Saturday 21 April 2018

Books galore

I really like books, I used to be a librarian, so I guess it figures. But I also have a friend who really likes books and she has a big 0 birthday coming up in June. So last year I began making some shelves (of books) like this. A great way to use up scraps of fabric, such bright, fun colours.

And I used the letters that my machine could produce and began to name some, using a list of 100 most popular or well read books. That was in about August last year. Along the way many other projects came and went, but I did this project in bursts. 

It didn't see much action over Christmas and into New Year, but around March I thought I'd better get going on it again. Then this month I realised it really needed the big push. And here it is, only needing its binding on - which I hope to complete tonight. 

I chose black for the background as I checked out a few bookshelf quilts on line elsewhere and found the black appeared more realistic to me. I stippled it so that it flattens a bit, enabling the shelf contents to stand out more. My friend also collects tea pots, so of course I had to include some of those: 

I had great fun doing various patterns on the spine, some spirals, leaves, ribbon candy, feathers etc, I just went to town wherever I felt like it. And I went up and down on both sides of each book, so there's quite a bit of quilting on those 14 sections of shelving. 

She also enjoys cooking and often makes Delia Smith recipes - so Delia's titles feature. I was pretty happy with the tan fabric I found for the shelving. I has rows of small white dots so quilting lines around the edges of the 'shelves' seemed to work pretty well. It was all done on my domestic machine, free-motion, even the straight lines. I don't have a walking foot for this machine, so I've just learned to do it free motion rather than using a normal foot which tends to put too much pressure on fabric with wadding. 

Here's a shot of the backing, just a light colour. I used a light grey for the stipple in the bobbin, and black of course on the top. 

For the remainder I used a variegated thread which worked well. 
I know my friend will enjoy it and she has made just a couple of quilts herself so she'll have an idea of what was involved. Now I can leave it lying around and enjoy looking at it until I give it to her in June. 

One last shot out on the decking:

Now, what's next......



  1. this is so lovely! I really like how you put those teapots and the globe in too. I've never used the alpha capabilities on my machine--i think I'd better check that out--thanks for sharing...hugs, Julierose

  2. That's incredible! I'm the librarian at our church, so I know about books on shelves - this looks so realistic. Well done!

  3. I love this quilt! So much thoughtfulness put into it with her favorite author, the tea pot, and, of course, all of the books! I love to read, and especially reading a physical book. I have a reader, and use it, but nothing beats the feel and heft of a book in my hands. I'm sure your friend will love this milestone quilt for her birthday!

  4. It's fantastic, Lynn! So many fun and thoughtful details. The quilting looks great and the whole piece is so realistic. Your friend will adore it! :)

  5. WOW! An amazing quilt, a librarian's dream come true! What a wonderful gift for your friend.

  6. Hooray for bookshelf quilts! It's such fun to see the details on the shelves and the book spines. Consider joining the ALA Biblioquilters -- librarians who quilt! We contribute quilts to the scholarship auction at the ALA Annual Conference (ALA membership/attendance are not required). We have a FB page and converse on a YahooGroup (for the time being; we will migrate to another newsgroup platform this year).

  7. Beautiful quilt. Something every book lover would love to receive.

  8. What a fabulous quilt. You are so creative and your friend the book lover will love it!

  9. Congrats! on your newly completed quilt. LOVE it!!!

  10. First time I visit your blog... I am in love. I started dreaming already! But there are so many projects on my list befor I could thing of starting one like that!
    You will make a very happy friend in June

  11. That's incredible! I'm the librarian at our church, so I know about books on shelves - this looks so realistic. Well done!