Monday, January 27, 2014

A Mystery Solved

I love to read a good mystery, curled up in a deep armchair with a box of restorative bon-bons nearby, and recently I managed to solve a small mystery myself. Nothing involving a murder, which is perhaps a good thing.

The other day I was leafing idly through one of my books on bookbinding, when I noticed a small, blurry, black-and-white photograph of a coptic stitched book (yes, this is a bookbinding mystery, Dear Reader :). 

On the cover of the book were some cross-stitchings that seemed to be part of the binding. And unfortunately, even though it was a very instructive book on bookbinding, in this case there was no explanation of how one would do that sort of stitching. Where is Sherlock Holmes when you need him? 

I became determined to solve the Mystery of the Cross-Stitch Coptic Binding, so I got out my needles and a couple of recently pressed book covers, and commenced my investigations.  And at last I think I've done it! Turns out it was a variation on a multiple-needle coptic stitch pattern I've been using for years for my books with wooden covers.  I just had to do a little criss-crossing with the needles, and voila! Here is the result:

I used reclaimed, walnut brown leather from a vintage bomber jacket for the covers, and stitched it together with sky blue Irish linen thread.

 On the inside covers are ephemera stickers with Italian and French handwriting:

I named this journal / sketch book "Blue Skies". It's currently residing on the shelves of my Etsy store.

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