World Atlas coasters, atop my 10″ Milton Bradley studio cutter, the smallest of my vintage paper cutter collection

I have loved paper since I was a child. It might be one of the reasons I became a teacher. (It took me a while to realize that is not a reason to teach.) Even though I am grown, and no longer a teacher, I still love paper. So, when I needed a break from sewing this past winter, I turned to paper. And it felt good. Still does.

Maurice Sendak’s Dear Mili, by Wilhelm Grimm, repurposed into stitched coasters

But, go figure, I started to sew the paper, too! I’ve developed a minor addiction to sewing up these sets of paper coasters, celebrating the wonderful visual appeal of book illustrations. There are so many discarded books to be had. Outdated, torn pages, books that have been scrawled in by some undisciplined child, broken bindings, torn covers…

You name it, I save it. At least that’s how I see it.

The Lemming Condition, by Alan Arkin, illustrations by Joan Sandin, repurposed into coasters

Sewing paper is not all that tricky. Dedicated needle. Lots of paper lint buildup, but not really all that much more than sewing wool or cashmere. There’s a limit to the thickness that the machine will handle. The biggest difference? Punch a hole in the paper. It’s there for good. But you knew that.

V. Cornette’s Method for Trombone, ©1937, cut, stitched, and ready to be knotted