Gelli book – learning a new skill

My absence from blogland is much to do with some non-crafty issues, but in part due to crafty frustration.  I am lucky to be able to see something crafty and work out much of the process just from a quick glimpse.  Like the 90-minute quilt thing from last week.  I know the video I linked didn’t have a lot of info in it, but it had enough for me.  The flip side of this is that if I do see something, and I can’t work out how to do it, I get frustrated – especially when something seems logical to me but turns out to be completely wrong.  So a month or so back, before I got all wrapped up in sewing, I was working on a series of Gelli prints.  I made a little coffee filter print book, but always planned on collecting my paper prints into a book as well, for some, as yet, undetermined purpose.  So I read a lot of book-binding PDFs, and watched a fair few videos on YouTube.  I thought I had the basic concept down.  Then I did what I do A LOT, I ALTERED the process before I even tried it the “right” way.  DOH!  I had the idea to make a little round Coptic bound book, with hard covers.  It all began well enough.

I lined up the folded edge of the prints (which, if you recall, I folded from A4 originally to get a standard size, that fit my 6 x 6 plate, and printed on all four faces) with one of the grid marks on my desktop cutting mat, then lined up my old CM circle cutter template and cut, leaving the fold intact.

circlegellibook circlegellibook2

By using the grid marks I knew I could get the pages all the same size. I made the cover from matboard, and covered them with the Deli paper prints as they were too thin to use as a page, unless I collaged bits onto heavier paper. I only punched/poked three holes, although 99% of the Coptic binding stuff I saw used 5 or 7 holes,  but I thought it would be logical to just do it on the series of three holes.  AND I picked some thick pearl cotton weight thread for the stitching. Yeah, I know.  It worked out in the end, more or less, but it was not easy.  Try Googling 3-hole Coptic Binding – maybe your Google gives you something useful but mine does not, and I get different things on my desktop v. my iPad.  In the end I just had a go.  I had also seen something in a book at some point where the stitches were wrapped so the binding stitches looked like smooth bars – no idea what that is even called but I knew I liked it.  So that makes, what? At least three significant changes from the basic process? All on my first go at it.  DOH! yet again.

Here it is:


The cover, with the deli paper print.


My quite amateur binding (let’s not dwell on that….)


A bit of a fanned effect of the pages, and my very messy desk


Just an inner page I happened to like quite a lot.


So, not 100% sure what will become of this in the end.  I guess it was more about the process than the finished item.

Now, I really, REALLY need to get on with making the bags – thanks to Fairy Thoughts Janet, who posted a nice easy tutorial,  I am feeling optimistic that I can manage it.