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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰

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 aΒ  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. πŸ™

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. πŸ˜‰

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.