Episode 302

Josephine Kimberling

Material World by Josephine Kimberling

Explore the world of fabric design from an artist’s perspective and make a fun fabric sketchbook cover with tons of pockets to hold pens and notes.


  • 7"x10" sketchbook
  • 1/3 yard of print cotton fabric (A)
  • Fat eighth each of two coordinating print cotton fabrics (B & C)
  • Three 9"x12" coordinating felt rectangles
  • 1/3 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing
  • 27" length of 3/8"-wide double-sided ribbon
  • All-purpose thread
  • 10 3/8" length of 1/4"-wide double-sided fusible web tape
  • Removable fabric marker or chalk pencil
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Point turner
  • Press cloth
  • Rotary cutting system (optional)

Cut It

  1. From fabric A, cut two 11"x18 1/2" rectangles for the outer cover and lining.
  2. Cut two 8 1/2" squares each from fabric B and C for the pockets with the straight grain running along each square diagonal center.
  3. From the felt, cut two 7"x11" rectangles for the inner cover and one 4 1/2"x11" rectangle for the binding.
  4. From the interfacing, cut one 11"x18 1/2" rectangle and one 4 1/2"x11" rectangle.

Sew It

Use 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.

  1. Fuse each interfacing rectangle to the corresponding outer-cover and binding rectangle wrong sides, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Center the fusible web tape strip along one ribbon-end wrong side; fuse, and then remove the paper backing.
  3. Position the binding rectangle right side up on a flat work surface. Designate one binding short edge as the upper edge. Position the ribbon long edge 3/4" from the binding right edge, aligning the fused ribbon end with the binding lower edge; fuse using a press cloth.
  4. Fold each pocket in half diagonally, forming triangles; press.
  5. Fold the outer cover in half widthwise to find the center; press, and then unfold. Position the cover right side up on a flat work surface. Designate one long edge as the upper edge.
  6. Position one fabric C pocket over the cover, aligning the pocket raw edges with the cover lower and right edges; pin. Position one fabric B pocket over the cover, overlapping the C pocket and aligning one pocket raw edge with the cover lower edge and the pocket right corner with the cover lower-right corner; pin. Baste the pocket raw edges using a 3/8" seam allowance.
  7. Fold the binding rectangle in half lengthwise to find the center; finger-press. With right sides facing up, center the binding over the outer cover, aligning the centerlines; fuse using a press cloth (1).


Tip: Always use a press cloth, such as muslin, when pressing felt to prevent the fabric from melting

8. Position the outer cover wrong side up on a flat work surface. Measure 7" from one cover side along the upper and lower edges; mark. Repeat to measure and mark 7" from the opposite cover side.

9. With right sides together, stitch the outer cover and lining between the two marks along the upper and lower edges. Clip up to, but not through, the stitching at each stitching line beginning and end (2).


10. Turn the cover right side out; press using a press cloth.

11. Position both inner covers right side up on a flat work surface. Designate one short edge of each rectangle as the upper  edge. Denote one cover as the right inner cover and the other as the left inner cover.

12. Position the remaining fabric B pocket over the left inner cover, aligning the raw edges with the cover left side and lower edges; pin. Fold the right pocket corner toward the inner-cover wrong side; finger-press. Repeat to pin the remaining fabric C pocket over the right cover, aligning the raw edges with the cover right side and lower edges. Baste the pocket raw edges using a 3/8" seam allowance (3).


13. Position the cover right side up on a flat work surface. Pin the ribbon end to the felt to prevent it from being caught in the stitching.

14. Position the left inner cover wrong side up over the cover right side, aligning the raw edges; pin. Repeat to pin the right inner cover wrong side up over the cover left side. Baste the inner-cover outer edges using 3/8" seam allowance, and then stitch (4).


15. Trim the corners. Turn the cover right side out; press using a press cloth. Push out the corners using a point turner. Unpin the ribbon. Insert the sketchbook into the cover.


Fancy Flower

Add a cute felt flower to the sketchbook cover.


  • 6"x12" rectangle of blue felt
  • 5" square each of cream & yellow felt
  • 4"x8" rectangle of brown felt
  • 4" square of green felt
  • Scrap of coordinating print cotton fabric
  • 10"x18" rectangle of double-sided fusible web
  • 7/8"-diameter covered button kit
  • Hand embroidery needle
  • Brown embroidery floss

Cut It

  1. Download the Fancy Flower templates here.
  2. From the blue felt, cut two large flowers. From the fusible web, cut one large flower. Adhere the fusible web to one large flower wrong side, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Cut one medium flower each from the cream and yellow felt.
  4. From the brown felt, cut two small flowers.
  5. Cut two leaves each from the green felt and fusible web. Adhere the fusible web to each leaf wrong side.
  6. From the print fabric, cut one 1 3/4"-diameter circle for the covered button. If desired, fussy cut the fabric circle to center a motif on the button.

Sew It

  1. Position the large fused flower right side up on a flat work surface. Center the remaining large flower over the fused flower, staggering the petals. Thread a hand embroidery needle with embroidery floss; knot the end. Hand stitch the large flowers together along the center to secure. Repeat to stitch the medium flowers over the large flowers and the small flowers over the medium flowers.
  2. Tip: For added dimension, pleat the second large flower at each petal center close to the flower center; hand stitch the pleats to secure.
  3. Cover the button, following the manufacturer's instructions. Center the button over the flower; hand stitch through all layers to secure.
  4. Hand embroider a running stitch to create leaf veins along each leaf center.
  5. Overlap the leaf ends with right sides facing up; hand stitch the ends to secure. Position the leaf ends right side up along the flower wrong side as desired; hand stitch.
  6. Position the flower right side up over the sketchbook front cover where desired. Fuse the flower and leaves to the cover. 


Robert Kaufman carries the featured Just Dandy by Josephine Kimberling fabric collection: (800) 877-2066, robertkaufman.com.

Products used in this episode:

  • Arrow Sewing Cabinets provided the Olivia cabinet and Pixie cutting table
  • Havel's provided the curved fabric and dressmakers scissors
  • Brother provided the Laura Ashley® Limited Edition Innov-ís NX-800 sewing machine 

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