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The Quiet Book Tutorial - Part II

By Vicky Mallinson

Hi again! It’s Vicky here from Last week I gave you a little sneak preview of the Photo Album Baby Quiet Book I have been making. Hopefully that post filled you with inspiration and you're now ready to start making your own! They're lots of fun to make - each quiet book page is like a little mini artwork.

Like most things in life (decorating a room, dressing yourself), designing a good quiet book page is all about layers and details. Each page becomes more interesting the more elements there are to it - if there is a flap, can you put something interesting behind it so baby is rewarded when she lifts it up? And how about adding some crinkle to the flap for added sensory fun? Perhaps some buttons sewn on (of course make sure these are sewn down very firmly and don't leave baby alone with the book) will be fun for her to poke and will add further visual interest.

Last week I covered the materials you should gather to get ready to start your own quiet book. Here is a recap, along with some suggestions of where to buy them:

    • Choose a template to use to create each page - I used a book that was about the right size for what I wanted (around 10” square) and traced this onto card so I could cut each page to the same size.
    • Fabric for the photo pages - a simple solid colour or linen is great for this. The piece I used was from the John Lewis remnant bin so I'm not sure what it is! But something like this would be lovely too for your baby quiet book.

  • Fusible interfacing to stiffen the pages
  • Cotton or polyester batting/wadding (used to line quilts) to add weight to the pages
  • 8 different printed cottons for the activity pages (or you can use the same print for all the activity pages, or use just a few). It's nice to have some sort of theme to your fabrics. In general, mine all tone in with the print on my photo page linen fabric.
  • Felt in various shades (you can get packs of felt on eBay - it’s worth buying wool felt as it will last longer)
  • Bias trim in a fun shade (I have used two different shades of polka-dot as you can see in the photos)
  • Felt shapes. I really really recommend buying some of these ready-made (loads of pre-cut felt shapes available on eBay) as they are cheap to buy and will look MUCH nicer than shapes cut yourself (well, they look much nicer than shapes I cut myself!).  Here are some cute ones I found on eBay.

  • Clear PVC table cloth - you only need about 1/4 meter of this. I bought mine from John Lewis.
  • Various trims for the activity pages: buttons, ricrac, ribbon, elastic, beads etc.
  • Any squeakers, mirrors, crinkly paper etc. you can steal from old baby toys (or charity shop finds) (see my post here about tips on saving money on your baby crafts)
  • Press studs like these from Prym
  • Eyelets like these from Prym
  • Fabric glue

Now that we have all our materials together, let's get started!

1. First, decide how many pages you want to have in your quiet book. I have 6 pages plus a front cover and back cover. That means I have 8 pages / 16 sides to decorate in total. It makes for quite a thick book (and a reasonable amount of work!), but that's how I wanted it. I think you would want at least 2-3 pages plus the covers for your book.

 2. Using your cardboard template cut the pages that will be the photo pages from your plain or simple print linen/fabric. Trace around the template onto your fabric with a vanishing fabric pen (or a normal pen if you're lazy like me - just make sure you trace onto the wrong side of your fabric if using a normal pen) and cut out. If you're making a book with 8 pages in total, cut 8 x your template.

3. In the same, manner, cut 8 x pages from your printed cottons.

4. Now for the binding: cut 2 x rectangular strips the same length as the height of your pages and with a width of about 2/2.5 inches (depending how many pages you are going to have - the more pages, the wider your binding needs to be).

5. With all the fabric cut, we now need to reinforce them using the iron-on fusible interfacing. Lay all your pages right side down and lay over the interfacing with the fusible/shiny side (this is where the glue is) down, facing the fabric. I tend to do this on my kitchen island with a tea towel underneath as this is a larger surface than an ironing board (and saves me having to haul out the ironing board). Lay another damp tea towel over the interfacing (I haven't shown this in the photo below so you can see the layers) and slowly press the iron over the fabrics, leaving it in place for 10-15 seconds before moving onto the next section. The combination of heat and steam will bond the fabrics together.

6. Repeat for all of your fabric pages and the two binding pieces.

7. You're now ready to start decorating the pages! I always find it useful to lay out all of my pages together and start laying out how I'm going to decorate each page. This way you can make sure the book works together nicely and each page is interesting visually and interactively.

Join me next week when I will show you how to sew the front and back cover quiet book pages of the Photo Album Baby Quiet Book!

I'd love to know if any of you are going to make your own baby quiet book using this guide? And as always I am here to help or answer any questions!

Quiet Book Part 1

Quiet Book Part 3

Quiet Book Part 4

by Vicky Mallison from The Nursery Project

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