Cheesy Little Yellow

On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival for the second year in a row.

Cheese, glorious cheese

And for the second year in a row, I ate myself sick. I have since declared a 48-hour moratorium on cheese – my stomach is the boss of me.

In anticipation of the Festival, I became obsessed with making a cheese journal with covers the size of a slice of American cheese. You’d think that it would be easy to find out the measurements of the aforementioned cheese.

It wasn’t.

Googling proved unsuccessful and I was forced to take matters into my own hands. What this meant was that on Saturday night, I brought a ruler with me to the grocery store and measured the cheese. That sounds like it could be a euphemism for something entirely inappropriate…

The strangest thing about my book concept was that although it was the size of a slice of American cheese, I was set on styling the covers like Swiss cheese. I’m a complex person.

Double-needle coptic binding in process

I finished the book on Sunday, in the early afternoon. This meant less time at the Festival. I made the executive decision that book trumped cheese. I don’t know if this will be a steadfast rule or if it is situation-specific. Only time will tell.

Here’s the completed book:

Handmade journal - cheese book

I named the book Little Yellow. The first reason for this is pretty obvious, but the second one, not so much.

My hubby and I watch the Tour de France every year. Back in 2004, first-time Tour rider Thomas Voeckler wore the yellow jersey for 10 days. He was such a young peanut of a rider and I started calling him “Little Yellow”. As Sunday was the final stage of the Tour de France and also the day I finished my book, it seemed appropriate to use a Tour-related name.

It measures 3.25″ x 3.25″ and is covered in Butterscotch Arrestox bookcloth. I carved the cheese holes using an X-Acto knife. I used a double-needle Coptic binding, packing the stitches so the braid would be more prominent.

Handmade book spine - double-needle coptic binding

I’ve already used 15 of the pages. I took notes on cheeses I liked and (gulp!) didn’t like. Some cheesemakers give you labels so you can remember the cheese you ate.

Handmade book - notes from the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

It seems that I now have an autograph book of cheese.

5 Responses to “Cheesy Little Yellow

By Annie - 27 July 2011 Reply

I like this Little Yellow and I just love the story behind it! ;-D
May I ask what you mean by “packing the stitches”?
best, Annie – the Netherlands

By Elissa - 2 August 2011 Reply

Annie –

I have to figure out how to explain it…let me get back to you.


By Jackie - 2 August 2011 Reply

I like your book. The chunky stitiching is just right, and the holey cover too.

By Inge - 28 October 2012 Reply

Hello Elissa,

I love handmade books and loooove the whole story on your cheesebook!
The covers are great ! Really look like gruyere:)
Very nice sewing too. I love that the sewed spine is visible and really apart of the whole sight of the book.

Greetings from belgium

By Elissa - 29 October 2012 Reply

Inge –

Glad you like the cheese book – it’s one of my favorites! I also love the thickened coptic stitch. I need to do it more often.

And sadly, one of the few I actually use. What is it about using your own books?


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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