The Bookcase Quilt: a tipsy shelf

Books never stand totally straight in real life, do they?

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.24.35 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.24.16 pmI gave myself a slightly more challenging layout for this one. Piecing in the triangles so the books lay at just the right angle was fiddly – I had to unpick one seam – but not too taxing. Which is just as well, because it’s been a busy day, catching up on mail, shopping, doing laundry, picking up a good dozen palm fronds which had come down while we were away, watering, and checking some legal stuff. I was glad to retreat up to my cool sewing room and fiddle about with strips of fabric!

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.24.55 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.25.11 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.25.30 pm




I’ve also made the fabric selections for the last two shelves, but these are subject to change without notice: sometimes it just looks wrong second time round.

I have to download some family photos so I can see if there’s one I can print out as a transfer, put in a fabric ‘frame’ and place it on one of the shelves. My niece also has some fabulous owl bookends, but I’m not at all sure how I’d achieve those, they’re carved white stone. The final trinket I’m fairly sure of managing, since it’s a large white L, and even I can’t stuff that one up!

More soon: I have a serious deadline now, she’s arriving on Monday and leaving 5 days later!


38 thoughts on “The Bookcase Quilt: a tipsy shelf

  1. claire93 says:

    get sewing woman!!! sew like the Wind ^^

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m averaging a shelf a time. Three more to go = 3 days, then sandwiching the squares, quilt the squares, then trimming and joining. I reckon I’ll get it done if nothing too time consuming interrupts me!

  2. I am so enamored of this quilt!! It’s going to go on my list of things to learn how to do. You are correct, Books don’t all stand up straight on the shelves. Who would have thought of that? You are a genius! Love this so much.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’d love to help you make one. I’m too far to offer practical help, but I can write out some basic instructions and suggestions when you decide you’re ready.

      • Thank you Kate. I have lots of fabric and have looked at some photos online and will check out Pinterest for further inspiration. I’ll tackle that as soon as I’ve finished those sitting on my stack to complete. Curious if you will hand or machine quilt it when the top is done? I’ll be following this quite closely.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’ll machine quilt, in the ditch between each book, using black thread to increase definition and make the book spines puff out slightly. The dark backgrounds will be cross hatched for a little texture. I’ll be quilting each individual block before joining them all with white sashing on the front, and on the back the sashing will match the backing fabric.

      • Is there an actual pattern for this? I’ve looked at many on Pinterest and googled it.Yours is my favorite so far. I see no tutorials or patterns available. I am so anxious to see your final result. It is impressive. I’m just a beginner with quilting. Had just started learning when the Bells took me out of the game for several years. Slowly getting back in. But I’m in love with books and that quilt would pay homage to them. I’ve been looking for book fabric to make pajamas out of too. :))

      • katechiconi says:

        There *may* be a pattern for another kind of bookcase quilt out there, but this is my own design. I haven’t been too particular about sizes and so on, I just cut strips in three different widths, both in the dark and the colours. I decided how big I wanted the large shelf squares to be, and then added strips until the piece was big enough, trimming any excess off the side that had the largest book! The tipped books are the hardest, but even they aren’t exactly difficult… Maybe I should email you a scan of my drawing. You then scale it up to the size you want, add 1/4″ seam allowance all round, and then you have templates?

      • I would appreciate that. Guess everyone is coming up with their own version. I’m not much good with math but I’d give it a shot.I just kept hoping someone had all the calculations worked out for my feeble mind. 😦 I have to wait a day or two more to sew. Too much swelling of the eye yet to see well. Thank goodness for spell check. I can’t see what I’m typing and the red lets me know something needs fixing. :)) Maybe by tomorrow it will be better. You are too kind. .

      • katechiconi says:

        I’ll put it on the to-do list, but I hope you won’t mind if I first concentrate on the quilts that need to be finished by a certain date? I’m happy to supply the drawing and some measurements, and some suggestions about the easiest way to make and assemble the sections, but a full tutorial would be very time consuming…
        I hope you will be feeling a bit better soon. I have a very small inkling of what you’re going through; many years ago I had surgery on my jaw involving a tumour that was growing through a branch of the facial nerve. For several weeks I didn’t know if the ensuing numbness, paralysis, droopy eye and mouth were going to be permanent or would recover. I’m happy to say I have most of it back, only noticeable when I’m tired, and in the fact that the corner of my jaw and lower half of that ear are still numb.

      • Then you do get it! Only someone who has been through something like that has an inkling but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Fatigue is a real problem, as you know. No rush on this end. The projects are stacked waiting for me. At least I know where to go when I’m ready to do it. :)))) I’m being good so no one can say I caused something to happen to the eye. I need that eye and will sit patiently while it heals. Whatever it takes. Thank you so much for the outreach.

  3. tialys says:

    Talk about a deadline! Yet you make it sound so easy to achieve.
    Welcome back btw – although I didn’t really miss you as I was away at the same time. I’m finding it harder to get back in the swing of things than you are though.

    • katechiconi says:

      I suspect it won’t be quite as easy as I make it sound, but I’m going to give it a damn good try. Time has got away from me in a big way these past couple of months…

  4. Only one seam unpicked? You are a miracle-worker! Bon courage and don’t wear yourself out!

  5. Grannymar says:

    Do you have a photo of the owl? If so print a copy as a document, then transfer the image to fabric as you did in the past. Does that sound right to you?

    • katechiconi says:

      Only a partial photo, and it’s very washed out and pale, so there’s no definition, being white. Sadly, I don’t think it would work. I’ll keep thinking about how it can be done…

  6. just stunning. 🙂 now more away from your pc and get back to the sewing room…..

  7. anne54 says:

    A family photo in a frame will be the finishing touch. It is looking grand, Kate.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! I’ve located a nice shot of my brother with his 4 daughters, all looking very beautiful and smiling (well, maybe not beautiful in my brother’s case…), so that’s the one I’ll use.

  8. dezertsuz says:

    Definitely pedal to the metal! That bookshelf looks a lot like the ones I had – books everywhere, and some at a tilt. =)

  9. EllaDee says:

    I think it’s amazing, and I love the tipsy books. Curious, I googled owl bookend images and got quite a few white owl bookend results, maybe you can find a good pic of same or similar to use as a template.

  10. rutigt says:

    What can I say 🙂 It really looks like a book shelve!!! And now you better hurry up 🙂

  11. Lorij says:

    Is very pretty. I think you will get it done in time. If you don’t you can always mail it to her. I know it feels good top be home😄

  12. Lorij says:

    Should say, to be home.

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