#SummerReadingQAL – Introductory Post

FullSizeRenderHi! We’re exciting you’re interested in playing along with the Summer Reading Quilt Along!  Here’s the details to get you started with pattern purchase and fabric selection. This is the schedule for the quilt-along:

We’re using Daisy Frederick’s “Bookshelf Quilt” pattern on Craftsy. The cost is $5.95, and in that you get all 16 blocks for the bookshelf pattern and the assembly instructions for the basic bookshelf.

Throughout the quilt along, we’ll have tips for each week, and special bonus block (posted on May 22) for those of you who want to include audiobooks in your quilt to complement the hardcover books.  At the two check-in linkys, we’ll have the random prize drawings from the goodies below!



Fabric Requirements

Now to fabric selections! If you’re doing the original 5″ block size for a quilt that finishes at 24 x 27″, here are the fabric requirements:

  • 1/2 yd brown, for the wood of the bookshelf
  • 3/8 yd black or darker brown for background
  • 1/8 yd gold for book spine accents
  • 1/2 yd total assorted scraps for books and other elements – strips work great for the books – the fewer repeats, the better

If you want a slightly fancier bookshelf, like with feet on it, you’ll want another 1/8-1/4 yard of bookshelf fabric, and about 1/2 yard for the background, or the “wall” behind the bookshelf.

Pam blew her blocks up 129% so the pattern pieces printed out on 11 x 17″ paper rather than 8 1/2 x 11″, and used about the same amount of fabric.  The blocks ended up around 7 1/4″ rather than 5″ finished, and she used about a 3 1/2″ x WOF gold strip for all the books and had some leftover.

If you want to double the pattern to 10″ blocks, then a safe bet is to quadruple the fabric requirement (thanks for the correction, Jan!).  As Daisy says on the fabric requirements, the more strips the better for more variety on the books themselves.   Pam found that leftover binding strips and orphan jelly roll strips worked great.

Fabric Selection

Now the question arises, what fabrics should you use? In general, you want to make sure there is contrast between the background, the bookshelf, and the books themselves.

  • If you’ve got a dark background, choose light books and a medium bookshelf fabric.
  • If you want dark books, go with a light background and a medium bookshelf fabric.
  • For the gold spine accent, if you don’t like gold, don’t use it! Just pick another constant fabric to help tie it together, like a silver or a cream.  Just remember to have value contrast between the spine fabric and the book fabric.

IMG_1282Here’s what Pam is using, bearing in mind that the recipient of her quilt is colorblind:

  • Background: Solid black
  • Spine accent: Mottled gold
  • Bookshelf: Mottled brown
  • Books: Cream/neutral strips

So, that’s enough to get you started! Come back next week to learn a little more about paper piecing, and then we start block construction on May 24th.

Don’t forget to share your progress on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #SummerReadingQAL, or on Facebook in our group for The Stitch.

The Stitch Summer Reading Program (1)

Author: Pam

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  1. I’ve had Daisy’s pattern in my queue for quite a while. I hope I can squeeze this in! I do love it so.

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    • Looking forward to it. Pattern downloaded, deciding what size blocks…..

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  2. I’m excited to participate in my first quilt a long! Thank you so much for making the post printer friendly too!

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  3. My granddaughter loves to read and would enjoy helping me with this fun quilt.

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  4. I think there is an error in your estimation of fabric requirements if you want to increase your block size to 10 inches. A 5 inch square finishes to 25 square inches of fabric showing (plus all the seam allowances you need to construct the square.) (5 X 5 = 25) A 10 inch square finishes to 100 square inches of fabric showing (plus seam allowances.) (10 X 10 = 100) Thus, if you want to double the pattern to 10″ blocks, then a safer bet is to quadruple the fabric requirement.

    If you need to visualize this, you have to lay down four 5 inch squares to cover a 10 inch square.

    So, if this pattern calls for 1/2 yard, and you are doubling the block size, you will need about 2 yards.

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    • Thanks for catching that, Jan! I updated the post to reflect the quadrupling of fabric.

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