Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Quiet Book, part 5 - The Cover

Each quiet book page was 14 x 9". It was then folded in half to make 7 x 9". I had five pages total. Fold those in half, you have 10. Use each side you have 20. Put it all together, it's really thick. For that reason, I made a strip of white fabric + batting that was about 9" tall and 3 or 4 inches wide. I sewed each of the 5 pages to this white strip as a book binding. To the back of my binding, I sewed three home-made buttons. For the cover, I sewed a 30" sport zipper around one piece of my cover. I used a second piece of fabric and sewed it right-sides-together to make a lining. Then I made 3 button holes in the center of it. It keeps it on my book, but lets me take it off for washing. I used Shrinky Dink plastic to make the buttons. I wanted big buttons, but didn't want to pay $4 a button. I traced an enlarged picture of my fabric onto the buttons and colored it. I shrunk it at coated it with Mod Podge because my markers kept smearing.
I didn't really need such special buttons for the book. I could probably have found something that would work just fine. I was really just playing around after seeing a fun tutorial about homemade buttons.

I hope, if you're wanting to make a quiet book, that you found something inspiring in my posts. It's certainly a labor of love. But seeing them love it makes it all worth it - at least it did for me.

The Quiet Book, part 4 - The rest of the pages

This is one page I know my son won't be able to do for a while. I figure he has plenty of fun un-doing the shoe, so that's okay. You can buy eyelets that you can hammer in.
There's a zipper pouch that holds the numbers and 10 Velcro spots for each of the numbers. I embroidered the numbers on the squares, but you could write them on as well. My favorite part of this page was finding a fat quarter of fabric with numbers on it.
I know my grocery bag doesn't look very much like the ones in the store. I was using up scraps. My son loves this page. He calls the drumstick "meat!" He's also confused about peas. I think most parents probably have to deal with that homophone at some point.

This page doesn't work as well as I want. The cars are supposed to look like they're moving back and forth. They are attached to a ribbon. I can get them to move, but my two-year old can't. Maybe someday.

I have to thank the Purl Bee for the fish on this one. I've used them before here. You can find the link to the pattern here.
I thought I was nicer taking the sheep from their pen and putting them out to graze than going the opposite direction.
Since my son can't read, I outlined each shape so he could match them. He got them all right the first time through. He loves his shapes. The other day he impressed my husband's aunt with his knowledge of a "crescent" shape. What a kid.

The Quiet Book, part 3, Thanks, Mom

I grew up looking at my mom's quiet book. She made it for her firstborn and it passed through to each child that followed. I stole from her to make these pages:
There is a little square of Velcro over the head. You just want to make sure you put the other half of the Velcro in the right spot on the hat to make it look like the head is wearing it.The flowers stick on with Velcro. My mom used buttons for the centers of her flowers. It made a nice bit of extra texture. I had plans to make the flowers fancier, but never got to it.
The dog is made from the back side of a piece of leather. The back isn't furry like a dog, but it has a nice soft finish that will endure the rubs of many little fingers.

The sand is sand paper. I thought I would have to pre-poke the holes, but I didn't. You might have to if you have thick paper.
The buttons are obviously buttons.

The duck is made of felt underneath. Then I lightly glued and stitched a few feathers on the body
The tail detaches. I tried a few things to get a fluffier tail, but gave up and just did this.

My mom deserves more than thanks for these pages. She pretty much gave me all my crafty genes and taught me a lot to get me started. So....Thanks, Mom. I love you.

the Quiet Book, part 2 - Burda Help

I bought Burda pattern 7839 to help me get started on my quiet book. It's good I only paid a dollar or two for the pattern because I didn't really use it. These three pages are based on pages from that pattern, so I'd feel guilty not giving them some credit.
The clock hands are pieces of felt with a few layers of interfacing to keep them stiff. Then a hole is poked in the end a button is used to keep the hands attached but still free to spin.The apples are attached with snaps. The top of the basket is open to hold the apples.I tried to find some kind of non-choking, non-breaking clothespins for the line, but couldn't. The clothes just hang magically thanks to Velcro pieces.

The Quiet Book, part 1 - A Labor of Love

I am, by nature, a finisher. I don’t like to owe someone something, be behind in something, or see something incomplete taking up space in my house. Knowing this about myself, I stick to small projects. I have to keep it small enough that I can get it done before I lose interest, and before something else comes up.

This project went against the norm. It took a year to complete. It probably really only took 3 months of work, but I’d lose the excitement in working on it and put it away for long periods of time. I finally gave myself a deadline of Christmas so I would feel a little extra pressure to just get it done. I couldn't stand looking at the box of "unfinished" shame.

The quiet book.

I could type for hours about this book, but I’ll limit myself to showing you the pictures, and giving some advice.

The advice:

1. Start with a plan. Decide on the size you want. Pick the fabric you plan to use for the pages. Draw/copy a design for all your pages. Buy the supplies you’ll need. Etc.

This really is the most important step. I spent a few months just coming up with a plan. It was nice to have some ideas swimming around in my head as I went to the craft store for other things. I came up with all kinds of ideas, but there are only so many supplies you can find out there. It’s nicer to change your plans before you have half the page done.

2. Heat ‘n Bond is hard to hand sew. I had to use a thimble. Even then, I had really sore fingers. I've heard Wonder Under is easier on machines to sew. Maybe it's true for hands too.

3. Use felt that has some wool in it. The acrylic stuff is too easy to stretch out. I found a bunch of 4x4 squares of a bunch of different colors on ebay. Using some interfacing between the felt shapes is a bit tedious, but helps keep the felt from stretching as well.

4. Consider the final thickness. I took into account 10 layers of lightweight batting. I didn’t take into account all the felt, Velcro, fabric and buttons. My book turned out really fat. I had to make the cover snug just to squish it down a little.

5. Think about what you want for a cover. I wanted mine to zip so that I could keep loose pieces from falling out. I also thought a cover that could detach for washing would come in handy.

6. Test any fabric markers you want to use. I made a few of my pages based on the fact that I had purchased a white paint fabric marker. When it came time to write, the paint was thin and didn’t cover well.

7. Use the internet, and steal responsibly. There are a good number of people who have posted their quiet book pages. You can steal ideas from them. They want you to. You can also use the internet to look up pictures to help you know how to draw the pictures you need. Just be sure to watch the copyrights and stuff.

8. I have one other area of disappointment for my book that I don't have a solution for. I like my handwriting when I write assignments for school or letters to a friend. I don't like it for permanent things. It was even worse for this project because it's tricky to write well on fabric. If you know this about yourself, consider some kind of print out and iron-on solution. I wish I had.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Shirt Painting Fun

After having so much fun making this shirt, I thought I'd play around some more with fabric paint and dress up a few onesies while experimenting with freezer paper. I have been hearing about it and wanted to try it out.

Freezer paper is available at the grocery store. It's located next to the tin foil and plastic wrap. It's also cheaper than I expected. I got 150 feet for just over $5, and I'm pretty sure it's going to last me my whole life.

You can link to this blog to get some specifics on how to use freezer paper.

I started out by finding a few pictures I wanted to use. I traced them onto the freezer paper and then made a stencil by cutting out pieces with an exacto knife.

You can then peel the backing off the freezer paper and stick it on the shirt. Iron it on according to the directions on the box.
I just used a sponge to apply a thin layer of fabric paint to the onesie. Now you can see how this...(the freezer paper is super easy to peel off, by the way)
becomes this. And this....becomes this....
My only regret is that I used bigger sized onesies and have to wait until summer to have my baby wear them!