BOOKMAKING 107: THE HUBRIS OF FAULTY LAYOUT (AND PLANNED RECOVERY)

OK. Here I am, showing off my overconfidence in front of everyone. I admit it – I’m not perfect,. Often my enthusiasm gets in the way of prudence, and I forget things like double checking all measurements.

And so this happened

Here you see the “knot” I designed as the cheat at the center of the mirrored top and bottom border. It’s just fine – plump and happy. But wait! See that three stitch (6-thread) gap between it and the green border edge line coming in from the right? That shouldn’t be there! The spot the orange arrow indicates SHOULD be the center of that knot, to align with the center axis I’ve designated for this second side of my book cover.

Panic ensues. I go back and look at the entire border bit, from this center back to the right edge…

Nope. I didn’t miscount. The repeat is true. Why then am I off. (A deeper sense of panic sets in.)

I measure the leafy side of the book cover. It’s true to my original planned dimensions. Hmmm…. Can it be?

YES!

It looks like I made a major mistake in my layout that I did not notice when I worked the previous side. I inadvertently added the width of the spine to the width of the first side I stitched, over and above the spine width that’s already there and marked. I have nade a first side that’s marginally too big – about six stitches too big, and a second side with a main field that is no longer centered.

What to do?

I’ve got several choices

  1. Bury the thing in my Chest of Stitching Horrors(tm) and abandon it forever. Nope. Not going to happen. For one, there are witnesses (you); also a major promise of delivery.
  2. Do #1, but begin again. Not going to happen, either. I’ve gotten to far along to set this much effort aside.
  3. Pick out the entire first side and redo – or pick out the entire second side and redo. Tempting (especially the latter) but also not a favored option. While the mistake is real and is six stitches per side, I don’t think it warrants total destruction.
  4. Figure out a way to use as much as possible of the stitching done to date, and adapt. Being a bungie-jump stitcher, this is not the first time that things have gone seriously awry. Adapt. Reuse. Redirect. That’s my way. That’s what I will do.

Taking a moment to let the panic subside (as it usually does once I’ve figured out where the original mistake happened), I look at my options.

First, I point out that while being off six stitches on the front and six on the back sounds like a lot, at the thread count I’m using it’s only 3/16 of an inch per side, at most the book cover will be a teeny bit deep compared to the substrate notebook, but not enough to matter. Second, there is a blank area set aside for the spine – it’s six stitches wide. I can cannibalize it to compensate for half of the overage.

OK. Things are looking more manageable. Because the center of the second side is an eccentric repeat, in spite of my effort to balance it left/right, a skew presentation will not be all that noticeable, not compared to the same error on a totally symmetrical design like the flower-side. I can leave the double sprig and diamond ground section as-is.

For the border, I can leave in what I have, including the tell-tale center knot, and work the left side of the knot to mirror what I’ve already done on the right. If I do that by the time I get to the leftmost edge of this second cover I will be six stitches off count – eating up those six stitches I had set aside for the spine. The front and back covers should meet up along the single green line that marks the rightmost edge of the flower-patterned side above.

I hope. It should work. In theory. (The suspense is palpable.)

Stay tuned!

2 responses

  1. …and there’s always fill in the blank spot with a filler of the same weight at the borders. Who will notice it, then? ….other than you will, of course… 🙂

  2. I made a similar mistake, and just removed the inside line of the border. It worked. I just added more design. A little misdirection is good for the viewer. It’s terrific. I was almost hoping that you would throw it in the Chest of Horrors….so I could beg for it. I think it’s stunning.

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