Accordion Books

A Lovely Experiment

Tom and Nancy Haarmeyer’s Valentines Books

Just over twelve weeks ago people started showing up on zoom for open invitation, weekly folding sessions. My agenda was to see what I could do to shepherd people along towards gaining more intentional folding skills. It turned into so much more than that.

At one point, early on, Bobbi from California, said, we have such a nice group. I hadn’t realized that this is what it had begun to feel like, a comfortable friendly group.

These were working sessions. I was chatty for about 2 minutes while people filtered in. I taught. We worked, They shared. After 30 minutes Zoom unceremoniously kicked us off.

Susan Joy Share’s Collection fo Accordion101 models

I was super delighted that Susan Joy Share came to the sessions. Since I know she knows just about everything that I know I didn’t see that she would think there’s was anything for her to learn, but even she said that there were some surprises. I guess we all can learn from each other, no matter what level we’re at. Everyone has their own way of seeing things that is only enhanced by seeing other ways of doing things.

Jo Michalski’s 6 page accordion with extension

Oh, and then I asked Susan to teach one of the classes, and she showed how to divide a paper into thirds, then inspired the group with this cool accordion that had hidden panels that extended upwards, which is not something I had seen before. The people in the class did all sorts inventive variations of this in the little bit of time that we had.

There was more going on than just learning about folding. One person said that she hadn’t felt comfortable with the idea of signing up for a zoom class. After coming to this free little event of mine over and over, she said that she now felt comfortable enough to sign up for a Zoom class.

Paper Dolls by Davida Feder

I learned a good bit by doing these sessions. Having been thrown into Zoom unexpectedly along with everyone else, its been useful for me to simply practice teaching on-line.

Here are some things that I learned. A friend of mine who I walk with, and who came to some sessions, encouraged me to be more aware of how often I used terms like “bring this to here” rather than saying “fold the top right corner to the center of the paper.” What great feedback! Not only does using more descriptive words slow me down, but it is helpful to people who are working and listening at the same time, which is mostly the case.

Someone else suggested I be more explicit about when I want people to just watch, and when I expect that we are working together. Such good advice.

I had more of a chance to figure out Zoom, too. I realized that asking people to learn how to raise their hands in Zoom is handy in an unexpected way. Raising the hand is better than thumbs up, or any other response, because when a hand gets raised, it migrates to the top of the group, clustering them together. This saves me from scanning the group, trying to determine the percentage of people who are ready to move on, as the groups is then divided into two distinct clusters.

I also learned about how to replace spotlight in Zoom. This is so helpful when I want to move from person to person.

Pop-up by Susan Joy Share

What we made wasn’t as important to me as the skills I was trying to shore up for the people who could use the instruction. Even so, it’s good to keep track of what we did. Credit goes to my friend Karen, who kept a list of everything we made. When reading this list, keep in mind that I all I ever asked people to show up with was regular size copy paper.

Projects by week:

1.  Eight section accordion, made we two half sheets joined together,  with reinforced cover (using first and last panel).  

2. Eight section accordion with pages attached into the deep pockets of the accordion

3.  French fold accordion and origami pocket 

4.  Accordion with fold over pocket and origami pocket

5.  Twisted pages accordion

6.  Snowflakes with six points

7.  Accordion paper dolls

8. Pleated cover with pleated closure

9.  Origami pamphlet

10. Susan Share’s method for finding 1/3s and an accordian with fold-down flaps

11.  T-cut origami pamphlet with middle-pleat cover

12.  Accordions with pop-ups

And that’s a wrap!

My books with pleated closure

Closures · pleating · Zoom Workshop

Pleated Closure, Variation

A pleated closure which is a variation of Hedi Kyle’s School Book Wrapper with Pleat

Hedi Kyle shows an elegant wrapper with an exquisite pleated closure (Art of the Fold, project 34). I love the pleat and the way the book block slips into the wrapper. Some beautiful papers that have are too small (8 1/2″ x 11″ and 11″ x 15″) to use for Hedi’s structure. This set me thinking about how to create a cover with a pleated closure which uses less paper.

What I came up with doesn’t to retain the perfect way Hedi’s book slides into the cover. Instead, I did a little pamphlet stitch to attach the pages into the folder. This method allows me to use my papers to make a larger book. Oh, and there’s a perk to doing the sewing: I can add on some beads.

This is what I showed to the group who have been showing up to fold with me on Saturdays.

What’s fun is that I come up with a variation of what I learn from Hedi Kyle, then the people I teach my variation to make variations of their own.

Pleated Closures, variations by Ruth Nuesch

Two details that I want your to know in Ruth Nuesch’s books, above, are one, that in the lower folder she went ahead and made the folder with a relatively narrow piece of paper -she just made it work- and two, notice how she figured out how to include the pencil on to the strap.

Below, here’s one by Sarah Bailey Knight.

Sarah Bailey Knight

What especially delights me about this one by Sarah Bailey Knight is here selection of papers for the book block.

I generally am not making special videos of my Saturday open zoom workshops, but this is a structure that I’m afraid I’d forget if I didn’t record it. Here’s the video:

For anyone who is still interested, I’ll be continuing doing the zoom videos up until February 5, 2022. That’s four more sessions. All details at

Accordion Books · cut paper · Zoom Workshop

Darling & Jazzy Dancing Paper Dolls

Cut Paper by Sue Reynolds

Just three hours until the next 4pm EST zoom workshop, wanting to write about the last one before it slips into the abyss of last week. I was even more nervous about this presentation than usual, not sure what the reception would be from this talented and brilliant group to the prospect of making paper dolls.

Was delighted that the project was met with open hearts, and ,ooo-la-la, people got into the playful spirit of the the day.

Cut Paper, Lisa Hart

These dolls were inspired by my wonderful memories of working with a truly gifted art teacher, Geraldine Merrill, who worked in a inner city school district that had many challenges. Geraldine broke all the rules, lived outside of the box, and created incredibly rich imagery with kids, including paper dolls, which were embellished in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Susan Joy Share’s cut paper with Crayon rubbings above

The idea here was to let the figures have a sense of movement and allow room for each of the figures to have their own personalities.  Susan Joy Share made these stylish women, strong and wild, with the best hair. Susan has been doing explorations of surface design using rubbings on various materials. Glad she included one of her cover designs in the photo above. Am hoping she uses it with these cut figures.

Developing the wardrobes, Emma Reid

Even though we had just a half-hour together, it was long enough to see different ways people chose to explore their own direction. The wardrobe and accessories of Emma’s girls are enchanting. Notice the pom-pom on the hat, and the knot of the scarf.

Cut paper, Nancy Haarmeyer 

The way that I asked people to design the figures was to first draw a stick figure, then flesh it out by just imagining the lines to be thicker. When the cutting is done, I expect the paper to be flipped over so that the lines don’t show. Above, I’m happy that Nancy Haarmeyer provided me a photo that shows the lines, thus showing the process.

Jazzy figures, Gerry Mcgaunn

Most of the cut-outs seemed to lean toward being girls, which I wonder if that’s because we think of paper dolls as girls, or because it’s generally a female activity. I loved  that Gerry made his paper dolls look decidedly male. It was seeing  his cut-outs that even made me aware of the female leaning of the other pieces.

Girls having fun, Beth DellaRocco

Now here’s a set of playful girls, one that surprised me: I was over at my friend’s Beth house and saw it on her work table. I didn’t know she had been at our paper doll session. I asked her for this photo. I have unilaterally decided that this is an image of her and I at play.

I have mine own to show that I may add in to this post later, but now I need to be thinking about today’s session, where we will be doing something with one well placed pleat.

Join today at 4pmEST

Paula Krieg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 732 8168 5909
Passcode: XBFUX2

Accordion Books

Folding Together

The twelve weeks of Saturday zoom folding are evolving. This has been a fun experiment for me, to get together for just thirty minutes once a week to go over some basic paper folding skills. People are showing up, and I get feedback that they are picking up and sharpening their skills.

This Saturday will be the last one before the interruption of the upcoming holidays that will be falling on December 25 and January 1. To keep the continuity, INSTEAD of Saturdays, during Christmas week I will do sessions on Monday December 27 and Thursday December 30 at 1:00. The earlier time is meant to accommodate time zones across the Atlantic. I know this time won’t be good for everyone, but it suits some overseas people whom I’ve been in touch with.

The zoom link will be the same as it’s been every week, which is

Paula Krieg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 732 8168 5909
Passcode: XBFUX2

Now for some pictures from last meeting:

Pocket Accordion by Susan Joy Share

We created pocketed accordions this past week. My emphasis was on how to fold up the pocket evenly without using measuring tools. I wrote about this in detail in a 2014 post. After folding, we examined the possibilities of the form.

Susan Joy Share sent me the stunning example above of what she made. Taking advantage of the characteristics of these folds, she slipped design elements into the pockets, emphasized the pocket’s edge with strip, echoed that strip with another one above it, which has a number line feel to it. Then she took full advantage of the folds to create pop-ups, both on the pockets and on the space above. She lined the back of the accordion, too. I love the detail of the hot pink in the bottom edges, and all the lovely hand drawing that she included.

Jo Michalski’s Pocketed Accordion

Here’s one from Jo Michalski. She’s taken advantage of the pockets in two distinct ways. Like Susan, she included pop-ups on the pockets, which takes advantage of the fact that the back of the pop-up is lined by the lower layer, but then she went on to include this delightfully clever second color into the pockets, which offered another pop-up opportunity. Doing this makes the upper layer of the accordion be the background for the new set of protruding shapes. Then she glued fun little add-ons and made some interesting cuts to finish off.

What Jo and Susan both did was that they explored the different opportunities that the structure offered. Looking at what’s in front of them, they came up with a direction and followed it. For me, it’s this process of development that captivates me about others peoples work.

Accordion by Paula Krieg
Pocketed Accordion by Paula Krieg

What my challenge was, after seeing Susan’s and Jo’s work, was to figure out some other ways of playing around with the same structure. What I chose to do was to add curves to the pocket and the the top of the page, sew in a couple of tiny pages in a couple of the valleys, make slinky little cuts in the pockets that show some gold beneath, glue in some geometric shapes, then include something like paper dolls into the pockets.

I made a little video of it. It occurs to me that this would make an interesting stage set.

Tomorrow, Saturday December 18, I’ll be doing another 4 pm EST session, using the same zoom link that I listed earlier in this post. We’ll be making a different sort of accordion (maybe I’m pushing to even call it that) which will result in a six-sided snowflake. I have all sorts of tips to share

Bring scissors, lightweight copy paper, and, if you have some, bring some paper napkins, doesn’t matter what size. Hope to see you.