted cover. Because the cover has to be cut to allow stitching to pass through, I used a sheet of Tyvek, painted with a mix of acrylic paint and glaze. I added flaps on the front and back, so the cover piece ended up being very long. The cover design, a cat, was inspired by the iconic Chat Noir. It’s sewn with some of the Irish linen thread generally used for stitching bindings. For a book block, I cut and folded bright card stock in four different colors. The thickness of the pages makes the book feel much more substantial.
There are four sewing stations in the book, and after making the holes in the folios, I matched them with the cover and slashed across the spine at the point of each station. The Keith Smith book (where this project originated) has an excellent description of each step in sewing, which turned out to be pretty easy, one of my favorites to execute.