Layer and stitch fabric to create custom journals. Designer Jessica Levitt shows off her Timber collection for Windham Fabrics in this dressed-up, go-everywhere journal.
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Designer: Jessica Levitt

  • 4-1/2x16-1/2" rectangle brown print (inner borders)
  • Scrap of orange print (block center)
  • 3-1/2x5-1/2" rectangle orange stripe (outer borders)
  • 10x11-1/2" square blue print (foundation)
  • Decoupage medium
  • Waxed paper
  • Foam brush
  • 9x11" wire spiral-bound notebook
  • 8-3/4x11" piece of cardstock
  • Glue stick
  • Spray adhesive

Finished notebook: 9x11"

Quantities are for 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Prepare Fabrics

To use decoupage medium to prevent fabric from stretching or fraying when sewing to notebook cover, complete the following steps.

1. Lay all fabric pieces wrong sides up on waxed paper. With a foam brush, spread a thin layer of decoupage medium on wrong side of each piece. Let dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

2. Lightly press right sides of dry fabrics. (Throughout this project, press only right sides of prepared fabric pieces to avoid getting decoupage medium on the iron soleplate.)

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" for Diamond Pattern.

From brown print, cut:

  • 2--1x5" rectangles
  • 2--1x4" rectangles

From orange print, fussy-cut:

  • 1 of Diamond Pattern

From orange stripe, cut:

  • 4--3/4x6" border strips

From blue print, cut:

  • 1--9-1/2x11" rectangle

Embellish Notebook

1. Pry open spiral binding and remove front cover from notebook.

2. Referring to Diagram 1, sew together two brown print 1-1/8x3-1/2" rectangles and orange print Diamond Pattern to make a pieced row. Press seams open. Trim excess fabric from ends of each rectangle parallel to the row.


3. Add two brown print 1x4-3/4" rectangles to long edges. Trim excess fabric from both ends of each rectangle parallel to row.

4. Referring to Diagram 2, add two orange stripe border strips. Trim excess fabric from ends of each border strip parallel to row. Add remaining borders, trimming ends in same manner, to make pieced unit.


5. Position blue print 9-1/2x11" rectangle on notebook cover, avoiding spiral-binding holes to make appliqué foundation; adhere rectangle in place with glue stick. Trim excess fabric along notebook cover edge.

6. Press 1/4" seams along all edges of Step 4 pieced unit, folding under ends on two sides to create a clean edge. The pieced unit should be 4-7/8x8-1/2" including seam allowances.

7. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram for placement, position pieced unit on appliqué foundation. Adhere unit in place with glue stick. Topstitch 1/8" from outer edges of unit to attach unit to foundation. To stitch through the cardboard cover, use a size 100/16, heavy-duty denim needle; increase your stitch length; and stitch slowly.


8. Zigzag-stitch around outer edges of cover.

9. Apply a coat of spray adhesive to back of 8-3/4x11" cardstock. Adhere cardstock to reverse side of cover to conceal stitching. Reassemble notebook, bending wires back into place to complete project.