The Book of Craig

In my last post, you saw the page that I created for The Book of Craig: A Creative Festschrift (yep, that’s the name). Now I can show you the finished book.

Before I do that, here are some book-related numbers:

  • Total pages: 40
  • Thread length used: 10 yards
  • Binding time: 296 minutes (4.93 hours)
  • Total production time: 595 minutes (9.92 hours)
  • Number of times I wrote the word “dammit” in my work journal: 1

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my friend Jill for making me an awesome set of weights – they were indispensable during sewing. Those signatures really liked to wiggle!

As you can see in the image below, there are blue post-its on the last page of the book. Whenever I use the Coptic stitch, I always put post-its on the outside of the first and last signatures so that the wax from the linen thread doesn’t rub off on the pages while sewing.

Coptic binding inprocess

Some of the signatures only had one page in them, due to the thickness of added materials. Negotiating the collaged items while sewing was sometimes tricky, but I love a challenge.

Here you can see the book right after I finished sewing it – the second time. I actually had finished it more than an hour earlier than this, but after I trimmed the threads, I noticed that I missed a stitch. That’s where the aforementioned dammit came into play.

Handmade custom coptic book by ELissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

I had to cut the stitches open, add more thread, and re-sew the last couple of signatures (sections) and cover.

Handmade custom coptic book by ELissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

The thickness of the book’s spine came in at a bit under two inches.

Coptic binding closeup

The inset was created by Kelly McMahon, letterpress proprietress of May Day Studio.

Sakes alive, Kelly is wonderful. I walked into her studio with nothing but paper and text and she gave me not one, but three different options for the inset (all of them were amazing). I really had no idea what I wanted it to look like and somehow, she managed to design the perfect piece. Thanks Kelly!

Handmade custom coptic book by ELissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

In my next post, I’ll show you all of the pages that went into the book – they are fabulous!

4 Responses to “The Book of Craig”

By Liz - 12 May 2016 Reply

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

By Elissa - 13 May 2016 Reply

Liz –

Thanks so much!


By jason.lemieux - 12 May 2016 Reply

Beautiful work, Elissa. Binding looks like *so much fun*. 

By Elissa - 13 May 2016 Reply

Jason –

One day, when you least expect it…BAM! You’ll have six needles dangling in front of you.

I can so teach you this.


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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