Since I started quilting almost 8 years ago, I’ve made a ton of quilts for friends and babies and shows…but only a few for my own family. There’s the small triangle quilt I made for Emma, and the larger Ten Square quilt I made when she moved from the toddler bed to a twin bed. There’s the epic Long Time Gone quilt that I kept for myself and my rainbow wall quilt from last year’s 100 day project. But that’s it. Seriously. Only 4 quilts for my own family — and none for Jose or Charlotte.
What’s the deal with that??
Almost two years ago, I came across the Personal Library quilt pattern by Crimson Tate and immediately decided that I HAD to make one for Jose. I already had plenty of fabric that would work for the books, so I quickly bought fabric for the shelves, borders, and backing and planned to make it a Christmas gift. This was fall 2017.
Well, Christmas 2017 came and went. So did his birthday, and our 9th wedding anniversary in 2018. Then I figured I’d get it done for Christmas 2018…but that passed me by as well. It’s not like I wasn’t quilting! It’s just that somehow I kept working on other projects. I knew there would be a lot of cutting and prep work to get started on this quilt, and it was intimidating. And since it was going to be a surprise, it’s not like Jose knew about it and was waiting on it. So, it kept slipping to the backburner.
In March, with another birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary coming up in May, I told myself that I was finally going to make this quilt happen. I wanted to incorporate the titles of some of Jose’s favorite books, and one of the roadblocks to getting started on this one had been my hemming and hawing over how to do that. I finally decided that designing the titles in Illustrator and getting them custom printed on a fat quarter was the way to go! I had to wait almost 2 weeks for my Spoonflower order to arrive but it was worth it. Those titles really make the quilt personal.
The pattern allows for a lot of mixing and matching of books to make the shelves look appropriately random, and using scraps from my stash help as well. After making the first block, I worried that my scraps were TOO random, but in the end the quilt came together feeling exactly like our actual bookshelves feel — chock full of books in all sizes and colors of the rainbow.
Summing up the details:
- Pattern is the Personal Library quilt pattern by Crimson Tate.
- Plant block is a slight modification of one from “Adventures in Paper Piecing & Design” by Sarah Sharp.
- Globe block is from Etsy shop Etive & Co.
- Book are all scraps from my stash.
- Titles were designed by me and digitally printed via Spoonflower.
- Bookshelf background and shelves are Painter’s Canvas by Laura Gunn in 2 shades of brown.
- Border and backing/binding are 2 prints from the “Literary” collection by Heather Givans/Crimson Tate.
- Quilted with organic wavy lines using my walking foot, with Wonderfil Invisifil on top and Aurifil 50 wt in the bobbin.
I finished the top just in time for Jose’s birthday, and finished the whole quilt earlier this week after getting back from vacation. After snapping these photos, I put the quilt through the wash for the first time and it came out deliciously crinkly. Jose loves it, and I do too!