Monday, January 4, 2010

better late than really, really late

I don't know how this past December was in your lives, but mine felt very busy. Everything non-essential went flying out the window and I'm afraid that sending out fabric to you, my Common Threads buddies, didn't make the cut. And so now, here it is, a few days into January, and I'm finally getting around to thinking about this project. Let me tell you what I've got so far.

This summer, my husband and I realized that we need a lightweight, summer quilt for our bed. We've got comforters galore (hello, Wisconsin!) but on warm (but not yet stiflingly hot) summer nights, we'd like to have just a nice, thin quilt to cover ourselves. I've been admiring the bookstack quilts that have been cropping up on flickr (and even on the blogs of our own jacquie and amber!) but i wanted to try a slightly different twist on that theme. see, those bookstacks remind me of the stacks of books sitting beside my bed waiting to be read and although i looooooove reading, having THAT many books on the stack would really stress me out (so many books, so little time!), so I'd prefer it if they were in neat and tidy rows on shelves, appearing to have already been read, or at least waiting more patiently than the stacked books. and so i've created this sketch:

(I have no idea where that bottom black line went.) As you can see from the sketch, i'm not interested in a LITERAL bookshelf quilt. No cutesy knick-knacks, no books leaning on other books, no cats peeking out from behind the books, no strips of faux wood-grain..... just lovely random-height vertical strips of fabric, lined up on the bottom edge and with plenty of white space in between.

Here's the thing... I"m hoping that I can entreat you all to dig into your stash to help me come up with a lovely assortment of fabrics. I'll send you a few prints, plus plenty of white, and invite you to add your own scraps and strips to make other "books" to add to my shelf. I'm hoping for mostly modern prints in bold colors (similar-ish to the sketch--at least in value). If your stash is full of vintage pastel or country prints, please write me a quick e-mail and when I pack up the fabrics to send out, I"ll be sure to send you more fabrics from my own stash. I'm still fiddling with the measurements (am I REALLY crazy enough to try to quilt a queen size quilt in my own little sewing machine?) but I'm thinking that I'd like each of you to create a strip of 'books' up to 30" long, and 12" high. You could also create 2 or 3 smaller strips (still 12" high, but a different length) if you'd prefer.

Since this project is still in the design phase, I'm open to suggestions for tweaking the plan. I love it when projects allow for some room for creativity and this one seems a little straightforward to me.... Thoughts from you? Maybe a few book titles embroidered on spines? (or would that tip the design over into cutesy kitsch?) Is the freedom to choose fabrics and book height/thickness room for enough creativity?

Questions? Does this design idea make sense?

p.s. I'll try to have my fabrics sent out SOON so as not to overlap with Jacquie's month too terribly! (thanks for your flexibility, Jacquie!)


jenny said...

you might look at the Book Club quilt in the Modern Quilt Workshop book by Ringle and Kerr, though perhaps too literal as books for what you have in mind.

Rebekah said...

I really like your mock up of this. I've got lots of scraps in these colors, so all I need is your white.

Jess said...

Sounds like fun. Great idea!

bibliophile said...

This is so funny; I've just embarked on my own "bookshelf" quilt with my books on shelves! Great minds think alike, I guess:) I'd love to hear any progress reports from you about what worked and what didn't! I love your idea of using many different fabrics; I'm limited to about 6-7 because I don't have a big stash.

MoxyIdeas said...

I love this idea - I can't wait to see how it comes out. It sounds like a good project for the Denyse Schmidt bag technique too...I could see myself going crazy trying to get just the right pieces next to eachother.