a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Quiet Book Pages: Will You Allow Me One More --- Sorta Final Finale to This Project?

A few posts ago I reported on a blog I found using old baby clothes to make a cute quiet book. I think I said, at the time, they were so cute I would probably have to make some.

Here is the site:


And . . .

Here is my excuse for making more pages. I have two friends that want to make quiet books for their two young grandsons but, and this is a big but, neither sew nor craft --- nor do they want to learn.

Another big but is --- they really, really want these books and I won't make them for them.

I found some simple "boy" pages, modified them to make them even easier to do, and am helping them.I don't care if they never do anything crafty again, and I don't expect them to become seamstress-es but I am excited to report they are learning to hand overcast and sew on buttons. I strongly feel it is is important for everyone to know how to do these basics (and maybe a couple more).

 I am Simply, Gail simply doing my part to try to make that happen. . .
and enjoying the process.

The original blog (check it out above, used a onesie for the shirt.  This shirt is
cut from heavy Pellon with the collar (and buttons you can't see under the tie) drawn on with permanent marker.
Polly, from the above site,  has made her double-sided ties out of stiffened t-shirt fabric.  I used 2 different patterns/pieces of felt to make my reversible ties, making it  easier for my friends. I will have them overcast the top part of the tie to securely enclose the magnet because it is a (funny) challenge to sew that part on the machine because the magnet keeps sticking itself to the metal part of the machine.

Polly stacked her ties on top of one another in the book.  I cut the pants from a piece of felt and left the waist open so the ties tuck in there when not in use.

Note: I have them hand overcast stitch any parts when they don't want to use the sewing machine, which is getting them used to the machine because it is so much quicker!

We cut the bottom off this long-sleeve onesie  to fit the page and used a zig-zag stitch
around the edgesleaving the front section of the neck open and the sleeves loose.

Hands were made from a double thickness of felt, overcast around the edges and stitched inside
the bottom of the sleeves. The play-ee can patty cake with the hands, or fold the arms to pray.

With this next page the onesie was too large for the page so we used just the front part and cut it down to fit. We cut the sleeves off and slipped them underneath the front after it was cut down to size. This shirt has the addition of snaps for another learning activity.  You could have something inside if you wanted. She hasn't added the hands yet.

I hadn't realized I had the cute applique covered in the above picture. So, just for the fun of it,
I am printing it again.

Boy baby clothes have come a long way since our boys were born in the 60's and 70's!
I found several really cute ones at the thrift store --- enough to add this type of page
to all 12 of the books I am making.

I found a just for "boys" quiet book site for my friends Barb and Shauna. It has some very cute and quite elaborate pages.


I made the tool box from that site with the following changes:

  • I used sticky-backed craft foam letters from the Dollar Tree (124 letters in 4 different colors). They are sticky enough that they are almost impossible to move once they are placed on the felt so be careful when you place them. In spite of that, I still hand stitched them also.
  • Instead of felt I used, again from the Dollar Tree, 4x6 inch foam sheets (32 sheets, six colors in each package).  I made them double thickness and since the glue didn't hold them together as much as I wanted I hand-stitched them together.  I think I will still try felt --- either the stiff kind or the stiff sticky back kind, but then again, those cost a lot more! And I will probably still feel I have to sew them "to be sure".
  • I wanted something else to fill the space on the page so I Googled "free clip art 6 inch ruler," selected the one I wanted and printed it (as many times as I could get on a page since I need 12 plus those for my friends) on colored card stock.  I enclosed the ruler in a section of a page protector and stitched around it, making sure to round off the corners.  I think I will take the remaining 12 rulers to Staples office supply and have them laminated!
  • I attached the ruler with a brad so it can be moved back and forth on the page.
  • And, purely serendipity, the ruler, when moved down over the tools will help them stay in the tool box!
I think my eyes must see crooked!  Have you noticed how almost every
page is slightly (or not so slightly) off kilter?

Finally (have you heard that before on this blog site?) I happened on a couple of other sites that
I adapted. I always like to give credit when I can but unfortunately 1)  I can't remember where I found 
the original ones and 2) I have changed them so much they probably would not be recognizable. The pieces, on both pages, are simple enough to cut without patterns. And Barb sewed  both of these. 

The original was a regular truck with a felt truck bed and big felt wheels you buttoned onto big black buttons. It did have a pile of dirt, fastened to a cord,  you could remove from the truck.  

We made ours a dump truck.  
  • We used plastic craft canvas for the body to 1) eliminate some sewing and 2) to add some texture.  
  • We made it "dump" by securing the back corner with a brad.  
  • The brad at the front of the truck bed is to (try) to keep the front of the bed from dropping down.
  • The wheels are each cut (and sewn) from double thickness of stiff felt.  
  • Instead of having them button on, we wanted them to turn.  Originally we were just going to use brads.  Husband Dave came up with the idea of having the brads go through metal washers.  Genius!!! They added so much. 
  • But, as usual, even though the fit was good, I was afraid the brad would somehow slip through the washer so we used gray thread and overcast stitched the washers to the page before adding the brad.  I think the stitching added even more to the look. 
  • The dirt load is a double thickness of brown embossed felt with the end of the cord sandwiched between the two pieces. The other end is securely sewn under the back wheel.
  • The dirt pile is a single piece of the embossed felt.
  • The cab has the window hole cut out.  Barb drew the steering wheel on a piece of card stock a little larger than the hole, covered it with a piece of page protector and stitched it to the back side of the window hold.
  • We added the same sun that I had used on the earlier barn with animal finger puppets page.

Barb's grandson has three older brothers. She wanted to make them a part of the book. This is what we came up with.  Instead of looking a lot like windows as they had on the original page we found, Barb
wanted to make it bright and basic.  Each of the three top window flaps lifts up to show a pocket (cut from page protectors) that will hold a photo of one of the brothers. The large window on the bottom opens from the middle to show mom and dad. When little Kashton opens the door ---- he will be there!

Barb did almost all of this herself. I sewed the inside section on the door (it was needed to
cover the stitching of the letters and heart) and sewed on the doorknob. 
I apologize for the crazy formatting that is showing up with some of the sentences.  I am too tired to try any longer to fix them and I want to get this posted in case any of you are trying to get a book done for the

I'm not sure what my schedule will be the next couple of weeks but I will be back on my regular Friday schedule after the first of the year, if not before.

Wishing Peace on Earth to everyone at this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Linda K said...

Using the brads and plastic canvass is a super idea. I'm going to give this a try!

Simply, Gail said...

Months later: NOTICE to anyone using brads on a quiet book page. Recently our almost two year old granddaughter was able to grasp the head of the brad and as she pulled on it, it straightened the "arms" of the brad. I don't know if it would have pulled all the way out but I would not want to take a chance. I would suggest some hot glue, super glue, or thread wraps under/around the arms to prevent that from happening. It is a fun page. I had no idea it would do that. Sorry. And, thanks to Linda K for her comments.