I walk and use public transport to get around town when possible, including when I go between different work locations. Typically, I carry some kind of bag along with me in addition to my handbag. Often I want to bring a book along, either a reference book for work or something to read on the train. What I don’t like so much is the wear and tear that results. Perhaps I’m old school, but I feel that books are precious and need to be looked after.
For a long time I’ve been thinking of making some kind of book cover. I thought of making of those wrap around ones that you slide the front or back cover of the book into but I could not think of a workable ‘one size fits all’ approach with that design.
Last Friday after work I decided to grab some fabric and see where I ended up. I took a batik fat quarter left over from my starry night cot quilt project, one that was too stiff to use in a quilt, and matched it up with a plain blue remnant from my stash. I squared them up, grabbed some batting, made a quilt sandwich and ran a few lines of decorative machine stitching across it to hold everything together.
Next I stay stitched around the raw edges and folded it in half to make a bag. I picked yellow for the binding as a little reminder of our recent trip to Sweden, blue and yellow being the colours of the Swedish national flag. It’s double binding because that’s what I do on my quilts, not because it really needed it.
The binding is continuous and doesn’t have any overlap between the start and end points. Accomplishing that was a real test of my spacial reasoning and I’m not sure I passed that test. Let’s just say I sewed three times and unpicked twice. I used the excellent instructions in The Quilting Bible: The Complete Guide to Machine Quilting (3rd ed). It’s one of my favourite reference books and also has a few projects I’m keen to try.
So it’s all done, a kind of book sleeping bag, with just enough padding to protect books from damage in my bag. It doesn’t have buttons or any other closure as a fold will do the job and keep the size flexible. The finished dimensions are 11 inches long and 7 inches wide, so it will fit most of my medium and some of my bigger books or alternatively, my laptop.
Paperback novels might need a special bag of their own, but in these days of e-readers, they’re not something I tend to buy so often any more, so that project can wait.