Thursday, March 23, 2023

Making Journals on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome! I can't believe that it's already time for Free Motion Mavericks! I doesn't help that I posted a day late last week. This week I'm on time but no FMQ (free motion quilting) to share. 

Upcycled Traveller's Journal 

This week there is an exciting free event going on - Sketchbook Revival 2023. There are loads for really cool teachers presenting various things related to art, sketchbooks, colour and creativity. Before the week began, Ali Manning of Vintage Page Designs and the Handmade Book Club (of which I'm a member!) showed us how to use an old book binding to make a traveller's journal with separate journals that can be added or removed from the cover. It's so cool!

I used an rescued book cover whose book was falling apart. It's not the prettiest book cover (9¼ " x 6") but perfect for learning how to make this journal. I glued a piece of cloth over the spine area. Since the inside of the book cover wasn't pretty, I added a pretty piece of craft paper to the front and back. 

Book cover and first journal

I prepared 4 journal to fit into the cover. Each journal has craft paper as a cover. 

First and second journals

Each journal is stitched and then attached to the book cover using stretch lace elastic. 

Each journal can be removed from the book

Washi Tape Journal

The bonus course from Ali is a fun washi tape journal.

Washi tape journal
This small journal (5¾ " x 4½ ") was super simple and quick to make. It consisted of 2 signatures of 10 photocopy pages each, folded in half to make 20 pages.

Two covers are made using a legal size folder. We covered them with washi tape but they could be decorated in any way. Since the legal size folder is long, you can add pockets on the inside and middle of the journal. My pockets are attached with paper clips until I buy some narrow 2-sided tape to keep them down.

Journal with a pocket on the inside cover

The second cover ends up in the middle of the journal, where additional pockets can be added.

A smaller pocket in the middle of the journal.

A larger pocket, also in the middle of the journal.

This is one of my favourite journals - so easy and simple to make but very versatile. You can use all kinds of paper for the signatures and decorate it any way you want.

A lovely slim journal that can fit anywhere.

Update on my SAHRR baby quilt

Just a quick note to say that I've completed the first step of making the pinwheel blocks by make batches of half-square triangles. 

Next step in the SAHRR baby quilt

What I learned
  • I'm happy to say that making journals is getting easier. 
  • I should have cut my paper for the Upcycled Traveller's Journal by about a ¼ " shorter. This would have made it easier to put the journals in the elastics. Next time 😊!
  • Old washi tape doesn't stick as well as new stuff, so I may have to glue some of it down. 
  • The narrow two-sided tape will be great to keep the pockets down. I love adding pockets to my journals, so it will be a good investment.
  • I'd like to make more washi tape journals but experiment with fabric. Mod Podge would affix the fabric to the cardboard and make it stiffer (and help keep it clean).
  • I also have many nicer book covers that I'd like to use to make more Upcycled Traveller's Journals. 
  • I also want to make larger journals (the size of a duo tang) with lots of pockets to hold my travel souvenirs, notes, etc. The cover is not a problem but getting paper that large can be.
Related links

Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 423 of Free Motion Mavericks. Did you have time to do any FMQ? Either way, we'd love to see what you're working on 😊.

Since we didn't have any FMQ, here's what Donnalee, Melva and Joy are working on!

Donnalee is making a second runner with some lovely Spring colours.

Spring runner by Donnalee

Melva was on her eleventh mini, but I want to show you number ten, Angel on the Shore.

Angel on the Shore, a mini by Melva

Joy linked up her Split Back Star blocks for a QOV quilt. Welcome Joy!

Split Back Star blocks for a QOV quilt by Joy

It's now your turn.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Your journals are lovely, I just began making journals this year. It's a learning process I am enjoying.

    1. Thanks Deb. I'm really happy with these and am actually using the upcycled one. Enjoy making them!

  2. I love your journals. I have made journal covers for a number of partially used composition notebooks. I have them scattered about so I always have one handy. :) Thanks for the feature and for hosting the party giving me a chance to share some inspiration with others. Blessings!

    1. Thanks so much Melva. I have lots of purchased journals but many of them are mostly used, so this will come in handy!

  3. Wow, the journals are something else!! Great work on them - I do love the re-purposing of the old books, etc.

    1. Thanks Raewyn. I'm looking forward to making more and I'm happy to say that I've started using the Upcycled one!

  4. Those journals are really cute! what a great idea!

    1. Thanks Alycia, I love doing them and they don't take that long!


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