Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quilting: Quilting Bee Journal

I joined another bee! This one is a different kind of bee though. It is called 'A Quilting Journey Round Robin Bee' - how it works: I make a starter block send it along with a journal to my assigned person on the mailing list and so on and so on... until this block travels around the world crossing the paths of 20 other people who will in turn make a block for me and share with me about themselves in the journal and eventually it makes its way back home to me! While my block is living it up traveling around the world on someone else's dime... I will be right here in Chicago working on blocks for everyone who is making me blocks! Each person gets to pick their own theme, I am having everyone make a block that represents where they are from in any style or colors they chose with just one stipulation the block be 12.5x12.5. My block will represent Chicago. I still have to make my block, but I have created my journal!

Several people in the bee group seemed interested in how I made my journal, so I created a tutorial. Sorry if any steps are unclear, feel free to ask questions and feel free to copy! Here it is:

You will need: cardstock, a glue stick, spray adhesive, scissors or rotary cutter, ruler, hole punch and sewing machine.

I started by folding my sheets of paper in half. Now this would have been the ideal project to use my Martha Stewart bone folder I recently acquired, but of course I couldn't find it! So a Sharpie works pretty much the same if you need some help making a nice crisp fold.

I decided I was going to leave a 2-page spread for everyone to write on and with 21 people in the group (including myself) I needed 20 interior pages, plus a front cover and back cover (22 sheets of paper total, it will make sense in a minute why I used so many sheets). I am utilizing the reverse side of each page including the front cover and the reverse side of the back cover as space for people to write, if you do not wish to set your journal up this way you can use how every many pages your want.

I then measured one inch from the crease and cut each sheet. Yes, it does leave me with some wasted paper, but if you are like me you will find a use for it in a project further down the road. Maybe a smaller journal for something else. You can chose not to waste any paper and make your journal skinnier.

The inch next to the crease in the paper is going to be where the holes are punched. I wanted to make that area stronger so I folded the paper over and used a glue stick to hold it down.

The next step is to punch holes, I decided to punch three sets of two holes each along the edge of my book. I only had a single hole punch, so I had to measure out where the holes would be and I used that sheet as a template to punch the remainder of the pages. My pages are by no means punched exact and don't line up perfectly. But they are approximate enough that once you tie the ribbon through they all line and you can't tell the holes aren't perfect, so don't sweat it too much. If you have a three hole punch then this step should be no problem.

I decided I wanted to make the book a bit more durable since it will be traveling all over. I used my machine to zig-zag sew a grouping of two pages together, so I was left with ten groups of two.

I then made the front and back covers, you can use your inside pages to determine the size. I cut two for the front and two for the back and glued them together to make the cover stronger. I did not use the fold over method for the front and back since I was gluing two pages together, it (a) wasn't necessary and (b) would have been really hard to fold over!

Next comes the fun part!!! You get to make you own journal block! It should be about 6x9 that includes the "seam allowance". I guess I didn't take a picture of my journal top by itself, but you can see it on the finished product below. The first two pictures above show you how I used the space that would normally be for the seam allowance and folded it over the edge and sewed it down to the back of the front cover page. Sew the edge that runs parallel to the holes last! And be sure as you sew toward the side with your holes that you don't sew all the way to the edge. You need to allow room to fold your rough edge under (like a hem) and sew it down as shown in the second picture. Also, I couldn't resist putting a little something on the back, so I sewed a heart with my initial to the back page. You can do something similar or you can make a block for the back as well!

Once you have your front and back pages decorated you will need to cut another page to be glued into the inside facing part of both pages to cover your edges and stitches. I used spray adhesive for the page that needed to be glued to the fabric and a glue stick for the pages that was only covering a few stitches.

Almost done! Line your pages up and weave some ribbon through, yarn will work too! When I finished weaving the ribbon through I had the two tails toward the back and I tied them off at both the top and bottom sets of holes then I continued bringing the ribbon up toward the middle set of holes and tied them together in a bow. If that isn't clear honestly you can make something up and if it feels sturdy at the end it will work just as well!

And the finished product! I hope it lasts on it's journey. It feels really sturdy and it lightweight so it shouldn't be too bad on mailing. I plan to have it travel in a ziplock in case it should encounter any inclimate weather. The front two pages are where I included a little info about me, a few pictures and explained to everyone what I would like included in their journal pages and their block. Now I better get started on my block!!

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