Updated: Jun 8
Everyone knows what a journal is and how it is used. You start with a book of blank pages and then you write. You may be writing about what brings you joy or about your deepest fears. You may be documenting your activities each day or logging your exercise workouts. The point is that a journal is personal and the only people who will see it are the ones you invite into it.
I like to make covers for my journals that are personal to me. They are fun to sew and can be made in any style for any size journal. Hi, I’m Susan with Sewfeet.com and today’s post is about my latest journal cover using a fun quilting stitch, adding raw edge patches and button embellishments.
The following measurements are for the journal I am covering (5” x 7” x ½”). To adjust for other sizes, follow the instructions on the diagram below.
Outer fabric–9” x 17”
Lining fabric–9” x 17”
Embellish Premium Fusible Batting –9” x 17”
Three pieces of coordinating fabrics–2 ½”x 4”, 2 ½”x2”, and 1 ½”x 2 ¼”
3-5 Decorative buttons
Measuring Your Journal
The diagram below shows the measurements of the notebook (white), completely open and lying flat. Measure your own notebook to determine if you need to adjust the fabric measurements. If your notebook is different, add 2” to the height and 6”-10”to the width (larger books need wider flaps) to get the fabric/batting/lining measurement.
Floriani polyester 40 weight embroidery thread for quilting and construction
Embellish polyester matte finish thread for quilting
Open Embroidery Foot for quilting, construction, and decorative stitching
Edgestitch Foot for edge stitching
Button Sew-On Foot for attaching buttons
Fuse the Embellish Premium Fusible Batting to the wrong side of the outer fabric. I like using fusible batting for small projects like this because once you fuse the batting to the fabric, it stays in place and doesn’t shift as you stitch. The Embellish batting is softer and “fluffier” than other fusible brands I’ve tried, which means that you see more definition in your quilting. To fuse it in place, use a dry iron and a wool setting. Press from the fabric side or use a press cloth over the batting if you want to press from the back.
Once the batting is in place, using a serpentine stitch to quilt the fabric, covering the entire fabric surface. Most sewing machines have a serpentine stitch (sometimes called a running stitch) and I like it for quilting because it is a little more interesting than a straight stitch. It is also very forgiving. You can randomly place the lines of stitching without precision spacing and it looks great! I stitched horizontally across the fabric using two threads of contrasting colors, creating texture by overlapping the lines of stitching.
Embellishing the Front Cover
Trim the quilted fabric to 8” x 16”.Fold the quilted piece in half to mark the center of the spine. Wrap the ends of the cover around the front and back cover to identify the embellishment area of the front cover. Create the three patches using the measurements shown on the diagram below. Tip: Tear the fabrics instead of cutting them to make it easier to fringe the edges. Using the diagram below as a guide, position Patch #1 on the front of the quilted cover. Stitch 1 or 2lines of straight stitching around all four edges, about ¼” from the raw edge. Fringe the edges of the patch.
Create a tag featuring a word for the front of the journal cover. Cut a piece of card stock(I used a shipping tag) 2” x 1” to make a tag. Swipe an ink pad over the tag to add color to it. Add your word of choice using a stamp or handwriting. I used the word, Gratitude, to indicate this is a Gratitude Journal. Punch a hole through the patch and the quilted fabric; attach the tag to the cover using a brad.
Patch # 2
Position Patch #2 on the front of the quilted cover as shown. Stitch 1 or 2 lines of straight stitching around all four edges, about ¼” from the raw edge. Fringe the edges of the patch. Place tear-away stabilizer behind Patch #3, and sew a decorative stitch, filling the surface. I used a Honeycomb Stitch, but any decorative stitch will add texture to the fabric. Remove the excess stabilizer and position the patch on the front of the quilted cover. Stitch 1 or 2 lines of straight stitching around all four edges, about ¼” from the raw edge. Fringe the edges of the patch.
Position and place decorative buttons as shown or as desired. These buttons may be sewn on by machine or hand. If stitching them by machine, use 2-or 4-hole flat buttons so the presser foot can easily sit on top of the button. The feed dog of the machine should be disengaged so that the button does not move as you stitch.
Place the embellished cover and the backing right sides together and stitch along all four edges, using a ¼” seam and leaving a 3”-4” opening along the lower edge. Turn the journal cover to the right side and press. Using an edgestitch presser foot sew along all four edges of the cover, closing the opening on the lower edge as you sew. Wrap the cover around the journal, folding the flaps around the front and back covers. Pin or clip the flaps in place and then stitch along the upper and lower edges of the flaps on top of the previous edgestitching.
Insert the front and back covers of the journal to complete the project.