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.

Ocean Going Journal Cover

By The Sea by Michael Miller
By The Sea by Michael Miller

I bought this fabric at the BAMQG Retreat last year. I really bought it off Amazon, but Cheryl and I were comparing notes on the Michael Miller Portfolio series. When I saw this fabric, I needed it. It is By The Sea by Gillian Fullard/ London Portfolio Series by Michael Miller. I have a number of these fabrics and something about them is very appealing.

The colors are mine that motifs are such that I won’t get bored carrying the journal around for a long time. They key was to fussy cut some of the cool motifs without taking a big hole out of the middle of the fabric.

Front cover
Front cover

I decided to make a fast journal cover this time. I started some mosaic piecing, but remembered how unhappy I was with the Mermaid Tail Journal Cover and decided to use one piece of this fabric, which was washed, but had been sitting around for awhile.

One end had a good piece with some interesting motifs. I thought I would make it so the school of fish was on the front cover.

Inside front cover
Inside front cover

Sadly, that did not work out that well. The fish ended up on the inside of the journal. 🙁

I forgot about the cover pocket. I forgot that the something had to hold on to the journal’s covers to keep the cover on. It is not a disaster, but it doesn’t make the cover very interesting.

Now I have to decide what to do. I could just live with it like it is, but the front cover is boring.

I could remake the cover so that motifs were where I wanted them. Not gonna happen.

Lobster (??) back
Lobster (??) back

I am seriously thinking about turning the cover around putting the lobster (??- is that a lobster??) on the front cover. That means he would have his head at the bottom. Can I stand his beady little eyes watching me all the time?

The shell would be upside down, the school of fish would be upside down and the blue crab would be on the inside front cover.

Regardless, I like the fabric and am glad to already have a journal cover ready to go. There is potential for a couple more journal covers out of the same fabric, but with different motifs highlighted.

Blue Crab - inside back cover
Blue Crab – inside back cover

Pink Mermaid Tail Journal Cover

Whole Journal Cover - Outside
Whole Journal Cover – Outside

I finished filling another journal – the one which wore (??) the Blue Tree Journal Cover – and then finished a new journal cover. It is pink, as you can see, and it is the perfect color to make me happy on cold, wet days. <I am not complaining about the rain, because we desperately need it, but it still is cold and wet outside>

Inside Front Cover
Inside Front Cover

I used the mosaic piecing technique again (great for scraps) and really have some nice looking abstract motifs on the cover. It took me a long time to make the fabric for this journal cover, which was odd. Perhaps I used many, many more small pieces than I have in the recent past. the whole process is a good use of scraps, though.

I am not as happy with this cover as I was with the Blue Tree Journal Cover, but not because of the piecing. It has more to do with the filling. I put flannel on the inside, as I have with recent journal covers. I am beginning to think is my preferred filling for these journal covers. In this cover I put the flannel a little too close to the edges. It made the edges, coupled with all the piecing, really thick. I forgot to keep the flannel out of the seam allowances. The edges feel odd.

Inside Back Cover
Inside Back Cover

Last time I am pretty sure I quilted the Blue Tree Journal Cover to keep the flannel in place and kept the flannel out of the seam allowances. I need to remember to do that, which may mean I need to rewrite the tutorial.

One thing I may do is make a new cover and put this one on an older journal. I haven’t had a chance, but stay tuned.

As Promised, A Journal Cover

Blue Tree Journal Cover
Blue Tree Journal Cover

I have two blue journal covers in process. One is finished (read on!) and the other is still in the piecing stage. When I wrote the previous post, I thought I used a picture of the other journal cover, but I actually used the picture of this Blue Tree journal cover, which is, happily, also the one I finished. For once I was organized even though I thought I wasn’t. 😉

Anyway, I was about to finish all the pages in a journal and I needed to finish a new journal cover. I buckled down last weekend and put the finishing touches on this one. I finished just in the nick of time.

This journal cover is named after the fabric in the middle, which is a slice from a back I made some months ago with trees, White Birch trees, I think, printed on it.

Surprisingly, to me, at least, I started off with the front cover being the part of the journal cover you see on the left. It is ok in terms of interesting-ness, but nothing special. What was preventing me from using the other side, which I really liked, as the front was the Wizard of Oz fabric, which ended up smack dab in the middle of the part that was the most interesting.

I kept looking at the back and since the front and back are interchangeable, I just switched the cover around and am now using a new front. I like it and don’t even see the Wizard of Oz fabric.

Soon-to-be Journal Cover

Blue Flower Journal Cover
Blue Flower Journal Cover

Shockingly, I am almost done with another journal. I ordered a new one so I will be ready and it took forever to arrive. I have been waiting to finish this journal cover so I could measure using the actual journal. It isn’t like I don’t have 30 around, but most have covers on them and I was being lazy with the knowledge that a new journal was imminent.

This mosaic quilting piece came together so easily that I almost didn’t realize I was finished with the top. That is what leaders and enders will do for you.

I thought I would finish it this past weekend, but I worked on the Russian Rubix instead and also put the black and grey donation pieces through the machine.

Like the Pink Rose Journal cover, I made an effort to piece smaller pieces. It is so much more interesting when there is more piecing. I still have to back it (have a piece of fabric already picked) and add the interfacing then I should be ready to use it. Stay tuned!

Pink Rose Journal Cover

Pink Rose Journal Front Cover
Pink Rose Journal Front Cover

As you know I like to make journal covers for my journals. I have been using the Yellow Flower Journal journal cover on my most recent journal. Since I have been off a lot I am carrying my journal around more and spending more time with it. That means I have to look at the cover more often.

I don’t like it.

I like the fabric, but the cover itself is boring. So, I decided to make another one. I probably have at least two months of life left in this journal and I didn’t want to look at a boring cover.

Don’t worry, I don’t hate this journal cover. The Yellow Flower Journal Cover isn’t going waste. I will put it on one of the older journals that has not yet been covered.

I had a piece of Mosaic Piecing to which I had been adding bits of pink and I decided that was a good start. I made sure to add pieces on all different sides and to sew various pieces together before I sewed them to the main piece that would become the journal cover.

The Good

Inside Back Cover
Inside Back Cover

First, there is a lot of piecing, including some of the yellow rose fabric from the Yellow Flower Journal Cover. The piecing is not just all strips added on to the ends of the piecing which makes it a little more interesting. I was even able to add a few diagonal lines, which adds interest in terms of piecing.

Next, there are bits of pink that I really like. Some from Joel Dewberry’s Notting Hill line, various Philip Jacobs, a few batiks and some random pieces that make me happy.

Third, though I had some trouble with the interfacing and flannel, the feel of the journal cover isn’t too puffy, which I like.

Last, it is PINK! Pink makes me happy.

The Bad

I was lazy with the flannel and just eyeballed the size instead of measuring. This caused other problems later.

I had some trouble with the stitching as a result of my laziness with the flannel. If you remember, you have to stitch very close to the edge to make the journal cover fit really snugly and not floop around. By not measuring the flannel, it was too small, so I had to sew it to the seam allowance when I put the back and front together. That means that a bit of the flannel was in the seam allowance where I had to sew when  I was sewing the final step. That made it really thick and hard to sew on the corners.

The Unknown

I am not sure if this is the Good, Bad or Ugly.

Inside Front Cover
Inside Front Cover

There was so much piecing that it was kind of a waste to try and put ShapeFlex on to the pieced side of the cover. That means that only the inside has interfacing on it. As I said, above, the cover feels ok, so I guess it is fine.

The other factor was that there were a lot of seam allowances, because of all the piecing. That made the whole piece a bit thicker, including in the seam allowances.

Finally…

Back Cover
Back Cover

Clearly, this project offers continuous learning for me. I guess I haven’t perfected the process yet and will just keep trying.

Swoon Journal Cover

 

Swoon Journal Cover
Swoon Journal Cover

I have been cutting a lot lately. I finished cutting out the bag that will be part of Purse Palooza blog hop. I am cutting out another Petrillo Bag and I cut a bunch of pieces I will talk about tomorrow. Regardless, I needed some finishes – or at least a finish.

This piece had been hanging around just needing a bit more work to get it finished. I really only spent an additional half hour on it to make it ready to use.

Ever since I had the idea to use the trimmings from quilts to make journal covers, I have been making different journal covers. At first, I was just sewing the pieces into the right sizes. Now I am trying to make the covers more interesting. I found that I didn’t like looking at them and that is not a good thing.

Swoon Journal Cover inside
Swoon Journal Cover inside

The trimmings are long and thin so by just sewing trimmings together I was ending up with a lot of horizontal design elements. I wasn’t liking those, so on later journal covers I cross cut the pieces and re-sewed them. You can see the sort of checkerboard I have going. Yes, it is more work, but it is also more interesting.

I am still fumbling with the lining. The batting is too fluffy even though it works on some journals (think that has to do with lucky placement) I think I need to try flannel next, but that requires buying some flannel just to put in the center of the journals and I haven’t wanted to spend the money. Part of my idea is using supplies on hand for these covers. I might also try no filling again and see if I still think it needs improvement.

I still have some bits for other journal covers on my sewing table. I’d like to get them off the table, which means I need to make more journal covers.

Many Journal Covers

Yellow Flower Cover
Yellow Flower Cover

I am really in awe of pattern makers. The reason I am in awe is because of the journal covers. I have a tutorial for them for the Miquelrius journals, yet it is not perfect. I tinker with it all the time. Tinkering with it makes me loathe to expand it to other types of journals, though I know it would be useful to have the standard measurements for, say, composition books or even paperback books.

If a pattern maker is good s/he tests and tests until the pattern is right. I assume that is what the pattern maker does, anyway. I assume that s/he tests many, many variations. I also assume that there are fewer variations with quilt patterns than with patterns like bags and journal covers.

Inside Peek
Inside Peek

I really do have the measurements for the Miquelrius journal  correct now. I don’t need to trim, unsew and retrim and resew at all anymore. This is really a good thing and makes me very happy. Unsewing is part of the process, but I don’t like it as much as sewing fabric together.

Now I am tinkering with the filling. After the bonanza of journal covers that was my activity for sew day, I have decided that I need to find something else to fill the journals with. The batting is too fat. This is really a shame, because I have a lot of batting scraps. It would be nice if the batting were perfect.
It isn’t, though and we need to move on.

Combination Journal Cover
Combination Journal Cover

I tried the Pellon 806 Stitch-n-Tear interfacing on the combination journal cover. This is the cover I made with many different types of scraps. I didn’t try and keep the scraps from certain quilts together. I just sewed whatever pieces of fabric together that would fit and not look terrible.

I like the weight of the Stitch-n-Tear, but I don’t like the stiffness. I know that Stitch-n-Tear tears away (I use it for machine embroidery), but I don’t think that will be a problem. I have a lot of it on hand and it was convenient. I didn’t want to have to run out and buy something else.

For one journal cover it will be fine. I really like the thinness of the Stitch-n-Tear. Long term, for the tutorial, it won’t work. I am not sure what else to try. Perhaps I’ll try the Shape Flex I used in the Petrillo Bag?

Green & Letters Journal
Green & Letters Journal

What is your favorite interfacing?

Is there a garment interfacing that might be the ticket?

Did I say that I liked working on the same type of project over and over? I do. I was reminded of that when I made the journals. I liked trying different things and making small changes and trying again. It is a great way to get better at something and lessen the fear factor.

Certainly, I am not afraid of sewing and I am not afraid of journals, but I really want these to be an easy, fast project that is more about the fabric than about the construction. I can challenge myself in construction techniques with quilts.

I just got two quilts back from Colleen. With them came a bag of scraps from the edges. I am still working on journal covers, but this means I will be working on more Any guesses what else I’ll be making more of? More small projects!

Saturday and Sunday

Napkin #1
Napkin #1

In a way, Saturday and Sunday, which fed off Thursday, were all about getting as much done in the sewing room as humanly possible. I didn’t kill myself, but I was clearly going for quantity. Remember the post I wrote about creating a relationship with your quilts? Not Saturday and Sunday. I had some projects I wanted to finish and I just put the pedal to the metal.

I had rummaged through my Christmas fabric drawer on Wednesday night, in preparation for Sew Day. I decided that instead of just making a bunch of gift bags, I would make a couple sets of napkins also. We use cloth napkins and I have always wanted 30 or so to use during the month of December. I picked two fun fabrics and cut them up ready for sewing. For 4 napkins I need 2 yards of fabric. I like big, fat, generous napkins, so I make them fat quarter sized. I also don’t like just folding the hem over and having the back show, so I make them 2 sided.

I forgot what a pain making napkins can be. I like them when they are done, ; not difficult, but they are a pain to make. Decorative stitches take forever.

Journal Cover
Journal Cover
Journal cover inside
Journal cover inside

This is the journal cover that I worked on as leaders and enders. I mentioned it the other day when it was in progress. As you can see, it is  a combination of the Philip Jacobs fabrics, the Circa 1934 fabrics and some random fabrics as filers. I think it looks more interesting than some of the other journal covers I made on Thursday. I’ll have to do a post just showing off the journal covers.

I think the problem in my mind is that the pieced journal covers are pretty time consuming when I really need a journal cover and am feeling a bit rushed. I think what I’ll have to do is use leaders and enders to work on piecing journal covers that I want to be interesting and when I am in a rush, I’ll use some lush fabric dying to remain, essentially, uncut.

The inside of the journal cover is what I was talking about when I mentioned the problem of the long strips. I had a long strip with the green bubble dot and the brownish dot sewn together.  I didn’t want to just add a long strip, so I cut the strip in half, turned one of the pieces and sewed it back together. Then I sewed it to the end of the cover. I think the little bit of effort adds some interest. Even though it is on the inside, I will see it each time I open the journal.

Dot Monkey Cat Bed
Dot Monkey Cat Bed

I put together all four cat beds. This was the first one and I stuffed it part way with the leftovers from the T-shirt quilt.

Total count for the weekend is:

  • 3 napkins
  • 4 cat beds
  • 2 journal covers
  • binding for t-shirt quilt
  • Modern Round Robin work

This doesn’t feel like a lot, but I know I worked all weekend when I wasn’t doing housework or chauffeuring. The work is good, too, so I guess I have to be happy with that.

WIPs
There are also some projects I didn’t quite finish, but will, hopefully, later this week.

3 napkins that still need decorative stitching
2 journal covers that still need finishing

 

Circa 1934 Journal Cover

Circa 1934 Journal Cover
Circa 1934 Journal Cover

Last week  I mentioned using the trimmings from the edges of journal covers. I even showed one that I had in process. Here it is finished. After getting the right size, I sewed it together in about 10 minutes.

Yes, the numbers are upside down. I wanted to see them as I carried the journal around so that is how they came out. I have to admit that I think I like the numbers the best out of all of these fabrics (the gold hand-dye is not part of the line). Perhaps that print is what attracted me to the line in the first place?

If you want to make a journal cover, check out my directions.

New Journal Cover

I have been lamenting about the edge trimmings of quilted quilts. My quilter trims the quilts for me and then gives me back all of the extra fabric and batting. Sometimes the edges are only an inch or two wide, but 80″ long. Always the fabric is fabulous. All of these factors make me not want to use the fabrics, not waste the extra fabric.

It occurred to me that the fabric trimmings plus the batting that is often part of the trimmings, might be great journal covers.

image

I pulled the fabric trimmings from the Stepping Stones quilt and began sewing them together. I really like the Circa 1934 designs.
image
This will be the front. I really like the number fabric. I tried to orient the fabric so that I will be able to see the number fabric when I use the journal. I might have put it on the back, though. We’ll see.

image

I am going to zigzag the small pieces of batting together to make it wide enough. I am also going try something new with the batting. I am only going to put batting on the cover, not the pockets that keep the cover on the journal. The batting will be only in the middle of the journal cover. Lining up the fabrics is backwards, so I can’t always wrap my head around where things will end up in the end. We’ll see if it works.

image

I used some of the fabric for the the part that will be the inside as well. I used these particular fabrics, because they aren’t as interesting to me as the other fabrics I picked for the front. AND they are leftover and I want to use them.

There is enough to make another journal cover at least. Sty tuned, I may get to those small projects yet.

Simple Journal Cover

Simple Journal Cover
Simple Journal Cover

My journal is very important for me. I have spent the last 25+ years keeping a journal, though the college years, which would have been very interesting, didn’t leave a lot of time for contemplative writing. I was pouring my heart out to a spiral notebook from the local drugstore long before the word ‘Journaling’ was a twinkle in any scrapbooker’s eye. These days, I write every day, except Friday, usually, for about 20 minutes in the morning and another 10-15 in the afternoon. I record the books I have read, the progress I have made on projects and any drama going on that I may need to get out of my head.

I find that if I write drama down, it doesn’t dog my days and night. I know that that the words are safe between the covers of my journal and I can move on with my life. If I need to refer to them, they are waiting for me. My journal is a working space.

I sometimes do a sketch for the CPP to try and work out the curve of an elbow or the relationship between sizes of elements. I make lists of things to remember. I records lists of gifts I have received for Christmas and my birthday.

In recent days, I spent entirely too much time writing in my journal about how I needed a new journal cover (see previous covers in the tag ‘journals‘). The pages and pages of agonizing as well as rending of garments is too much, especially since the word ‘need’ demonstrates that I might want to look at my priorities.

The fact of the matter is that I enjoy using journal covers. The Miquelrius journals I use have nice plastic or paperboard covers with VERY pokey corners. I am already bruised and battered from the corner of my desk, the step stool in the kitchen and the general loving of a large teenager. I don’t need any other opportunities to bruise myself. Fabric covers pad the corners enough not to leave a bruise.

Simple Journal Cover-open
Simple Journal Cover-open

Today, I decided, was the day to make a new journal cover. I made a simple cover with a pink dot on the inside and a Philip Jacobs print on the outside. In about half an hour, I had it done.

I didn’t do any  piecing on this one. It is one piece each of two fabrics. I do have some large shards of the Patty Young Textured Basics for Michael Miller fabrics that I thought of using. I didn’t want to take the time, so I will use them for another version.

Simple Journal Cover-spine
Simple Journal Cover-spine

The tutorial measurements are now really great and I didn’t have to rip any of this journal cover out at all. Not sure if that will be the case next time. 😉

Now I can finish the last few pages of my current journal and move on to the new journal tomorrow. If you make one for yourself, please post a link to your version in the comments. Thanks!