Journal Cover Again

Journal Cover, Open
Journal Cover, Open

A few weeks ago I posted about Exuberant Color’s journal cover directions. This was after I saw directions for a journal cover on the Quilts and More website, (you may have to register and login). I began the journal cover last Friday and finally finished on Sunday. In the end, it wasn’t difficult; I just didn’t have much time and struggled a bit with the directions.

As I may have mentioned, I liked the idea of this project, because it is useful. I also liked the idea of having an accessory using some of my fabric with me on a daily basis. Finally, it gave my journal a bit more privacy. The journal cover got its first outing with me on Tuesday.

I started madly sewing turquoise scraps together when I was angry and needed to calm down. The repetitive nature of the sewing helps me. Not only do I calm down, but I also make progress, an added bonus.  I am loving turquoise more and more lately and, found, as I rummaged through my scrap basket, that there were a lot of really pretty, if small, pieces.

Journal Cover Piecing, Oct 2009
Journal Cover Piecing, Oct 2009

Sewing scraps together is also an exercise I do when I don’t know what else to do. I sew like-colored scraps together to make new fabric. I have quite a large piece of red and have just started creating a pink piece. Other than tests and using them to make ATCs, I don’t really do much else with my scraps, so making new fabrics can create something useful.

The blue piece quickly turned into a journal cover. The technique is inspired, as you may have read before (March 2007 or July 2008), by Shannon Williams’ Mosaic Quilting technique.

Finished cover, Lining detail
Finished cover, Lining detail

I also used the fabric I wrote about (used as another source of inspiration) as the lining. I thought I would be able to see more of it and enjoy it, but the lining is pretty covered up. I might be a little miffed, but I know it is there and I can look at it whenever I want.

As I was making the fabric for the outside, I had to know how large to make the piece. I found the Quilts & More pattern not to work very well for me. That pattern requires that you buy a specific journal – the black & white composition notebook type, I think – which is a specific size. I did read this when I started the project. What I didn’t read was that they had no instructions for those who wanted to use a journal that had been laying around the house. Wanda at Exuberant Color came to the rescue, giving me an idea of how to measure my own journal so I could use that journal instead of going out and buying a new one.

Measuring, pt.1
Measuring, pt.1

First, I put the measuring tape down on the back of the journal. You can’t see it because it is in between the ironing board and the journal

Measuring, pt.2

Then, I wrapped the measuring tape around the back so that I could see the total width the fabric should be. You do have to close the book to make sure that you have enough. I found that if I put the beginning metal bit of the measuring tape right up against the binding, then there was plenty of fabric, even with the book closed and seam allowances.

I was a little confused by the direction on Exuberant Color about the amount of fabric for a seam allowance on the top. I eventually used about an inch larger than the book and that seemed to work.

I ended up with a total of 26″x 9 1/4″ for this sized Miquelrius journal cover. You can either cut two pieces of fabric this size or piece fabric scraps together in the appropriate size. Then cut another piece (not pieced) the same size. It reduces bulk not to piece both.

Press fusible interfacing to the inside piece. It is easier to press the fusible to the fabric that has not been pieced. I use scraps of fusible. You can also using batting, which I did in this turquoise pieced journal.

Now is the time to add your label. Use your journal to estimate where your label should go.

Next, place the fabrics right sides together and stitch around the whole piece. Leave an opening large enough to turn the piece. Reinforce the stitching near the opening, so the stitches don’t come out when you are turning the fabric.

Clip the corners.

Turn the piece and press. Press the opening so that it will look neat when caught in the final sewing stitches.

Fold over the edges towards the middle using the journal as your pattern. Make sure you close the journal with the cover around it. You will need a bit more than you think to cover the journal in the closed position.

Pin flaps in place. You will only need a few pins

Sew along the cover flaps as close to the top as you possibly can and stitch catch all four layers.

Place your journal cover on your journal and enjoy!

Finished Cover, Oct. 2009
Finished Cover, Oct. 2009

Above is the finished piece. I put a bit of a selvedge on the front cover to add interest. That bit of selvedge had been hanging on my design wall for a long time. I liked the name of the fabric: The Butterfly Queen. I may cover up Jason Yenter’s name with a flower or something, but we will see.

Journal Cover, Back Flap detail
Journal Cover, Back Flap detail

This picture shows the journal open and how much changes from my original measurement of 25″ (see photo above) and this photo (directly above) once the journal cover was completely sewed.

I didn’t have to buy anything to make this journal cover, which was nice. It is a  project you can complete with materials around the house. It is one of those projects that works when inspirations strikes late at night and everything is closed. 😉

I want to make another one and possibly a few more as gifts. One thing I want to try is fusible interfacing like one of the thicker Pellon products rather than batting. I find the batting to be too squishy, especially when I fold the journal backwards to write on both pages.

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

4 thoughts on “Journal Cover Again”

  1. I used the pattern from and I think it’s the same one. I played around with the sizes and I think I finally got it down to the correct size for the size journal that I have. I like Wanda’s version with the wider sleeve pieces that hold the book in. Next one I make is going to have the wider sleeves. Now to find a source that has sketchbook/journals for a reasonable price.

    1. Hi Mary Kay,
      Thanks for stopping by. I am glad to hear that you had to work through the pattern also. Re: journals: Michael’s has sketchbook type journals and a 40% off coupon this week. I love the Miquelrius journals and buy them at a local store. I put up a post about another kind of journal in the not too distant past that have mix and match pages. There are good reviews of journals on Notebookism.

  2. This is one project that I have had simmering forEVER! I found a great deal on Portfolios a while ago and then I got another deal on 4×6 wirebound journals. My thoughts were to make gifts but never seen to find the time.

    I have a few hours which are unaccounted for next week, so maybe I can try out a few of these and at least get them started. The journals will require more thought as they have a zippered net pocket on the inside cover – ideally I’d like to be able to keep this available.

    My thought was to use felt as the lining, it will still show quilting, but should be firmer than the batting (at least N’Theory). Thanks for Sharing!
    😀 eirdre

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