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Hand Made Book


Thank you to everyone for all of your well wishes for us and for the baby. Even my dad messaged me to say how lovely he thought it was that so many people wanted to send their happy feelings our way. We are very touched. Certainly there will be updates on Miss Z and our preparations for her arrival. In the next couple of days, I will also share the backstory. Since it's not all happy stuff, I didn't want make it a part of our baby's introduction. But it is an important story, at least to me, and I would like to tell it.

It's kind of hard to follow up the baby's introduction with a craft project, but at leat this project does have a baby connection. Over the weekend, Julie and I took a class at the Paper Source in Lincoln Park called "Limited Edition Binding". In it, we created a beautiful book, where we sewed the folios together, picked the cover papers and the book tape. Our teacher was lovely and the whole day went by so quickly while we were learning and putting it all together.

Hand Bound Book

One thing that was very interesting was connecting the paper folios to create the page section. If you've done some needlework before in your life, there were many things that would remind you of embroidery and knitting and crochet. And it was easier than you might think it would be.


I love this top down view of the book because you can see the detail in the spine (I think the teacher called it a free floating spine, because the part of the book that is the pages doesn't actually adhere to the back of the spine). It's this view that really gives me the "wow! I made a real book" feeling.

So what I am I going to do with this book? How does it tie into Baby Z? Well, I've decided that I'm going to use it as a journal for her. It will be the place where we (I'm trying to convince John to do it to, but he's not sure it's his medium) write down important (at least important to us) things about what is going on with her. A place to write about firsts, to save pictures or other little mementos. Something that when she's older she can look through and find out a little more about herself and her parents. It's definitely not going to be as formal as some of those baby journal books that you can buy in the store, but hopefully it will be just as meaningful. I'm just hoping now to find something with an embossed "Z" on it that I can put on the cover.

As a final note, unrelated to books, but still related to the baby, some of you asked if I was going to make her a quilt. In fact, Serenity is going to be her quilt and I am building her nursery around the blues, greens and purples in the quilt. My mother is making some lovely pillows that use some similar fabrics for her nursery and I am thinking of making a few more of those blocks from the Serenity quilt to assemble and use as a crib bumper. So never fear, the baby will definitely have hand-made things from her mom!

Serenity is such a pretty quilt, I love the idea of building the baby's room around it. Congratulations on your happy news.

And hey, the book looks awesome!

What a wonderful and beautifully made book. Perfect for a baby's journal! Enjoy filling it. :)

Yet another lurker here -- I missed the big announcement yesterday, but I just wanted to add my heartfelt congratulations on your happy news! I'm so happy for you and John and your whole family, and I wish you all much luck and health and happiness and every other good thing in the upcoming months!

Your book is beautiful. My son has an interest in paper making, so we took a binding class at the Paper Museum in Atlanta. Ours did not turn out as nice as yours did. Have a great day.

I think that book will make a perfect journal for Baby Z.

If you check out the latest literature on sleeping conditions for babies, you will find that bumpers are not recommended.

I don't want to throw cold water on your plans, and I'm sure you would have learned about this eventually, but I thought this information might save you the fabric and the effort of making them.


That is interesting that you found a class on binding books. Who knew? You did a great job! :)

That is a GORGEOUS book Theresa! So I have a question, is the "Z" the first initial of her chosen name or is it just what you are calling her for now? Just curious!

That will be a beautiful nursery color scheme!

The book is beautiful, and what a wonderful idea! The serenity colors will be a beautiful room for her!

OK, I gotta admit that I missed the Baby Z part yesterday. I know you won't name her Zebra, but honestly that is the first thing I thought of.


laurie m is right about bumpers: please reconsider that idea. we want baby z to be safe.

Oh! My very best congratulations! On the baby; the journal is nice too. Twenty weeks is the perfect time for an announcement. Practice staying hydrated now.

Congratulations on becoming a mom!

I am not really a scrapbook kind of person (though I do love looking at them) and my 14 yo daughter's "baby book" exists as a large shopping bag filled with all the things I would put into a scrapbook if I were more organized. But no matter what else fell by the wayside that first year of her life, my husband and I made sure we took a photo and wrote something on each of her monthly "birthdays" for her first year and actually managed to put together a little journal for her. We didn't keep it up for long after her first birthday, but it a treasured item for all of us and I'm so glad that we managed to do at least that much. Congratulations and best wishes!

Congratulations and best wishes on this wonderful journey you and your husband are taking. Good luck to you. From what I can tell from your blog, she will be lucky to have you as parents.

Congrats on Baby Z. I'm looking forward to reading all about her.

Congratulations! Have tons of fun making baby stuff (and be prepared to have every muggle who seeks you KIP ask "is that for your baby?" even if it is a scarf already 4 feet long, or an adult's sock.)

My mother did that for me, actually! Only her book was more of a paperback, rather than hardbound, and she, I think, marbled the paper herself. I know your daughter will treasure it. :)

Lovely book and such a great idea for using it.

That's a very beautiful book. I think it's also the best way to give her memories for the future. Much better than those baby books you can buy in the stores. What a lucky baby she's going to be! The Serenity quilt will be a lovely baby quilt for her. I'm a rotten mommy in comparison. ;) I better try to catch up.

i'm late on my congratulations! What a fun time. Well, I sorta didn't enjoy being pregnant myself, but i have a suspicion that I largely took it for granted. Anyway, hearty congratulations and I hope all goes very well indeed. Get thee a birth doula! They are the best.

This is absolutely no surprise to me. I knew you were nesting. The rocking chair, the medical scare last year, the baby knits and quilts. I'm one of those annoying people, I've recently said, who is never surprised. Heh.

BUT I'm thrilled for you and I know you will be the best of parents. Awesome!

Ooh, I love your book! I've been making my own paper for a bit and would love to get into book-binding, but it seems so daunting. Great that you could take a class for it - I'll have to see if I can find something like that in Seattle!

Congratulations, Theresa. Your journal idea is beautiful. What a special gift to give to your much loved baby.

I took a handmade book-making class, and I truly loved it. But like quilting, and unlike knitting, it's not really a portable hobby. It is very cool to sew the signatures together. My favorite one I still haven't ever used, and its spine is revealed to show the stitching, and it's sewn to the covers. I think it was a coptic stitch?

What a gorgeous book! I can't believe it's handmade. I'm truly impressed. I think your nursery is going to be just gorgeous too.

look forward to hearing your story.

do you already have a "Z" name picked out?

Hi! I'm Chelsey. I got recc'd your blog by bloglines.com. Congratulations on the baby! And the hand-bound book is gorgeous. I'm a literature nerd, and that makes me very happy :)

I'm always a day late being in the PST! I'm so very excited for all three of you. I love baby girls - such cute clothes! Lil Miss Thang will be such a welcome little gal! Congratulations to you and John.

My dad kept a journal about me from when I was born, not just the big stuff about my first tooth, the first step etc but all those little things like funny stuff I'd said or done that otherwis would have been forgotten. I had no idea he'd done that until he gave me the notebooks when I was 15 and it is one of my most precious belongings. What a fantastic idea to make a handmade book for your daughter!

I love bookbinding. It's a remarkably satisfying craft for the bibliophile in me. Your book is gorgeous!

Congratulations to you and John! The book is beautiful and will be a wonderful gift for Baby Z. A friend of mine kept a similar journal for her daugher (in a sketchbook from an art supply store)--she and her husband wrote notes to Baby S. I loved looking through it because my friend is quite an artist and would draw in it as well. "S" is now a happy third grader and will have a special treasure to look through when she's ready for it.

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