January 7, 2014

Quilted Book Covers

I have to admit that I really enjoy sewing.  The issue is that, like most things, if you don't do it regularly your skills decline.  And I never had a ton of sewing skill to being with.
Yes, I like to think I could hang with the designers on Project Runway, but I can be quite delusional.
If baby Chase had been a little, sweet girl child, I might be making dresses, as clothing for a toddler is cute and pretty forgiving, but instead my little rough guy lives in t-shirts and jeans.
I don't make my own clothes as a rule because I can always buy a less expensive product that fits better with minimal time spent.  Sewing a garment takes time, and material isn't cheap.  And please don't get me started on fitting.  It just isn't worth it.

But sometimes I just get the itch to sew.

One day I was going through the remnants I'd accumulated over the last 5-10 years from different projects and realized I had quite a collection.  I had so much fabric that I decided to make a collection of book covers.  I had made these before after seeing an article in Quilting Arts Magazine.  Of course I don't follow directions and just kind of did my own thing, but I did take some of their basic directions.

Mine aren't quite as fancy as the ones in the magazine, but then, I'm not that fancy of a person either.
These are fabrics that I adore and are special to me as they each have a meaning and reference.
It also helps that I can justify having an overly nice machine with more functions than I'll ever figure out.

Things you'll need to make your own....

  • felt (any color, but I like green and it goes with everything)  I also buy the best I can afford.  This is a 35% wool.  I'd avoid the all poly ones.
  • fusible webbing (think of it as double sided tape for fabric)
  • fabric (your choice and feel free to mix it up)
  • thread
  • book or notebook
First:  Decide the size of your book cover.  I selected some notebooks that had an interior pocket and lined pages.  You can use art books or paperback books or even hardback ones.

Cut:  The felt needs to be cut out.  Make it a bit (1/2 inch, at least) wider/the up and down part and about 2-3 inches longer on each side.  This is important because the side ends will fold over and keep the notebook in place.  The top/bottom need to be larger so that you don't see the book underneath.

You next need to use a fusible webbing, like a fusible interfacing that has stick on both sides, and adhere it to the felt.  Mine isn't as large as the felt and it's fine.  It is generally just to get a bit of support and stability.
 Now for the fabric.   Select and fabrics and lay them out in a pattern on top of the fusible webbing and adhere them.  You can do a random pattern or patch different ones together before starting.  I choose to layer as I go.
The fabric needs to be larger than the felt all the way around.
 After positioning and adhering the fabric you want to zigzag or finish off the fabric edge.
Clip and turn over and straight stitch all the way around, either mitering the corners or just folding them over.

Make sure that you make this stitch an even one as it is visible.  I tend to use a contrasting thread over one that blends.

 Next, you'll want to mark where your folds will be.  You will need to place the cover around the book and make sure it fits.  Close it up so that it won't be too tight (as the flat book is smaller than when it is closed).  I use an iron to press the folds and the felt will keep the mark for the duration.


Now the fun begins.  Use decorative stitches and threads to enhance the outside of the book.  I personally like geometrics, but feel free to use all kinds of designs.  I like to think of this as a quilting technique and make even quilting lines in some books.

Hmmm, I wonder who this one is for?
When you have completed any embellishing, remeasure with the book or notebook and then stitch down the flaps that will hold the book.  I like to stay with the original stitching across the top and bottom for this seam.
Clip all those stray threads (you can see this is not my strong point).
Add the book and you are done!

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