Taking a Stab at Coptic Stitch … Again

Handmade blank journal by Mary Warner, December 2015
Handmade blank journal by Mary Warner, December 2015

Here’s my latest creation, a handmade blank journal with a Coptic stitch binding.

After taking a class from artist Heidi Jeub to learn how to make these a couple years ago, I made a whole bunch in order to cement the process in my mind. And then I didn’t make any. Until this one.

I remembered the procedures for making the signatures and the cover, but that Coptic binding was a tricky one. I managed it, but had difficulty with joining the second signature into the binding.

The signature is a collection of pages. This book has five signatures, four of which you can see from the side view. The cover is hiding the top one, the one that got sewn in somewhat catty-wampus.

Coptic binding, handmade blank journal by Mary Warner, December 2015.
Coptic binding, handmade blank journal by Mary Warner, December 2015.

The middle portion of the binding is easy to sew and easy to make look nice because it forms a natural chain stitch. The binding stitches on the edges are problematic. Because of their location, it takes some maneuvering of the binding thread to make them look half-way decent.

Coptic binding, handmade blank journal by Mary Warner, December 2015.
See the two edge rows of binding stitches? – Coptic binding, handmade blank journal by Mary Warner, December 2015.

I am pleased at how the binding turned out considering how long it’s been since I made one of these books. I’m not so keen on the stray catty-wampus signature. There’s definitely room for improvement.

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2 thoughts on “Taking a Stab at Coptic Stitch … Again

  1. there are some good youtube videos that help refresh on some of the things (like how to do the cover/last signature). Having taken a class from the MCBA for this, if I take some time between binding projects, it helps to look at the video for that part.

    Also, when I’m knitting and forget how to start or how to end.

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    1. What a fabulous tip, Cynthia! I never think to look for videos on this (or knitting) even though Erik is constantly watching YouTube videos for refinishing. I will keep that in mind for the future. Thanks!

      Like

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