The Bookcase Quilt: No fine for overdue books

I drove my niece to the airport this morning.

With considerable regret, I might add, and not just because I wasn’t able to send off her quilt with her. She’s been a wonderful guest, entertaining, undemanding, helpful, happy to join in whatever fun was on offer, and deeply appreciative of my cooking. We had a very good time together, and I’m sorry she’s gone. I was considerably distracted from the matter in hand, the Bookcase Quilt, but as she pointed out, she’d happily wait, and I could send it after her once it was ready without killing myself to get it done before she left.

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 4.38.55 pm

The vertical seams are joined edge to edge with large zigzag stitch. The horizontal ones are held in place with masking tape just until I can get round to stitching them on Monday.

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 4.39.09 pm

Top row, waiting to be added.

So instead we had fun, I didn’t sew as much as I planned, and the quilt is lying in 3 pieces, waiting for the assembly to be completed. The quilting is complete. I didn’t stitch any detail into the owl bookends; I did some test pieces and wasn’t happy enough with the effect to risk messing up on the actual owls. I’m fine with them as they are now! Assembly has started: I have joined the three blocks across the top, the middle and the bottom, and the strips that conceal those joins on the backs are done.

Today and tomorrow I have baking orders, tonight is family dinner night and I have the meal to prepare for that, so the next time I’ll be able to sit down and work on it is Monday. That’s OK. If I can finish the assembly on Tuesday and take the binding with me to my sewing group to be hand finished, it’ll be done by the end of the week.

I wanted a photo of us both with the quilt, but will have to content myself with any photos she sends me of it in use: in the park, at the beach, at her yoga retreat, on the sofa with yet more books….

47 thoughts on “The Bookcase Quilt: No fine for overdue books

  1. claire93 says:

    far better to have spent time with your niece than to have rushed the quilt ^^
    it will be finished when it’s finished. Okay so you won’t be there to see her open the parcel, and see her expression, but she can always open in front of webcam ^^

  2. Grannymar says:

    Seeing the ‘work in progress’ will make the precious quilt all the more special when it arrives completed. It looks great at this stage, the Owls look very much at home and as if they have been sitting there for years.

    If and when you have a minute, I posted about a rather unusual quilt on my blog I thought of you as I took the photos.

  3. EllaDee says:

    I think you managed the best of both worlds… a lovely visit, and your niece will now have the extended pleasures of anticipation and getting a parcel in the mail 🙂

  4. I’m so glad you took time out to enjoy your visitor. The Quilt will be all the better for not being rushed.

  5. tialys says:

    My daughter’s coming home for a week tomorrow before she starts the new term at uni so I’m definitely going to be putting projects on the back burner and enjoy her company. Although, she is a bit of a late sleeper so I could always get stuff done in the mornings 😉 So great that you and your niece were able to have fun together and she got a glimpse of what she can expect to arrive in her parcel.

    • katechiconi says:

      I really enjoyed having my niece there. She said as she left that it was like having an extra set of ‘Australian parents’ to come home to, which I consider high praise!

  6. I can’t wait — I CAN wait — until it’s done! What a wonderful, personal gift, and a beautiful expression of your love for her. I’m glad you had such a good visit together. The quilt will be a way to hold her until you see her again.

  7. So glad to hear your visit was fun. The quilt will be all the more appreciated for seeing what goes into putting one together, and the memories of the visit will be all the sweeter because you took the time to enjoy the experience with your niece. Good job on both counts!!

    • katechiconi says:

      She says she doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, and was impressed with the process, but wasn’t at all tempted to try for herself… Never mind, you can’t convert them all into quilters! She did leave with a bunch of my recipes, though!

  8. You got the balance just right on all fronts. Spending time with people is always top of my list too. Giving yourself more time to put more love into the quilt will make up in a small part for not physically gifting it to her. The bond you have formed is so much better and will make the quilt more cherished. I have never put a quilt together that way but it looks very interesting. I’m always ready to learn new things. Maybe I can carry some photos to my quilt group and see if they will help me with it. They have been very patient with my learning curve. 🙂 I can’t say I’ve ever seen a quilt that I was more enthralled with.
    I did go to the other links to see alternative quilts, works of art. Stunning. I’m am always amazed at what people can conceive in their minds. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Birdybrain says:

    Hi Kate,
    Wow is all that comes to mind! I just love your book quilt! Your niece will be thrilled. Quilts are so fascinating to me, not only the beauty, but the story telling & the energy put into them. My mom had a book called the “Quilts of Gees Bend”, are you familiar with it? It’s quite something, worth checking out. I don’t know how to do the link thing on my phone.
    Have a nice weekend

  10. rutigt says:

    That quilt is worth waiting for!

  11. Lorij says:

    Hi Kate, I looked on Grannymar’s blog at the ceramic quilt. it is gorgeous. And, for such a great cause.
    I’m glad you did not miss enjoying your niece just to complete the quilt of love. All the love and memories will flow out when she opens the precious package. She will be like my grandchildren, having a cuddle with her quilt every chance she gets. The quilt will be very loved. It is very, very pretty, you have done a beautiful job.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s exquisite, isn’t it? – the ceramic one, I mean, and the carved wooden ones I sent her a link for are amazing also. I wonder how many other ‘alternative’ quilts there are out there… Thank you for your kind comments about the Bookcase Quilt, which I hope to have finished really soon.

  12. It’s about enjoyment, remember, not creating new deadlines for ourselves ! :-)x

  13. I’m pleased you didn’t rush to finish the quilt. You’ve had quality time with your niece instead and she’ll have lots of quality time snuggling under it when it finally arrives. You’ll just have to take it to her personally and then you can open it up together 😉

  14. Lorij says:

    Why don’t you make her one for her birthday? If you start now you won’t have to rush and when you hand deliver it to her she will certainly be so surprised. She’ll only be expecting you and husband not a new quilt 😊.

  15. So glad you’ve had a wonderful time with your niece! The quilt just keeps getting better and better. I think it’s good that you didn’t stitch into the owls, now they are a one-of-a-kind block on your one-of-a-kind quilt. Very beautiful indeed!

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you so much! After a very busy 10 days, I’m revelling in time to sew today and tomorrow, first my ScrapHappy block for Wednesday, and then taking my time and carefully finishing the Bookcase Quilt instead of making it a mad rush.

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