RASK- Sewing Tiny Books

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Tiny BookThe first Friday of June is upon us and you know what that means.  It’s TJ Goerlitz here from Studio Mailbox offering an update on this year’s RASK campaign.  (And just in case you don’t know what it means, I tune in on the first Friday of every month to bring you a little tale of humor and this year we are focusing on random acts of sewing kindness a.k.a. RASK).

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is a very special place to me.  So when they reached out and asked if I could help with a volunteer activity I rolled my sleeves up and said, “yes.”  Their current exhibition has a river theme and in conjunction with this they organized a fund raiser by printing, folding and sewing 15,000 tiny books.

A little box arrived via post and nestled inside were hundreds of tiny folded books, some with messages and memories written inside.

folded booksSo I sewed.  And I sewed some more.  This was the first time my machine really started giving me trouble with my stitch lengths.  I think the old girl is finally about to conk out on me.  (If you’ve followed my first Friday column you already know that I’ve only ever had one machine my whole life.  I still work with a Singer Merit 2404 that I saved all my money for when I was a teenager).  I coaxed her along with reassurances like, “c’mon girl,” and “you got this!”  It’s entirely possible that there may have been a few vulgarities when my thread tension knob wouldn’t cooperate.  It’s given me problems before but this time my thread would not stop breaking.  I kept plugging along, “please Betsy, just a few more,” I begged with my old machine.  If I don’t replace it soon I’ll have to get a chair that’s in the shape of a saddle so I can wear spurs and kick it’s legs while I work.

820 books sewn into strings were nestled back into their little postal box and returned to the book arts center where they are now hanging from the lobby ceiling.

folded books

Bundles of tiny booksTiny Books Installation

Daaaaang I’m so kind it hurts!!!!


What have you been up to?  Pipe up in the comments if you’ve been helping anybody with your sewing skills. I’d love to hear if RASK is spreading.

TJ from Studio MailboxTJ Goerlitz is a mixed media artist who pretends to be a seamstress whenever possible.  Come connect with her on her site, Studio Mailbox,  in Facebook or in Pinterest.  Join her on the first Friday of every month where she shares her latest sewing tales with the readers of The Sewing Loft.

TJ @ StudioMailbox
Tari “TJ” Goerlitz is an artist who has spent the majority of the last decade living and working in Europe. Since her relocation to the United States you can usually find her at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts where she explores Letterpress printing as the latest component to her mixed media work which is a fusion of photography, printing, sewing and journaling. Connect with TJ while she shares her creative journey online at Studio Mailbox. www.studiomailbox.com
TJ @ StudioMailbox

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Come find me- http://pinterest.com/studiomailbox/


  1. Wow, that is amazing! Love the way it looks!!

  2. Just get your girl a tune up and a new belt, she will be fine!

  3. Susan Shaw says:

    What is going to be done with the books or can you say? Also, do you find that the paper dulls your needle like paper dulls scissors? Just curious! This inspired me – there was a bill in the state senate this year here – by someone else with whom I just made contact – to have the state of limitations changed for victims of sexual abuse (I think it might be for victims of childhood sexual abuse). It passed in the house and was struck down in the state senate. So, now it is going to be more aggressive to try to get no statute of limitations. It might be helpful to make little booklets either for congress members or for victims. I’m amazed at how items from one genre might be the answer for another. Blessings for you for your volunteering.

    • I’m not sure if the books will be a traveling exhibit. Yes the paper certainly dulls the needle. I mark the shanks of my paper needles and switch them out when I go back to fabric! Love that you want to make tiny books for your bill. Forward march!

  4. It sounds as if your ‘Betsy’ deserves a trip to the local spa for faithful sewing machines. good work and the resulting display is awe inspiring.

  5. Is there a patten for the tiny books?

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