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Sewing a journal cover with embellishments – Piping and bookmark included!

by Elaine Theriault

It’s the end of the week! Yesterday, I showed you how much fun you can have with embellishments. Today, I’m finishing up the journal cover and am excited to see what it’ll look like when I turn it inside out! I’ve been playing with the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 all week, and I’ve learned so much and had loads of fun.

The first step is to trim the cover to the correct size. Don’t forget to add seam allowances at this step. My cover needs to be 15” x 8½”; after adding seam allowances, I cut the collage to 15½” x 9”.

An orange fabric collage under a quilter’s ruler

Cutting the collage to the correct size, including adding seam allowances

Then I cut the lining fabric. I was initially going to add interfacing but decided against it. I think there’s enough support that it’s not needed. There are three pieces for the lining – the two sides are 5½” wide x 9” high. And the center part is 8” x 9”. It’s easiest to cut the two side pieces first and then see how large the middle section should be. The middle section should overlap the side pieces by about 1½” on either side.

Three pieces of orange fabric on a green cutting mat

The three lining pieces

I hemmed the innermost edge of the two side pieces, as those edges will be visible inside the cover. There’s no need to hem the middle section as it’s completely hidden. The purpose of the middle section is to provide a finished edge along the top and bottom of the journal cover between the two end pieces of the lining.

An orange piece of fabric under a metal presser foot; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Hemming the edges of the lining side sections

I found a nice piece of piping when I went through my bag of orange bits and saved it for the final assembly. Since this cord is fairly thick, I’m using the Single Welt Cord Foot to sew the cord to the journal cover. The cord (piping) had a ½” seam allowance tape, which I trimmed to ¼.” Be sure to clip the piping cord at the corners to get a nice sharp angle at the corners.

Orange cord under a metal presser foot on orange fabric; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2, Husqvarna Viking Single Welt Cord Foot

Using the Single Welt Cord Foot to sew on piping

And this is what the piping looks like when it’s stitched to the front of the journal cover! Love it!

Orange applique flowers and orange cording stitched to an orange fabric

The piping stitched to the front of the journal cover

Then lay out the front of the journal cover face up. Position the two side pieces with the hemmed edge towards the middle and right sides together. The middle section of the lining goes on last.

Three pieces of orange fabric on a green cutting mat

Positioning the lining on the journal cover

OH – I remember saving a large piece of ribbon to use as a bookmark. So the ribbon gets added to the top center of the journal cover.

A piece of orange ribbon and orange fabric

Positioning the ribbon for the bookmark

I pinned all the layers together as they will shift, especially with the extra bulk of the piping around the edges. Sew around using the Single Welt Cord Foot, pivoting at the corners. Be careful as you sew, as the added bulk of the piping will make things want to shift. Alternatively, you can sew off the edge and restart a new seam. I find it easier to pivot at the corners.

Then through one of the openings in the lining, turn the journal cover inside out. This method is clever because you get a nice finished edge all the way around and no worries about sewing up any openings.

Now let’s have a look at the Thread Velvet. I like to use my very sharp surgical seam ripper to slice open the top layers of thread.

A surgical seam ripper on orange fabric

The surgical seam ripper used to slice open the Thread Velvet embroidery

If you’re wondering what the cover looks like, here’s a shot before I slice open those threads.

An orange fabric collage

The completed collage journal cover

Then very carefully and trying to keep in the center of those petals, slice open the top layers of the Thread Velvet. Now we can start to see the blooming effect, and by using a much lighter color underneath, you can see two shades. The blooming will become more evident as it gets handled.

A five-pointed star on orange fabric

The Thread Velvet is sliced open

Slip the cover inside the pockets on both sides. Here’s my journal cover, and while I could’ve used a narrower ribbon for the bookmark, this will work just fine.

The inside of a spiral-bound journal with an orange ribbon bookmark

The journal cover fits the journal like a glove!

I also tied by hand, all the loose ends of the yarn and floss. Then I cut a tail, which will unravel with time and become more tactile. The next time I sit in a meeting or on a Zoom call, I now have an interactive journal cover to keep my fingers busy! The textures I’ve created with all the techniques are fabulous! There’s even a button on a ribbon that I can move around.

An orange journal cover embellished with buttons, ribbons, and machine embroidery

The front of the journal cover

Here’s the back of the journal cover. I might find something to put on the end of the ribbon bookmark, but for the moment, it’s complete!

An orange journal cover embellished with buttons, ribbons, and machine embroidery

The back of the journal cover

Oh my – I had so much fun making this journal cover and using leftover odds and ends. I love how the piping turned out on the edges. The sequins mixed with the machine embroidery are to die for! Making and embellishing a collage is a neat way to learn new techniques on the fabulous Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2.

A burgundy and white sewing machine with an extension table; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

I need more time as I want to make collages in other colors and make some exciting art. Hmm – let’s see what I can dream up!

I hope you enjoyed the week as we explored the various stitch menus of this fabulous sewing and embroidery machine. Be sure to stop by your local dealer to have a close look. You won’t be disappointed.

Have a great day!


This is par 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Exclusive stitch techniques on the EPIC 2 embellish a journal cover


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