One reason I have had less time for blogging over the last few weeks is that I’ve been trying to finish up numerous quilts I gave as gifts, and I’m happy to report I got every last project finished! There was one in particular that took a LOT of time and planning, and that was the Stacks of Books quilt.
I actually first had the idea for this quilt when I saw the chopped vegetable pillow pattern on Oh Fransson’s website. It occurred to me that those stacked strips of fabric looked a lot like books. So it took me about 2.5 seconds to decide I needed to make a stacks of books quilt for my mom. And that I wanted to embroider the titles of some of her favorite books onto the quilt. And I wanted apples or pears at the top of each stack of books. It’s like the quilt just jumped right into my mind, and I could see nearly every aspect of it and wanted to make it right away!
This quilt had particular significance, because my mom is an English teacher, and is a bit obsessed with books (she is a self-professed “bibliophile“). It always seems like she’s read everything, and she literally has stacks of books all over the place. It was easy to initiate a conversation about her all time favorite books (so I’d know what to add to the quilt), and she didn’t suspect a thing.
Of course it took quite a bit of time– I ordered kona solids in a ton of different colors (I was going for a rich and saturated look), and I wanted to feature a just a few print fabrics in between to keep things interesting.
I pieced smaller parts of each stack and embroidered book titles onto them, and then joined them together to make the larger stacks. This was a real adventure for me– lots and lots of piecing on a pretty large quilt, and I had never embroidered anything before! I found a lot of help on the internet– particularly in the awesome website sublime stitching. I definitely recommend it!
The back features large blocks of some of the kona solids from the front, and for the sashing on both the front and the back I used Kona ivory. After a while I began referring to the quilt as “the beast,” because it felt like such a huge undertaking. I was so, SO happy to see it get finished well ahead of the holidays.
Plus– best of all– my mom loves it. It was worth every minute it took to make it!