Sunday, 14 March 2021

Fold Away Book

Report for March

This month we welcomed Lynne, who joined us from Cheshire. She is a college lecturers in photography and brings new skills to the group . She’s also an embroiderer and has joined our Magellan project. 

 We all enjoyed a great workshop with Jane, who led us in making not only a new structure but also a story writing exercise; two for the price of one! Many of us could see lots of potential for this structure, and it is here on the blog for those of you who couldn’t make the meeting. 

Foldaway Book Instructions: Ideal for a 4 or 8 sided book on a theme or story.


4 x 4 sheets of copy paper 29.5cm long x 10.5cm deep 

2 sheets of copy paper 18.5cm long x 10.5cm deep 

A cover sheet: light card or wallpaper 44cm long x 12cm deep

(A couple of small clips might help for construction)

You will also need a glue stick, bone folder, 3 split pins, crayons/felt tips, pencils, a ruler and an awl.


1 Mark the set of 2 sheets (shorter copy paper) at 2.25 cm. Fold a valley fold along the 2.25cm line. Around the centre of one page write the title of your book, and Written and Illustrated by……

On the other piece (valley fold up on your left) write The End. Set aside.

2 Mark the set of 4 sheets at 2.25cm; 14.5cm and 20cm for folding.

The sequence of the folds is valley, mountain, valley. Go over the folds with a bone folder for a clean edge.

Take the edge on your right and fold back underneath the main page.

You will have:

A margin of 2.25cm;

B page of 12.25 cm,

C fold under of 5.5cm,

D a flap of 9.5cm.

Now for your illustrations. Your first sketch is drawn on B, with a small sketched link near the bottom of D, and the word PULL at the top of D. Open out your page and fill in the gaps, being careful not to let you drawing exceed the fold between B and C.

Continue on each sheet until your story is complete. Make sure all ends/writing/detail matches.

Lay your title page at the front, and your end page at the back. Hold in place with a clip.

3 Take the cover, and fold in half. Check for size with your book.

Fold over about 2cm and glue down the edges, so the book sits neatly in its cover.

Place the body of your book inside the cover, hold in place with clips, then measure for holes for split pins, beginning centred on the spine.

Hey Presto – Your foldaway book 😊 From a design by Allan Ahlberg and Colin McNaughton 

It was great to see so many of you this month and lots of making has been going on, especially around the Magellan project which is very encouraging. Jac has been sending out cotton cloth for you to work on, and there are plenty of spaces if you have run out of things to do and need some inspiration! 

 Speaking of which, we set a theme......... ‘Puzzle’, or ‘Puzzling’ 

for the next couple of months if you fancy having a go.

I’ll be leading next month’s session, details to follow. We’ll be meeting on Zoom on the 10th April as the first Saturday is at the Easter weekend when some limited freedom may happen.

Stay safe and well all,       Marilyn

Back in Oz and now in two weeks lock down. We was well looked after by the police,Army Airforce,Nurses and Hotel staff. Our room is very spacious.
No worries
Eric and Jackie

Monday, 15 February 2021

2021 First Workshop

Notes from February meeting

It was good to see so many of you joining us to make a book inspired by Mike Clements of Marches Book Arts Group. It’s a form which has many uses so we hope you enjoy it. As we now have a Zoom licence we can work without interruption and that means longer demonstrations if necessary.

We had a long chat about our Magellan project, and welcome Sally to join us. Jac will send out pieces of the cotton cloth on request so that we can continue making in lockdown when inspiration strikes. 

Our video for BABE has been accepted-thanks to all who took part. 

Also within the blog is a sheet showing material Jane has on offer if needed.
Lots of interesting work going on, amongst which is a family recipe book, embroidery of working hands, hare textile pictures and print books.


We next meet on March 6th, 10.30 am as usual. Marilyn will send invites to Zoom 10 minutes before the meeting is due to start to try and get over scheduling problems.Jane Will lead us in an activity.

Stay warm, stay well everyone, and thanks for your friendship.... M x

Magellan Project

Here are the items still needing ownership-please let me know if you’d like to tackle one or more. If needed I can photograph the paragraph in the Magellan Journey book so you can see the context, and Jac will give you the right size to work to, and of course will send you the cloth pieces.

A large black bird the size of a crow Pigs
Elephants (I do have a textile stamp so no panic on this)
Birds of paradise
Sea elephants

Fish-tropical, unspecified
Teredos (ship’s worms)
Clove trees
Coconut palms
Orange blossom
Barrels heaped with betel nuts
A poisoned arrow (killed Magellan)
Asian junk ships
Blowpipes (unless Jac is using the image she showed us on Saturday)
Small weighing scales
Fish hooks
A large proa with gilded prow and stern, flying a blue and white banner with peacock feathers
Smaller proas-ie outrigger canoes
Egg cup sized cups
Rice being eaten with gold spoons
Money pierced in the middle for hanging on twine
Active volcanoes
A banner of parrot feathers, red, white and yellow
Sails with an elaborate cross and the wording “this is the sign of our good fortune”
Candles-at the 1” end of the scroll
Constellation of Nebecula major and minor
An eclipse of the sun
St Elmo’s Fire
Native people with pierced cheeks and lips-bones and stones used

I’m feeling quite energised with the project after making the video, so look forward to your responses!

Stay well,

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Lockdown 3 2021

Happy New year 
Hi all
So good to see you today, and  I hope those who couldn’t make it are all OK.

As promised, here are the instructions for the Victorian purse book, or Valentine. You’ll find other examples on the net, but it is as good an instruction as I could find. The twist is the most difficult bit of the whole book, and I’ll emphasise again that creasing every fold very firmly will help a great deal.


On to other matters. I’m hoping that someone will volunteer to teach us all a skill in February-just email me please? We’re a forgiving lot and we all understand  that it is hard to teach in Zoom, but even small skills are useful to us all.. I will teach the March meeting.

We discussed the Magellan-focussed video that I have said NWBA will submit to the 2021 BABE exhibition in Bristol. We have done well to be chosen, and as a reminder, the bid was about the challenges, and satisfactions of making “An inch  a day”, so far unfinished. 
If you are happy to be a possible part of the video (can’t confirm anything until the editing is done), please email me and we’ll arrange a time to Zoom personally at a time to suit you, probably in a week or so. You would simply need to talk to me coherently about your contribution to the Magellan project, along with showing it to camera . I’ll probably take a screenshot of us talking in case time means we need to use still photos within the video. When we agree to talk I’ll send instructions about how to use a Zoom background which will be the same for us all. There’s no obligation to do this if you would rather not.

Finally, we discussed the possibility of buying a  Zoom license which would help with the stop/start nature of 2 back to back free meetings. A 12 month licence would cost £119.90, which would completely wipe out our funds, so I would ask you to think about this and let me have your views.

Members of Bookart may be interested in some of the courses set up by Merseyside Embroiderers guild via Zoom.

There is a course on Laminated tissue on January 16th which sounds much more Bookart than embroidery. 

Full details and costs for anyone interested, can be found on the Website 

Later in the year,  July 17th,  there will be a course on Natural dyes and botanical printing which again sounds more bookart than embroidery! 

Please feel free to link this on your blog if you think its relevant. 

Best wishes 
Brenda Muller


As recommended by Frances

Monday, 7 December 2020

Christmas 2020

Meeting notes 

I think we can all say that Marilyn’s laptop doesn’t like Zoom. Fortunately her iPs works just fine so we managed to rescue two back to back meetings.    Jac demonstrated how to make a festive Venetian blind structure which will fold flat and is just right for mailing.
Instructions availble from Jac's own website

It was good to be able to Zoom over to Greece and have Antigoni join us; her reflections on the importance of stationery in the early life of book makers was recognised by us all. 

Eric is still in the UK but couldn’t join us this session. He did send some more of his journal pages as you can see.  We shared some ongoing work-tabbed books, folded books ( dry seasonal ones), eco printing and paper orbs to mention a few.   
It was good to see Joyce sharing her finished books on remnants and Cath’s Autumn pages.
Kath has been doing experiments with Gelli Plates and leaves.

"Great Little Beast"

3D Printed  Printing Press
This is a great little beast, says Estella,  very sturdy. Highly recommended. Google them but if you are on Facebook they have a page.


 We will have our January meeting on January 9th, 
to allow recovery from New Year celebrations! 
Have a think about a theme for January/February 
so we can chose one on the 9th.
In the meantime, Seasonal Greetings to all, and hopefully better times are ahead.


Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Hope is on the horizon


Hope you are surviving this this new lockdown OK.

Here’s a list of materials for the December meeting.

2   pieces of card 8 x 12.5cm - cereal packet is fine for trying this out
I    piece of paper 12 x 30cm – copy or cartridge paper weight
65 cm piece of wool or embroidery thread
2   beads- not absolutely neccessay if you don't have any

Needle, scissors, metal ruler, cutting mat, knife, awl, pencil and ruler

Stay safe


                                                          Hope is on the horizon