Saturday, 1 February 2014

One Block Project: Stack of Books Block for a Magazine Rack - Tutorial

Welcome to our first One Block Project for 2014 - the Stack of Books Block Magazine Rack. The One Block Project is all about finding fun (and useful!) ways for using up single blocks. Don't you often just want to try out a new block that catches your eye or you don't know what to do with stray blocks left over from a quilt you've been making? You don't have enough time or fabric to make a whole quilt starting from one block? This often happens to us and that's why we've decided to try finding different ways for using single blocks.

The One Block Project is also about using scraps from your stash, joining this year's blog awareness on economising, see:

What better way to keep your favourite magazines handy than a Magazine Rack decorated with a fun patchwork block? Inspired by... the pile of magazines next to the bed! We've transformed that untidy pile into a wobbly Stack of Books Block and upcycled a wooden box to keep all our magazines in order.

Here's a tutorial for making your own Stack of Books Block Magazine Rack.

  • First of all you need a box. We used a wooden box, washed it, let it dry and then painted it white using white acrylic paint. If you don't have a wooden box you can use a plastic one or any sturdy box you already have.

  • Making the Stack of Books Block:
The block is easy to make. Use text fabric charms to cut out strips 5" wide (the width of the charms square) and with different heights. The text fabric strips represent books with different thicknesses so they shouldn't be too "thick". Measure the box's width and then sew together the text fabric with strips of Essex Yarn Dyed in Black (or a solid fabric in your stash) on either side to make strips. These strips, with the text fabric in the centre, should be about an inch wider than the box on each side. 
Remember to give the stack effect by making the text fabrics hang in or out from one strip to the next. Sew all the strips together (with a quarter of an inch seam allowance) and press the seams open. This makes the seams less bulky. Check the final block is high enough to cover the whole box. 

Iron Bondaweb or Heatbond on the back of your block before cutting it to size (following the manufactures instructions). 
If you're using a plastic or cardboard box, skip the steps for using the Bondaweb and use fabric glue to stick your block onto the box, making sure to line up the block at the bottom of the box and to smoothen the fabric as you glue it towards the top of the box.

Peel off the paper from the back of the Bondaweb or Heatbond.

Now iron the block on to your wooden box, lining up the bottom edge and making sure the stack is centred. You'll have some extra fabric on both sides of the box (not shown in this photo).

Now use your rotary cutter to cut off the excess fabric on the sides of the box, using the box as a ruler. This will make your block match the edge of the box perfectly.

And now just put your favourite magazines in the box and enjoy admiring your Stack of Books Block. It won't fall over, not like that pile of magazines near our bed used to...! 

We would love you to join the One Block Project Flickr Group. You can share photos of projects you've made using just one block (or a limited number of blocks), your ideas, tutorials and posts related to your own One Block Projects.

Ella & Nesta’s Little Room

Don't miss our giveaway for the Grow Your Blog Party here (open until the 14th of February): you could win a useful and inspiring prize

Linking to:
Linky Party 2014

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  1. What a fun project! I love the prints you used--they work perfectly for your magazine holder! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    Thanks for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday

  2. What a great idea, I would never have thought to use heat-n-bond to iron it straight onto the wood. Will it remain adhered to it over time do you think? I suppose you could mod-podge over it if it started to lift away from the wood.

    1. It has stuck very well, even better than we thought. The only problem could be the edges. We ironed them again after cutting off the extra fabric to make them adhere more.
      We don't have mod-podge here in Italy. Is it like Vinavil? Would it leave a matt finish? We've noticed that Vinavil can change the colour of fabric.

  3. Just saw this on Fairy Face Designs .... What a brilliant idea, thank you.

  4. What a great project! {I must admit I've got more than one stack of books and magazines beside the bed.} This is the perfect block choice, too.

  5. Great way to use a random block! Thanks for the clever tutorial!

  6. l'utilizzo degli scarti è tutto il mio blog! I vostri lavori sono una meraviglia, grazie

  7. wow , love it. Visiting you from "put your scraps to work". This is awesome

  8. Great project idea!

  9. Oooooooh! I hadn't thought of using a fusible onto a cardboard or wooden surface. Lots of inspiration from that, as well as from your lovely block!

  10. This looks great, thanks for linking up!

  11. Thanks for sharing @DearCreatives party! I love how your project turned out! Theresa

  12. What a cute project! Love your fabrics. Congrats on a great finish and thanks for linking up!

    xo -E