Watercolor French Link Stitch Journal aka The Barnacle Book

Handmade Journal coptic stitch variation with french link stitch bookbinding by Ruth Bleakley

I always get excited when I create a new design for my handmade journals. This one that I’m calling the “Barnacle Book” is a handmade french link stitch journal for sale in my etsy shop and it combines my love of watercolor and illustration with my love of technical stitching patterns.

This little handmade book combines the open spine of a coptic stitch journal with the detailed crossover of the french link stitch. French link is traditionally used on hand bound books with full covers, so you usually can’t see it, but it’s so neat looking that it’s a shame to cover it up! I did the sewing in a contrasting waxed Irish linen thread, which is essential for open spine bindings if you don’t want them to be “floppy”.

Here’s a video of me painting the covers with Windsor Newton Drawing Ink  from Instagram:

Time lapse of me painting on a raw book board cover for a new book I'm working on!

A video posted by Ruth Bleakley (@ruthbleakley) on

barnacle book french link stitch journal process photos from Ruth Bleakley

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