Thursday, October 19, 2023

FMQ Journal Covers at Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 452 of Free Motion Mavericks. I have finally done some Free Motion Quilting (FMQ), but not on my niece's quilt yet. These were fun squirrels that I pursued for the upcoming Fall Fling marketplace with Out Of The Box (OOTB) Fibre Artists.

Making Journal Covers

The Fall Fling is like our Spring Fibre Fling except that everything on exhibit is for sale. I've been slowly getting ready for this event and am finally ready. Here are my first two finished journal covers.

Blue and Green Journal Covers

The fabric for these first two covers is made by Gunnel Hag, a Canadian textile artist. Every once in a while, I go to her Etsy shop and treat myself to a couple of pieces of fabric. They are always colourful and fun. 

I also bought very thick journals to go in the journal covers. They are as close to a hand-made look as it gets and have lovely scalloped page edges. I also love the fabric that I used for the lining. If they don't sell, I will be very happy to keep them, although I have so many journals already 😁

The inside of the blue journal with one of my favourite fabrics

The inside fabric of this journal is a green ombre with purple, pink and blue dots. I used the dark green part for the lining.

The fun ombre fabric lining with purple, pink and blue dots.

Here are photos that show the FMQ on the journal covers.

The blue fabric was very difficult to FMQ and I should have listened to my intuition when it told me that I shouldn't follow the lines of the diamonds. It's a good thing that I started on one end so that when it didn't work out, I moved over and quilted in a spiral. It also helped that I used dark blue thread, so it doesn't show up much.

FMQ the diamond patterns in a spiral shape

Front of the journal cover

Back of the journal cover

I did, more or less, follow the shapes in this crazy ribbon shaped fabric. I started with a turquoise/brown variegated thread that looked quite good. About halfway through, I stitched around the brighter yellow/green with a bright lime green thread. I then finished up with the original variegated thread. 

The FMQ on the green journal cover

The front FMQ of the journal cover

FMQ the pink journal covers

For the next two journal covers, I chose one of my own hand-dyed pink fabric. 

Two pink journal covers

For the first journal cover, I FMQ it with just the top fabric and batting. I've done this before without an issue, but this time, there was a huge drag. I even checked to make sure that I had lowered the feed dogs. Yup, they were down, so for the second cover, I added a backing fabric. That really helped.

FMQ pink fabric with a meandering flower

FMQ with the batting at the back

For something different on the second journal, I did some vertical FMQ. In the image, you can see my practice page. I went through my FMQ journal to find some designs that would be easy to do vertically.

Vertical FMQ designs with practice sheet

Here are my two FMQ journal covers.

First pink journal cover with Meandering Flowers

Second pink journal cover with vertical designs

When I did my second pink journal cover, I remembered to stitch my label before I put the whole thing together. I was so proud of myself, until I realised that I had sewn it inside the journal cover! It's a good thing that I was able to fold and sew it back out. 😓Aren't the lining fabrics gorgeous?

I was able to stitch the label again so that it peaks out!

Poster for Fall Fling 2023 Marketplace

I have a total of 11 pieces for sale in Fall Fling. Most of them you've seen before, but I will show more of them on Instagram. I'll check to see if I've blogged about each of them. If not, I'll include them soon in a post.

What I learned
  • Making a quilted journal cover is always a little tricky because most journals are not the same size. It's not complicated, but since I am accuracy challenged, I really have to be extra careful.
  • My first journal cover, the blue one, was a little tight because of the thickness of the journal. I thought that I had added extra space for that, but not quite enough. It looks fine, but the green one fits the journal much better.
  • For the pink fabric, I knew that the fabric would be tight, but it did work out. At least this journal is thin, so no extra fabric needed for that!
  • For the FMQ, as I mentioned earlier, I knew that I shouldn't try following the diamonds, but I just couldn't help it. After a few inches, I knew that I needed a plan B - so a spiral it was. It's always a great go-to when you want movement in your design. I balanced the wonky diamonds by adding a few on the other side of the fabric. I was lucky that I had more than enough fabric, so only an inch or so shows up on the journal cover.
  • I'm also lucky that I used a navy thread that blended in well.
  • I feel like I should explain my bizarre thread choice for the green journal cover. I ended up using a turquoise/brown variegated thread because the top of the fabric has some subtle turquoise where the green and blue paint has blended. After making the first journal cover with the blending thread, I wanted a little bit of pop. Adding the bright lime green thread in areas was a good idea.
  • I was so proud of myself for finally remembering to add my label before I sewed the journal cover together. I could have pulled it out, but since the label is quite long, I was able to fold it and stitch it down so that it shows.
  • I love my choices of lining fabric. I believe that it adds a lot to the look of the journal cover.
  • I was also surprised that FMQ without a backing cause so much drag. Adding a piece of fabric as a backing for the second pink journal cover did the trick!
Related links
Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

Last week Donnalee's oldest daughter came for a visit and some quilting lessons and practice. How wonderful that mother and daughter have the same passion! Here are a couple of her finished projects.

Table topper and runner by Donnalee's daughter

Gail has been busy pattern testing this lovely quilt for her friend. If you go to the original post, there is a link to the pattern.

Starry Path made by Gail

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Yay, I didn't miss this one! Thank you Andrée for the linky. Would you believe me if I told you I love these journal covers too?

    1. Yay! I'm glad to see you here! I really love these journal covers and they are less fiddly to make than making the whole journal. You just gave me an idea...I'm going to try to make a cover for one of my handmade journals and see how that goes! Down the rabbit hole again....or is it another squirrel?

  2. Yes, those journal covers are great! I used to keep journal long ago, seeing your covers, make me want to start it again. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Margo, I tend to use tons of journals and grab the closest at hand to write quilting and art ideas - but then it's a real challenge to find where I wrote them. Thanks for linking up!

  3. Your journal covers are just exquisite Andrée! Good luck at the sale!

    1. Thanks so much Sandra and thanks for linking up!

  4. I love your journal covers, Andree!!! Best wishes for Fall Fling!!!

    1. Thanks Nancy, I find it hard to sell my creations and am usually relieved when they don't sell! Not a really great attitude :-)

  5. Love seeing your journal covers. They look like a great way to practice your quilting skills. I just recently made a journal cover for the first time - it was fun and I'll make more!

    1. Thanks Diann, it's nice to practice FMQ on something that isn't too precious. I'm then allowed to mess up, or not! Thanks so much for linking up. I love your wall hanging!

  6. All 4 of your journals are lovely, they should sell well. Happy stitching this week.

    1. Thanks so much Kate. I'm happy to say that the blue and green ones sold. Have a great week!

  7. Je ne pense pas que tu pourras récupérer les journaux pour toi, ils sont trop beaux et seront les premiers vendus ! Je les aime tous, quel talent !
    Merci pour le partage ;)

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique pour ton encouragement. Finalement, les deux gros journaux (bleu et vert) on vendu. C'est finalement le temps de me remettre à mes tùches!

  8. That is unique fabric - but they make cool journal covers. I like the pink one too!!

    1. Thanks Alycia, I love those cool fabrics! I'm sorry to see them go - they both sold!


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