Felt Quiet Book #2

I made this quiet book for Elijah – the first baby of my dear friend Tess. Tess and I have been friends since 1996, so I wanted to give her first born something special at his baptism. Elijah is insanely cute. His default expression is a huge smile and it warms my heart to be near him.

This quiet book is quite different from my first quiet book as it a gift to a baby (rather than a toddler). I included more sensory materials in this book and avoided adding parts that could come out and be eaten.

I used Elijah’s name as inspiration for the book. Each letter of his name is on each page. It was too difficult creating interesting pages starting with each letter, so instead I just used words for pages that included the letter.

Here is the plan I made for the quiet book.

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Similar to the previous quiet book, I cut out all the felt pieces and then more backgrounds.

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And then came the fun part – putting it all together.

IMG_6653 IMG_6654This was a modified page from my original quiet book. Instead of the shapes being removable, I sewed one side of the shapes down and fastened a sensory bead of a matching colour underneath.

IMG_6655I didn’t sew the flowers down around the edges so they can be touched and manipulated. Buttons create the flower centres.

IMG_6656 IMG_6657I loved the camping page so much the first time that I put it in this book too.

IMG_6658I created loops of the yarn underneath the jellyfish blobs and sewed it really well so there’s no chance of the yarn coming loose.

IMG_6659 IMG_6660Another cutie cat. This time the fur was cut in the opposite direction. Because of this, it will feel much more furry when it is stroked.

IMG_6661 IMG_6662There has always been a fascination between children and phones. I found it interesting that an iPhone is more recognisable with having little coloured squares than it is with numbers on it! The denim is an off-cut from some pants I hemmed for my father.

IMG_6663 IMG_6664Much like the tent, the box can open but does not have anything inside. I am sure Elijah will find a little keep sake to store in the box.

IMG_6665 IMG_6666I love this page! The rocket can move along the cord to the moon. I also discovered a sewing function on my machine where I could make little ‘craters’ on the moon.

IMG_6667 IMG_6668I was originally going to create vegetables, but instead I made the last minute decision to make a glove. I’m very happy with the glove and am interested to see if Elijah is willing to put his hand in it…

IMG_6669 IMG_6670 IMG_6671I have been crocheting since 2006. Over the years I have made many projects and collected many yarns. I remember one day in high school driving 30 minutes out of town to spend $50 on yarn (a lot of money when you’re only earning $8.20 an hour at McDonalds!). It’s difficult to see in the photos, but I used decorative stitches to fasten the yarns. This was for two reasons; 1 – because the complex stitches would be really secure and 2 – because they are pretty. I sewed one of the clouds down only partially so it could reveal the gold at the end of the rainbow.

IMG_6672 IMG_6673I can’t decide whether this baby face is cute or scary. I gave him a huge mouth because then his teeth would be much easier to brush. Hopefully the big eyes attract Elijah and gets proactive in dental hygiene.

IMG_6674 IMG_6675 IMG_6676As this was my second attempt at a quiet book, I started trusting myself to create my own patterns. I think these animals are adorable. They also have the potential to encourage discussions about whether it is ethical to have animals in a circus (it’s never to early to learn, right?!). Let’s just call it future planning…

IMG_6677I have had these beads since I was a very young girl. I remember never wanting to use them because I thought they were so beautiful and couldn’t be wasted. FINALLY they have a purpose! I fastened the strings down really well by winding the cotton into little balls and sewing them down from all directions. The only way those beads are coming off is if the string is cut.

IMG_6678I added some fun sensory strings to these balloons to make them more interesting.

IMG_6679This page will hopefully be used in conjunction with a little toy car.

On a side note, I feel as though this page has some political energy as I was listening to an interview with the ambassador of Canada, Ken Taylor, telling the story of what really happened inside the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iranian revolution. If Argo got your attention, I strongly recommend this interview.

IMG_6680 IMG_6681For the final page I created cute little chickens to go in eggs.

After completing all the pages I need to create the cover. I wanted to highlight the focus of Elijah’s name, so I sewed it to the cover. I love the way hand sewing looks on letters.

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I had to add all the tricky bits to the cover before sewing the two pieces of fabric together. I carefully measured out the positions of the inner loops and fastened them in place.

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I also created a little message to put on the back cover. Below are some photos of my machine programmed to sew the date onto the fabric.

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Finally I could complete the cover and my masterpiece was done.

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I am just as happy to pass this book on to its new home. I look forward to exploring this book with Elijah and seeing his happiness grow.

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Felt Quiet Book #1

Not long ago I caught up with a good friend of mine. Seeing her with her two beautiful girls and delightful partner, I felt inspired to create them something beautiful. My friend has always appreciated my crafts and I new I could make her family something that would be very loved.

Many hours spent on Pinterest has exposed me to the concept of quiet books. Quiet books are made predominantly from felt and feature interactive fabric pages. Some pages may include fastenings (such as zips, buttons, velcro, press studs, etc.) while others may include sensory materials (such as fur, ribbon, yarn, etc.). The prospect of endless opportunities, educational fun and beautiful needlework really appealed to me, so with this in mind I started planning.

A lot of my inspiration came from quiet book pages I have pinned to my Pinterest board. First I drew a basic sketch of each page and then noted what type of interactive fastening each page would use (see grid to the right). I then redrew the grid (on the left) and wrote a list of each of the components I would need for the page.

Planning

After gathering my resources at Spotlight I set to work cutting out the elements for each of the pages. This was definitely the most chaotic part of the project. I deliberately cut out all the pieces in one sitting so I could easily return to this project over the following weeks with ease.

I am so lucky to have a great collection of vintage fabrics to use as the pages themselves. I bought a piece of 12x12inch scrapbooking page to use as a template and carefully cut and ironed each of the pages. After allocating the fabric pages to the felt pieces that would go them I was ready to commence sewing.

Here are the pages that feature in this beautiful book:

Fish Fish2

Fish3

There is a little (but well-secured) magnet inside the fishing hook and a safety pin inside each of the fish. The cake pop rod can be used to fish and the boat has been left with an opening to contain the catch of the day. The fish and hook have been sewed by hand (as opposed to by machine). I love sewing by hand because it gives me the chance to put a lot of love and good energy into whatever I am creating.

ApplesApples2Apples3

The pattern for this page can be found on this blog. Part of my love for sewing comes from the stories behind the fabrics. This background fabric was part of Nan’s collection and was used in the first successful dress I made myself. The hessian basket is material I bought to create the decorations for my wedding.

I was a little hesitant using press studs as I am very conscious of safety, however being my first quiet book I thought I should give it a try. I sewed each stud in very securely and lined the felt with interfacing to avoid the possibility of it coming loose from the fabric.

Mail Mail2

Mail3 Mail4

I’m so lucky to have such a great sewing machine. I don’t think my mother could have anticipated just how many projects I would be inspired to make because of it. My machine, the Janome Memory Craft 4900, allows me to program in text. This is one of the Easter eggs of the project as it has allowed to me to write directly to the recipients. The template for this page can be found here.

Shapes Shapes2

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Each of these shapes have velcro and can be taken off and put back in their correct places. The fabric of this page was bought and used for apron Christmas gifts for some friends two years ago. Another page another story…

Tent Tent2
Tent3I believe the background from this page came from my soon-to-be mother-in-law. I love the way in emanates nighttime in such a beautiful way. The little person inside the tent has had a pipe cleaner sewn into him to allow him to move around. I also made the last minute decision to give him removable undies.

Treasure Treasure2I used a real padlock in this page because  I remembered my own fascination of playing with ‘big people stuff’ when I was a child. Again, conscious of safety I attached the key securely to the page and hid the sewing under a little stone. The sharks allow the background to look much less floral and much more underwater. I can only image that this treasure chest will hold many more treasures in the years to follow…

Puzzle Puzzle2I wanted each puzzle piece to have something on it and found some great online inspiration. I mounted the puzzle in a felt frame to complete the look. The velcro circles are remnants from my teaching internship. I used all of the grabby side of the velcro on wall displays and have finally found a use for the softer side.

Fridge Fridge2

Fridge3Fridge4Here you can undo the button to open the fridge and make yourself a vegetarian sandwich. I had a lot of fun designing the food and putting the sandwich together for the first time. As I made each page of this book I thought about just how much I would have loved it as a child.

Whenever I make something I always think about who it is for and whether or not the recipient will appreciate all the love that has gone into it. Sometimes I feel as though so much has gone into it that I will struggle to give it away. This project has been the total opposite of the latter thought. I am so excited to pass this on and see it appreciated by such deserving people.

Garden Garden2

Garden carrots Garden onion Garden beets

This was one of the most labour intensive pages as each vegetable and sign required sewing by hand. It was all worth it though – I’m very happy with the result.

Barn Barn2 Barn3

I love everything about this page – from the way the background compliments the barn, to the vintage lace that softens the landscape, to the adorable little finger puppets. I found the pattern online, but added my own touch by incorporating the lace. I like to think about the future of this page, for example what will the animals be called? Which one will be the favourite? Will they visit the other pages in the book?

Cupcakes Cupcakes2
Cupcakes3This page is to encourage numerical understanding. The icing of each cupcake has the correlating number of beads as the number on its cake. They icing is attached with velcro and can be taken of and reattached much like the shapes page.

Toolbox Toolbox2

Toolbox3I am very passionate about avoiding gender stereotypes. Many of the quiet book blogs I visited had books “great for boys” for “ideal for girls”. I refuse to accept that you should or shouldn’t be exposed to different things because of your physical gender. Some of the books for girls even had pages where you could put washing on the line, or match socks as they came out of a clothes dryer!

To put it anthropomorphically, my quiet book does not have a gender. I chose the pages I did because they seemed the most fun and the most engaging.

Cat Cat2I love cats. There was no doubt there would be a little kitty in this quiet book. The fur I used was bought for my 19th birthday party costume, the eyes came from a possum I crocheted for a school I was working at, and the ribbon came from the cake bags my Nan sewed for my parent’s wedding.

WordsWords2

Words3Words4The final page of this book is very literacy based. I included all the letters necessary to write Mummy, Daddy, Ruby and Audrey, with each of the vowels being pink. Each of the letters have velcro attached so they can be moved around. Not only are you able to write the four original words, but you can also make a variety of other words.

Cover - frontCover - backI used a thicker material for the cover so the inside pages would be more supported. There is a velcro tab that fastens the cover together.

At the time of making this blog post, I haven’t received my order of metal hinged rings. The rings will go through each of the eyelets in the pages and bind the book together.

I was so happy with the product that I did not want to stop. I decided that with all the little bits and pieces, cleaning up would be a lot easier if everything could be thrown into a bag and sorted out later. With this in mind I found some of Nan’s strongest material and made a bag. I am so happy with the bag that if I weren’t about to move to Canada I would make a replica for myself.

Bag Bag2 Bag3

For the first time in my life, I kept a log of my time spent working on this project. All up it took 40 hours (spread over two weeks). While I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, it is a great relief to have completed it. So much thought and care has gone into this production. I can’t imagine ever selling my work because I’m uncomfortable with putting a price on my love and energy.

I can’t wait to give this quiet book to my friend and see it brought to life through her children.