Sunday, January 9, 2011

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.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and read ALL the archives! I found your tutorial for the crochet headband from a google search and just kept reading because all your stuff is so CUTE!