Why oh why do I have to make a fairly simple block with mostly straight lines so hard? WHY?! I guess it turns out to be a good thing, because I kind of love the results! Here’s the finished block and the pattern I was working from.
Yeah – see – I made it way too hard! The upside is I think it is really cool! The first thing you might notice is that I did not paper piece this set. The paper pieced version has some fantastic whimsical lines and shapes, but this muggle doesn’t really love the idea of wonky books. I dont know if it is way too many hours worried about straight seams or just plain old OCD, but I went ahead and straightened out my spines. Since I was piecing them, I cut the books in a way that I thought worked really well for the spines rather than making it the exact size of the pattern. I’m telling you – I can’t wait to quilt this thing, that’s really when the magic is going to happen!
About the Books
I picked random titles from a list of Harry Potter textbooks I found on the web. There’s no real rhyme or reason why I choose these four other than the titles caught my attention. After I had picked four titles, I went on a bit of research trip and tried to learn about the books. I was looking for either a text description from the novels or an image from the movies. My missing was to get the spirit of the actual book into the spine. The Harry Potter wikia is an amazing place to find these guys and where I picked up all of the details about them.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
This is surely the book I put the most effort into. Here’s the T-tiny image I worked from:
I really liked the tears on the cover and the unicorn motif. I digitized my first ever embroidery pattern with Embrid software to create the unicorn. I found the actual digitizing to pretty simple; however, when I stitched I realized the finesse isn’t in creating the digital shapes. The magic happens when you pick the right thread direction, add extras and details, and pay close attention to stitch order/jumps. In the end, I think my spine motif does look like the book and I feel like I really learned a thing or two for the next pattern.
I definitely responded to the claw tears on the cover. I knew for sure I wanted those on my book! To create them, I sketched two lines with a pencil where I wanted them to go. I nipped a small cut on the middle of the line. I layered a piece of yellow fabric behind the red then did a free motion stitch around the line. I went around about four times then cut the length of the tear right in the center of my FMQ lines. After they were cut I pulled and tugged a bit to create start the fray. I didn’t push it too hard because I didn’t want to damage the fabric. It will continue to fray as time goes on and the yellow will peek out more and more.
I added the author name for the dumbest reason ever – I have the worst memory and I knew it was possible I might forget which book this was without a clue!
Here’s my tiny source image:
I thought about this one for so long! In the end, I wanted the title and not the symbols so I created my second ever digitized embroidery pattern. This one was fun to do because I was able to tinker with shapes and cut outs. I also thought more about stitch order and thread changes. There’s always room for improvement, but I’m super happy with this one. Pin a rose on my nose and junk!
I had some dusty purple fabric that I was going to add around the text, but Tim Gunn was in my head – EDIT EDIT EDIT! In the end, I think it was a good call to just keep the black.
A New Theory On Numerology
Remember – Harry gives this one to Hermione for Christmas – “Thanks for the book, Harry! I’ve been wanting that New Theory of Numerology for ages!“
Clearly the thing that caught my attention here is the silver on black. I digitized the letters and the symbol right in the middle of the book and embroidered it with metallic metal thread.
HEAR THIS – METALLIC THREAD = METALLIC NEEDLE
I had so much trouble with this one. The thread just kept breaking. I thought I had made it to small, but finally remembered had some metallic needles in my stash. I figured I had nothing to lose so I tried changing the needle and viola! it worked! I’ll never use metallic thread without a metallic needle again.
A History Of Magic
So this book was just kind of meh to me. It was so gray and flat and didn’t have any features that made me do the happy dance.
I took an artistic license and decided now was time to use one of my fun prints that I had picked up for this project. The wonderful ladies on the POD Facebook group had already complied a nice set of embroidery files for the titles. I liked the font for the this book and didn’t have a font like it so I decided to use theirs. I wanted to use the gray thread as a nod to the book, but knew it didn’t stand a chance to be seen with such a wild print. To solve that problem I added the applique with a wide satin stitch behind the letters.
I wish I had paid more attention to the print when I placed the title, but it is close enough. I did have to resize the text a bit to make my machine happy (it kept ignoring the file when it was in its original state). That resize seems to have caused trouble. The thread broke – a lot. Most of the problems were in the curves on the smaller letter like ‘s’ and ‘g’. I do believe if I did this again, I would slow down the machine.
Want the Files?
You’re welcome to them. Download this zip file for the four book titles you see here. The files are in .pes format for a 5×7 frame. If you need a different format, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll convert it. Please note: I can not resize or make customizations. Please note 2: I’m learning, these do stitch out without too much trouble, but they are listed in the default color and have a few funky jumps and hops here and there.
The Quilt top, So far..
See all of the posts related to this project on the Harry Potter Project of Doom index page!