Saturday, September 22, 2012

My First Signature Sewn Notebook

How many of you retired homeschooling moms keep up with friends you made in your homeschooling support group? Some of us have moved, some have continued teaching in other venues, but for the most part, we have stayed in touch with each other. We all learned how to not only teach our children together, but supported each other with prayers and hugs through hard times and rejoiced together when our children finally made it through high school! As a social activity, we moms rubber stamped when our children got together for family game night once a month. Those were some good times!

Yesterday, a group of us had lunch together at Trisha’s house and Julie showed us how to make notebooks. Julie cut 8.5 x 11 sheets of copy weight paper in half and we folded each half in half again width-wise, stacking six sheets together, fold to fold, in what’s called a “signature.” My little notebook consists of four such “signatures.” Then she showed us how to make templates for the holes (designate the top of the template—very important) and use, what she called a “pokey hole tool” (her fancy name for a piercing awl *smile*) and an open telephone book to make the holes in the center of the folds. Of course, mine was skewed off-center on a couple of the signatures, but I got better on the last two. Then we sewed the signatures together into one little notebook. She used pre-waxed linen bookmaker’s thread, but she said we could also use thin nylon cording, waxed crochet thread (make our own by pulling a thread over a cake of tailors wax), or dental floss. Being as how this is my first sewn book project, my seams aren’t very tight, so there are gaps between each of the signatures, but I was assured that the right tension comes with practice!
The cover is a 12 x 12 inch piece of scrapbook paper cut to size. It’s cute paper, but not very flexible.  The spine cracked when I scored it, so then I had to cut it completely apart and start over. I also misjudged the spacing of the double faced tape on the inside covers to attach the outside sheets of the first and last signatures. Julie said that talcum powder dusted across the tape would remove the stickiness. She was making a scribble notebook for her grand-daughter. I thought I would add a couple of eyelets to the back cover vertically along the open side with a piece of elastic to wrap around the front as a closure for the notebook like the commercial ones I’ve purchased from Walmart.
Now here’s a project I can sink my teeth into – Karen made her notebook signatures from paper printed on one side and covered tissue box tagboard pieces with brown parchment paper for her cover. These could be made as small gifts using brown grocery bags, cotton fabric, newspaper comics, or gift wrappers glued to tagboard or cardboard also for the covers. I think it’s time to make out my Christmas list! *smile*

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