Booking it

I laid out all the mail received from kindred spirits last year … spread it out on a coffee table, considering whether to try collaging it all.

And no, I didn’t take a picture. Because I began to pick up piece after piece, realizing that the words within each one were as valuable as the images. 
Of course.
So what to do? Sorting them into stacks of portrait-oriented cards, landscape-oriented cards and two-sided postcards, an idea began to form and ended up as three book-like constructions …

Here then, is the back story. 
First I turned on my little-used sewing machine (a sturdy old Kenmore from the 1970s which continues to chug along in spite of getting but one proper servicing in all the years since). Tearing strips of hand-dyed cloth purchased last November from Jean Dahlgren (more on that in another post), I tried to stitch portrait-oriented card edges together …

with this less-than-satisfying result …

I tried again and again, but as the machine jitters set in, I realized a more soothing, hand stitched solution was called for. And yet, there was no way I was going to subject my fingers to forcing a needle through cloth and card stock. 
Lunch and time to ruminate led to this solution: machine stitch folded strips of cloth to the edges of each card, with the fold just barely beyond the card stock …

Then hand stitch the folds together …

Paper-full piecing, if you will (with a wink and a nod to Jude’s paper-less piecing). And as I jittered my way through the machine stitching, I realized the source of my unease: I hold my breath whenever I put the pedal to the metal. Well.
Thank goodness for the soothing pace of hand stitches. Soon I had a book of portrait-oriented cards, both fronts and backs visible, fronted by this apt phrase …

I tackled the two-sided cards next …

and was gratified by how well they stood together …

And as the last rays of sunshine beamed through the window by my chair, I stitched the bases of five landscape cards together …

offsetting them to good effect …

I am utterly delighted by the results and looking forward to coming up with a solution to the tiny bits of notepaper and fanciful envelopes that remain.

Stay tuned …