Monday, 23 June 2014

Hand Quilted Starry Night Notebook Cover

My daughter and many of her friends are great fans of the BBC series Dr Who. I also have fond memories of hiding behind the sofa when I was a little girl whilst my Dad watched it too (although it was broadcast in black and white then)!
Last year I was delighted to discover that a large selection of Dr Who themed fabrics was available from American company Spoonflower, so I ordered a couple of cotton fabrics which were specially printed to order. I have always admired the work of Vincent Van Gough so I was particularly taken with this "Starry night landscape - blue police boxes (1350 dpi)" by Bohobear (Kristi Duggins) . This design was based upon episode 10 of series 5 "Vincent and the Doctor" which was first broadcast in 2010. The Doctor (then played by Matt Smith) and his assistant Amy Pond travelled back in time to meet Vincent Van Gough and there were lots of references to his paintings in the plot and sets, etc. Kristi designs lots of interesting, current fabrics and you can see more of her work on her Facebook page here . I chose the Kona cotton which is a good weight for quilting as I thought the swirly design would lend itself well to being quilted.
I decided to hand quilt a notebook cover, which was originally intended as a 20th birthday present for one of my daughter's friends, Lindsey. However I have never hand quilted anything this detailed or this size before and I hugely underestimated how long it would take me to do. I started the project last June and worked on it for several months. I finally completed it yesterday and gave it to Lindsey for her 21st birthday! Apologies for the long, photo heavy post - but having spent over a year making this I feel justified in showing it off at last! As usual, please click on the photos below for a larger view.
The front of the finished book cover.

The back cover.

Inside, showing the ribbon marker and extra bookmark.

Inside the front cover, showing the construction of the pockets.

Detail of the glass beads and key charm used on the ribbon marker.

A close up of the fabric, showing the blue stitching around each tiny Tardis and the swirls.
I used white metallic thread to quilt around the larger white stars too.

At this angle it's easier to see the depth of the quilted texture all over the outer cover.

A close up of the bias binding at the bottom and the bead detail.

A close up of the pen holder loop made from bias binding and trimmed with narrow ribbon.

Finally, I adapted this card (originally shown on my blog here ) and gave it to Lindsey along with the notebook. I hope that she liked them both!
I really enjoyed making this notebook cover. It was challenging as I didn't have a pattern or any instructions to follow - and although it's not perfect I'm really pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was my first attempt at anything like this. I struggled with my old sewing machine when it came to making up the cover. It's over 36 years old now and was making strange clunking noises and breaking needles - but I was determined not to be beaten! If I had a better sewing machine I would like to have a go at machine quilting one day - I'm sure it would be a lot quicker!
Thanks for reading this far :)


  1. Oh wow, this is amazing! Hand quilted - that is a labour of love , and it looks beautiful the way you have followed the swirls. I am not a big fan of Dr Who myself but I do love this fabric and I am a big fan of Spoonflower as you know.

  2. WOWOWOWOOWOWOWOWOWOW!! This is AWESOME!! I LOVE this Idea and for your FIRST time WOWOWOWOW!! =) I think you can be HAPPY about it forsure!! =) Yes I use mostly Helmar Fabric Glue and I like to get it Online through Jo-Ann's when it is on sale!! =) (or I use a 40% off coupon!! Nothing works like it and I LOVE that I can use it for ALL of my CRAFTING both Fabric/Felt and Paper!! =) I also like to use Mono-Mutlti Glue!! Mostly just for my Paper Crafts though!! Hope this is helpful and I hope you have a FABULOUS WEEK!! =)

    1. Thank you for your kind comments! Also thanks for letting me know about the glue - I'll look out for some of the Helmar Fabric glue if I can find it in the UK.

  3. That is fantastic Lynn, and you have every right to be proud of achieving this. Better late than never and what a beautiful keepsake.
    Hugs, Neet xx

  4. This is amazing, Lynn! My hubby and I are Dr. Who fans and any fan of the show would should be thrilled to receive this treasure! Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, you mentioned Top Cat, that was my favorite cartoon when I was a little girl :)


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