My new garden commonplace book cover is complete, and after a slightly challenging week I have prepared the pattern for you.
The pattern is for the applique/stitchery design on the cover, not how to make a cover. I have done a few tutorials on making journal covers, but there are also many online.
This cover is very straightforward, with the outside and lining measuring 3/4" longer than the height of the book used, and around 6" longer than the width of the book when measured all the way around from cover edge to cover edge.
Once the stitchery is completed (be sure to position it so that it is centred on the cover) you can lay the outer cover and the lining right sides facing and sew around the outer edges with a 1/4" seam, leaving a 3" opening along one narrow end for turning out. Turn the cover right side out, press, and slip stitch the opening closed. Then wrap the cover around the book, fold the edges inside the cover and slip stitch them along the bottom and top so that the book will be secured inside.
On the pattern sheet I've included the design two ways - right side facing for needleturn applique, and reverse for blanket stitch or wool applique.
Little extras added to a basic applique pattern are really simple and quite lovely. For this pattern, after needleturning the oval edge to the cover fabric, a line of chain stitch was sewn all around...
Inside the flower petals I added a few straight stitches, the centre stitch slightly longer than the stitches either side.
A cluster of French knots were sewn into the centre of the middle flower, and also just above the outer flowers. A simple curved line of backstitch completed the leaves.
I really enjoyed making this! Delving into my old Tilda scraps for the bee background fabric was the springboard for choosing thread colours and applique prints. The teal flower centres and the leaves are from the same piece of fabric (another old Tilda print), as I find it lots of fun to fussy cut very different pieces like this from just the one scrap of fabric.
Applique is a marvellous way to use those fabric scraps we all have!
The rest of the fabrics used were scraps from other projects I have worked on in the past or am working on right now.
I used Gutermann thread for the needleturn applique, and two strands of DMC embroidery cotton for the backstitch. Both of these are my favourites, but use what you already have - I always recommend that you continue to use the crafting and sewing items which already work for you.
If you find something isn't working, that's when you try something new.
I picked flowers and herbs from the garden for this little photo shoot, and once done all I could think of was how much I wanted a nice hot herbal tea.
When I make herbal teas it is always in a French press, one which is purposed for this task alone and has never even seen a coffee bean (though we are growing coffee beans right now!) so I picked some fresh mint and added some of our homegrown and dehydrated ginger to the French press as well.
Once brewed it was an even greater delight to write this blog post and prepare the pattern for you.
Aah, the pattern! If you'd like to make it, just click on the download link below...
THE TEA TOWEL SWAP 2023
Another successful swap has concluded for this year, and I wanted to show you the gorgeous tea towel that Bev made for me. When it arrived in the post I was quite excited, and there was a lot of ooh-ing and aah-ing when the package was opened. Look at that cute little bird (you know I love birds!) and those prairie points! One thing made me laugh though, in a very good way. Bev and I had both used white flour sack tea towels in our swap.
In the swap, all participants were to decorate one tea towel for their partner, and include another 'pretty' tea towel bought just as it is. Bev sent me a lovely peach stripe towel, and I'm pretty happy about this because it's not east to find a basic striped towel that you may one day want to embroider on. So I was double happy with her gifts. Thank you dear Bev!
The following day Bev emailed to say my parcel to her had arrived, and she loved the tea towel I made for her just as much as I love the one she made me.
Bev had told me the colour scheme of her kitchen was red and white country style and the curtains had red apples on them. Immediately I thought of my old "Honey Apple" stitchery pattern and went looking for fabric to stitch it on. Well, I always look within my vintage linens first, and this crochet embellished napkin caught my eye, so I stitched the red honey apple to one side.
Most embellished tea towels are for decoration you see, and I thought Bev would agree, so this became the feature on a white flour sack towel.
My 'pretty' extra tea towel was a William Morris linen reproduction. It's gorgeous, and with those pops of red strawberries it will blend in with Bev's kitchen.
I have received a few photos of participants swap tea towels, but would love some more so I can do a show and tell post next week. I've also got some other show and tell pics for you. If you were a part of this swap and would like to email me a photo, please do. I'm sure everyone would love to see what you made and received.
Well, that's it for today. I'm going to do a tidy up, then get ready for an afternoon with Rafaella's class. It's an Under 8's day and the children have been encouraged to bring their parents, family or carers to school for activities within the classroom. Blossom will be going in to Cully May's classroom, and I will go into Rafaella's. I think one of the activities is rock painting which will be a lot of fun.
God bless you, keep you, lift you, provide for you, comfort, heal and sustain you...for there is no greater Father than He, who loves us beyond comprehension, and is always, always, always, seeking to draw us closer to His heart.
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Thank you Jennifer for another beautiful and useful project. It is most appreciated.
Thankyou your so generous
I absolutely love your closing lines. That is all what I feel, and I pray the same for you and your family. I think it's terrific that you and Blossom split visitation birthday duty at the girls' school. How special for every one of you! Thank you for the cover pattern, thank you for the pictures of your tea towel gift, and the one you gifted. I like them both so much. That peach stripe is a really special towel!
Your commonplace book turned out SOoooo beautiful dear Jennifer. Thank you for sharing the pattern with us - I have downloaded it & I have the very same Tilda backgroud fabric in my stash. 💚
Your teatowels both given & received are just gorgeous - its lovely that you both put so much thought into what the recipient would like. Enjoy your day with the little ones my dear friend. x0x0
What a lovely blog as always!! Thank you so much! You always inspire me! Maybe I will do a notebook sometime, it's so beautiful. Praise God! For your wonderful talents and friendly blogs over the years. Hugs!
Thank you for such a beautiful prayer. It is perfect for a dear friend whose daughter is fighting a critical health battle in the ICU! Bless you!
Thank you for the pretty pattern and also the meaningful blessing.
Gorgeous tea towels! Thankyou for your lovely free pattern. So good that everyone is enjoying school activities.
The patterns are lovely for the notebook. Your creativity is without limits. I love the tea towels you and your partner swapped. They are gorgeous.
What gorgeous tea towels, much too nice to use! \
love that book cover, your applique is beautiful. Thank you for the pattern.
God bless xxx
Oh the cover is beautiful...yes sit back drink tea rejoice.
The tea towels are an eye-catcher... yes, I would present them, but not use them :-))) so beautiful.
Many warm greetings to you from Viola
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