Wednesday, May 08, 2013


This is a picture of the project I have been working on for the last year and its nearly finished! This quilt was the brainchild of Alfie Chico, who is now my friend, but when she called me out of the blue to ask me to help with this project, I was totally caught off-guard. Alfie had been looking for a way to raise funds for our local library and originally wanted to raffle off a quilt. She was inspired by a children's book, similar to a coloring book, but with pictures you could customize to your own interests. One of the pages had a bookshelf with books on which you could write you own titles.

After some thought, Alfie, Debby Recker and Paula Kelly, the head librarian at the Whitehall Public Library, realized the quilt would probably bring in more money if the project was approached from another direction. Rather than selling tickets for a chance to win the quilt, they decided for a $100 donation to the library, the donor could choose a title for one of the books on the quilt. The quilt will hang in the Whitehall Library next to a companion book in which each of the donors got a page to say why they chose their book and what it means to them. This made it possible for more than one person to choose each book.

I was the last one brought into the project, but since I have more experience with quilting and machine embroidery, they allowed me to take the helm. After I designed the quilt, Alfie, Debby and I got together quite a few times to embroider the titles. Once the book titles were finished, it took me about a week to put the quilt top together. Then I was able to give the quilt top to my friend, Cathy Werner, of Your Fairy Quiltmother, who did the actual quilting. She did a dense allover design that should hold up well over time.

The quilt was unveiled at the Whitehall Public Library's 50th Anniversary Celebration held at The South Hills Country Club on Sunday, May 5th, 2013. It was well received and after a few finishing touches, it will be ready to hang in the library for the next 50 years and, with luck, many more!

I can't wait to visit it!


  1. Congratulations. What an inspiring project.

    1. Thanks Jenni! It was a lot of work but well worth it!

  2. I am planning to make a bookshelf quilt for my avid reader! I love the window in the center! I have been gathering fabrics for about a year now (this will be a functioning bed quilt) to use for bookbindings, etc. I have researched many, many of these quilt patterns, but yours is definitely the one with which I have fallen in love!
    Do you have the patten or tutorial? More detailed pictures?
    Are the titles written in indelible ink?
    I have so many questions~ :)
    Thanks in advance!


    1. Hi Rob, I'm so glad you like my quilt! I haven't published a pattern for it since it was designed to fit the space available to me at the library where it will hang and is actually pretty large, possibly even life-size. I'm thinking maybe I could do a series of blog posts about how I designed and made this quilt. Maybe we could do a quilt along?

  3. I am so much a novice. :) I am looking for advice, tips, etc. I showed your quilt to my big biker dude hubby yesterday and when he saw he window pane...he agreed it was just what I needed to break up which seems ....boring in some bookshelf quilts. Of course, we live in a loghouse he built in the Florida panhandle, so now we are figuring we will put the view from her bedroom window in the panes...with some added wildlife, of course!

    What made you choose your book titles? And are they just written in indelible ink?

    Is there a more detailed picture?

    You have SO inspired me!!!!!

    1. The window is my favorite part of this quilt, too. I love trying to make things look 3 dimensional so I had a lot of fun with this. The cushion on the window seat has welting on the top and bottom edge like a real cushion would.

      The book titles were chose by the library patrons. For a donation of $100 they got to choose one of the books to be featured on the quilt. We machine embroidered the titles. Do you have an embroidery machine? If not, you might want to look into getting one. Machine embroidery would be much faster than any other technique and also hold up better over time especially on a quilt that will be used on a bed.