Does this look familiar? It's my first attempt at a bubbles prayer quilt, one that didn't quite work for a piece on the wall. But I didn't toss it because I felt it would work fine as the decorative element of a journal cover of some kind. Now that I can take a little breather before starting the next art quilt, this seemed a good time to see if I was right. And as you can see, I was.
I'd printed this free project for a composition book cover off of Sue Bleiweiss's website a while ago. [NOTE: This project is no longer available on her website] I didn't use composition books when I was in school, but got quite enamored of them afterward for my journal writing for some reason. Haven't written in one for years, and finding this pattern brought back nostalgic thoughts of those post-college years. Maybe I'd buy one the next time Staples had a sale. It took having this little bit of quilted fancy needing a home to get that composition book purchased. Not on sale, but it is an eco version I couldn't resist.
The pattern turned out to be a starting point for general instructions and dimensions - I deviated from it quite a bit right from the start. Instead of fusing my cover fabric to Timtex (why something so stiff?), I applied a fusible mid-weight interfacing. If I'd planned to quilt and add design elements over the entire surface, I probably would have opted for something else, but in this case I was just going to add the quilted bubble piece to the front cover area with satin stitching. A little basting spray held it in place while I stitched.
I dispensed with the lining - didn't quite see the need for that - and decided I didn't want to finish the outer edge with satin stitching per instructions (a necessity if you're using that Timtex), so the inside pockets were pinned to the right side of the cover with a half inch seam allowance. Each pocket is a rectangle of fabric folded in half which struck me as a bit wasteful, especially with this hand-dyed fabric, but for expediency sake, I went with it. I think you could easily get away with a single layer with the inner raw edge turned under and stitched or fused.
My first round of stitching was at about 3/8 inch - the width of my presser foot. I thought the directions were allowing for a little ease, but the 1/2 inch extra all around turned out to be exactly the right amount. For durability sake, I decided I liked that second round of stitching. Corners were trimmed to reduce bulk when turned inside out and the corners poked out.
Once turned and pressed, there was this short span of exposed seam allowance on the inside. I clipped it enough just inside each flap so I could turn the raw edge under. A little strip of Stitch Witchery fusible slipped under it holds it in place. You could also use a little fabric glue.
It's a nice snug fit, and the wide inner flap gives me room to write an inscription. This will be a gift to someone who has been very instrumental in giving me the tools and mindset I needed to get through this last year.