Susan, The Blog Wrangler, speaks:
I'm back! Life, Don, Google, and the blog will all start behaving again. Well, I can hope, can't I?
I was at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, taking classes, trying to help vendors survive our economic meltdown and looking at way too many quilts. A whole lot of inspiration and information came thundering into my head via Katie Kendrick and Maggie Weiss. More later but in the meantime you can check out Katie's blog.
A few years ago I took a basic 6-session bookbinding class from Wendy Hale Davis. Amazingly enough I came out of the class with 6 books of varying styles. Now I'm taking it again, but this time, as I told Wendy, I'm trying to pay attention. But I'm still not into the measuring perfection stuff. If the book doesn't fall apart when I open it (and if it does open) then I count it as a success.
Here's the nifty thing I learned from her when she taught us to make this leather book: Air pockets.
She gave us 36 sheets of paper, to be folded in half to make 6 signatures ("sets") with 6 sheets of folded paper in each one. Should you fold 6 in half together at one time? Or fold each sheet separately and then group them into 6 signatures? The answer is: It depends on what the book will be for.
If you will be pasting things in and making the pages thicker, fold 6 sheets together at once because it will make a sort of "air pocket" in the middle. You can see this in one of the signatures in the top view pictures. When you bind the signatures to make the book, it will be a fatter book but you will have room ("air pockets") to expand when you add things like pictures, receipts, ticket stubs, etc.
If you will be just writing, fold the sheets one at a time because then the book will be very neat and flatter.
What did I do? One air pocket, the rest flat. I'm not big on decision making or commitment on things like this so I just hedged my bets, so to speak. Regardless, Don got a new sketchbook out of the deal.