13 February 2012

Book cover - a great gift

Friday Meagan came over and we cut the stretcher frame for our "water" piece. The show opens in March. We also just found out or mentor/student relationship involves giving a presentation at a middle or high school or a public venue like a library. That should be fun. Anyway, cutting the frame took about 5 minutes and I am still shibori dyeing, and have been all week, trying to get just the right look for the bottom most 3 squares. I think I have finally got it. Meagan and I watched a show on DMTV about sketching. It was about still lifes. I've set one up and will continue to work on my skills. Then we still had time so I thought we might do a small piece of "stitch and flip" sewing like the QAYG quilt (see tutorial tab above). I bought a new reference book and thought why not make a book cover. Of course I decided this half way through so the photos are kind of funny and many were an after thought.

How to make the best book cover EVER

I started with an odd bit of polyester (cheap) felt around the size of a book cover. Then I used the QAYG assembly technique for covering the felt with fabric scraps. You can also use the top tabs on my homepage to locate this tutorial. I did not take a picture of the finished piece before cutting so I patched together this picture
Then I used the book itself to mark the COVER to the correct size. This should be done on the wrong (felt) side not the right side like in this picture. Ask me how I know...
After the felt is covered with cloth bits, it is time quilt. You can quilt in channels, echo quilting or free motion quilting but the cover will look better if quilted so do something. I decided to free motion with Madeirs metallic threads.
                                                          In the process
 I use the cut off the fingers from rubber washing up gloves for traction on the fabric. I have tried everything. I have a drawer full of every kind of glove out there. I tried rubber jar opens - not bad. These fingers don't get in my way at all and I still have my thumb and first finger naked to pinch or grab. Works for me!!
                                                                     Finished quilting

Since I failed to document this in pictures, I went back and "posed" some pictures. DO NOT get these pictures confused with making the black lining. I used black because it was easy to see the marks.
So now, on your finished COVER, you will mark the size of your book like this:
        Lay your book on the COVER which is wrong side up and mark around the top, right side and bottom.
 Then carefully stand the book up without moving it and mark the center section. This is important. Then lay the book on the other side and finish marking the COVER which is WRONG side up
                        It will look like this (above) with the marks on the wrong side of the COVER

                         Below are the marks on a piece of black so you can see them more easily
Also in this picture is a "Sewline" chalk marker from Japan. Expensive, yes, but so worth the money. The chalk which is actually some sort of ceramic I think also comes in colors. I have found this chalk pencil invaluable and well worth the high price. The marks are easily erased when you are done.

                   Now here is the part that makes this the BEST BOOK COVER EVER

Place the COVER facing up on your table. Take a piece of fabric for the lining on top and cut it the same height but about 5" wider. A good gauge is the width of the spine plus 4". In the picture below I am pretending this is one piece of fabric even though it is cut in three sections. The height is the same and it is about 5" wider than the cover.
Then cut the single piece of liner (black in the picture) into 3 sections. Take the right and left sections and make a small hem on one side. These hems will run along the spine. This will be clear in the photo below. Lay the hemmed side on the COVER right sides together (cover facing up and hemmed sides face down on the cover like this:

Now this can be the tricky part. Take the third piece of fabric with 4 raw edges and lay it over the center of the book. It goes on top of the side sections.
Pin enough so this all stays together while you sew it. Sew all around all four sides - YES, all FOUR sides.
 As you approach the corners stop about 2 stitches short and rotate 45 degrees and sew the corners on an angle. Remember I chalked the outline on the wrong side but the photo is a good one to see the angled stitch
              Sewn all the way around all 4 sides and if I'd marked the felt side this would be more centered.
                                                              Clip to about a scant 1/4"
Now comes the turning which will be easier to understand through photos.
                                              With the lining facing up, lift the center section.
Reach inside the piece and grab the side seam. My hand is grabbing the right side seam. Turn the piece inside out. See below

You can easily see the right and left flaps into which you will slide the front and back book covers. Next poke out the corner (do not use pointy scissors-smile) and roll the edges and press (iron).

This book cover fits the book so tightly that I open the book all the way with the two covers touching each other to slip inside the cover.
I think (my opinion) that this is the best book cover ever for these reasons.
  • the inside of the cover is covered with cloth.
  • center opening of cover does not expose the wrong side of the cover and
  • cover fits the book perfectly snug
Please try at least ONE and then you will be hooked. This is the best book cover EVER and your friends and family will be amazed at your cleverness and artistic abilities (applause, applause) and everyone will be clamoring for you to make them their own cover. These make great journals for gifts.


  1. Your right, this is the best bookcover EVER. I make a lot of covers and I wil sure use the idea.
    The fingers are also a great idea. I use thin gardening gloves.But then you can't pick a needle or a treath.

  2. What a lovely bookcover. Beautiful colors.
    gr. Marjolijn

  3. Great tutorial! I think I will be giving this a try for some gifts this year.

  4. I brought my new covered book with me today and one comment was that is "felt good" in their hand. Yes, This is a tightly fitted book cover and the quilting firms up the cloth and it feel secure and substantial not flimsy/substantiƫle niet op slap. Hope I picked the correct word.

  5. Books cover is important part to know about the Books subject. This post give a batter looks of book cover and It's also give a some batter idea to make it.

    photo books

  6. I've made journal covers before, but I love this flip and turn method. I'm absolutely going to try it!

  7. This is a very good book cover. I am also going to try it. Thanks Beth for sharing.

  8. it is a lovely bookcover Beth.

  9. Wonderfull!! Will you add it to your tutorial pages? So I will refind it whenever I am in doubt ;-). Ok, for this day´s word: Boekomslag. Which means Book cover. And since you found Google´s translate speakerbutton too, please let me know how it sounds to you. Especially the gggg. It is the strangest sound of our vocabulary as people told me. Go for it. Of Ga er voor. What will sound as funny.

  10. What a great tutorial! I'm certainly going to try this. Your cover turned out beautiful, great colours!
    And firm, not 'slap', you used the right word. :-)

  11. This is a comment to check if you don't have a robot


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