Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hand bookmaking with fabric:
The Farm Friends book, part 1

"Farm Friends" soft book by StudioE Fabrics.
Typography, page design, book and print production—these are a few of my printing and publishing "loves." I've had a rewarding career in the printing industry and now that I work in the textile industry, making this sweet little project—a fabric book—brought back wonderful memories for me and blended loves from both my careers.

This fabric book, or "soft book," is from a fabric panel by Studioe Fabrics, one of the fabric companies I represent. It's from the "Farm Friends" collection that you should be able to find at your local quilt shop [YLS].

I'll take you through the fabric book production steps and equate them to the print-on-paper bookmaking process as well. Because print production terms are ingrained in my brain, I'll provide links to their definitions to help clarify. Here goes…

The Press Sheet / The Fabric Panel
The press sheet [fabric panel] is comprised of all the 2-page spreads that make up the book before it is assembled.
24" fabric panel for the "Farm Friends" soft book.
This book is a self cover book, meaning the cover is printed on the same stock/paper as the text pages. You can see the front and back cover spreads, the inside front cover and the inside back cover, and all the book's inside pages on the panel.
This is a self cover book.
Shown here are the outside and inside front and back covers.
Since the book is already paginated, you don't have to worry about page imposition and the story reading incorrectly. 

Two-sided Printing
With ink-on-paper, when a press sheet is automatically printed on both sides with a single pass through the printing press, it is called "perfecting." This term is commonly used with offset lithography. With a digital printer, it is called "duplexing." With the fabric book, the single-sided spreads have to be trimmed out and manually stitched together back-to-back to simulate two-sided (duplex) printing.
Cut out the fabric page spreads. 
This is not difficult. Instructions and diagrams are found on the fabric panel. The instructions indicate which spreads back up each other...
Book assembly instructions are printed on the fabric panel.
The diagram shows the pagination.
…and the corresponding folios (page numbers) are found on the pages. This makes it easy… however...
Page numbers are printed on the pages.

A Note on Bookmaking Conventions
… It was slightly disconcerting for someone with a publishing background to find that this book did not follow the page numbering convention. For English texts (texts read from left to right), the odd numbers should appear on the right-hand (recto) pages and the even numbers on the left-hand (verso) pages. 

But back to the soft book production…

Duplexing
Got long lengths of batting trimmings? Here is where they come in handy.
Batting trimmings were used for this fabric book.
Take the corresponding page spreads and sandwich them together with a piece of batting. I used long scraps of low-loft 100% cotton batting—trimmings from larger quilts. Pin and sew around the outside of the sandwich, leaving an opening for turning. I did a little back stitching on either side of the opening for strength.
Sandwich, pin and stitch the book spreads.
The corners and batting were trimmed close to the stitching to reduce bulk.
Trim corners and batting to reduce bulk.
Before turning, press open the seam allowances on the side with the opening. This will provide a straight crisp edge for finishing. Turn the piece right side out through the opening. Use a point turner or bone folder at the corners. Press.
Press open the seam allowances before turning right side out.
Here are the completed 4-page signatures and the cover. Binding and finishing will be covered in Friday's post. Stay tuned...
Two 4-page signatures and book cover.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ATCs: Transparency

"Transparency"
by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
Transparency.

What comes to mind?

I hadn't considered the many interpretations and subtleties in meaning this word can take until I saw the ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) from the February FiberAntics ATC swap.

See what was in the mind's eye of ATC artists this month. The theme is "Transparency."

This next card is interactive. Flipping up the transparent sheet reveals the rest of the message.
"Transparency (the truth about me)"
by Bonnie Stevens
Inside: "Transparency (the truth about me)"
by Bonnie Stevens

The image on this ATC is better seen with light passing through it.
"Transparency. Water"
by Cathy Dillon
"Transparency"
by Lisa Howard
"Transparency. Through the eyes of a child"
by Carlene Jacobsen
"Transparency"
by Karen Downer

Another interactive ATC.
"Transparency"
by Diane Pineschi
The little bird leaves the nest.
Inside: "Transparency"
by Diane Pineschi
"The Old Fashion Screen Door"
by Sharon Joyner Griffith
"Now you see it, and now you don't."
by Liz Armstrong
This card has a sheer fabric on top. Viewing it at different angles reveals a rainbow of color variations.
"The older I get, there is less to hide."
by Marilyn League
This ATC artist writes: Transparency in wine is the ability of a wine to portray all the unique aspects of its flavor.
"Transparency—as in Wine"
by Debbie Joyner

Monday, March 2, 2015

National Quilting Month: Finish your tops with Free-motion Quilting

Celebrate March with a Free-motion Quilting class!
March is National Quilting Month. There are a lot of quilting and quilt-related activities, events and exhibits going on all over. Check with YLS (your local quilt shop) or your local museum for the scoop.

I'll be doing my part by teaching one of my favorite classes—Intro to Free-motion Quilting—at several quilt shops in Tennessee. This is a beginner class (no free-motion quilting experience necessary) and students will be using their regular home sewing machines to do it.

Here's where I'm teaching:
Chattanooga, TN
Saturday, March 7
Pins and Needles Quilt Shop

Oak Ridge/Knoxville, TN  
Friday, March 13
Atomic Fibers Quilt and Yarn Shop

Murfreesboro, TN  
Friday and Saturday, March 27-28
Absolutely Fun Sewing and Embroidery

This class is for you if answer "Yes" to one or more of the following:
  • Do you have quilt tops piling up that need to be quilted?
  • Are you intrigued by free-motion quilting patterns?
  • Do you want to realize your design vision in the quilting?
  • Do you want to have a fun day of learning, creating and sharing your passion for quilting with others?
  • Do you have cabin fever from staying inside during all the crazy weather???
Don't be left out in the cold! Call these shops today and sign up. Check my class schedule for phone numbers. As part of the class, I'll have a Show and Tell of some of my work and we'll discuss designs, threads, backings, inspiration and any other free-motion question that comes up.

Quilts and quiltmaking are metaphors for life, community, culture and the history of America. Quilts are beauty, works of art, political statements, memory objects and expressions of the quilt maker's thoughts and feelings. Listen to the trailer for "Why Quilts Matter: History, Art and Politics," a nine-part documentary hosted by Shelly Zegart, Executive Producer.

March 21 is Worldwide Quilting Day. Share your story. Become part of the quilting community.

World Wide Quilting Day

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