Composition Notebook Covers

August 16, 2011 § 35 Comments

I made the first Composition Notebook cover a LONG time ago.  And then another.  I should make more. But I have a hard time following projects through to the finish line.  This tutorial has been on the back burner for about just as long!  It’s great for using up scraps and leftover blocks!

Go buy a bunch of Composition Notebooks.  And maybe measure them too.  I don’t know if they are all the same size or not.  I bought these at Staples last year.  And I think I have some old Mead notebooks as well.  They are close in size but not exactly the same. Hopefully these will fit yours as well!

1. Next , gather up some scraps.  I could probably make 50,000 of these notebook covers from my overflowing scrap bins. But that would be boring! And it would take me FoREVer to sew them all!

2. Sew your scraps to together in roughly a 12″ x 27″ rectangle.  And cut a piece of muslin slightly larger than the scrappy rectangle.

3. Make a quilt sandwich with the muslin on the bottom, some scrap batting in the middle and your scrappy notebook cover on top.

4. Using your walking foot or the even feed feature on your sewing machine, quilt as desired. I like straight stitch quilting because it goes fast!  When you are finished quilting the cover, trim it to 11″ x 26″.  Finish the long 26″ edges with a serger, or with a zig zag or overlock stitch, or cover with bias tape.  I have a serger so that is what I did.  My goal is to not add any more bulk than necessary.

5. Cut two strips 2″ x 12″ that will be used to cover the short 11″ edges with a single layer folded binding.

6. Fold over 1/2″ on one edge of each and press.

7. Place the binding on the back side of the notebook cover along the short 11″ unfinished edge and sew a 3/8″ seam.

8. Turn over the notebook cover and bring the binding to the front.  When you fold it over, it should cover the stitching made from sewing it to the back of the cover.  Topstitch or stitch close to the folded edge to secure it.  Be sure to finish the other 11″ edge with the other piece of binding in the same manner.

9. Fold over 5″ on each end of the notebook cover with right sides facing each other and the muslin facing out.

10. Sew a 1/2″ seam along each of the 5″ folded ends.

11. Lay your notebook on top of the cover and using a pencil trace the rounded corner onto the muslin.  Trace each corner of the notebook cover.

12. Sew the rounded corner following the pencil mark until it meets the 1/2″ seam allowance. Make sure that you back stitch so that your stitches don’t unravel over time.  Trim away half the width of the seam allowance on the flaps. And trim closely to the corner curves to reduce bulk. Do this to each of the four corners.

13. Turn the notebook cover inside out and pin the center spine section to hold it in place. It should naturally want to fold over approximately a 1/2″, the same as your seam allowances of the flaps.

14. Now here comes the tricky part.  You could just glue that edge down with some permanent fabric glue if you aren’t comfortable sewing the edge. I like topstitching so that is what I chose to do.

Gently pull the flap open so that you can slip it under your walking foot.  Start stitching where the binding stitches ended, stopping about 3/8″ from the edge of the center spine. Leave your needle down and rotate the cover so that now you are stitching along the center spine approximately 3/8″ from the edge.

15. Continue sewing along the center edge to secure it.

16. When you get to the other flap end, stop with your needle down in approximately the same place that the binding stitches end. Pivot the cover and stitch just to the binding.  Again, make sure you back stitch so that your stitches don’t unravel over time as the cover is used.

17. This is what the center spine should look like.  Does this make sense?  I’m just stitching down that center edge between the flaps to keep them secure.

18. Slip one end of the notebook into a flap.  The notebook will be on top of all of the seams on the inside. I did this so that the inside of the notebook would lay flat when closed.

19. Fold back the other side of the notebook and slip it into the other cover flap.  Then gently work both ends snuggly into the cover flaps so that the whole thing lays flat.

20.  You can personalize your notebook cover any way you like. I added a name to the back flap. You could add pockets, or a loop to hold a pen.  You will want to make all of these decisions before you start quilting the whole thing.

I made this one to give to my niece-in-law along with the Scrappy Lone Star quilt. I had some backing scraps left over and used that as the starting point for the color scheme.

And this one uses some flying geese blocks left over from my Wild Geese quilt.  Leave a comment and I will give this one away to one lucky reader.

Now go forth and make Composition Notebook covers… just in time for all those Back to School sales!  And, please share what you have made in the Bloomin’ Workshop Flickr group.

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