The Bookcase Quilt: L is for…

Lovely Lucy’s Library!

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.00.55 pmAnother shelf finished, this time the one with the big capital L in honour of the one she has on her bookcase at home. The L jumps out so much that I thought I’d better keep the books quite simple and plain otherwise there’d be a visual fight going on.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.02.01 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.01.29 pmI found a great family photo for the quilt in my huge iPhoto file. It’s of my brother and his 4 daughters, including my visiting niece, and they all look lovely, even my brother… (in case you’re wondering, he doesn’t normally dress quite so formally, he was getting married!).  I just reversed the image in the online free PicMonkey editing suite, printed it onto transfer paper, dry ironed it to some plain white fabric, and then bound it as I would a quilt, to give it a 3D frame which stands out from the quilt surface. I really like the effect! The figures in the photo I will outline quilt, so they’ll have a little dimension as well. This is fun!

I still want to feature those dratted white owl bookends of hers. They’re extremely cute, but the problem is that the images of them you can find online are either at an angle or lack enough contrast to make a good transfer; you lose a lot of image quality when you bond it to the fabric. I’ll do a test edit of an image to see if I can beef up the grey-scale and contrast enough to get something usable. If you want to see what the bookends look like, go here for a nice photo.

Two more blocks to go and then the tricky bit is done. I’ll move on to cutting squares of backing fabric and batting, sandwiching the blocks and then, hurray, quilting can start. It’s going to be amazingly liberating to quilt small pieces instead of wrestling my usual monsters under the machine needle…

I’ll be back tomorrow with more to show.

24 thoughts on “The Bookcase Quilt: L is for…

  1. tialys says:

    You sound like you’re really enjoying yourself with this. Are you quilting as you go with this one – I’m sure you’ve told us but I can’t remember. I’ll be really interested to know how you get on with that.

    • katechiconi says:

      I am having fun, that’s for sure! I shall assemble all the blocks for the top, then cut slightly larger backing and batting squares, quilt them all individually, and then sew them all together with the sashing. Then it’s the binding, my favourite bit, and it’s all done.

  2. claire93 says:

    it’s looing great!
    will you be finished in time, I Wonder ^^

  3. EllaDee says:

    I was wondering how you’d accomplish the photo frame. Very clever. Beautiful colourful pic. The L is a lovely touch too 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m finding the photo a little too ‘real’ at present, it needs some stitchery to make it retreat into the background a bit more. I think I *may* have cracked the Owl Problem, too. Watch this space…

  4. What a coup is that photo frame. I hope the owls are as successful.
    Are you planning to add batting under the sashing? I did a QAYG quilt for my grandson, and ended up having to insert extra batting under the sashing as the butted joins were too floppy.

  5. rutigt says:

    Your energy is fantastic! And so are your fantasy 🙂 I´m excited to see the finished quilt!!!!

  6. knettycraft says:

    What a lovely idea to add the picture! I am looking forward to see how you solved the owl problem! My first idea was applique the silhouettes and add the eyes and feathers with free motion quilting.

  7. Emmely says:

    I am really curious to see it all come together. The frame around the picture seems like a really good idea to give it some depth.

    • katechiconi says:

      Today I am going to work on the block with the owl bookends. I’m praying it works and they look OK… After that, there’s just one more to do, and then I can start assembling and quilting.

  8. Magpie Sue says:

    I love the way this is developing! Brilliant solution for the picture frame. I’ve always admired bookcase quilts. The more I see of them however, the less I think I’ll be making one of my own! I would no longer be happy with a simple format but I doubt I’d be willing to (or capable of) going to the lengths you are. Rock on!

    • katechiconi says:

      None of it is at all hard, really. I’ve just had to bend my head around a couple of things, but the construction has been very easy and forgiving: you just make everything a bit too big, and trim it to size once you’ve joined the strips. I wonder if I can get two done today, so it’s ready when she arrives on Monday…?

  9. Lorij says:

    Hi Kate,
    You’re doing a fantastic job. My question is did you do the book case and now you’re going to use it as the middle of a top, or is the whole top a book case and you just have to do the few things you mentioned to complete it? Hope my question doesn’t sound foolish 😊

    • katechiconi says:

      Not foolish at all: The book case will be the whole top. Those shelves are 18 inches square, I will have 2 inch sashing all round and between each one, and the whole thing will be 62 inches square when finished. Not a bed quilt, but a good size lap quilt.

      • Lorij says:

        Thank you, I was very interested in how you were making it. It looks pretty so far. My grandchildren all love books and reading. I’ve made them lots of quilts but not one with a book case. Ohhhh, I just had a brain storm! I know exactly what kind of quilt I’ll make each of them next. Not saying now. Your master piece has certainly inspired me. Thanks, Lorij

      • katechiconi says:

        Do let me see when they’re done? I love how quilters share their ideas and inspirations…

  10. Lorij says:

    It may be a while. I’m trying to finish up an addition to one of my Granddaughters quilts. I added 36 inches to the top and 24 inches width and 90 length down the side. I connected the top to the added side piece. The quilt was made 3/4 of a queen size bed but she has grown taller and it was not long enough. It’s a bit quirky and is big stitch hand quilted. I’m nearly finished with the quilting and have the binding to do. Also have a generation quilt that’s in progress and a dress too, along with a bag that I cut out on Friday afternoon. And, there’s the head rest cover for my car and a quilt for my daughter for Christmas oh well, you get the picture. It may have to wait for a little while but I will get to them (3) 😄. I’m sort of self taught even though Mother and Grandmother both quilted. I watched them but never liked the tiny little stitches, I’ve always liked to see the thread in the quilt. I love the way it looks. And I like creating my own personal statement and styles. I do some machine piecing but have never machine quilted one, never 😊.
    Enough for now. Going back to sleep.

  11. Kirsten says:

    That is a lovely photo you have found of them all!
    Regarding the owl bookends – I know it would mean a little more work but could you give a nod to them using appliqué? A fabric that looks like feathers for the body and then layers of circles for the eyes? Just a thought. A symbolic representation as opposed to an actual replica.

    • katechiconi says:

      If time allows, I’m going to do a bit of work on them. My niece loves them as they are, but I’d like to stabilise them a bit with quilting too, so they may end up with a bit of stitch detail. However, as she goes home on Saturday morning, my time is short…

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