A mini book quilt to calm one’s mind with Oscar Wilde

My personal association with quilts is a very homely, soothing calmness with a sense of ‘everything is going to be alright’. Because one of my sisters is the kind of person who can use those things I made this mini-quilt for her in the hope to transfer those good feelings to her.

This mini-quilt was also a birthday present for my friend as a prelude of the big-quilt I promised to make for her. In that way, this small one was made to anchor my promise to make the big one. Currently we are working on the big quilt together and it is progressing fast so I hope to have a post about that one online soon so you all can follow the progress.

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

-Oscar Wilde

To increase the calming effect of the quilt I decided to put in as many things she loves as possible in the design. The above quote from Oscar Wilde served as an inspiration for that. We both love Oscar Wilde and this quote sums up other loves of her perfectly: the moon is her mother, books are her refuge, she does not like to feel caged and who does not like flowers? Below I will explain, with pictures, how I incorporated every part of the quote.

Freedom I now realize is not really in the quilt, sorry XD. But I did add a pretty piece of paper with the quote on it as gift-wrap, so that is something! And reading books gives everyone freedom because they both serve as an escape from real life and to explore one’s mind without fear of judgement.

And the finished present ‘gift-wrapped’!

The books are obvious, but for those who have not spotted it: the front is a bookcase. The front design I drew myself on 1 x 1 centimetre graph paper. As you can see below when I wanted to sew a piece of the bookcase I cut out the relevant part from my drawing and traced the fabric with that.  That was a convenient way to work because I could easily see how the quilt proceeded. The down side of this tactic is that the pattern is gone. But, even though it should not be too difficult to draw the pattern again, this tactic does make it a truly unique piece of work which is fitting because it was meant as a personal gift.

The design I made on graph paper.

The adornments on the books are small pieces of ribbon I added later. It was both easier that way because it immensely simplified the design of the quilt and it looks very cool as you can see below.  I was waiting for an excuse to use my ribbon collection, because I keep collecting them, but never found a way to use them before, but ribbons are so pretty! I added the ribbons when the front was finished, but before all the layers were joined to make the appliqué easier.

Front side while adding the ribbons.

The moon is best visible at the back of the quilt. I made her with an embroidery hoop and a can of silver spray paint (Yes that worked). I put the fabric for the background in the hoop, put all the fabric outside the hoop on the back and simply sprayed inside the embroidery hoop. After that I had to sew very carefully because paint kept coming off. At the front of the quilt the outline of the moon is visible because I used a light grey thread. That is deliberately because I thought it would be cool to see the shape of the moon in the bookcase. I also quilted around the silver shape because I was afraid stitching through the moon would damage the paint. Below you can see the moon and the stitching around her.

The flowers are visible with the quilting, sewing through the several layers of fabric and filling, as seen in the picture below, around the moon. I drew the flowers with pastel pencil directly on the fabric. Pastel pencils are a great way to draw patterns directly on fabric and it saves you from having to buy the expensive special quilting pencils. Take care however not to draw too thick a line, because then some markings will remain. You can remove the markings by giving the finished quilt a careful hand wash. Also, the markings will sometimes disappear when you brush over them too much, so work carefully.

Finished backside. Here you can see the flowers and the stitching around the moon.

Conclusions looking back:

  1. Spray paint is sturdy stuff, meaning: as far as I know it is still on the quilt and I made it almost a year ago. It does however come off in small pieces, so it can stain other stuff the quilt comes in contact with.
  2. Use pastel pencils to draw designs directly on the quilt.
  3. Adding details later to the quilt is an easy way to make an easy design appear more complex without making the sewing more difficult, as I did with the ribbons.


See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.


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