Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trying Something New

When I am in a creative slump, I tend to cruise around on the ‘net and lots on Flickr, finding new (to me) and beautiful artwork of all types to inspire me. Lately I have come across tons of fabric covered art journals of all kinds. I’ve looked at them on Etsy, too…but MAN ‘O MAN, they are ex*pen*sive (albeit, worth every penny) and we all know I am as broke as can be right now, but window shopping is always fun.

Anyway, I couldn’t help but be inspired, though. It really got my creative juices churning and my wheels turning. (LOL at my little rhyme there.)

So, I pulled out the old sewing machine (well, it’s actually pretty new since it seldom ever gets used, but you know what I mean), my boxes of fabric scraps, some FABULOUS watercolor paper (Fabriano Artistico 140 lb hot press) and started this little experiment in my laboratory, ahem, in my studio.

I had no set plan, no picture in my head of a pretty finished piece, just an idea that I wanted to play around with and see where the idea and the feeling of needing to be creative took me…and here’s where it led:

IMG_0186This is the front while it’s closed but I still have to figure out what kind of closure I want to put on it…a long strap to wrap around? A button and button-hole? An elastic hoop to hook around a button? I dunno but I’ll figure something out today. I am really loving it and all the bright, vivid colors; the soft feel of the quilted fabric. Mmmmm!


I couldn’t resist including a little heart on the front as a little accent and who can resist a pink one against a dark black background? Yeah, I think it really sets off the front of my little quilted journal experiment. *smile*


I lined the inside with a burgundy cotton to give the inside a solid color interior…plus, the crazy quilting I did really shows up splendidly on the solid color, too.

IMG_0190 This is the back. The fabric on the right with the orange/brown flower is my favorite but that is the only scrap I have of it. Completely YUM!

IMG_0188Opened all the way, you can see the wonderful paper I chose to use and the varying widths I cut and folded them to in order to give some interest. There are 3 signatures with a total of 20 pages (giving a total of 40 sides) so this journal should last me a while. 

IMG_0192 Speaking of the paper I used, I have never used the Fabriano watercolor paper but Teesha Moore has preached it’s virtues forever and then a couple of months  back I caught some on sale and grabbed it up just to try it out.


I know it’s not Supply Saturday so I won’t do a review of the Fabriano here but after having worked with this awesome paper yesterday as i made this journal I have to tell you all how really fabulous it really is, so be sure and check back in with me Saturday. I really want to tell you all about why this really is the best paper I’ve ever laid my hands on in my life!

Now, I only have to figure out what kind of closure I’m going to use and my other “problem” is figuring out how to bind my signatures into the quilted cover. Hmmmm…it’s all about using ingenuity and creativity to figure these things out, right?  Oh, and taking suggestions from your friends….so, suggestions, anyone? LOL

Now, I only managed to get about 2 1/2 hours sleep last night thanks to a 98 degree sunny day yesterday and a not so air tight house built in the 1930’s…well, let’s just say that I don’t sleep so well while tossing and turning in a pool of my own sweat…so I’m going back to bed for a while or I’ll feel like crap all day. UGH!

Thanks for your comments on Supply Saturday. I appreciate it so much. Just knowing you’re reading makes writing so much more fun.

Peace & Love,


  1. I'm a big big fan of fabriano papers, all of them are great, the 140lb cold pres artistico in buff white is my fave ever.

  2. that's beautiful Barb!
    you may have inspired me to finally try doing crazy quilting like that. I've seen it so many places and love it but have been held back by having a regular sewing machine (not a quilting one). Make curves or going backwards a pain... a big pain!
    But this looks so wonderful that I think I'll try it :)
    Hope you lift out of your slump soon! I know what those are like :-|

  3. Wow, great job! I think that is awesome you just followed your inspiration and look how great it came out! I have a tendency to over-think things, actually art journaling/visual journaling is helping me a lot with that!

  4. Barb, email Teesha and ask her how she sews her signatures into a fabric journal. Great job with your first attempt.

  5. Fantastic fabric art journal, Barb! I wouldn't buy one if I was good with a sewing machine like you are! I love your heart and colors!

  6. What a great journal! I love it! Wow..it is so great!

  7. Oh my Goodness such a beautiful journal! I've always wanted to make one as well, but so afraid of the sewing machine. :)
    Much Love

  8. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...it's beautiful! you did a great job on it!

  9. Cool book! :)

    The funny thing is, I don't like that paper at all. I know. Call me an odd duck (quack) but I have bought it, used it with acrylics and hated it (even after painting front and back). Blech! But that's just me! :)

    Your book, I LOVE! :)

  10. Love the Quilt cover. The colors all work so well. The thread madness is always good on top.
    I would sew in the signatures. You could do it like T. Moore does them or even make it more your style by doing your own lay out of the spine. Then even beads and or charms could go with your little crazy quilt journal. A little loop button to close it would be cute.

    I'm sure you will finish it out awesome.



Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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