Perfect Handmade Gift: Stitch a One-of-a-Kind Sketchbook Cover, Part II

22 Jun 2012

Note from Vivika: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts by Candy Glendening showing you how to create unique functional pieces with artistic flair. Be sure to check out her Quilting Arts Workshop video tutorials, Free-Motion Machine Sketching and Dyeing to Stitch.

Now that you've
dyed a spectacular piece(s) of multi-colored fabric ,it's time to show it off. What better way than to make a one-of-a-kind Sketchbook? Featuring a piece of multicolor fabric with a thread-sketched abstract mum design on the cover, this cover holds a 7" x 10" coil-bound sketchbook securely with an elastic to hold it closed when it's tossed in your bag.

how to machine quilt and assemble a hand-dyed sketchbook cover

Materials Needed for a 7" x 10" Sketchbook

  • (2) Fat quarters of fabric: multicolor "focus" fabric and lining
  • 1/3 yard accent fabric
  • Scrap of fusible webbing
  • Midweight woven fusible interfacing: ¾" yard
  • Fusible Batting: 12" x 18"
  • 12" of ¼" flat braided or wrapped elastic
  • Neutral color sewing thread
  • Heavy Cotton Decorative Variegated thread

Cut and Interface Pieces

2. Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut out all the pieces in the table below. Different pieces will be interfaced differently, this is detailed next.

Fabric

Item

Fabric

Interfacing

Batting

 

Width

Height

Width

Height

Width

Height

Focus

Front & Back (2)

8

12

8

12

6.75

10.75

Accent

Spine

3.5

12

3.5

12

2.25

10.75

Lining

Inner Lining

17.5

12

17

11.5

 

Accent

Inner Flaps (2)

14

12

6.75

11.5

3. The front, back and spine will become little mini quilts, except the backing is interfacing, rather than fabric. Lay the fabric pieces (right side facing down) on your ironing board, center the batting and then add the interfacing (fusible side down). Using steam and a hot iron, fuse this sandwich together in a 3 step process (to avoid wrinkles around the perimeter): 1st, lightly steam and fuse tack the interfacing to the batting, 2nd, flip the sandwich over and press from the center out, fusing all three layers together, and then 3rd flip it over again and give those edges an extra press to ensure that the interfacing is well fused to the perimeter of the fabric (and the batting is safely enclosed in the middle.

fusing the batting
4. The inner lining piece is simply interfaced by centering the interfacing (fusible side down) on the back of the lining material and fusing following the manufacturer's instructions. The lack of interfacing in the seam allowance will cut down on bulk.

5. Fold both the inner flaps half, wrong sides together, and press. Insert the interfacing into the fold, aligning the top of the interfacing with the top of the fold, and press.

add interfacing to the lining

Artify the Journal

6. Unleash your creative muse here! Whatever you love to create, the outer panels are the place to share this with the world. For this sketchbook, I fused a piece of my lining fabric to the front and used that as an anchor for my "Free Motion Machine Sketching." I thread my machine with a very thick (24 weight) slightly variegated thread, a very strong needle (denim/topstich) and use 50 wt cotton bobbin thread (matching the main color of the top thread). See the video below for more details.

how to machine quilt the mum motif
Click on the image above to see the video of Candy machine quilting
the motif.

Assembly

7. Stitch the spine between the front and back pieces. Press the seams open and topstitch along each side of these two seams. Topstitch the folded edge of both pockets as well.

topstich the lining

8. Place the lining right side up and align the raw edges of the front pocket on the left side and the back pocket on the right side. Baste the pockets to the lining. Baste your elastic about 2" in from the left side.

preparing the sketchbook lining for machine quilting

9. Lay the front cover face down on top of the lining/pockets, right sides together. Stitch around the perimeter, taking care to leave a 4" gap at the bottom for turning. Clip the corners and turn inside out, using a tool like a knitting needle to get those corners pushed out (be careful you don't poke through them though!) Press well, making sure that the edges of the gap are folded just right so that they are in line with your seam.

10. Topstitch carefully around the perimeter. Make sure the elastic is on the top so you're aware of its location. When you get to the part of the cover where it's attached, stretch the elastic out of the way so you don't stitch over it.

machine quilting the sketchbook cover

11. Insert your journal or sketchbook and you are done!

finished sketchbook with free-motion quilting

I hope you've enjoyed this series of posts I've shared with you. The flow  of color and visual texture of the fabrics that I dye, combined with the strong, "sketchy" lines of my free motion machine stitching emphasize that individual hand made quality of everything I make; I hope that this inspires you to find your own path towards unique textile art.

Candy

CandiedFabrics.com


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Dyeing to Stitch: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Colorful Fabric Art DVD

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Join Candy Glendening as she shares her dyeing techniques, explorations into color theory, her approach to quilting and free-motion machine sketched motifs.

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Comments

on 22 Jun 2012 8:26 PM

This is beautiful Candy!  I love the elastic closure too.  Fabulous!