In my previous post, I told you the whole sordid story about how my Quiet Book came to be. I showed each page spread there, but didn’t go into detail about the individual pages. So here is the page-by-page breakdown, with a description of activities for the kiddos on each page, my favorite pages, and the places where my vision didn’t quite come together on the page (to put it nicely). Luckily felt is very forgiving.
I hope people get ideas from this, or at least pick up some tips about what worked well for me and what not to do. Again, some of my pages were adapted from the blogosphere. Most are from the book 26 Lively Letters. A few others are from the A-B-C 1-2-3 Craft Book. Both are older books that you might be able to find used as they are likely out of print.
C is for Clock — the hands spin around. (such a classic page for Quiet Books, but I did get the idea for the mouse from another blogger, whose page I can no longer find now). I was proud of how this turned out, even with the unique colors. I also learned how to do some rudimentary embroidery on this page too. That was another benefit of the Quiet Book, the chance to learn some new crafting skills.
E is for Earth — The Earth is a four piece puzzle that you can assemble with velcro. This is one of my unique page ideas. I used free clip art for the Earth shape, which like most of the pictures I made, I traced onto regular printer paper, pinned it to felt, and then cut it out. I must have been quite tired when planning this page, because I made the water green and the continents blue. Go figure. I should have put a red star to identify the state we live in — maybe will add that later. Please note: the puzzle is not assembled correctly in this photo.
F is for Flowers — the flower petals button on and off and can be stored in the flower pot. This type of buttoning practice is apparently good for developing fine motor skills and practical life skills too.
H is for Hair — you can style the little girl’s hair, which is made of yarn. I wish I had added a little felt basket or something to hold barrettes and hair clips for this page. This was actually one of the first pages I made. I still have about 48 leftover googly eyes. I see how you quickly develop craft clutter. Gotta find something to make with those remaining eyes. I is for Igloo and Inuit — You have to rebuild the igloo by attaching the felt brick pieces to the background via velcro. I found inspiration for this page along with other amazing pages here, but decided to include an Inuit in the doorway (not an Eskimo, folks, though apparently there is still some debate about the appropriate name). I’ve noticed how many stories about Africa feature animals as main characters and act like the people there are invisible. I didn’t want to do the same thing here, so I added a person instead of a penguin. I’m so proud of that shearling coat, I can’t even tell you. Also, the original page was in a different language — Polish, I think — so I had to figure out how to do it on my own. My backup option was Ice Cream with different colored cones if the Igloo didn’t work out. J is for Jack in the Box — you can button the string to close the box. This one is straight out of 26 Lively Letters. I was worried the clown would come out looking too creepy, but he’s actually okay. Like on a 5 on the creepy scale of 1-10. I don’t have a big fear of clowns, but did grow up during the Poltergeist movie era, and the whole connection of creepy = clown stayed with me a little. K is for Kite — the kids can learn to tie a knot with the tails of the string. This one is also straight out of 26 Lively Letters. L is for Laces — another classic quiet book page here. You can lace the shoe up and tie the laces. I know this one is a stretch to be used for L instead of S, but I wanted to keep S for shapes. I learned how to insert eyelets with this page. M is for “Me” in the Mirror — the hands can be moved to reveal the mirror, sort of like a game of peekaboo. Combined with solitaire. A little strange, but it still works, I think.
O is for Open, Octopus, and Owl — you can open the “window” or the “door” to reveal the animal underneath.P is for Purse — you can snap the purse open and actually store things in there too. I put some old credit cards and store discount cards for the girls to play with. This page is also popular with them.Q is for Quilt — the little girl can be tucked into bed under her patchwork quilt. Yes, the scandalous little girl sleeps in her birthday suit. This was one of my last pages, and I didn’t have the wherewithall to sew on another layer of felt to get her some pajamas!R is for Rainbow — the smaller felt pieces snap onto the corresponding colors on the rainbow. (I was disappointed with this page — I couldn’t get the sew on snaps to be snug enough. And I also couldn’t sew tightly around the snaps, so the whole page is a bit wobbly. Likely not strong enough to hold up to a toddler’s determination. I encourage Mamacita to just point to the colors now to stave off the inevitable downfall of this page.
U is for Umbrella — the narrower internal page can be flipped to show an open or closed umbrella that corresponds to the weather. I love this page. It’s pretty much straight out of A-B-C 1-2-3 Craft Book. V is for Vegetable Garden — you can harvest the carrots, radishes, and onions from the garden. But you can’t lose or hide your veggies, because I cleverly attached them with a ribbon. This is one of my favorite pages too. W is for Weaving — the strips of felt can be woven together in a pattern. I love this page, and as I mentioned, this is one that really engages Snaggle, who is currently 6 years old. The only thing I wish I had done differently is kept the felt strips in a single layer. I doubled them up thinking it would be better to have them be stronger and thicker, but it ended up being a little too thick to weave properly once you get to the final strips.
Y is for Yoyo — the yoyo is supposed to be able to be pulled up and down, but it already broke! The bottom part of the string came off. This was another imperfect and problematic page. I’ve been meaning to try to reassemble.
Z is for Zebra (and Zipper) — the little red tent thingamajig can be unzipped to reveal the zebra looking thingamajig underneath. This was my first time sewing a zipper. I was really nervous about it. Now I feel motivated to tackle it in a real, practical project, like a tote bag.
The final thing to discuss is the binding method. I followed the instructions in 26 Lively Letters, which involves stitching pages back to back — she instructs you which pages to create side by side so that when you sew the pages together at the end, they end up in alphabetical order. But the book ended up being as thick as a phone book though. I put a denim cover on it, and then had to stitch the pages and the cover together down the center of the book. This was a challenge! After some crooked stitches, broken needles, and muttered curse words on my part, I finally got it together. I also sewed on a handle and straps to close the book with velcro. It all looks really janky, or wonky as I’ve seen crafters call it. (unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I don’t have pictures of the cover). But it hasn’t fallen apart yet so I’m rolling with it for now.
Since I’ve finished, I’ve seen people do the three hole method so that the page can fit in a three-ring binder. That seems like a really good idea.
Well, if anyone has any questions about the Quiet Book, please let me know. I’ll see if I can help. Thanks for listening!