Monday, June 16, 2014

Some overdue books

Ideally, I would have gotten this Books by the yard nudge up before this past weekend at the latest, but it was not to be as May & even April had lingering effects.  & this particular blocks does not have firmly fixed instructions, as each block of books is bound to have slightly different widths & heights so that each shelf (or border, if you plan to use your books to wrap around a story quilt of some kind) which makes directions a trickier business.

Let me begin with the broad strokes:
  • When you are all done your block should be no less than 8.5" tall & if you go up to 8.75" no one will fault you.  In the same vein your block should be at least 8.5" wide & if you go a bit longer (more on this in a bit) that will be OKay, too.
  • Your background should be WHITE fabric.  Solid white is goo, white-on-white design is OKay, too.  If your background has anything but white & this means cream or gold o teeny tiny little dots, you will get your blocks back.
  • Your block should have at least five different books.  It may have more; it cannot have fewer.
I have found the best way to begin is with the individual books themselves. & mostly I chain pieced these.  I cut a length of white muslin between 4.5" & 5.25 inches wide.  I am not trying to be difficult, I just sort of sliced.  In my original direction I suggested the background be less than 1/2 of the completed 8.5", so 4.5" seemed like a good number.  The extra is because as I assemble, things will be staggered for a bit (you'll see, I promise).

In this see, you can see one of them was actually a three-parter; I added the black band at the top of one to give it a bookier look.  Also, it stretched out what was a too-narrow book strip because if the background is in the ballpark of 4.5" the book strip should be not less than 5.5".


I know I said it in the original post but here it is again: 
  • The background piece should be less than or equal to 1/2 of the finished block + 1/2" by the width of the number of books you hope to make; the book pieces should be greater than or equal to 1/2 of the finished block +1/2" by that same width. 
To add a variety of books spines (otherwise they I would have had massive amount of one or two book&background strips, which is not al that useful) I also took a strip of background & added a few scraps along it.  Most of them will make at least two books widths, that yellow one maybe four.
  • I cut the book&background strips in widths between 2" & 3" wide & I mean anywhere in between.  So long as the edge was straight I did not worry about widths being precisely on the  1/2" or even 1/4" mark.   The idea is to have a variety.
So that I could have a frame of reference, I cut one strip to roughly 9" tall & then built my block out around it.  This gave me a top & bottom point that I knew I needed to overlap with each subsequent book.  It also helped keep me from bringing book tops too close to the upper edge (you don't want to make your books so tall that background disappears completely above it).
For each end, I used a particularly wide book.  This way, if whoever gets it needs to cut it down to fit in a row, no harm is done.  I cut this particular block to 8.75" tall by 9" long but in truth I need to make it a skosh narrower-9" wide is too wide.
& that is it really, another way (other than outlined in Books by the yard last January) of making these blocks.  They are due IN-HOUSE (not postmarked by) the last SAT in June which is June 28, 2014.  We do not have a 6th block person for this swap so if you sent 6th blocks you might get them back or they might be swapped.  Either way, you will get the count you sent. 

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