Sunday, June 16, 2013

Learning the Coptic Stitch

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to learn a different binding stitch for my journals and books.  I've been intrigued by the coptic stitch so I took a stab at it (pun intended!).  The first attempts took me what seems like forever.  After taking out the threads multiple times. leaving it, coming back to it, retrying it, and then watching the video on youtube again I finally figured out what I needed to do to get the stitching to look the way I had imagined.  Rather than a few fatter signatures I divided the pages into many thinner signatures. Success!  After I put together a few more books I plan to work on the caterpillar version of the coptic stitch which I think is amazingly cool!
I also wanted to get away from the boring scrapbook and sketch paper pages that I had resorted to (time saver when you need to crank out the books for the galleries) and began using painted surface design to create artistic pages.  I'm at the point where I want to do the books the way I WANT rather than thinking about what others may want.  I've had too many people whispering in my ear things like "what are you supposed to do with THAT paper?", "how can you write on that?", blah, blah, blah.  If you don't "get" it, don't buy it!  
This journal/art book has a hand-dyed muslin quilted cover embellished with a heart, fabric scraps, and embroidery accents.  
 I have been experimenting with types of closures as well as binding stitches and really like the elastic and button closure.  The satin heart is accented by a pearl bead.
 The coptic stitch binding with perle cotton thread and eyelets.
 After taking a clay clock class at Old Town Pottery here in Galax I made some charms and buttons (the blue charm was a gift from Sara) to use on my spines.
 This book has various pages including paper bags, finger painting, stenciled deli paper, inked baby wipes, and others.
 This book has painted canvas paper covers with coptic stitiching, elastic and button closure, and painted deli paper signature wraps.
 One of the deli wraps.
 Another quilted muslin cover with fabric scraps and a free motion flower.
 Elastic and button closure and close- up of the free motion embroidery.
 The signatures have canvas mini wraps and plenty of painted papers.


  1. I've been dithering about whether to use a coptic stitch or not to bind some journals - you have given me the impetus to try it out. Love your books especially the charms!

  2. Thank you, Alison. I watched a video on youtube by SeaLemonDIY and it was very helpful. Let me know how it goes for you!