Bind high-contrast quilt blocks pieced from your stash of fabric and trims into a book for babies. Just looking at the prints and feeling the textures will be great fun for little ones.

January 22, 2021
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Designer: Elizabeth Olney

Finished size: 6" square

Materials

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 3—6-1/2" squares assorted black-and-white prints (book pages)
  • Scraps of assorted black-and-white prints (book cover)
  • 3—6-1/2" squares assorted red-and-white prints (book pages)
  • 6-1/2×12-1/2" rectangle red fleece (book cover)
  • 14" square lightweight batting
  • 8"-long piece 5/8"-wide satin ribbon: white
  • 8"-long piece 5/8"-wide satin ribbon: red
  • 6"-long piece 1-1/2"-wide satin ribbon: black

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From scraps of assorted black-and-white prints, cut:

  • 2—1-1/4×4-1/2" strips from one print
  • 2—1-1/4×4" strips from a second print
  • 1—3" square
  • 2—1-1/4×3" strips from a third print
  • 1—2-1/2" square
  • 2—1-1/4×2-1/2" strips from a fourth print

From lightweight batting, cut:

  • 2—6-1/2×12-1/2" rectangles

Assemble Book Pages

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

1) Sew together a black-and-white print 6-1/2" square and a red-and-white print 6-1/2" square to make a rectangle unit (Diagram 1). Press seam open. The unit should be 6-1/2×12-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make three rectangle units total. (Set one unit aside for book cover.)

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2) Cut each ribbon length in half. Fold and press each piece in half.

TIP: To create more variety in texture, designer Elizabeth Olney folded some ribbons with the shiny side inside, and others with the shiny side outside.

3) Referring to Diagram 2, position folded ribbons on a rectangle unit, extending ribbon raw edges 1/2" beyond edges of unit. Avoid placing ribbon over seam. Baste ribbons in place 1/8" from edges of rectangle unit.

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4) Layer Step 3 rectangle unit and a second rectangle unit with right sides together; place a 6-1/2×12-1/2" batting rectangle on top. Sew around outer edges through all layers, leaving a 2" opening for turning (Diagram 3). Trim across corners and turn right side out; press. Topstitch 1/8" from all edges, closing opening as you stitch, to make book pages.

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5) Referring to photos, below, and using contrasting needle and bobbin threads, quilt book pages as desired. Elizabeth machine-quilted a zigzag pattern on one book page and small circles on the second book page.

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Assemble Blocks

1) Sew black-and-white print 1-1/4×2-1/2" strips to opposite edges of black-and-white print 2-1/2" square (Diagram 4). Press seams toward strips. Add black-and-white print 1-1/4×4" strips to remaining edges to make Block 1. Press as before. The block should be 4" square including seam allowances.

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2) Sew black-and-white print 1-1/4×3" strips to opposite edges of black-and-white print 3" square (Diagram 5). Press seams toward strips. Add black-and-white print 1-1/4×4-1/2" strips to remaining edges to make Block 2. Press as before. The block should be 4-1/2" square including seam allowances.

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Assemble Book Cover

1) Referring to Diagram 6, measure and mark a centerline on red fleece 6-1/2×12-1/2" rectangle. Position Block 1 on point on right half of red fleece rectangle and Block 2 on left half. Pin or baste blocks in place.

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2) Set up your machine with a short (.5 millimeter to 1 millimeter) stitch length, a wide (1.5 millimeter to 2 millimeter) stitch width, and black thread. Satin-stitch along edges of blocks to appliqué them in place and make book cover unit.

3) If desired, personalize block centers by using red thread to stitch the recipient's initial and/or a message.

4) Using book cover unit and remaining rectangle unit, repeat Step 4 of Assemble Book Pages to make book cover.

Assemble Book

1) Layer book cover, blocks side down, and book pages, alternating page colors and aligning center seams.

2) Topstitch along center seam through all layers, backstitching at each end to secure (Diagram 7).

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3) Fold layers in half; press to set spine and complete book.