Easier Quiet Book, Part 4

Finally, we have reached the home stretch!  This post will describe how to put your pages from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 together, and then how to bind them in a nice book.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – the key to the genius binding is D rings and binder rings.  I got my inspiration from a binder pencil case.  I’ve seen lots of quiet book tutorials that use binder rings, but they all use eyelets or grommets, which I have found to be problematic and unreliable in application.  But D rings are inexpensive, easy to sew with, and don’t require any special equipment or superhuman strength.  So now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, let’s get to it!

Supplies to Complete the Quiet Book:

  • 9 D rings (3 per page)
  • 1.5 yard ribbon, about the same width as the straight part of the D rings
  • 3 1-1.5″ binder rings
  • 20.5″x9.5″ fabric for outer cover
  • 20.5″x9.5″ fabric for inner cover
  • 3″x9.5″ fabric matching inner cover
  • 2″x8.5″ stiff Pelon for binding

I paired the pages they way I blogged them; each set of two pages has one with batting already attached and one without.  You need to “install” your D rings as you put the pages together.  For each page (which will have 2 of the pages you made, one on front and one in back), cut 3 pieces of ribbon about 3″ long.  Mark the edge of your batting page at 2″, 4.5″, and 7″.  Slide each ribbon through a D ring, and pin to your page about 1/2″ from the edge (the distance isn’t as important as uniformity).  Baste them on a scant 1/4″ from the edge.  Remove the pins.

D Rings

Left: Mark the page to line up the D ring ribbons. Right: Pinned and sewn in place

Place the page you want on the backside on top, right sides together (make sure they’re both facing the same way, that is top matching top and bottom with bottom).  Stitch around the edge with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving an opening about 3-4″ long on the bottom edge (not at a corner).  Be careful not to hit the D rings with the needle!  Clip the corners (along with anything sticking out, like ribbons) and turn right side out.  Fold the open edges in, and stitch all the way around the outer edge of the page with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end to secure.

Page Assembly

Left: Pin the two pages right sides together. Center: Sewn, and corners clipped. Right: Turned right side out and topstitched around the edges (don’t forget to turn in the edges on the opening)

The process is the same for all 3 pages except the one with the dry erase.  For this page, there are 2 changes:

  1. Before you sew the two pages together, put the eraser between the pages with the loose end of the ribbon sticking out between 2 of the D rings.
  2. When you are doing the final topstitch, put the 9″x9″ vinyl piece on top to act as your dry erase surface.  After you stitch it on, trim off excess vinyl.
Dry Erase

Left: See how the eraser end sticks out? That’s because of step 1 above. Right: Vinyl makes a pretty good dry erase surface!

Once the pages are assembled, you’re ready to make the cover.  Gather all your supplies listed above, plus cut two pieces of the ribbon ***” long.

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Not pictured: Batting for between the layers; cover pieces are shown folded in half

Iron batting onto the cover piece that will be the outside, and place the two cover pieces right sides together.  Sew 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around, leaving an opening about 4″ wide on the bottom.  Clip corners, turn right side out, and topstitch around the outside to close the opening and secure the cover.  Iron the small piece of inside fabric onto the stiff Pellon, centering the Pellon on the backside of the fabric.  Then fold the sides of the fabric over to the back, and stitch in place.  Use one of the completed pages to mark where the D rings will lie.  Attach one end of a piece of ribbon, then fold it over and stitch in place with 2 lines, one on each side of the mark for each D ring.  Fold the end over (trim off excess ribbon) and secure in place.

Binding

Creating the binding

Attach a handle to the outer cover by folding the end of the other ribbon in an S shape (to prevent fraying) on either end and sew in place securely to the outside (think of a kid carrying the book by this handle!).  Then flip the cover over and attach the binding by stitching along the line you stitched before to secure the flaps of fabric to the back.  Be sure not to catch the handle in your stitching!

Attach Binding

Left: The S shape I’m talking about for the ribbon handle ends. Center: The inside of where the handle is sewn on. Right: After the binding is attached (see how I used the same stitch lines on the binding, so it doesn’t show more stitches?)

Slide your binder rings through their spaces, hook all your D rings in, and close them up, and you’re done!  You have a fun, easy way to entertain your kids when they need to be quiet!  Don’t forget to grab a dry erase marker on the way out the door.

Binder Rings

You could make the cover pieces a little longer so the pages are the same length once they’re on the rings if you want

I may even add more tutorials later with additional pages I make… by now you know I can’t leave well enough alone!  I hope you gain some confidence to try out a quiet book from my tutorial.  There’s nothing better than your kids having a blast for hours, playing with something you made yourself!

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Easier Quiet Book, Part 3

This is the 3rd installment of my easier quiet book for less advanced sewers.  Click the links to check out Part 1 and Part 2.  The first page I’ll describe here is a lift the lap page, similar to the one I made before, but without the applique – it’s all iron-on!  And the second page in this post is a dry erase page, which was inspired by a chalk page I found on Pinterest.  The 4th and final post in this series will describe how to put your book together and bind it.

Lift the Flap

Supplies:

  • Cute fabric with whatever print you want to hide (I used animals)
  • Various colors of felt
  • Heat N Bond Ultra
  • 9″x9″ background fabric
  • 9″x9″ fusible batting

Cut small rectangles of Heat N Bond Ultra and iron onto the back of each of your desired characters, following the directions on the package.  Then, cut out characters in neat shapes (I did rectangles, but you can get creative!).

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The Heat N Bond rectangles don’t need to be perfect – they’ll be trimmed later. If you look really hard, you can see I have a snail under the paper here.

Iron the fusible batting onto the 9″x9″ fabric to stabilize it.  Arrange the characters on the fabric (remember that you’ll lose about 1/2″ on the edges), peel off the paper, and iron in place.  Cut felt pieces to be a bit larger than the characters, and sew along one edge.  I recommend backstitching along the whole seam, as kids love to pull hard on these!  Also, you can use the method I described in Part 2 to tie the ends of the threads to secure.  And that’s it!  A simple page for a game of peek-a-boo.

Lift Flap

Left: Characters attached to page. Center: Flaps attached. Right: Back side, you can see the knots to secure the thread ends.

Dry Erase

Supplies:

  • 4.25″x9″ blue fabric
  • 5.25″x9″ green fabric
  • 10″ thin ribbon
  • 3″x8″ black felt
  • 9″x9″ vinyl, to be used later

Sew the blue and green fabric together, press the seam to one side and topstitch to secure the seam allowance (if you click the photo, you can see I folded the seam allowance to the green side, then stitched it in place with green thread).  Sew about 1.5″ of the ribbon onto the 3″x8″ piece of felt, sticking out from the short edge (as before, sew along the ribbon, not across it so that it will stand up to tugging).  Fold the felt in half and sew around the edge.  This page will take its final form in the next post, when we assemble the book, so that’s all there is for now!

Parts of Page

Left: Attach the ribbon to the felt. Center: Fold the felt and stitch all the way around to make the eraser. Right: The page (blue for sky and green for grass).

Stay tuned for the final post, which will detail how to put the book together with a new, easy binding method!

Just wanted to make a quick note as I celebrate a milestone – this is my 50th blog post!  Wow!  It’s been about 6 months, and I am just loving documenting and sharing the things I make.  Thanks for reading along with me 🙂

Easier Quiet Book, Part 2

In Part 1, I posted tutorials for a parachute buckle page and a matching page.  This part will detail how to make a soccer maze and an iPhone in a pocket!  In my last quiet book tutorial I included a button maze, but saw this idea on Pinterest and though it was brilliant – so much easier for little fingers to manipulate something they can see!  Plus, the book is for my niece, who is half Albanian, so I knew soccer would be a hit.  For the back side of the page,  I simplified this idea to be just an iPhone in a jeans pocket.  Perfect for a kiddo growing up in today’s world!

Button Soccer Maze

Supplies:

  • Soccer Maze Pattern
  • 9″x9″ green square of fabric
  • White button, 3/4″-1″ diameter
  • White fabric scraps
  • Heat N Bond (any variety)
  • Green thread

Start by cutting out the pattern and tracing it onto the paper side of the Heat N Bond (don’t forget to trace 2 goal posts).  Follow the directions to iron onto your white fabric, and cut them out.  Next, turn your white button into a soccer ball using a fine point Sharpie – I practiced on paper first, and found hexagons were the easiest to draw (for an awesome tutorial, check out this link).  Then, fold your green fabric square in quarters and mark the center (where all the folds meet).  Open it up, place your white pieces in place (don’t forget to remove the paper backing) and iron on.

Soccer Parts

Place the green tulle square on top and sew less than 1/4″ around the whole edge, inserting the soccer ball button before you seal it up.  Sew along the outsides of the goal posts, and tuck the ball into one of the goals.  Line up the maze pattern with the edges and goal posts (green lines on the pattern), pin in place, and sew along the maze lines (marked in black).  Yes, you can sew right on top of the paper!  Then, just tear the paper off – the where the needle pierced the paper acts as perforation and the paper should come off relatively easily, revealing a perfect maze!

Soccer Maze

Left: Soccer field with tulle sewn on and button soccer ball inserted. Center: Pin the pattern on top. You can see I trapped the ball in the bottom goal with an extra pin to keep from hitting it with my machine. Right: Maze is sewn, now you just need to pull off the paper.

At the end of each line in the maze, pull the front thread to the back and tie a knot to secure – you don’t want the maze walls to come apart with play!  On the back side, pull on the loose thread, and you’ll see a little loop appear.  Use a pin to pull on this little loop, and you’ll pull the thread tail from the front.  Then just tie the two in a knot together to secure.  I also showed this method in my original applique post, but the picture below is better, I think.

Knots

Left: That’s the little loop you’re looking for. Right: When you pull the thread tail from the front, you will not lose any stitches, so don’t worry about that!

Jean Pocket with iPhone

Supplies:

  • Jean iPhone Pattern
  • Blue felt
  • Yellow thread, and coordinating thread
  • Felt, color of your choice for back of phone
  • Black cotton, for front of phone and Apple logo
  • Blue cotton, for phone screen
  • Heat N Bond Ultra
  • Thick fusible Pellon (the kind that’s almost like cardboard)
  • 10″ thin white ribbon
  • 9″x9″ blue cotton
  • 9″x9″ fusible batting
  • Puffy paints (optional)

Trace one phone pattern, the Apple logo, and the screen shape onto the paper side of the Heat N Bond Ultra.  Iron the phone pattern and Apple logo onto the black fabric, and the screen pattern onto the blue.  Cut felt and thick Pellon out using the phone pattern.  Line the ribbon up at the center of the bottom of the Pellon piece, with about 1.5″ on top of the phone.  Stitch along the ribbon along that 1.5″ to attach it (go parallel, not perpendicular – this is going to take a lot of stress!).  Iron the felt onto the fusible side of the Pellon, following the directions (be careful not to melt your felt).  Then iron the black fabric onto the other side of the Pellon, and add the details of the screen and Apple logo to complete the phone as pictured below.  Stitch around the outside of the phone to secure all 3 layers.

Phone

Left: All the phone pieces you need to cut (note ribbon attached to Pellon). Center: Screen side of phone completed. Right: Back side of phone completed.

Iron the fusible batting onto the 9″x9″ blue fabric to stabilize it.  Sew the free end of the iPhone “cord” to the blue fabric, about 1/3 of the way from the bottom and centered left to right.  Just like with the phone, attach it by sewing along the ribbon for about 1-1.5″, not perpendicular.  Cut out the jean pocket from felt, and add any embellishments you want.  I went for a simple pattern.  Then attach the pocket to the blue square, covering the end of the ribbon you sewed on.  Be sure to backstitch at the top of the pocket, it’s going to get pulled on!  If you feel like getting fancy, you can use some puffy paints to make the iPhone more realistic.

Assemble Phone

Left: Phone attached to page. Center: Finished phone in pocket. Right: I decided to have a little fun with the paint!

Stay tuned for the 3rd post, which will have tutorials for two more pages!  And finally, the 4th will describe a new, simpler way to put your quiet book together.

Easier Quiet Book, Part 1

On my trip to Arizona with the kids back in July, I was sitting next to 2 other moms with kids around the same age, and they ooh’ed and aah’ed when I pulled out the quiet book I made for Peach and Monster.  But they both said the same thing – they have some sewing skills, but could never make something that intricate.  That’s when the lightbulb went off over my head.  I needed to make a tutorial for someone who isn’t big into applique and doesn’t feel as confident sewing the thick binding the way I suggested before.  So I’ve made yet another quiet book, this one requiring only straight stitching and a much easier binding method.  As a bonus, you can add more pages to this one!  I’ll also be breaking it up into easier-to-chew chunks, with 3 posts showcasing 2 pages each and a 4th to show my new (brilliant) binding method.

To start off, I made a parachute buckle page like I did before.  But this time instead of making my own holders for the buckles, I used some nice ribbon to make it easier!  I also included a matching page again, but made it a little simpler for the less experienced sewer.

Parachute Buckle Page

Supplies:

  • 5 parachute buckles
  • 20 inches each of 5 ribbons, 1 kind for each buckle (consider width and color of buckles)
  • 9″x9″ square of fabric
  • 9″x9″ square of fusible batting
  • Coordinating thread

To start off, prepare your page by ironing the batting onto the wrong side of the fabric (follow the directions that came with the batting).  Then cut your ribbon into 10-inch segments.  Push each piece of ribbon through the desired buckle, and stitch back and forth several times near the buckle to secure in place.  Pin your buckles on your prepared book page in the desired locations and sew in place less than 1/4″ from the edge of the book.

Parachute Clips

Left: Ribbons and buckles assembled. Right: Finished page – don’t you love the multicolored zebra fabric?

Don’t worry about trimming the ribbon tails just yet – you can do that when you assemble the pages together.  That’s it for this page!  About as simple as it can get, no?

Matching Page

Supplies:

  • Cute print to use for matching characters
  • 30″ thin ribbon
  • 2 2″x7″ pieces of fusible interfacing
  • 6 1/2″x1/2″ pieces of felt
  • Heat N Bond Ultra
  • 3 sew-on snaps
  • 9″x9″ square fabric

To start, iron small pieces of Heat N Bond Ultra on the wrong side of 2 of each of the characters (follow the directions on the package).  Then, cut the characters out and iron onto the 9″x9″ fabric in a different order on the left and right.  On the back of the page, iron on the two strips of fusible interfacing; one should be just to the inside of the characters on the left, and the other should be right down the middle of the characters on the right.  The interfacing just serves to strengthen the fabric where it’s likely to get tugged on a lot – where we attach the ribbons and the snaps.

Next, stitch the male snaps onto the characters (I gave my animals belly buttons, but you can place them anywhere that makes sense), and the female snaps each onto a 1/2″x1/2″ felt square.  Then cut the ribbon into 3 10″ segments and stitch a piece of felt to the end of each.  Place a piece of felt with a ribbon and one with a snap together (snap facing out, ribbon facing in) and hand stitch around the outside; repeat for the other 2.

Attach the end of each ribbon right next to a character by sewing about an inch along the ribbon; backstitch several times to secure.  Be sure to go along, not across – the ribbon is so thin, you won’t get a good hold if you stitch perpendicular to it.  And that’s it!  You’ve created a cute and simple matching page.

Matching

Left: Interfacing placement on the back (left is right and vice versa since it’s the back). Center: Finished product with the two pieces it’s made of. Right: Completed matching page.

Stay tuned for the next two pages in a couple of days!  You can find Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 in the links.

Binding and Covering a Quiet Book

We made it to the home stretch!  So far, we’ve made 12 pages (6 front and back pages) for a quiet book: check out tutorials part 1, part 2, and part 3.  Now it’s time to put it all together and complete the project!

There are many ways to bind a quiet book.  You can use a combination of grommets, binder rings, ribbon, button holes… the sky is the limit!  I prefer a more kid-proof method, though, inspired by this post, where you sew the pages onto a binding which is then attached to the cover.  It may be a little more work, but it’s super sturdy and I don’t worry about it coming apart!  So let’s dive in and finish up this book so the kids can play with it.

Supplies:

  • 9″x3″ piece stiff fusible Pellon (like we used for the fabric postcard)
  • 10″x4″ fabric to cover Pellon
  • 2 pieces 21″x10″ fabric (can be the same or different)
  • 21″x10″ batting
  • 2 pieces 2″x5″ (again, can be the same or different)
  • 2″x5″ fusible interfacing
  • 1.5″ piece Velcro
  • 1 package jumbo rick rack (optional)
  • Coordinating thread

To create the binding, iron the Pellon into the center of the back of the 10″x4″ fabric.  Fold the edges back and sew around, tucking in the corners (first picture below).  Then turn it over and attach each page with a straight stitch, being sure to backstitch several times at the top and bottom (this is where the stitching will undergo the most stress).  You can see the first page attached in the middle below, then each subsequent page was about 1/2″ further to the right.  When you’re done, you’ll see it’s starting to look like a book!

Binding Collage

Left: The binding piece. Center: Attaching the first page. Right: Binding complete!

Once you’ve bound it, you need to make the cover.  Place one of the 21″x10″ pieces of fabric on top of the batting.  Lay your rick rack around the edge, lining it up with the edge (you can see, my choice of one-sided rick rack wasn’t the best… but it’s sort of a neat effect in the end).  The corners are a little tricky – this was my first time using rick rack in this type of application, so I folded and flipped at the corners.  If you’re more experienced, you probably have a better method!  Baste it in place a scant 1/4″ from the edge all the way around.  Then place the other 21″x10″ piece of fabric right side down and sew around the edge with 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ opening on one edge.  Clip the corners, turn right side out, and topstitch 1/4″ around the edge, folding the opening in before stitching it.  Then place the bound pages in the center of the cover and sew around the edge of the Pellon twice to secure (I found the zipper foot was handy, and had to go at it from an angle at some parts).  See the photos below for a visual:

Cover Collage

Left: Baste the rick rack onto the fabric (batting below). Center: Completed cover. Right: Outside of cover once bound pages have been attached.

To create the closure, iron the fusible interfacing to one of the 2″x5″ pieces of fabric; place the 2 pieces of 2″x5″ fabric right sides together and sew around 3 sides (leave a short side open).  Clip the 2 corners and turn right side out.  Roll the open edge into the tube you just created, and topstitch all the way around the piece 1/4″ from the edge.  Attach the hook piece of Velcro to the end of the tab.  Attach the other end of the tab to the center edge of the back cover (see photo below).  Sew the loop part of the Velcro onto the cover, at a 90 degree angle – this gives you some wiggle room for closing the book.  And that’s it!  Your quiet book is complete!  Now sit back and admire your work 🙂

Finished Product

Up-close photos of the closure are in the bottom right picture

I meant to add some applique to the front, maybe with the kids’ names or something, but quite honestly I got so excited about doing rick rack that I forgot!  I may come back with some puffy paints and add a design later, but for now I’m happy with the finished product.

I have armed you with the instructions – now go make a gorgeous quiet book for a special little someone in your life!

Quick links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Quiet Book, Part 3

We’ve done the first 4 pages of the quiet book so far (8 actual pages), so here is the last installment with the last 2 (really 4) pages!  Check out part 1 and part 2 for details on the prior pages.

The idea for the I spy page came in part from the teepee quiet book here.  I thought it would be fun to include more prints, so I just changed it up a little.  The matching page idea came from here, although I used magnets instead of velcro (not because it was quieter, but because it was easier!).  The zipper page was my own invention, because Monster is almost old enough to be doing zippers on his own, so I wanted him to have a chance to practice!  And the jellyfish inspiration came from this Etsy page, but I couldn’t buy the design because I don’t have an embroidery machine, so I just came up with my own simpler design.  So without further ado, here are the tutorials for the last 4 pages!

I Spy Page

Supplies:

  • Scraps of several print fabrics (can have a theme or not)
  • Heat N Bond
  • Scraps of felt
  • 9″x9″ background fabric
  • 9″x9″ fusible interfacing
  • Contrasting thread

Start off by ironing Heat N Bond to the back of the pieces of print fabric you want to use, and cut out your shapes.  I opted for rectangles, but you can do any shape you want.  Then remove the paper backing, place them on the 9″ square background fabric, and iron them in place.  Iron the interfacing on the back of the 9″ square fabric, and applique the print pieces on.  Then cut rectangles of felt large enough to cover each print piece, plus extra on one side for the “hinge.”  Stitch the felt pieces onto the 9″ square, securely because they’re going to get pulled on!  You can mix things up by changing the direction the doors open.  That’s about all there is to this page – your kiddo will have a blast finding the different characters you’ve hidden behind the doors!  See photo below for the finished product.

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I unintentionally ended up with a sort of animal theme (I know that yellow jackets and dinosaurs aren’t animals, but close enough, right?)

Matching Page

Supplies:

  • From a print fabric, 2 of each of your matching characters
  • 6 magnets
  • 24″ polyester cording
  • 6 felt circles, about 1.5″ diameter
  • 9″x9″ background fabric
  • 9″x9″ batting
  • Coordinating thread

Just like the I Spy page, iron Heat N Bond to the back of your characters, cut them out, and iron them to the 9″ background square (put one of each on the left and one of each on the right, mixed up).  Place the batting on the wrong side of the background fabric (it will act to stabilize it) and applique around the edges of your matching characters.  Then, heat up your hot glue gun and glue a magnet on the back of each of the characters on the left (see photo below).  While it’s heated up, glue the remaining three magnets between two of the felt circles.  Cut your polyester cord about 8″ long and carefully use a lighter to melt the ends to prevent unraveling.  Insert about 1/2″ of a cord into the space between the felt circles and stitch all the way around the edges (reinforce with extra stitches at the cord).  Repeat for the other 2.  Then stitch the other end of the cord securely to each of the characters on the page.

IMG_2697

Magnets on the right here mean they’re on the left on the front! You can see the back of my applique, too.

To create the page, pin the I Spy and Matching pages right sides together and stitch around the edge, leaving a 3″ opening.  Clip the corners, turn right side out, and topstitch around the edge with coordinating thread, and you’ll end up with this:

Page 5 Collage

Dinosaur says hello! And aren’t my monsters cute?

You’re in the home stretch!  1 more page to make!!

Unzip a Surprise Page

Supplies:

  • 7″ zipper
  • Highlight piece, about 6″x6″ (robot for me)
  • Heat N Bond
  • 2 5″x10″ and a 2.5″x10″ piece of fabric (orange for me)
  • 9″x9″ background fabric
  • 9″x9″ fusible interfacing
  • Coordinating thread

Iron the interfacing to the back of the background square.  Applique the highlight piece to your background fabric (don’t forget to attach it with Heat N Bond first).  Then you need to make the zipper and flaps to cover it up.  Sew each of the 5″x10″ pieces of fabric to the edge of the zipper, flatten, and topstitch on the right side (just like we did in the quilted triangle bag, but without the end pieces).  Then fold over the top edge of each side and stitch it down (including the end of the zipper).  Lay the 2.5″x10″ piece of fabric right side down, lined up with the bottom of the zipper.  Stitch it, being careful not to hit the metal stopper at the bottom of the zipper, fold it back and topstitch to secure (try to make it straighter than mine – haha).  Then lay the zipper piece over the background and surprise, with the zipper centered and the top hem about 1/2″-3/4″ from the top of the page.  Stitch 1/8″ from the edge of the page around the 3 sides where the layers overlap, and trim the excess off the zipper piece.

Robot Collage

Left: The robot surprise is appliqued on the background. Right: Completed zipper piece.

Jellyfish Page

Supplies:

  • Lots of scraps of ribbon, cut diagonally to 6″
  • 3″x7″ piece of fabric to make jellyfish body
  • 9″x9″ background fabric
  • 9″x9″ batting

Place the background fabric on the batting.  Lay out your ribbons the way you want them to be, and stitch in place.  Cut out a rounded jellyfish body shape (I didn’t provide a pattern because it will depend on how wide your ribbon line is).  Applique the jellyfish body onto the background, covering the stitches you used to hold the ribbons.  You may want to stitch the bottom edge of the jellyfish twice, because they’ll be tugged on!  I don’t recommend using Heat N Bond for this applique, as your ribbons can melt fromt he iron depending on the material – better safe than sorry!  That’s about it – this is a very simple page to make.

IMG_2701

Just a simple stitch to hold the ribbons. You can trim the excess at the top if you want.

Assemble the last page just like the others: place the two pages right sides together and stitch around the edge, leaving a 3″ opening.  Be careful not to stitch the top of the zipper flaps in the seam!  Clip the corners, turn right side out, and topstitch with coordinating thread (again, be careful not to sew down the flaps).

Page 6 Finished

The jellyfish provides fun sensory play, and the robot plays peek-a-boo!

We’re in the home stretch!  My final post will provide directions for making a cover and binding your quiet book, so stay tuned!

Quick links to Part 1, Part 2, and Binding/Covering

Quiet Book, Part 2

Here’s the 2nd of 3 posts for my quiet book pages!  If you want to take a peek at my first tutorial, check it out here (includes a parachute buckle page, bead abacus, balloon color matching and play telephone).

Another next page I knew I had to have in my quiet book is a marble maze.  I included one in each of my original quiet books, and knew I had to make one again – it’s such a fun way for the kids to practice their fine motor skills (it’s also one of the easiest pages to make!).  After that, I came up with the idea to make a two-page spread with train tracks and a “station” to park a train for my train-obsessed boy.  Technically, this is a removable part, but the train will not belong to the book, it will just be the one we grab on the way out.  As a side note, the measurements for the train page work for the standard wooden trains with the magnets; they may not fit the longer/larger Thomas trains.  And the 4th page in this post is a frog who “catches” bugs with his tongue, using snaps.  Let’s dive on in!

Train Tracks Page (2-page spread)

Supplies:

  • 2 yd thin black ribbon
  • 2 4″x4.5″ pieces of fabric (train theme optional)
  • About 15″x2″ piece of brown fabric
  • 2 9″x9″ squares green fabric
  • 2 9″x9″ squares batting
  • Coordinating thread
  • Heat N Bond

Rather than use interfacing to stabilize and strengthen the fabric for these pages, I just used the batting that I was going to use between the pages anyway – saved a little work, weight, and money!  So the first step is to lay your green 9″ squares on top of your batting 9″ squares.  Then you need to make your train pocket.  Fold over and iron 1/4″ at the top (the 4″ side) of each of the 4″x4.5″ pieces, then stitch in place.  I used a zigzag, but straight is fine too.  Then place them right sides together and sew around the other 3 sides.  Measure 1/2″ square from the seam in each of the two bottom corners and cut it out (see photo below).  Open up the holes to make the seams match up and sew them to make a flat bottom (exactly how I explained for the paper bag in my felt lunch post).  Then pin the train pouch to the bottom corner of the page (at least 1/2″ from the edges for seam allowance and topstitching) and sew it on.

Pouch Collage

First: Hem top, sew around the other 3 edges, and cut squares 1/2″ from each seam. Second: After sewing the bottom corners. Third: Sew the pouch to the page. Fourth: Completed pouch with train.

Now it’s time to make your tracks.  Add Heat N Bond to the back of your brown fabric and cut it into 1/2″x2″ strips.  I used 28, but you may use more or less depending on how you place them.  Once you’ve placed them the way you like, peel off the paper and iron them onto your green squares (again, remember that you’ll lose some of the green to seam allowances and binding the book).  I didn’t worry about stitching each one partly because I’m lazy – who wants to sew 28 railroad ties?? – and partly because the ribbon tracks will provide some stability anyway.  Speaking of tracks, it’s time to pin it on!  Pin the black ribbon along the ties, making the tracks about 1″ apart.  At the ends where they meet the train pouch, fold over the ribbon and sew it to keep it from unraveling; the ends that go off the page will get sewed into the seam, so you can just cut those.  Then use black thread to sew a stitch along each of the tracks (zigzag would be great, but I just used a straight stitch).  Just leave the “tails” of the tracks for now, you’ll cut them later.

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Pinning the tracks on

 

Marble Maze Page

Supplies:

  • Marble (or button or glass bead, like you’d put in  the bottom of a vase)
  • 2 9″x9″ squares of solid color fabric
  • Contrasting thread
  • Maze Patterns (or you can make your own)

This is quite possibly the easiest page ever to put together.  Draw your maze pattern on one of the 9″ squares (it won’t show, so just use a pen or pencil), keeping in mind that your marble/button/bead has to fit through the maze pretty easily.  Then place the other 9″ square under the one you drew on and sew with contrasting thread along the maze lines.  Before you seal your maze off, don’t forget to insert your marble!  Use the applique method to tie off the ends of your stitching so it doesn’t come undone.  And that’s pretty much it!  Your maze will come out backwards from how you drew it, but that doesn’t really matter.  The pattern above includes a simple back-and-forth maze and a more complex one with a couple dead ends.

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You can see the button in the dead end towards the bottom.

Frog Catching Bugs Page

Supplies:

  • Frog Pattern
  • Green fabric for frog
  • White and black fabric scraps for details
  • 2.25″x7″ red fabric
  • 3 small sew-on snaps
  • 9″x9″ fabric square, bug pattern if possible (if not, you can make some little bugs out of felt)
  • 9″x9″ interfacing
  • Heat N Bond
  • 2 black buttons
  • Coordinating thread

Start by cutting out the frog body in green, eyes in white, and mouth in black.  Attach pieces to Heat N Bond.  Iron the 9″ fabric square and interfacing together, and iron the frog and details onto the front.  Applique around the edges of he frog, eyes, and mouth (for a reminder about technique for the corners, click here).  Then hand-sew the male part of the 3 snaps to bugs on the background fabric, the buttons for the eyes, and one female part of the snap onto the right side of the end of one of the red strips.  Place the two red strips right sides together and sew up the side, rounding around the snap (using the zipper foot may come in handy here), and down the other side, leaving the end open.  Turn right side out, tuck the raw edges at the bottom inside the tongue and topstitch 1/8″ from the edge around the seam.  Attach the tongue to the frog’s mouth by stitching back and forth several times – and now he’s ready to catch some bugs!

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He has crazy eyes in this picture because the flash caught his button eye! See the snaps sewed on the bees?

Assemble your pages the same as described in part one of the quiet book tutorial: place the pages right sides together (in this case, just make sure you don’t put the two train pages together because you want them to face one another), stitch around the edges leaving a 3″ opening on the binding side, clip the corners (and extra train tracks), turn right side out, and topstitch around the edge with coordinating thread.  The frog and puzzle finished pages are above, and here’s the train:

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Ready for a little boy (or girl) to play!

Stay tuned for the third installment of quiet book pages, followed by making a cover and binding!

Quick links to Part 1, Part 3, and Binding/Covering