Binding the Book of Days

Having finally stitched all my pages for my Book of days, the next task was to bind them together.

I’ve been pondering for a few days how to bind my Book of Days. I’ve never done bookbinding, when I made my Stitchbook a couple of years ago I had embroidered the pages as double page spreads, so it was fairly straight forward to just whip-stitch the pages together.

This time the pages were individual squares, so it wasn’t so easy. I was also concerned that due to the folding at the corners, the pages were thinner in the middle than at the corners, I didn’t want the spine to have an hourglass figure!

I searched on pinterest for binding textile books, but most images were of paper pages with a fabric cover. I did however come across the term coptic stitching. I did a bit more searching on my computer for information on coptic stitching. It seems to be a traditional stitch for binding paper books, creating a sort of twisted chain stitch on the spine, which can be pretty decorative. The problem was that all the instructions involved a long stitch down the centre of a fold of paper, I didn’t have the equivalent of a centre fold.

I decided to do my version of the coptic stitch, I’m calling it the Coptic Creek stitch!!! I took photos at the various stages of the stitch so if anyone is in a similar predicament, this is how I did it…

I divided the spine into 4 and marked the 5 points with a pin. I used a perle thread, I wanted something stronger than DMC and I had the perfect colour on a reel of Anchor perle. I used a double thread for extra strength. Having secured at the back, the first pair of pages stitching was a bit of a fudge but I then got a pattern;

I stitched through the edge of the next page, trying to catch a couple of threads of linen on each side, not just the whip-stitch…

I then looped the thread under the stitch TWO pages before…

Before pulling it all the way through I took the needle through the loop of thread, making something a bit like a twisted chain, I tried to always loop the same way…

I then pulled the ‘knot’ neatly into place and carried on to the next stitch…

I did five rows in total, I found it easier in the middle rows to have a marker pin at the other side too to aim for. I didn’t pull the middle ones as firmly as the end rows either so it would sit flat. At one point I was considering putting beads as spacers in the three middle rows, but I decided I was over-complicating things!

The book feels quite fluid at the moment, which I quite like, the pages are not tightly stitched together. It also lies open flat with a neat row of knots just visible…

True Coptic stitch is designed to be visible, if I’d made my front and back cover as separate squares I could have bound it altogether like this. However I’m planning to make a wrap around cover, so watch this space!

I’ve linked all the posts about the making of this book on the page above called Fabric Books.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
This entry was posted in cross-stitch, embroidery, Serendipity, Textile Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Binding the Book of Days

  1. Jane M says:

    Amazing, well done, it looks great

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie M says:

    I think the Coptic Creek stitch is genius. I love it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You will have to do a video to be able to share with us all in the best possible way. Much of the stitching stuff goes over my head, but it does not stop me from being able to admire it Margaret x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just beautiful! Another heirloom.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. anne54 says:

    Don’t you love it when you find the right solution ~ and this is such a good one! I hope you are going to show us all the pages in this wonderful book. (I have started the set up for my Cathy Reavs wheel sampler, so thanks for the links and the inspiration.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura says:

    Coptic Creek book binding…very creative and functional! Love! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prue Batten says:

    I did a diploma in bookbinding at our University Art School many years ago and Coptic binding along with Japanese side-binding were my favourite forms of binding. I think your version of the Coptic is brilliant and I’m thinking that one could in fact use any other knot stitch, like perhaps Palestrina. Thank you for showing us this process, Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Faby Reilly says:

    Absolutely gorgeous !!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I admire you for making such a beautiful book! Great way to bind! Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amanda says:

    It looks fab. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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