Suggestions welcome…

Now that I am moving into the land of machine embroidery, I am finally getting started on a project I have long wanted to do; it is what I am calling in my head the Techno-Redwork Library Quilt.Now, I know it won’t be proper redwork as it will be machine embroidery and mostly weave fill stitches, but it will be an homage to the genre. So many of the redwork quilts I adore are made up of illustrations for children, explicitly linking the quilt to stories.

Well, for this quilt I will be selecting a library of books for my children, books that I think of as essential for their growing up, for the process of becoming adults. They will be books that range from learning to read to what I think of as the last book one truly needs to read before going off to college. And I will then be generating links to those books through QR codes. The idea is that they will be able to use their iPad to scan the QR code to get to a book that they will want, and will be able to download that book to read it (we will have set up an account for them to purchase these books).

What I love about this idea is tying the redwork to stories through the quilt, making the quilt the site for reading, not just something to be under while reading, but the space that leads to reading. The quilt becomes a digital library even as it reinforces the physical space of reading. I love the idea of tying technology and tradition together, wedding quilt and screen, just as I merge the materiality of the quilt with the amazing digital technology available with machine embroidery. At least that is how it goes in my head…

I’m still debating the type of quilt I want to reference, though I am leaning toward doing it en pointe. I’m been flitting between these two for a while now:



Though this one still calls out to me, but I think the weight of the embroidery (you’ll see soon) will need some sort of balance with a bit of sashing or piecing…


[Images from, one of my favorite places to go for some quilty research. Click on any of the quilt images to go to the full record.]

I’ve long known what the final book will be: Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. I’ve long considered it an essential piece of reading, so much so that it will be making a cameo appearance in my book, and possibly everyone I do if I do more. And the great thing about QR codes is that you can mess with them, so here is the design for A Room of One’s Own:


So, about those suggestions. While K and I are working away at compiling our list of possibilities, I’d love to hear your input. What books were essential to you during your childhood? What books do you look back at, or return to again and again? What books do you credit with helping you become who you are?

Oh, and why? Convince us…

And thanks for your help. So many books to choose from.


Note: Remember, I’m looking for books for from just learning to read all the way to heading off to college, so children’s books all the way to essential pieces of world literature, including books that they will not quite get, but will inspire them to find out about all the things they don’t yet understand…

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