Kilmeny of the Orchard

Almost a year ago I had the pleasure of announcing the first title in the newly-inaugurated Low Door Press, a bindery dedicated to producing books created entirely by hand. The response to Kilmeny of the Orchard was overwhelming—and heart-warming. I cannot even begin to say what your enthusiasm and encouraging words have meant to me during this journey into bookbinding. My passion to create a work of beauty that would not only honor the book itself, but reflect the time-honored craft of book artisanship has meant with such sympathy in the world beyond my little workshop, and I am deeply blessed. Say what you will about the degeneracy of the age, I am thankful to live in a world in which I can still make books by hand—and in which there are those who will still appreciate them.

From the original book description:

The pages are acid-free rag content and the signatures were folded and sewn entirely by hand onto cotton tapes with Irish bookbinder’s thread. I used an archival PVA book glue and traditional English mull for the binding, and the headbanding at the head and tail of the spine are silk. The book cloth is Dover linen and the endpapers are Italian cotton. The artwork, consisting of a cover plate and frontispiece, is from original oils painted by my sister, and the cases were individually debossed and inked on an early-twentieth century engraver’s press. I would not even be able to begin to say how many hours went into each book, but I can avow that every one of them was a labor of love.

Keep in mind that any slight imperfections are owing to the fact that these books are handmade from start to finish. The only modern machine involved was the printer.

You can read more about the process here, if you’re interested.

The original run of 100 books took over two years to complete, but today I am happy to be able to say that the final 15 books have been listed in the Shop.

Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, I can only sell them to residents of the U.S. Thank you for your understanding.

12 Responses to “Kilmeny of the Orchard”

  1. Funny you would post this today – I am looking at one of the beautiful copies I bought last year where it is sitting in the important stack of books on my desk. What a happy reminder of the joy I felt the day the lovely box arrived carrying these treasures in it. Blessings to you, Lanier, and on all the work of your hands!

  2. Diane says:

    Lanier: How you must rejoice as you send these “children” out into the world to be loved and cherished by others! I am especially looking forward to receiving this treasure and promise it will be ever so well cared for! Thank you for putting so much of yourself into this “labor of love.”

    Blessings to you and yours as we celebrate this beautiful season of Advent. It is lovely to think about all of the ways and times in which Jesus comes into our lives………and how we are wonderfully changed because of each of these advents! This year may He come in a joyous and blessed way for you.


  3. I’m so glad I saw this in time! The last time you offered the books I waited to tell David about it as a gift idea and when I came back… they were all gone. This time I just bought one for myself posthaste since there were only three of the fifteen left.

    So looking forward to receiving it! 🙂

  4. J. Claire Rogers says:

    Lanier, I’m a fool for not looking at this sooner. I waited too long last year, and they were sold out. Now it looks like you’re sold out again. Je regrette!

  5. Kristen Anna says:

    I just adore my copy of Kilmeny and am happy to see that 15 more people will have the joy of owning a copy! (In fact, I was so tempted to order another copy – as a gift – but wanted to give others a chance. 😉 )

    Blessings of joy to you and your family this Advent season! I’m in the process of planning and preparing for my 3rd Annual Nine Lessons and Carols – thank you again for the idea. 🙂

  6. Claire says:

    Are you all sold out already? I didn’t realize you only had 15 copies or I would have bought one immediately:( 🙁 please make a few more, this was going to be my Christmas gift to myself, I can’t even describe how disappointed I am. L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite authors and Kilmeny was one of the few remaining books of hers I hadn’t read yet.

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Oh, Claire–I am so sorry!! I will definitely let you know if I ever decide to bind more of this particular title!

  7. linda says:

    Dear Lanier,
    I treasure your Kilmeny book and have enjoyed it’s amazing beauty beyond what i can express to you.
    Other than my Bible, what i have treasured most were quilts i bought with babysitting money saved up as a young girl.
    Every tiny stitch seemed like such a labor of love and work of art…..and i feel the same way about your Kilmeny book now in my 60’s. Thank you again for sharing your joy and letting the blessings of your life overflow into mine.
    Lord willing, i look forward to enjoying your next book.
    With great admiration and thankfulness,
    Psalm 16:11

  8. Erica says:

    Wow – this is remarkable. I can’t even tell you how much I love this (and L.M. Montgomery).

  9. Rodney Cottrell says:

    I would love to purchase a copy for my lovely wife of 20 years. Will you be handcrafting more of this Title?
    I pray that there has been a blessed beginning to 2013 to you and your family.

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Rodney, I hope that you got my email, but I’m not planning on making any more of the Kilmeny books at this point in time. Thank you so much for your interest, and I will let you know if I ever decide to do another run of this particular title. 🙂

      • Rodney Cottrell says:


        If not this title, assuredly another great work of your choosing would be a fine gift and treasure.

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