Monday, September 14, 2020

Summer Reading and Stitching Club

 I don't usually participate in stitch-a-longs or quilt-a-longs or blocks of the month because I typically have too many other projects going, but this year felt a bit different with more at home time and need for hand projects for zoom meetings than usual.  At the beginning of the summer Mollie Johanson  of Wild Olive announced a summer reading and stitching club, and since I'd recently finished my embroidered Prayer Book cover, small stitching projects sounded appealing!  Every week for 12 weeks Mollie sent out a new embroidery pattern designed to be stitched onto small book shaped English Paper Pieces blocks.  When finished, the blocks were designed to assemble into a book bag.  Each pattern was inspired by a childhood classic and I thought it would be a fun chance to revisit old favorites and maybe find new ones.

Of the twelve books selected, I'd previously read (and in some cases re-read and re-read) ten.  There were two that were new to me, The Borrowers and All of a Kind Family.  I checked out the All of a Kind Family books (it's a series of about 5) and read them all, they really are a ton of fun.  The library didn't have audiobooks of the Borrowers so I'm still waiting to read those.

All of a Kind Family

The Borrowers

There were also several from some of my personal favorites.  I tried to take pictures with the book when I could, but there are a few I don't own, and a few that I've lent to my sister.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Little House on the Prairie

Alice in Wonderland

Winnie The Pooh

Others included Charlotte's Web

The Secret Garden; not one of my favorite books, but actually one of my favorite embroideries in this project.

The Wind in the Willows

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  I really enjoyed this book as a kid.

The Wizard of Oz

And Peter Pan, again not a favorite book, but I thought the embroidery was really cute.

I didn't need another tote bag, so I decided to assemble these into a miniquilt.  I don't really need another miniquilt either (my walls are full) but I wound up finding a small chunk of wall in my bedroom to hang it.  

I hand pieced all the blocks together and then machine pieced in the sashing.  I decided to do some more hand embroidery on the sashing to keep with the vibe on the whole quilt.

I quilted vines and leaves in the borders to echo the embroidery in the sashing.  Can you also see in the picture below that I was less than one inch short on my binding?  I wound up having to cut an additional strip (lucky to have it) for that teeny bit which was aggravating.

I quilted the book names on each block, in some cases it's easier to see (and more nicely done) than in others, but I think it shows up fairly well on the Peter Pan book above and you can see it nicely on the Wind in the Willows block.  Unfortunately, the last two blocks to quilt names on were the Borrowers and Charlotte's Web, and as my brain was thinking oh you only have Charlotte's Web left, it quilted Charlotte's Web on the Borrowers block.  That was annoying to pick out as you might imagine.  Most of the background quilting is pretty plain, but I did quilt little white "pages" above each pieced block to reinforce the book-ness.

Here's the whole quilt,  it's about 32" square.  Very traditional for me, but I loved getting to use a bunch of bright quilting fabrics; that one I put between each box is a favorite rainbow print of mine and I've not gotten to use it much.  It was really wonderful to have a cute, low pressure, hand project to work on this summer, and I love how this turned out.  

It was also really fun to see everyone else's progress on IG (#summerreadingstitchingclub) so many thanks to Mollie for putting together such a fun time.  I think you can buy the PDF of the whole project (all 12 embroideries, pattern pieces, and instructions) on Mollie's Etsy page if you're interested in making one yourself.



  1. I love these. What a whimsical quilt!

  2. What a clever idea for a little mini quilt. Your stitching is so neat and lovely. So many good books in that group!

  3. Oh Shannon, these little embroideries are so wonderful. THanks for showing them close up. That's such a great stitch along and of course, I love the books idea.

  4. Hi,
    Awesome quilt. Love all the different colors of fabrics, they all go together very well. Your embroidery is awesome. Have a great day!