Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Quiet Book

In June we're going to Germany so that Mia can meet her family on her daddy's side. Two adults and a 19-month old on a plane full of people for a total of 20 plus hours. Not really anyone's idea of a holiday, but I'm hoping that preparation is the key. I did some reading about how to keep a toddler occupied while travelling and found some great ideas about activity bags and quiet books. Although most ideas in quiet books are aimed at children who are slightly older, I thought I'd give one a go in the hope that she (and us, and the rest of the passengers on the plane) might get some benefit out of it. 

Planning the quiet book was loads of fun. As was drawing the designs and playing with a pile of coloured felt. I decided on 12 activities in the end and bought a few metres of calico, some light fusible interfacing, felt in a bunch of colours, and some fusible webbing used for applique. 

I cut out rectangles of calico in the size I wanted (27cm by 31cm) and backed each piece with interfacing slightly smaller so that the seams won't be too bulky when I put together the pages. I wanted to interface each page to make the pages sturdier, especially when sewing the felt pieces on.

Then I worked page by page, drawing the designs in reverse on the iron on applique webbing. This has also helped to make things a lot sturdier, and the finished product a lot neater. As I don't want to risk any of the felt pieces falling off, I've sewed around each, but the applique webbing just gives it a nicer finish.

Once I'd collected all the materials for the pages and done some ironing on, I tackled the barn page. I got inspiration and a pattern from  and used red, white and brown felt, ironing on each piece and then reinforcing by sewing around them. I'd knitted the finger puppets ages ago and never done anything with them and figured they were perfect for the barn. 

Next I made the potato heads. I took some ideas from Shown here is Mrs Potato Head, and I also made accessories for Mr which fit to the same potato. All of the removable pieces are double sided to make them more durable

The fishing page was fun... I took ideas from (leaving the religious stuff out). I wanted something simple where the fish would stay in the water, but also be relatively easy enough to catch. I used some tiny little magnets from a craft shop and they work well as long as I pull the fish out a little before going fishing.

The monkey and balloons page is for colour matching and I thought I'd stray from velcro and use some snap fasteners. In hindsight though, I think they'll be hard for Mia's little fingers to handle - they take quite a bit of force to pull apart. The idea for this page came from /2011/01/quiet-book.html. Love love love the monkey!

The idea for this page came from I had so much fun making the dolls and clothes. I bought some tiny little pegs, which Mia will love someday, but for now they're just a bit too small to let her play with so I backed the clothes with velcro and sewed a strip of velcro under each line on the clothesline. The velcro is used anyway to stick the clothes onto the dolls.

The last page I finished was this tent page with zippers. One zipper is used for the sleeping bag (where the doll can easily be removed), and another for the tent. 

Still to come are the dog/buckle page, flowers/buttons page, letter and shape matching, and bead counting page and the grand finale of putting the whole thing together into a tidy little book!

Stay tuned!