Red Leather

My Red Leather Chair

New books last added: Mon May 21 23:00 EDT 2007
Last page update: Mon May 21 23:00 EDT 2007

I had a red leather chair ... It was grievously wounded during the tornado of May 1989, when a tree crashed through the roof over my home office, smashing ceiling joists (?), one of which fell on my chair. My much-loved chair was functional in a wobbly way for some years after that but finally, sadly, had to retire from service. I always thought I'd remove the leather from the chair and use it for something else, but it wasn't until I started making books that I found something that made me feel it was time ...

I. Soft-Cover 4-Needle Coptic Book [NA]

After looking over someone's online instructions for making a softcover coptic book [ HERE ], I decided to try that with some leather from my chair. My version, shown in the photos below, is much, much simpler than the one in the instructions, but only because I liked it that way.

I used 18/3 burgundy linen thread to stitch the 100% cotton rag bond pages (either 24# or 32# -- I forget which) to the leather band, which is 5.5" high by about 18" long when fully extended. If I ever do another book similar to this, I'll have to come up with another way of stitching it, because managing four needles and four different lines of threads is just more than I want to deal with unless I can find a less awkward way of doing it.

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II. Soft-Cover Buttonhole Longstitch Book [NA]

This book was again inspired by a little book I saw in a book by Cheryl Moote, I think it was, Books With Girth. Photos of many of the books in that, um, book are shown HERE, but not that particular book. Anyway, I tried making a somewhat larger version, and I think I should have stuck with the smaller one she made, which was something like 2.5"x3.5" -- pocket-book size indeed.

My book is 4"x5", a size determined more by the particular piece of leather available than anything else. It's a lovely little size, but I think that -- in this form, with the cutouts in the spine -- either a heavier leather or a smaller book might have worked better. It's also possible that a heavier paper for the pages would have made the difference: I used some 100% rag, yes, but only 20# weight bond. Nice for writing on, but it doesn't have a lot of body. [Eleven 12-page (6-folded-sheet) sections.] Foldover flap. 18/3 burgundy linen thread. At some point, I'm going to add some kind of tie or strap, but I haven't done that yet. Meanwhile, the book started singing to me, and I've been using it as a journal ...

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III. Soft-Cover Longstitch Book [NA]

Another 4"x5" book, longstitch, but not buttonhole -- no exposed spine, no cutouts. Again, this little book has a flap, but I haven't decided whether to add a strap to secure it or not. This book also uses a heavier weight paper than the buttonhole longstitch book, though whether that or the lack of cutouts on the spine makes it stand straighter on its own or not, I don't know.

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