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  • Writer's pictureGail Abbey

Deb's Library

I saw a photo of a library quilt on Pinterest, and knew immediately that I wanted to make one for my sister Debbie, who is a book/library geek of the highest order. This was so much fun to put together. It was a great opportunity to test the magic machine's texting ability, and good practice for me in using and centering some of it's decorative stitches. I included some choice family photos printed on fabric, and was really pleased with how the appliqued leaves of the house plant on the top shelf came out. My quilt stash exploded all over the house as I chose the variety of fabrics to use.

Besides being an avid reader, Debbie is a carpenter who loves working in wood and is very particular about finish details. For her, I added a dental detail and crown molding above the top shelf. I was able to include the Stitch & Time label on the front side of this quilt, using it as a book label.

The middle shelves are organized into fiction / non-fiction / and reference categories, in true OCD fashion. Every book exists, with the exception of "150 Stories, by Plummer". That's the book Debbie is always threatening to write about our childhoods at 150 Overlook Drive. Before this quilt is worn out, I expect that book will be a reality.

The bottom shelf contains children's books and games I remember playing with the family as a child. One great thing about having many siblings is that there's always someone to play a good board game with. I downloaded the game labels from the internet and printed them on fabric. When I realized I'd made a mistake by making the Risk game out of black fabric on a black background, I solved it by placing an appliqued teddy bear sitting on top of the game.

I quilted each shelf separately and then joined them with the quilt-as-you-go technique that results in sashing between the blocks. I found wood grained fabric in a quilt shop on Cape Cod last summer and had been saving it for this project. I realized when it came time to put the rows together, that I could make the back of the quilt look like a window! I found this winter wonderland fabric at The Fabric Place Basement in Framingham, that creates the scene outside the window. At the same time I found the warm butter yellow fabric that frames both the window on the back and the bookshelf on the front.

I had planned to give this to Debbie as a housewarming gift, since she is beginning a very ambitious home reno project. I was eager to get started, and once I got into it I couldn’t wait to see it finished. I don’t have the patience to wait for her house to be ready to give it to her, so I’ve decided to make it a birthday present. I pushed to finish it before her birthday, and then she asked if we could delay celebrating her birthday until her next visit. We finally gave it to her last night, on our mom's birthday, and she loves it. It was so rewarding to watch her delight as she recognized all her favorite books. She even praised my woodwork details, which is high praise coming from my perfectionist sister. I loved making this one almost as much as I love her.

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Judi Johnson
Judi Johnson
Feb 22, 2020

Deb’s library quilt is a masterful work of quilting art. I’m so very impressed with all the details that went into making it. Your talents are shining. What a wonderful show of love for Deb. Judi

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