One thing I didn’t say, I don’t think was that I have been obsessing about making a new journal cover since last weekend. I was about out of pages in my journal and have become so used to carrying around a journal covered in lovely fabric that the thought of not having a cover was almost unbearable (definitely being overdramatic here. Bear with me). The week at work was brutal. One thing after another continuing on to Friday when I was supposed to be off. HAH!
I bought some specific fabric for journal covers and they all had some kind of text or lettering printed on the surface. There are a couple of pieces with cupcakes and bakery words that I also want to use, but these two green-ish/tinged copper roof colored fabrics are the first I have used to make journal covers.
This was a good project for Friday when my work email kept binging for my attention. They were very easy to make and, as I said, the tutorial measurements are nearly perfect. These were especially easy to make because there was no piecing.
I like these journal covers, but I also started mosaic piecing some oranges together to make a pieced cover. I am kind of feeling like I should spend some time on one for a change. I am using orange and the leaders and enders method of piecing. I needed some leaders and enders when I was making the Hurricane Sandy quilt blocks and this seemed like a good solution.
I started writing in the letter journal this morning and it is nice to have a new journal. Sometimes my journals get so full of bits and pieces that they get hard to write in — too lumpy. That wasn’t the case with the previous Tina Givens aqua and red journal cover, but I was ready to look at something new.
I read an article yesterday that the Post Office is running a fairly significant deficit. This makes me want to cry, because I love sending and receiving letters (even if I have to scramble to find the time to actually write them). It is so fun to receive a real letter or package. This journal reminds me to write letters and postcards. At least I hope it will. The color, as I mentioned briefly, reminds me of the copper roofs of the old buildings and palaces in Austria (other countries, too, but I am really thinking of Vienna).
I now that many people don’t want to buy these Miguelrius journals, so I want to try out a journal cover pattern from my friend Chris or make a new tutorial, if hers doesn’t work for me. I want this pattern to be more accessible to more people. If you have adjusted the sizes, I would love to hear about or see what you make.
I know that I am going to start the FOTY 2011 quilt next week, so I have been working on smaller projects. I have, either, been finishing projects in process or making items I have had on my mind.
Here is the Blue Belle Fleur journal cover that I finished this week. I started it some time ago and the pieces ended up in a pile on my old cutting table while I worked on the Stepping Stones quilt.
I set up my new cutting table and found them in the process.
For this journal cover, I worked on putting pieces of the fabric (stamps, postmarks, writing) that I liked where I could see them. You can see, in the top photo, left, where I have done that.
The inside ended up with a really nice full piece of the Belle Fleur fabric. I am not much of a butterfly person beyond the norm, but in this context, they look really nice.
I am not sure why I decided to pair this fabric with black. I think the black works well with the Belle Fleur, but I don’t remember why I chose it. Perhaps it was handy. I was using those black fabrics for the Food Quilt, so I have a feeling there strips available.
The only part of the fabric I didn’t get was a bird head. Oh, well. I have some bits and pieces of the fabric left, so I will keep trying.
You can make your own journal cover by checking out the tutorial. If you are not using the Miquelrius journals, you will need to adjust the size to the size of your journal.
Frustratingly, I had trouble with the size. The size of the journals hasn’t changed so I don’t know what the issue is. Perhaps not measuring? I had trouble getting the cover to fit the journal. I think this is why I want to finish a project rather than leaving it lie for a long time.
I am on the last section of my current journal and know I will be needing a new journal soon. I have gotten used to using journal covers and thought it was time to make a new one. I have been using the Innocent Crush cover since I made it. Even though I have made others, none of them have felt the way the Innocent Crush journal cover feels.
Still, I enjoy using journal covers and I want to perfect the process, so I made a new one.
I am pleased with the fabrics I used – all scraps and bits from other projects, though the letters and numbers were a perk from Bear Patch Quilting in Minnesota.
I am glad I was able to use the Belle Fleur fabric, but I am a little annoyed that the piecing all ended up the back. I might switch the cover around so that the piecing is on the front even though that will mean that the letters are upside down. I might not care, but we will see.
Yes, I knew while I was working on this that I should be working on the Stars for San Bruno #3 quilt. I haven’t been in a really great mood, so I haven’t wanted to work on it, since I don’t want to infuse it with bad energy. I may have to eat more chocolate.
I decided to photograph this end up from above so you could all see the front and back.
I have heard mention of ‘lifestyle’ photographs that seem to be popular on blogs right now. I don’t have a photograph studio, so this was the best option I could think of at the time.
Bear Patch Quilting gave out small pieces of fabric (about 10″x10″), which is where I got the letters and numbers and fabrics. Apparently, they give them out to everyone who purchases something in the store. I think they were called Bear Paws. I was allowed to choose the fabric I wanted from a box they kept under the counter. I asked what kind of fabrics they used and the owner said that they cut from current fabrics.
One thing that worked out really well was the Wonder Clips. Again, I bought these in Minnesota. I had been wanting to try them for binding. I was tempted to buy the large size package, but decided to try the small one first. Good thing, because they worked fine for binding but not for my process. I already poke myself plenty with the needle and the clips stuck out too much for comfortable stitching.
I had a brain wave, however to use them to sew the journal cover together and that worked great! Using straight pins works ok, but it hard to insert them into the fabric when the cover is on the journal, but not sewn. I need to have the cover around the journal so that I get the fit right. The clips worked really well, because they didn’t interfere with the journal. I loved them for this purpose!
There is a link to the journal cover directions from the tutorials page on the toolbar (just under the AQ banner) above. You will see the submenus if you put your mouse over AQ Info. I welcome your suggestions on making this tutorial better.
I needed a new journal cover, but I also made this with some scraps to comply with Sandy’s Stash Mystery challenge. I tried to do her gorilla challenge last summer, but never got to the stitching. I still would like to finish that, but it isn’t high on the priority list.
Anyway, I heard her talk about the challenge and then I went to look at the requirements. Knowing I had to make a new journal cover and it would fit the rules, I used the requisite number of fabrics and made the journal cover.
I have already been using it for a few days and I don’t know what I was thinking. Have I made one of these before? It certainly doesn’t seem like it. I had problems with the stitching and I forgot to put interfacing or batting on the inside, so it feels really weird.
I started out with the wild dark orange with blue, yellow and orange print. It is an older fabric that I have had for awhile. I pulled that out when I was making the Lovey blocks, but ended up not using it. The piece of the crazy print I had was nearly exactly the right size for a journal cover, so instead of putting back in the orange bin, I used that for the basis of the journal cover. I used some other small pieces, as I mentioned. The colors are good together except the white in the dot print really screams.
I may switch it out for one of the other journal covers I have already made or I may make a new one and put this on an old journal. I just don’t like the way it feels. I use these journals for 2-3 months and I don’t want to be thinking “I don’t like this journal cover” every day. We’ll see.
Perhaps I should have used more blues and greens and held on to this for summer? Nah! I was ready for some cheerfulness after the unbelievably grey skies of the past few weeks.
My plan worked. My plan was to alleviate the depressing grey that was shrouding my town. It worked! Today was beautiful out! Blue skies… no clouds. It was gorgeous, even from the window of my office. And, peeking out of my bag was this cheerful (bordering on loud and obnoxious??) journal cover. It made me smile every time I caught sight of it.
I used the Philip Jacobs fabric I bought at Always Quilting after PIQF 2010. I still want to make a bag or something larger, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.
I didn’t plan on centering the flower, but it was a pleasant surprise.
I used a bit of hand dyed fabric for the inside and added a little to the edges of Philip Jacobs fabric to add interest.
I have finished all of the pages my current journal, which has the Innocent Crush cover. I am sorry to be finished with that journal, because I wanted to carry it around in the Innocent Crush Flea Market bag. Adrianne brings her Flea Market bag to the BAMQG meetings and I admired it again at the last meeting. I wasn’t happy with the way my bagn turned out so I took it apart – not the whole bag yet, but the straps. You can kind of see the unevenness in the photo (the one I linked to above). I like the fabric and the design and didn’t want to just abandon it. When I made the bag, I was not able to sew the straps smoothly which meant that I tried to ease the handles together, which, further, left tucks in them. I didn’t like the way the tucks looked. I have unsewed the handles and am working on lining them up better. I haven’t done any further sewing on them. We’ll see.
Yes, I can reuse the Innocent Crush journal cover and I might do that. For now, though, I am loving the cheerful and fun Philip Jacobs cover.
This is a quick project. I made the journal cover in about a half an hour on Saturday morning.
I made these journal covers in November and December, but didn’t get a chance to post them.
TFQ told me that she made journal covers for all of her journals. I got tired of using the blue one, so I made a quick one (the b/w dot) and thought I would just transfer that cover to each new journal. I tired of that plain cover very quickly. It showed me why piecing a journal cover is important: the piecing adds visual interest. I left the b/w dots on the journal for which I made it after I wrote the last page and made yet another journal cover with the Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush Grape. I don’t love/adore that fabric, but there is something about it I like. It is also a more complex and, thus, a more interesting fabric than the dots.
I think I will see about making a new cover for each new journal I start. I don’t know if I will piece the next one. I have plenty of fabric and can make a journal cover in a half an hour if I don’t piece it. On the other hand, pieced covers are more interesting and I could piece bits together as leaders and enders. My scrap basket is starting to overflow and I need to do something with the scraps. Stay tuned.
TFQ is an excellent colorist. She can put fabrics together in the most amazing ways. I strive to be like her, which requires cultivating more patience and determination in my quiltmaking process. If I want to make something for her, I feel like I need to really do an excellent job of picking colors, thus the clue that she liked these fabrics gave me confidence.
Using only those black and white fabrics together was too depressing, especially in winter. I had to add the dots. They cheered it up quite a bit.
One of the things I like about some of the prints in the this [relatively] new Lonni Rossi line is the screen printed look. Note the black circle on the white fabric. It really looks like a screen print when you see it up close. It doesn’t have that icky, plasticy sticker feel, though, you find with some screen printed-like fabric.
The small rows of lines under the circle also have that screen printed look. It is much more subtle in the white/grey on black colorway.
I didn’t want a repeat of the size problem I had with my mom’s journal cover, so I ripped out the bottom stitching three times until I was satisfied with the fit. I don’t know if I got it to fit perfectly, but I didn’t have to cut the journal’s plastic cover to get the journal cover on it, so I was satisfied.
Lately, when I have started a journal cover I just start piecing until I get a piece big enough for the outside. I use this type of piecing for a warm-up or when I only have a few minutes to sew or when I need a little bit of thinking time. Usually I want to achieve a certain look. With my blue journal cover, I wanted to use a variety of blue fabrics because I liked them and wanted to see them all the time. I also wanted a calming effect.
In this case, I only had scraps of the Lonni Rossi fabrics left and needed to make the best use of them. I wanted it to have a somewhat cohesive design and, finally, but most importantly I wanted it to appeal to TFQ.
I have started to think of pencil rolls and journal covers as sets. I also love this pencil roll pattern so much that I am looking for excuses to make it. Of course, time is the issue on that front.
This is a rather large pencil roll – 18 slots, I think. When I use my pencil roll, I prefer to put pens in every other slot rather than each slot. I find it easier to get the pens out.
For the moment, this is the last gift to which I have committed to make. When I say committed I mean to myself. There is one I am thinking about making, but I need to finish the FOTY 2009 blocks first. Look for a post on that project later this week.
Here is the journal cover I made for Julie. It is a companion to the pencil roll I made for her birthday. This is actually the third journal cover I have made and this one went together the fastest and looks the best. My only problem was putting it together backwards, so the tree I wanted on the front ended up on the back.
No matter. I tried to think of it as a design challenge after my initial disappointment. I fussy cut a tree out of the small piece of fabric I had and raw edge appliqued it to the front. I thought that Julie could handle the raw edge stitching.
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, Allpeoplequilt.com (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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
I found my way to the Exuberant Color blog and found this wonderful tutorial for making journal covers. Since I seem to be making small things now, this project appealed to me for a variety of reasons.
I carry a journal with me and a cover would make it more private.
I have friends that use journals, so this would make a great gift.
Finally, it is small and looks like it would be a quick project, which I could use to try new fabric combinations or techniques.
Start with a piece large enough to cover the notebook plus flaps at each end to fold in. This is approximately 3/4″ -1″ taller than the notebook one way and the measurement around the notebook plus flaps that cover at least 3/4 of the cover on the inside in the other direction.
Iron on a piece of fusible fleece or batting the height of the notebook by the measurement around the outside of the closed notebook plus.
We spoke about a Recycled Round Robin at CQFA, where we bring materials from our stashes and put them together using a piece from other quiltmakers as a starting point. I thought this would make a good result for such a project.