Journal Covers – painting with thread

I recently found myself in a Journal making frenzy and thought I might share it with you. I made my first Journal cover a couple of years ago and I loved it.
There are many articles and tutorials out there that provide information on sizing for a Journal cover. Suggest Google search for “journal cover tutorial” will produce some good results.  Also a lot of interesting Pinterest sites…. Once you have that – the sky’s the limit.

In my example, the cover is for an A5 sized  Journal (6.25 inches wide x 8.25 inch long). It does not really matter which size Journal, the construction remains the same, just adjust any measurements to suit.

I wanted to make a few Journals for friends and wanted them to be special so I decided to use some of my hand dyed fabric. For cover fabric, I used a couple of the pieces which I had from my Christmas dyeing event – see my previous Ice Dyeing blog. I also picked an orange coloured fabric from another previous dying venture.

Once I had the cover measurements set, I placed the cut fabric on top of a piece of batting, machine basted the edge to keep it in place and then went crazy with a bit of thread art.
My basic fabric on batting before decoration

My basic fabric on batting before decoration

The sewing is all done free-form with a darning foot. I sketch out where I want the various sections of the cover and what type of stitching I want in those sections.
Sketched pattern

Sketched pattern

I have a selection of threads I have collected over the years for decorative stitching. I have shiny rayon, variegated, metallic…whatever the thread, it is important to test it first on a quilt sandwich.

I have several I have worked on over the years and I keep adding to them to keep a record of what I have used.

For the cover you will need a selection of threads

For the cover you will need a selection of threads

It is also important to test the tension of the thread. Metallic threads, in particular, can break easily if the tension is not correct.
Creating the free form decorative patterns

Creating the free form decorative patterns

I really like the stitch contrast of this cover

I really like the stitch contrast of this cover

The orange journal cover

The orange journal cover

The blue version....

The blue version….

Some of my completed Journals

Some of my completed Journals

Making Journal covers is great fun and only limited by your imagination. I had a terrific weekend creating these Journals and they have been greatly appreciated by my friends who love to get hand-made gifts.

A point to remember, this may become addictive!!! Why don’t you give it a try?

Until my next blog,
Leslie…

Posted by Leslie Edwards

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