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Towards the end of 2017, I had the privilege of participating in the second round of a set book binding project called Stitch•illo – Creative Expressions through Thread and Fiber.
A bit about the show:

This Stitchillo Binding project is a continuation of a binding project that was made possible by a very generous gift from Janine Vangool, the publisher of Uppercase magazine and the editor and publisher of Stitch•illo. Ms. Vangool shared fifteen unbound copies of the book with binders who were tasked with creating unique covers inspired by the contents. The binders were selected by the fifteen binders who participated in the Feed Sacks binding project.

An online exhibit of the stellar bindings was posted and really shows off the range of creative approaches to this project. Check it out!

My inspiration came from the artist Kristin Loffer Theiss whose sketch-quality thread work takes on a life of their own. Her free-sewn style as well as her content greatly appealed to me. 

To pay homage to her aesthetic, I chose to depict the tools that are not in evidence in the finished work of the artists in the book. So I selected two of my favorites: my bird embroidery scissors (represented in the book) and a needle, the two of which would be visually connected by a meandering thread.

The endbands were sewn with Kinglett Cottage hand-dyed thread which gave a nice variation in tone but not so much that it was distracting. Keeping the color palette simple, I used Dubletta “Greys” bookcloth to sew my design on using black thread. To aid in my sewing process, I printed the proposed design on the bookcloth with my inkjet printer. If I were sewing by hand, I might have been a little more free form, however, this was the first time I would be trying this method on my sewing machine and I wanted to avoid wasting time and materials.

The painter’s tape was applied to indicate where my cover boards and spine piece would lay so that I could be mindful of the design placement while sewing. With the sewing machine on, it is easy to get a little carried away! The tape could easily be sewn over and then get picked off once the design was finished.

I continued to check in with the images from Kristin’s projects to be sure I was capturing the nature of her imagery. This is a style I will look forward to playing with more!

Above is an image of the finished binding done in the style of a millimeter binding. The black cloth is Iris “Black”. While a bit rustic for my usual tendencies, I love the sketch quality that releases a bit of action in potentially static representation of the tools.