I bought a new bible last weekend. Naturally, I wanted to take care of it. And well, I wanted to make a cover. So why not turn it into a free tutorial.
Although, I made this cover for a bible, you can make them for textbooks, too. The bible cover has two outside pockets and can hold writing utensils on the spine.
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Exterior, interior, and handle fabric – 1/2 yard
Lining fabric – Fat quarter
Exterior Pocket – Fat quarter (If using patchwork like the example, then see Math Note below.)
Heavyweight fusible Interfacing – 1 yard
1/8” Elastic – ~5”
Binding fabric – 1/4 yard
Basic Quilting and Sewing Supplies
Math Note:My new bible measures 7 1/4” x 9 1/2” x 2 1/4” (width x length x height). However, I need the full width of the cover measurements. I opened my bible in the center, then measured the full width, which is 15 3/4”. Add two inches to the full width and length to account for seam allowance and stiffness. Therefore, my measurements are 11 1/2” (length) x 17 3/4” (full width).
Cut 1 exterior fabric piece and cut 1 interfacing 11 1/2” x 17 3/4”
Cut 1 exterior pocket fabric piece (If you want the pieced pocket as in the example, then see Patchwork Pocket below) and cut 1 interfacing 7 1/2” x 17 3/4”
Cut 1 lining fabric piece and cut 1 interfacing 11 1/2” x 17 3/4” (optional)
Cut 2 interior fabric pieces and cut 2 interfacing 11 1/2” x 6”
Cut 2 handle fabric and cut 2 interfacing 5” x 14”
Cut 3 strips 2 1/2” x WOF for binding.
Cut 1 elastic by bible depth x 2”. In this case, it is 4 1/2”.
Sew with 1/4” seam allowance.
1. Iron on fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the handle fabric.
2. Fold the strip of fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press along the fold to make a crease. Each half is 2 1/2”.
3. Open up the strip. Press each end in to the fold, wrong sides together, to the center crease made in previous step. It should fold 1 1/4”.
4. Refold the strip with the ends tucked in. The handle’s width is 1 1/4”.
5. Edgestitch the length of the handle on both sides.
Math Note:In this example, I am making my bible cover in 1 1/2” patchwork squares. Although I didn’t get an even division for my measurements, for the columns, I took 17.75 divided by 1.5 (finished block size) to equal 11.8333. I rounded this number to 12 squares per columns. For the rows, divide 7.5 by 1.5 to equal an even 5. Then, I took 12 multiply by 5 to equal 60 squares. For the patchwork, we are working with a 1/4” seam allowance. Therefore, cut 60 squares 2” x 2”.
1. I pulled a bunch of fabric scraps. It turns out, I pulled too many.
2. Cut them into 2” strips. Subcut them into 2” x 2” squares per your math.
3. Lay out the squares as desired to 5 rows by 12 columns. Stitch together squares in columns. In this example, I pressed seams away from the white squares.
4. Then stitch together columns to make a rectangle. I pressed these seams towards the columns with 2 white squares.
1. Make 3 strips of straight grain binding.
2. Iron on fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior, exterior pocket, lining, and 2 interior fabrics.
3. If you wanted to machine-quilt your pocket, this would be the time to do it. Here, I’m straight-line stitched my pocket.
4. Lay the pocket right side up. Determine your favorite position for the cover and top of the cover. Note the right side is the cover. Stitch on binding along the top full width of the exterior pocket. Start by placing the raw edge of the binding to the raw edge of the pocket and stitch it into place. Wrap the binding up over to the wrong side of the pocket. Take paper clips to hold it in place. Stitch-in-the-ditch on the right side of the pocket to secure the binding into place. Make sure you are stitching through all layers of the binding.
5. Stitch binding along the length of one side for both interior fabrics. The binding side is placed towards the spine, while the raw edge is place to towards the end. This would be the time to add your label, perhaps your favorite bible verse, etc.
6. Lay the exterior pocket on top of the exterior fabric, both right sides up. Top stitch with 1/8” seam allowance around the entire units. From this point on, this will be simply called exterior unit.
7. Grab your bible to test it in your cover. Trim away any excess.
8. Fold the exterior unit in half to determine the spine. It is important to secure the pocket to the spine to make sure the pocket is laying flat on the exterior fabric. I choose the closest the seamline on my pocket and stitched-in-the-ditch. You only need to stitch the pocket.
9. Flip the exterior unit with right side down. Place the lining on top, right side up, then place each of the interior units to each end. Pin. Top stitch 1/8” seam allowance along the outside to secure all layers in place.
10. Once again, grab your bible to test it in your cover. Trim away any excess.
11. Pin the elastic in half by centering it along the length on the right interior fabric, which is the back cover. Verify the right interior side by glancing underneath it to make sure the pocket is place correctly. Top stitch 1/8” seam allowance to secure the elastic.
12. Add the handles 5” apart from the center length for both sides. Pin the handles, followed by top stitching 1/8” seam allowance to secure them.
13. Stitch binding around the entire cover to finish. I put my binding on the same way I did for the pockets and interior units.
14. Insert your bible. Pull your elastic to the front to place your large button. Ensure the elastic is snug but not tight.
Now that you have all the ingredients to make your very own bible cover, it’s your turn to make it blossom.