Long-Stitch Binding At Home – Fall 2023

Scott McCarney looks at you from the other side of his workbench
Scott McCarney headshot

Event Info

This two-week, virtual workshop takes place on Zoom on Tuesday nights, November 28 – December 5, 2023 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET.

  • Tuesday, November 28, 6-8pm
  • Tuesday, December 5, 6-8pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 at 11:59pm.

About the Workshop:

In this two-session virtual workshop with CBA instructor Scott McCarney, participants will learn how to create a book using the long stitch binding technique two different ways. This binding technique is versatile and can be applied to multiple materials, making it an excellent option for any book project.

Long stitch bindings are non-adhesive and require no paste or glue. They are relatively easy and quick to sew, adaptable to small edition binding. The finished books can lay flat, making them suitable for sketchbooks and journals. The sewing technique is centuries-old, originating in medieval Germany, and historically can be found on limp parchment bindings (though we will be sewing sections onto reinforced paper covers).

On the first session, we will learn how to tailor a reinforced paper cover to a stack of folded sections, prepare sewing stations in the cover and sections, and sew a basic long stitch that creates an alternating pattern of thread along the spine. The second session we will learn a variation on the basic long stitch where the threads are parallel across the spine. Some exterior sewn thread reinforcements will be introduced that reinforce the spine and can be quite decorative.

Students will walk away with a long-stitch bound book of their own and a new skill that they can take in to their bookbinding career!

Required Materials:


  • Paper awl
  • Paper knife (a table knife will work)
  • Bonefolder
  • X-acto or matt knife
  • Straightedge
  • Cutting mat
  • Needles and thread
  • Scissors
  • square
  • Glue stick
  • Text weight paper (48 sheets of 8.5 x 11 inch copy paper)
  • Cover weight paper (2 pieces, 5.5 inches x 12 to 14 inches; 2 pieces, 5.5 x 9 inches)


  • Some binding experience is helpful but not necessary.

About the Instructor

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator based in Rochester, New York.

His primary art practice has been in book form since 1980 and spans many media, from offset and digital printing to sculptural and site-specific installation.

His bookworks can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. His work is shown internationally (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Baku, Azerbaijan) as well as closer to home (Hallwalls, Buffalo NY; Everson Museum, Syracuse NY; Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY).

His teaching and lecturing itinerary is varied and eclectic, carrying the banner of artist’s books to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, and South America.

Learn More

All images courtesy of the instructor. 

In order to best serve our community, many of our online classes are pay-what-you-can. The amount you choose to pay goes directly toward our instructors and toward creating scholarship opportunities for the future. Virtual workshops at Center for Book Arts will be recorded and the recording will be provided for all registered participants after the class.

Registration is closed. Return to all Classes.

Your cart is empty.