The Book Nerd Quilt

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We are lucky enough to live in an old Sunday School house and it’s quirkiness lends itself to being filled with all the vintage things we love and have collected from our travels and we love books….I always was a girl for a good story and when I saw this pattern by Angela Pingel for a book quilt, I was completely smitten. It has been one of the most fun projects I have ever done and I absolutely love it to bits. It definitely was a quilt that evolved. It is foundation paper pieced so if you buy the pattern you need to print off the foundation papers at home. I got my foundation papers on line and it is worth to do this because normal printer paper is too thick and doesn’t tear easily. Before you start, you also need a stash of text print fabrics. I absolutely love these and it had built up a pile over the last year, waiting for the right project.

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I was a little hesitant at first about what fabrics to select for the book covers, so decided to just pick a few pretty pieces from my stash and start sewing. I love Rifle Paper Co fabrics and picked this stunning design for my first block. As it was the beginning of a new year, it seemed a good way to start with a diary. The year of the quilt is then very firmly fixed on the quilt. I made a couple more blocks using other ditsy print Rifle Paper co fabrics and added in some lovely Anna Maria Horner fabrics too and put it all up on my design wall.

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It was actually really quick to make and I think the block design is very effective. I very quickly came to some conclusions. Think hard about what fabrics to use. Small prints, strips and checks work well. Think about your own bookshelf too. I originally started using printed selvedge edges for the book spines and covers, but soon thought that I should like to personalise it and began adding titles from my own favourite books. I then started delving into my (all too large) fabric stash to find some feature fabrics which work brilliantly with this project.

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I found using this map fabric worked rather well too - adding a bit of contrast in the mix.

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I was spoilt for choice as to which books to pick. I used the monogramming programme on my Janome for the book titles and this worked so well, especially when I used heavier weight thread. As I put the blocks up on my design wall, I realised that colour placement was quite important when you are using random fabrics from all over the place. You need to keep it balanced - some light/some darker…..some checks or stripes/some ditsy prints. In this way it begins to build rather like a real book collection. I confess that I started to get a little carried away - it was just the best fun.

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This ‘book nerd quilt’ is such a great pattern to let your own individual style shine - travel around the world, bury yourself in the classics, whip up the romance or make a book cover that might inspire you to write a book of your own someday.

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Use your machine too - there are fantastic decorative stitches on most machines these days and they can be very effective in a project like this. I wanted some hand embroidery in there too (of course) and well even though this quilt is very definitely mine, Ruby needed to sneak in there too…….

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So once it was all together, I just couldn’t stop smiling. This is a super happy quilt.

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I know that this turned out to be a bit of a mishmash quilt really. If I was doing it again (and I am sure I will be), I would be more focused on a theme for my books. It was truly a ‘making it up as you go along’ project and in the end it doesn’t matter a jot - maybe it is even a little bit appropriate for a reader who loves to do just that….

For the backing I have some super cool typewriter keys fabric. I think the graphic..ness of this goes perfectly with the little books. If you look on instagram at all the wonderful images of this quilt made by stitchers everywhere, you simply cannot not love this quilt. I applaud the designer - it is not easy to come up with new ideas, but this is an absolute gem. It is so wonderful to have made something that will always make you smile and I plan to snuggle up with this and read endless stories from far away places. There is just one problem -as I work on the quilting, I can’t help thinking about what great books I’ve missed off. I feel some cushions coming on……… and it has inspired me to do a bit of a makeover on a small room in our house, so I am going to keep the big reveal until it is all done. Better get my overalls on……

See you soon, Ruby x