Monday, April 1, 2024

Hive 4: April Tutorial - Jeannine’s Bookshelf Blocks


The goal for this quilt is to look like a well-loved somewhat stuffed bookshelf. I intend to fill in “objects” on the shelves with FPP blocks later, and will make the shelving later as well, so these blocks are for the books only. 

Fabric choices

Background: - 3+ fabrics that read as black or extremely dark gray - ideally, tonals, monotone prints, or something with a little visual texture, but if you don’t have a good selection in your stash, one of these can be a solid black.

Books: - 5+ fabrics that are bright, vibrant, fun, prints - fussy cuts are cool here! But keep in mind how they play next to each other. 

Labels: - 1+ strip of selvedge or ribbon with words printed on it. Please nothing political/religious. 18” is plenty. 


Obviously, if you are sticking to 10 fabrics, some books will be the same fabric, and the background is going to have many repeats. Please try to stagger the background fabrics, so that they don’t clump together. For the book fabrics, having multiple matching or somewhat matching fabrics of varying thicknesses of “books” can be a fun way to show a “series”, so that’s ok! Maybe differentiate the “books” within a “series” with different words on the selvedges or having some horizontal and some vertical on the “spine”. And please try to vary the thicknesses of each “book” in the “series”. 

Please choose one of these three layouts:

Layout A:

3 - 3.5” wide “books” & background strips

4 - 2” wide “books” & background strips

2 - 1” wide “books” & background strips

Layout B:

2 - 3” wide “books” & background strips

4 - 2” wide “books” & background strips

6 - 1” wide “books” & background strips

2 - 1.5” wide “books” & background strips

Layout C:

1 - 3.5” wide “books” & background strips

4 - 1.5” wide “books” & background strips

3 - 2.5” wide “books” & background strips

3 - 1” wide “books” & background strips

1 - 2” wide “books” & background strips

Please keep all “books” between 9” and 14” tall, and add background strips for a total of 16” tall strips. If you want to be precise and math-y about it, the formula is as follows:

16 - [height of book] + .5 total seam allowance = [height of background needed]


Piece together all your “books” with their respective “backgrounds” first, then decide on how you’d like to lay them out. 

Add selvedge “titles” at this stage.

I prefer to iron my seams open, but you do you. It doesn’t make much of a difference. 

Once you’ve determined your layout, snap a photo or take notes so that you don’t forget it (if you’re like me), or be brave if you want to, and start sewing strips together from one end to the other.

That’s it! I’ll trim them when I’m assembling, so no need to do any touching up, and if they’re a smidge crooked, well, so are my bookshelves. 

-Jeannine @jeanninehadid on Instagram