Okay, the kids are in bed, Rylee is making a mess with popcorn in the living room and I have a few minutes to myself. So, I will share with you what goes on behind some of the madness that is my compulsion to make quiet books! I have a couple books. Thank you to Ebay and Amazon, I now have 5 of them. I just got one in the mail today, so I can't tell you how helpful it will be. I got most of the patterns from these books though, and from the wealth of blogs out there on the internet. Here are the most fun books I have used:
The Kite and Nose are from this one. And the Christmas Tree. I like a lot of the ideas, and they do a good job explaining how to make the pages. A good book.
This is the book with all the ideas for the quiet book I grew up with. Most of the old school ideas are in here. I like it, but it isn't always clear on HOW you do some of the things. I, of course, am not very crafty, nor am I good at sewing, so they probably assume you know that stuff and I don't. Nice long sentence there! Still, some great ideas, and a lot of them! Plus, I like that it has different activities and you can choose. For example, you have 3 different pages to choose from that involve buttons. That makes it easier to tailor it to your ability and your child's interest.
This one has some fun ideas. The cowboy, Noah's ark, the egg, the traffic pattern.... those are from here. I like the designs, but one or 2 of the pages had me scratching my head. Again, I think they expect you to be smarter than I am to know how to work some of the pages. You can still wing it, or skip it, and it has some really great ideas in it. I recommend all 3 of these if like me, you aren't confident or imaginative.
The next question is, how do I put it together. If you look online, you can find lots of different ways. I like to go with what I know and I grew up with a book made of muslin, and sewn together. I do like the idea of making them to fit into a binder so you can add pages or remove them, but that's more work than I am prepared to do right now. I like muslin because it is inexpensive and I love, love, love that it is sheer enough to trace through. The downside is that it is fragile. I like to use pellon under the places where I'm sewing something to it. So if I am sewing buttons on, I iron a piece of pellon under it to give it more support so the kids don't just rip the button off when they pull. I'm also starting to iron pellon onto the cover and back pages for more support, but the book works fine either way.
I eyeball it and cut 4 (equal sized) long pieces of muslin and fold them into quarters to make 4 pages in a row, like this. When I am done with the 4 pages on each long fabric piece, I fold it in half and sew them together. I end up with 4 pages of 4, with a total of 16 activities.
Now I have 2 pages on front and 2 on the back. (The nose is one of my favorite pages! The nose is made of chain and can be posed. So fun for the kids!)
You can see here that the pages were not cut very straight. As I said, I don't like to measure, and fortunately, this is a very forgiving medium! So if my pages are glaringly not straight, its not a big deal.
And this bottom one is the front and back covers. I get all the pages together, and I stack them in the order I most like and sew a line down the center between the 2 pages to make the book. This does mean that the only pages I coordinate to be together is the center one. I do not plan ahead for particular pages to face each other, although most people seem to.
I have gotten smarter and now I wait till I've sewed it together before using the fabric paint. The paint doesn't iron well, so it gets tricky when putting things together if I have already used it.
When do I have time? Well, I don't. Fortunately, Dan has let me take over a corner of the living room and the ironing board, sewing machine and card table are now semi-permanent fixtures. Whenever I have 10 minutes, I can sit down and work on something, since all of my supplies are strewn all over the table and ironing board. I work on them when Rylee is napping or after bedtime, or whenever I can! Plus, I do very little planning or measuring, so I just dive right into work.
I love it because I can see progress and feel like I have accomplished something. Its not like being the mom, where it is always a work on progress. I can see the end and finish something! Dishes, laundry, dinner- all these thing have to be done over and over again. But this, this quiet book making, I can do it, and I can finish it and I can feel like I have completed something that I won't have to do again tomorrow.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
And stay tuned, because I'll be posting the books that Marian has made soon.