Coptic & French Link Journal

Monday, November 2, 2015

I've been making books again! This one was stitched with Coptic Stitch and French Link Stitch over velvet ribbon, and I used it to learn to do a couple of things I've never attempted before, in anticipation of making my next book.
I love all the intense color on and in this book. Not only was it fun to work with, but it made for easy photo editing--no white. The three rows of skinny black stitches are Coptic stitches and the wider stitches over the ribbon are called French Link Stitches. I probably should have either made the French Link Stitches wider or reduced the tension in them so that the ribbon wouldn't have wrinkled, but it's not nearly as noticeable in real life and it doesn't bother me much, so let's just say I did it on purpose...for artistic reasons, 'k? ;~)
There are nine sections, each with six folios, which comes to 216 pages. I would have had green paper in there, too, but couldn't find the right shade. I went with the green ribbon on the spine to make up for the lack of green paper. 
Here's a good look at the front of the book. The ribbons are threaded through the book cover, which I've done before, but on this book, I took the time to cut graves on the inside cover so that there wouldn't be any lumps under the end papers. This is the first time I've added an elastic band as a closure on a book, and I love how it turned out. Like the ribbons, I cut graves on the inside back cover to hide the bulge where the elastic is attached, but I went a step further and cut grooves into the length of the front cover for the elastic to sit in. I did the same on the outside of the back cover, also, so that the elastic is nearly flush with the cover. I didn't make that up on my own, though. I saw it here. Siuyuett also has a fabulous mini documentary about bookbinding, which takes you from start to finish in about 5 minutes. If you have any interest in bookbinding at all, I highly recommend the video.

Here's a look at the groove I cut for the elastic. Can you see it? It runs from top to bottom about 1/2" from the edge.
And, here you can see that the elastic is barely visible from the side when it is in place in the grooves.

This is what the inside covers look like. Most people who make Coptic stitch books just sew around the edge of the cover. Back when I went to the Bookbinding Bootcamp at Smokey Road Press we learned to tunnel through the side of the bookboard so that the thread doesn't have to wrap on the outside of the cover. I still used the wraparound technique, but I like this one better.
And, finally, a look at both covers and the spine all together. Thanks for staying with me to the end!

I've been anxious, for a couple of weeks, to finish a custom address book I'm making for myself. I wanted a particular color thread and had to wait on it to get here. Well, it arrived today! So, now I'm off to sew it together tonight. Unlike this book, though, it has a LOT of white in it, so even after I finish making it, it may take some time to get the pics edited. I hope you'll check back in a few days to see it.

Have an awesome week!

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Sue Lelli said...

So vibrant and GORGEOUS, Cheryl!

Leslie Miller said...

Stunned. Just stunned. Every detail magnificent. I see the grooves, love that detail. I like the elastic band and the colorful velvet. I'm simply stunned. And it seems you made it so quickly. Stunned.