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[BKARTS] stab binding tips

Would someone mind giving me some tips on proper stab binding techniques?  
I have trouble getting my stab bound books to open easily.  Perhabs I am sewing the pages too tight?
I'd like to make a stab-bound sketch book--about 12x12 to take on vacation using good sketch/watercolor paper and I'd like it to open and lay flat.  Also, I'm curious how the signatures function in a stab-bound book--I don't know, maybe that's a silly question.
Jessie K.

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