Displaying Journal Quilts

The Journal Quilts which go to Houston must be 8.5" by 11".  I have always made mine with a binding but many do not have borders. Even the ones that do have some sort of border often need a little something extra to make a nice display.

I make a small base quilt and then attach the journal quilt to it by stitching in the ditch around the binding of the journal quilt.  I keep hand work to a minimum and do everything possible by machine.

Select a compatible "border" fabric. With the border fabric as the top piece, begin by making a small quilt sandwich about two inches larger all around than the final desired size of your "border quilt".  For a 8.5 by 11 inch quilt, I plan my final border quilt size to be about 13.5" x 16" and begin with a quilt sandwich (top, batting and backing) of about 16" x 18".   The extra material all around will shrink a bit during quilting, then be trimmed to size.

I quilt the sandwich, usually keeping the quilting quite simple.  Stippling works, or if you prefer do something more complex.  

Quilt the sandwich. Trim exactly to size.

Left, quilted and trimmed border quilt.
Above, a quilting detail.

Make a label. The label at right is printed on fabric, fused and stitched to a piece of backing fabric. The whole thing is then sewn to the back of the border quilt.

I machine sew my label to the back of the new border quilt. The machine stitching will not show on the right side if the label is placed near the center of the quilt. It will be covered by the Journal quilt when it is attached.


journal_sleeve It is time to add the sleeve. Cut a piece of the backing fabric for a sleeve, 14.5" x 8". On each short end, turn under 1" then fold this seam allowance in half again. The result is a 1/2" hem turned under twice.  The finished length of the sleeve is approximately 12.5". A little shorter is OK, longer will not work.

Left, The short edges are turned under. The sleeve is sewn across the top of the border quilt using a seam allowance that is narrower than the binding will be.

The second row of stitching below the first is done while attaching the journal quilt in the next step.   

Determine exactly where the quilt needs to be and mark the placement lines with chalk.  Position the quilt and pin in place. Across the TOP ONLY, stitch in the ditch around the original binding of the journal quilt. Backstitch at the beginning and end of that line of stitching.
sleeve_fold Turn the quilt over and fold the sleeve up and out of the way for the next step. Pin in place.
Turn back to the front and continue to stitch in the ditch  around the bottom and side edges of the journal quilt.

In the photo at right, you can see the stitching that attaches the journal quilt to the border quilt. The sleeve remains free of stitching except at the top edge and across its middle, which anchors the sleeve to the quilt, but provides slack for a rod inserted in the sleeve.

journal_sleeve_end Fold the sleeve so that the top edges are even and baste across the top.

Bind the border quilt by machine and include the sleeve in the binding. Binding can be finished by machine by stitching in the ditch from the front.


Examples of quilts made with this technique:

t_daylily_mat.jpg (6224 bytes) t_mayapple_mat.jpg (5437 bytes) t_mtn_laurel_mat.jpg (5263 bytes) t_portico_mat.jpg (4899 bytes) t_trillium_mat.jpg (5328 bytes)
Larger Images of the Quilts


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All text and images on these pages are copyrighted by Susan Brittingham 2006-2012,
and may not be copied or reproduced in any way without permission.
This page was created on 03/12/07
Last update: 03/18/12