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Pretty Little Bookmarks

There’s a lot to think about when writing a novel. Main characters. Secondary characters. Setting. Plot. Theme. Structure. For children’s literature, which has been my focus, readership age—and how that affects everything else. And, of course, the climax and conclusion. When drafting, I usually have a few of these elements in place, but not all of them. But one thing I must know above all else is…

bookmark tutorial

…character evolution. No matter what, I need to know who my main character is at the story’s start, who she is at the end, and how she changes in between. I may not be sure of the specific series of events that leads to this growth, as that tends to evolve too (and is fun to figure out along the way), but I at least know what the growth entails. And that knowledge shapes the rest of the story.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Partly because I’m working on a new book, but also because it’s 2018. The start of a new year. I don’t do annual resolutions, but I do think about the months ahead, what I hope they’ll hold, and how I plan to make happen what I want to happen. In recent years these goals have been very career-oriented, and many remain so now. But this year, while keeping 100% committed to writing and publishing, I plan to switch things up a bit. To focus less on the end, and more on the means. However long it takes me to write my next book, that’s how long it takes. I’ll be just as devoted, but at the end of each day I won’t fret about what I got done or whether I could/should do more. Instead I’ll savor each new page, and the mere act of creating. Look forward to the future but relish the present. This is part of my evolution.

That said, this year will be filled with many novels, both to write and read! And what better way to pause literary pursuits than with quilty new bookmarks?

bookmark tutorial 2

These pretty page markers offer limitless creative possibilities. For the four above I used a variety of linen, quilting cotton, and denim twill, some of which I pulled from my scrap bin, as the fabric requirement’s minimal. To the pocketless linen markers I added fusible fleece for extra support. I omitted the fleece for the pocketed markers, as the pockets’ batting already offered support while adding thickness.

In addition to being super cute, these bookmarks are super handy! I actually made the pocketed version with my husband in mind, as he tends to hold his reading spots with pens and highlighters. The quilted pouches are long and wide enough to hold 3-4 of your favorite note-taking tools. (Mine include small sticky tabs, which fit just fine.) But no matter how you like to read, these happy placeholders will keep you turning pages—if only so you can bookmark them!

To make your own 2.5″ x 8″ Pretty Little Bookmarks, you’ll need:
Fabric scraps
Quilt batting
Fusible fleece (optional, for pocketless version)
Pins and/or clips
Spray baste (optional)
Needle, thread
Ruler
Rotary cutter/cutting mat/scissors
Seam ripper
Iron

On stitch length: When topstitching and quilting throughout this project, I used a 3.5” stitch length. For all other sewing, I used my machine’s standard 2.2”. Adjust as you’d like!

On seams: I used 1/4” unless stated otherwise. If you prefer 1/2″ seams for the bookmark’s body, adjust your measurements accordingly.

Cutting Instructions
Pretty Little Bookmark 1: With Pocket
(1) 4″ x 8″ of front fabric, batting, and lining (for pocket)
(1) 2.5″ x 3″ linen for pocket binding
(2) 3″ x 8.5″ for bookmark back
(1) 1.5″ x 1.5″ quilting cotton for tab

Pretty Little Bookmark 2: Without Pocket
(12) 1″ x 1″ quilting cotton for decorative strip
(1) 2″ x 9″ quilt batting
(2) 1″ x 1″ linen for top strips
(2) 1.5″ x 8.5″ linen for side strips
(1) 3″ x 8.5″ linen for back
(1) 3″ x 8.5″ fusible fleece (optional)
(1) 1″ x 1.5″ quilting cotton for tab

Let’s Start Stitching!
Pretty Little Bookmark 1
1. Create pocket. Make a fabric sandwich of (from top to bottom) quilting cotton, batting, and lining. Fabrics will be right side out. Spray baste or pin, then quilt as desired. Trim to 3″ x 7″.

2. Bind pocket. Take your binding fabric and press in half, wrong sides together. Align raw edge to that of the pocket top, and sew in place. Fold fabric toward back, and stitch in the ditch or along binding edge to secure.

3. Attach pocket to bookmark back front (if that makes sense!). Align bottom raw edges of pocket and one 3″ x 8.5″ linen strip. With a 1/8″ seam, sew along sides and bottom to hold in place.

4. Make tab. Press your 1.5″ x 1.5″ cotton in half, right sides together. Sew along sides, then clip corners, turn right side out, and press.

5. Assemble bookmark. Center decorative tab on bookmark back, right sides and raw edges together. Place bookmark front on top of the back, right sides together. The pocket will face down. Pin/clip, then sew around perimeter, leaving a 2-3″ opening for turning.

6. Clip corners, turn right side out, and press. Topstitch 1/8″ along perimeter, closing opening in process.

bookmark tutorial 3

Pretty Little Bookmark 2
1. Make center strip. Sew your (12) 1″ x 1″ squares together. Press seams open. Baste or pin to batting, quilt as desired, and trim excess batting.

2. Attach (2) 1″ x 1″ linen squares to top and bottom of quilted strip. Topstitch 1/8″ along seams. Repeat with 1.5″ x 8.5″ side strips.

3. Following package instructions, press fusible fleece to 3″ x 8.5″ back linen.

4. Make tab. Press your 1″ x 1.5″ cotton square in half, right sides together. Sew sides, clip corners, turn right side out, and press.

5. Assemble bookmark. Center decorative tab on bookmark back, right sides and raw edges together. Place bookmark front on top of back, right sides together. Pin/clip, then sew around perimeter, leaving a 2-3″ opening for turning.

6. Clip corners, turn right side out, and press. Topstitch 1/8″ along perimeter, closing opening in process.

bookmark tutorial 4

 

bookmark tutorial 5

Happy New Year! I hope your 2018 is filled with endless creativity—and contentment. 🙂

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Pretty Little Bookmarks

  1. Cute idea. Great to give at Valentine’s Day or any holiday. I’d use one in a cookbook too.
    Keep on sewing Tricia!
    Marion

    Like

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