DIY Cloth Books

I have dedicated the month of January to finishing the project I have purchased materials for. Two summers ago, my grandparents took my cousin and I to Amish country in Ohio. In an adorable quilt shop, I found this fabric that had a tutorial to make a cloth children’s book. Naturally, I purchased a fabric set of Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit.

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Now, I wish I purchased 3 more sets of fabric. The pages were laid out over a yard of fabric. Where I needed to cut was marked by dotted lines, and the instructions were listed at the bottom.

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The book is made up of three sets of two panels each. To make a page, I basted a layer of filling (cut to the same size of the panel) to the wrong side of one of the panels. Then pin the corresponding panel to the other – right sides together. I used a 1/4 inch sewing allowance, leaving space to flip the book right-side-out. To finish, whipstitch the hole together, and press with an iron.

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Repeat this with the next 2 pages. Once the three pages are finished, simply layer then in order, with the cover on the bottom, and sew a seam down the middle of the book. And that’s it – you have yourself a book.

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My book is not perfect, which I love. It is definitely homemade!

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A World View

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Another quilt, another day. My mother purchased this fabric for me months ago, asking me to make a quilt for her. At the time, we just had heard the news of our my coming nephew, and I was all into quilt making! Little did I know it would take me forever to finish it (mainly because my crafting leave-of-absence over the summer.)

I started with the fabric. The map piece was a yard, so I purchased a coordinating yard of fabric for the back. Basting it together with a layer of batting, I purchased a ton of black embroidery floss for the next step: quilting.

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I traced each contient. Europe would have killed me if I traced each country. And I will tell you this, the process takes a long time (as hand-sewing does), but I think it is totally worth it.

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I did not hide the knots on the back, My initial thought was the quilt would be cute hung on the wall, so hiding the knots wouldn’t matter. By now I wish I took the extra time and did it anyways.

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Once I finished quilting, I cut down the border to prepare for the binding. I only wanted an 1/2 inch edge.

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For the binding, I cut 2-inch wide strips. See how I finish quilts here.

Oh Baby (Quilt)

The day after my brother and sister-in-law announced they were expecting, I found myself in a fabric store freaking out over all the adorable baby patterns. I saw this fabric and knew I had to do something with it. Let’s face it, a baby opens up a whole new genre of crafts that can be made, and I am so ready to embrace it.

Naturally, the first thing that came to my mind was a quilt. So I bought a yard of this fabric, a yard of this amazing plaid fabric (that matched perfectly, I might add), and 4 inches of an orange polka dot fabric (that matched the monkey) for the binding.

To assemble the quilt, I decided to not cut up the fabric but keep the pieces whole. This made it super easy and super fast to make. I used the adhesive spray to stick the fabrics to the batting, and then I simply quilted boxes using the plaid side as my guide.

Finally, I attached the binding (see instructions on earlier posts). I was able to make the quilt in less than a day, and it might be the most adorable thing I have ever made.

I can’t wait for the newest member of this family to get here, but in the mean time, I’m sure there are many crafts I can make until then.

Quilt no. 2

I couldn’t help myself. The day after my last day at work, I started making another quilt. I have been looking around online at different quilts people have made, and when I stumbled across a pattern similar to this one, I knew it was one I could easily do.

   

This time around, I really tried to shop for fabrics that would “match.” I picked 3 colors – blue (light and dark), purple and coral. Together, I think the fabrics created a very cohesive quilt.

Quickly and easily, I created the squares that make up majority of the quilt. Each row was made up of 13 squares (26 triangles) with a total of 5 rows in the quilt. I laid out each square before stitching them together to make sure no 2 fabrics would be right next to each other.

With the rows of squares complete, I then attached the rows of purple fabric.

After choosing a back fabric (a grey, floral print), I attached the 3 layers (back fabric, batting and front fabric) and began the quilting process. I chose to simply quilt straight lines, along each row and outlining each triangle.

   

I created the binding using scraps from the triangles and simply sewed together a 2″x 276″ strip, attaching it with a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the front and top stitching on the back.

I purchased batting that was more plush than my previous quilt, and I think my cat very much approves of this decision.

Dimensions:

  • Quilt = 60 inches x 78 inches
  • Rows = 6.5 inches x 78 inches
  • Triangles = 6.5 inches –> 6.5 x 6.5 inch squares
  • Binding = 2 inch x 276 inch strip (with a 1/2 inch seam allowance)
  • 1/4 inch seam allowance

Quilted American Flag

Weeks after making a quilt, I can’t help but want to make another one. And with leftover fabric from my patriotic napkins, I decided to make a small, yet very festive, decorative quilt.

Sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures as I made the flag since the project started out on a whim. But shoot, didn’t it turn out pretty adorable! (I love the embroidery detail. It really makes it look more hand-quilted, though it is definitely machine-quilted!)

  

Once I finished the flag, I dug up an abandoned canvas, grabbed a stapler and mounted it!

  

Which brings me to the finished product…

 

Finishing my Quilt

Wahoo! After 2 weeks of cutting and sewing, my quilt is finally finished!Finishing the quilt was a lot more simple than I first thought it would be. Once quilted, I simply cut off the access fabric around the edges and purchased a 5/8 yard cut of fabric for the binding.

With the fabric I bought, I initially cut 6 strips (for my 60×60 inch square quilt) 3 inches wide. But then I realized I didn’t want the binding to be that thick, so I recut them into 2.5 inch wide strips.

Once cut, I sewed the 6 strips together. Then taking my quilt and putting the right sides together, I sewed the strip to the edges of the quilt (using a 1/2 inch sewing allowance).

For the corners, I found this awesome blog that explains a super easy way to sew them down. (see here)

Next, with the edges sewn in place, flip the fabric over to the back side of the quilt. Use an iron to press the back edge in place (flipping the seam under to create a smooth edge). Then thread a needle and whip stitch the binding in place.

Knot off the thread, and you’re done!

Quilting Time

With the top layer of my quilt finally finished, it is time to move on to the next step – Quilting!My math was a little off, but somehow I managed to finish with a perfect 60 inch square for my top layer. It is not what I necessarily planned for, but it means I have plenty of batting and fabric for the back layer.

  

I purchased 3 1/2 yards of a 44″ light purple, striped fabric for the bottom layer. To make it work, I simply cut it in half (two 65 inch long pieces) and sewed them together to make a 65 x 88 inch rectangle.

After laying out my batting, I used a quilt basting spray to help baste the quilt together. I learned about the adhesive in my research, and it is actually pretty cool. The point of using it is to make sure the different layers don’t shift around as I quilt the whole thing together, but the instructions say that the adhesive dissolves after going through the wash.

I used the adhesive for both sides. Doing one at a time, I sprayed the adhesive outside, and then with the help of my Mom and Dad, I had one (sometimes two) people holding up the fabric while I smoothed it out on top of the batting.

(My mom took some action shots…)

When I had everything in place, I attached safety pins all around the quilt just to be sure that everything would stay in place.

Then let the quilting begin. I had big dreams about using an embroidery foot to quilt a swirling pattern, but the foot was never purchased so I’m stuck with straight lines. I decided to simply sew along the seams of the rectangle patchwork.

Stay tuned for the finished piece!!