It’s All About Orange Right Now

Orange Improv Journal Cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover

Because you have seen the Orange Strip Donation Top and the Orange Improv Donation Top in progress, you know that it is all about orange around my house right now.

As I rummaged through my orange scrap bin, I found a shard that was really great. It was made from some of the same fabric as my Fresh Fruit quilt. I decided that it would make a perfect journal cover for my AQ business notebook.

Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside front cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside front cover

Since I had a big shard already, it didn’t take long to make as I use a really basic version of the tutorial. I used interfacing and no flannel for the inside, so it came out very slim. I am trying different things to find the best way to make the edges of the journal cover easy to sew through. Without anything (like batting) in between, the maker is already sewing through at least 8 layers and that doesn’t even take the seams from the piecing that might hit the edge. I don’t know about your machine, but that is a lot of layers through which to sew.

Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside back cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside back cover

I still haven’t quite figured out how to center exactly what I want on the front. I did a pretty good job on this one, but would have preferred to have more of the front inside cover on the front.

 

Orange Improv Journal Cover -whole cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover -whole cover

Red Scrap Journal Cover

Red made fabric pieces
Red made fabric pieces

As mentioned, I have been working with red scraps. As I dived into the drawer, I found several pieces of fabric that had already been made from scraps.

Since I have a few Miquelrius journals that need covers, I decided to use some of the scraps to make a journal cover. It was fun to look at all of the made fabric and decide which pieces to use. I felt like I was picking out commercial fabric. It was nice to have a choice.

Red journal cover closed - May 2019
Red journal cover closed – May 2019

Because I had already done the hard work of making the fabric, I just had to make the piece large enough to fit the journal. (Sizing info can be fond in the journal covers tutorial). It went really quick, which was great, because I was in need of a quick finish. I am pleased with the chair print on the front as well as the disbursement of dot fabrics.

Red journal cover front open - May 2019
Red journal cover front open – May 2019

I use flannel instead of batting for the center of the journal covers. It gives the cover a little bit of body, but doesn’t make it bulky. I’d like to just use ShapeFlex, but it doesn’t stick very well to made fabric because of all the seams. If I am using a favorite commercial fabric and there aren’t a lot of seams, then I will use ShapeFlex.

Red journal cover back open - May 2019
Red journal cover back open – May 2019

I always cover the batting the another cotton fabric, but I forgot to do that this time, so the flannel serves as batting and backing. It is on the inside and doesn’t show much, so I think it will be ok. I haven’t been carting my journals around as much as I have in the past, so I think the flannel will stay clean. I am glad, however, this is just for me. I think I will need to read the tutorial again before I make the next one.

 

Dark Blue Journal Cover

I have to admit to using Leuchtturm journals lately instead of my favorite Miquelrius journals. The Leuchtturm journals are slim and fit in my handbag with all my other stuff. They don’t need covers. I couldn’t figure out why I was leaning away from the Miquelrius journals.

Finally, I realized, on Sunday when I needed a new journal because I had finished the old one what the problem was. I didn’t have any Miquelrius journals with the journal covers already made. As you may have guessed, I like to put journal covers on the Miquelrius journals, because the corners of the covers tend to poke me. I looked back and found that the last journal cover I made was the Orange Soda Journal Cover back in November (November seemed to be a good month for me). That was at least two journals ago.

I actually had a journal cover partially made. I hadn’t really worked on it in a few weeks. It occurred to me that it be an entry in the BAMQG scrap challenge. The donation blocks were giving me a bit of trouble (decision making not sewing), so it was an easy choice to switch projects. I used the journal cover pieces and parts as leaders and enders while I worked out my donation block issues.

Journal covers are not difficult (tutorial is posted -sizes are for the  Miquelrius journals). The time consuming part is the mosaic piecing. Of course you can make the cover out of one piece of fabric for an even quicker and easier version. I rarely, if ever, do that, however.

Dark Blue Journal Cover
Dark Blue Journal Cover

Frequently, I start pulling out fabrics and stick to certain values in that one scrap drawer. I am not sure which fabric pieces I started with, but the first fabrics often set the tone for the entire piece. This one is a little darker than I usually like. I do like the monochromatic look, however, so I stuck with the darker blues.

Dark Blue Journal Cover - other side
Dark Blue Journal Cover – other side

I haven’t decided which side to use as the front. Since I don’t need it immediately, I don’t have to decide for at least three months.

I had some issues with the filling. I have been using flannel, but am just about out. I had some leftover bits of fusible fleece, so I stuck those to the back of the pieced front and filled the rest in with flannel scraps. Some parts are fluffier than I like, but  it works and the project is done.

I started another journal cover with turquoise. Stay tuned.

By Annie Mini Notebook Cover

ByAnnie Mini Notebook cover
ByAnnie Mini Notebook cover

In addition to the bag I made for my swap partner, I also took the opportunity to make up the notebook cover we received as a gift at the retreat.

I was pleased with the way it came out and enjoyed learning a different way to make a book/journal cover.

This pattern is by ByAnnie, so it came with a piece of Soft & Stable. I am not sure I would use that again, but it did the job. It is a little too puffy for me. I have to remember that this is a very small sized journal cover and the effect would be a lot different on a larger piece.

Inside pocket - Mini Notebook cover
Inside pocket – Mini Notebook cover

She also does not make an entire inside cover, which reduces bulk. I want to try that on one of my journals.

I am also interested in the pen holder. I would have to create the sizing for a larger journal cover, but it could probably be done.

Inside - Mini Notebook cover
Inside – Mini Notebook cover

You can see the tutorial for my journal cover on the tutorials page.

Orange Soda Journal Cover

I have been in desperate need of leaders & enders lately. The crisis has passed since I got my order of Northcott Colorworks charm squares, though before it did a lot of weird pieces were sewn.

Orange Soda Journal Cover (closed)
Orange Soda Journal Cover (closed)

I had some orange scraps that I had started to sew together, so I continued to sew and turned it into a journal cover. It is along the same lines as the Orange Crush journal cover and the scraps may have been from that piece.

I am really pleased with how this one came out. The front cover is really well placed. The scraps aren’t too small, which always causes finishing issues. It is also bright and cheerful. I need bright and cheerful right now.

Orange Soda Journal Cover - open
Orange Soda Journal Cover – open

 

B/W Journal Cover

B/W Journal Cover
B/W Journal Cover

I found a piece of pieced fabric when I was rummaging through stuff recently. The piece was about the right size for a journal cover. Over the weekend, last weekend, I did a bunch of small projects. Making this journal cover was one of them.

I am not sure for what this piece of made fabric was intended. I hope I don’t come across a note saying I needed it for X project or Y quilt. C’est la vie.

SIL #2 observed that the fabric combination looked like an adult coloring book. It does, but a mad version!

B/W Journal Cover Open
B/W Journal Cover Open

The strips were relatively even and bordered with the jester’s diamond check. I had to cut most of the diamond check off to make the journal fit. As it was I cut off a bit too much and the fit is snug. Fortunately, with cotton, it will stretch a bit.

I was working on something else at the same time and had magenta thread in the machine. I thought it would be great to use for this, because the piece is so stark. I thought a little color would enhance the whole project.

B/W Journal Cover Open - thread nest
B/W Journal Cover Open – thread nest

What the bold color choice highlights is the big wad of thread that happened as I was trying to sew over several seams. Bleah. I unsnarled the thread nest at Craft Night. The journal cover is finished and will be ready when I finish the dot journal.

B/W Journal Cover - Open
B/W Journal Cover – Open

You can see a little bit of the tightness on the inside cover. Still, this journal cover, even with its ridgy bump on the front will be an interesting change from my current journal.

Dot Journal

I was working on another project that required a different foot than the quarter inch foot. This made my ability to sew donation patches together with any precision limited. I turned to an idea I had since I made my last journal cover. I had hoped that the CVZ/Paris Journal cover would be more of an exploration of low volume prints with just one bright spot. It didn’t quite work out as I intended. I kept thinking on how to do it differently.

Dot Journal Cover
Dot Journal Cover

With these two constraints, I started sewing dot fabrics together. I was very strict with myself on the background and the fabric. I stuck to dots on bright white. I think I avoided any creams or ivory backgrounds.

Dot Journal Cover and Back
Dot Journal Cover and Back

I was also very strict with myself on getting to the right size (top to bottom)- remember I use the Miquelrius journal #4— and then not being sentimental about cutting off nice bits of piecing. There is always more fabric, right?

Dot Journal inside
Dot Journal inside

Finally, I used a fun print, that I probably won’t use for anything else, for the inside.

I am pleased to have finished something after so much work on the Food Quilt. This project is also very cheerful and I will need a new journal soon, so I am looking forward to using it.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover

Karen issued a challenge to use a piece of Carol Van Zandt fabric a few months ago. She gave out the FQs at a meeting and there were so many that almost everyone got one, even those of us who had no intention of doing the challenge. Fortunately, I received a color that I liked. As the weeks wore on, I decided that the least I could do was make a journal cover. I needed a new one anyway. I wanted to explore the low volume concept some more so I decided to use low volume fabrics with the CVZ fabric to make a journal cover. I did it as part of the sewing frenzy over New Year’s weekend.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover

I like the journal cover, but am not as happy with it as I am with the Carpenter’s Wheel effort in low volume. Somehow I got derailed and the journal cover looks like I am trying too hard. Or something. I think I should have stayed with black and white rather than straying into grey and colors.

I used some of the leftover strips from the Paris One Hour Baskets, most markedly to fill in the space at the bottom. What do you think of the addition?

Still, I am resolved to make a lot of work and just have a few good pieces come out. This will function quite well.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover - front cover
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover – front cover

I tried adding in some other purple, but should have stuck to the Carol Van Zandt fabric to highlight it. Fortunately, it is bold enough that it does stand out.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover - back cover
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover – back cover

I tried to add interest here by turning one of the strips sets sideways.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover - open
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover – open

You can see the whole cover. The colorful ribbon fabric really doesn’t go and I wish I hadn’t added it. I have some CVZ fabric left and will try again with that.

Low Volume Journal Cover

I have been working with a lot of grey lately for the Carpenter’s Wheel experiments and for the Flying Geese exchange, so I have bits and bobs of scraps around. After making Henry IV, I thought I should make a snowy owl version. That led to me starting to piece leftover bits of grey and white together.

LV Journal Cover in progress
LV Journal Cover in progress

Somehow making a snowy owl was put on the back burner and I decided to make a journal cover instead. I have made some headway, but am not finished. I like the calm look of what I have, but also think it might need a bit of color.

I have to make the piece long enough, but I am thinking of making a strip of 1.5″ squares alternating a grey and a color and inserting it into the journal cover somewhere.

As I have mentioned before, the greys are very different in the way they look. Those Bonnie and Camille strips look positively beige next to some of the other greys. The Paris writing fabric looks dirty, or something. I still like this piece so far and these observations are just noting thoughts of interest.

Pinkalicious Journal Cover Finished

Pinkalicious Closed
Pinkalicious Closed

I finally finished Pinkalicious over the weekend. I am happy with the front cover and the overall look of the piece. I am not happy overall. There are small seams close to the edges and that makes pressing the edges into a crisp line. It also makes it hard to sew the edges closed.

I tried a lot of things when I made the Orange Crush Journal Cover and I guess I wasn’t thinking about the things I learned. I drifted back to small pieces and put them too close to the edge.

Sewing is like that. It takes awhile to get things down and in the case of mosaic piecing there is some reliance on the size of the available scraps.

Pinkalicious Open Back
Pinkalicious Open Back

Fortunately, these journal covers are a good way to practice mosaic piecing and a great leaders and enders project.

I don’t know what the perfect mosaic pieced journal cover is. I don’t if there is such a thing, but I will keep looking.

Pinkalicious Progress

Pinkalicious Stitched, Not Finished
Pinkalicious Stitched, Not Finished

After I wrote about this journal in the a blog post, this piece got lost in a big cleanup I did and I didn’t find it again for several weeks after another mini-cleanup. The other morning I decided I needed to make progress and decided that I could finish this journal cover in a short amount of time.

I set to it, getting as far as the second to last step. Then I realized I was out of journals. This would create a panic except that I just started a new journal so I have some time get another. I sewed as much as I could without a journal and will finish when I get one.

There are some pieces I like about this cover. I am finding that I am still learning about what fabrics I like and what fabrics I don’t. Or perhaps that is constantly changing?

I used a piece of Philip Jacobs fabric for the back. I won’t see it all the time, but I will get glimpses of it when I use the journal. I might as well use my good fabric and I only had a small piece of it so it wouldn’t have worked for a backing.

Pinkalicious Back
Pinkalicious Back

Fine Spring Day Journal Cover

Fine Spring Day Journal Cover
Fine Spring Day Journal Cover

Once again it was time for a new journal cover. Sadly, I finished the journal with the Orange Crush Journal cover. So, over the weekend I sat down and made a quick new cover.

Quick means one piece of fabric and little piecing.

I chose to use the Martha Negley fabric I used for one of the Grand Parlor dresses. I had a bit leftover and it is such pretty fabric that I thought I wouldn’t mind carrying it around for a couple of months. I also thought that it would be a good break between pieced journal covers. I loved Loved LOVED the Orange Crush journal cover so much that I am not yet sure another journal can live up to the wonderfulness.

Using the tutorial I posted some time ago, this journal cover didn’t take long at all. The most time consuming part was piecing the inside. I used an old Pat Sloan fabric that was just a wee bit too small so I added a piece, which still didn’t make it large enough, so I added another. And so on for a frustrating half hour.

Fine Spring Day Journal cover - open
Fine Spring Day Journal cover – open

Eventually I succeeded and the journal cover came out fine.

You may be wondering what happened to the pink journal cover I started? Yeah, me, too. 😉 I knew it was close to done so I looked everywhere for it. No joy. It will turn up and there will always be a need for a new journal cover.

Pinkalicious

I mentioned my new pink journal cover recently with very little detail. Somewhere I also mentioned I was naming it after Pam’s pink mosaic pieced donation quilt. Twitter? Instagram? I lost a week and I don’t think what happened before that is coming back.

New Pink Journal Cover - June 2015
New Pink Journal Cover – June 2015

What you see above is a journal cover in process. It is long enough and I either need to cut it off or square it off. I want to square it off, but then it will be a little too long. I like the piecing I will have to cut off, though, so I haven’t cut it yet. I have to think about the direction.

Journal Cover to Be

PInkalicious
PInkalicious

In between other projects, I started another pink journal cover.

Yes, pink. Are you surprised?

I have a lot of pink scraps. 😉

And, due to a lot of complicated reasons, I needed a quick leaders and enders project. Since I will need a new journal cover in the next month or so, it seemed logical.

I decided to call this one Pinkalicious, at least colloquially, in honor of Pam and her recent mosaic pieced donation quilt, also called Pinkalicious.

I considered the size of the pieces when I made the Orange Crush journal cover. I am using that cover and I really like it. I really like the size of the pieces, the flatness, everything. I want this journal and the others I make in the future to be just as good. I am concerned that I am making the pieces too small and going back to being frustrated by the lumpiness of the final product. I have about 10″ of mosaic piecing left to make the journal cover. We’ll see.

 

Orange Crush Journal Cover

Outside of Cover before sewing
Outside of Cover before sewing

I started another journal cover using oranges pretty soon after I realized I wasn’t happy with the Pink Mermaid Tail Journal Cover. Last week I finished it and I didn’t even really realize that it was almost done. I really just had to put on one piece and had the top done. Gotta love those leaders and enders.

I went for larger pieces this time, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the seams that were so problematic last time. I still wanted to get small enough pieces so the piece wouldn’t be boring. In some way making these journal covers using mosaic quilting is a process of piece size, color, number of pieces, pattern, size of motifs. It may seem stupid, but somehow it feeds something inside of me. I can piece any way I want. I don’t have to worry about a block pattern; I can just piece and focus on color. Because I do these monochromatic – mostly – pieces I can also get rid of the worry about the combination of colors. All of these things boil the process down as far as I can right now.

Cover closed
Cover closed

Looking at the photo above, the cover looks like a bit of a mess, but once the journal cover is put together, it looks a lot better. The piecing is moved into visually manageable bites.

A lot of these fabric motifs are large prints or bold prints. I used a number of different Philip Jacobs prints. Lots of modern dots and other modern prints. I also added a few fruit and veg prints from the Food Quilt.

All Outside
All Outside

I never know how orange will act and I am always a little scared when I do a project with a  lot of orange, then I am pleasantly surprised at how it turns out. I like this journal cover. It is bright and cheerful. It uses some of my favorite fabrics and the seams don’t bug me.

You can see how different the piece looks when it is sewn (left). It is still a little visually crazy, but much more contained than the very top photo.

You’ll have to click on the photos above to see the actual insides of the journal cover. I don’t have control over the thumbnails.

I feel like this is one of my most successful journal covers.