Another popular quiet book page is one revolving around a dog. Kids love dogs, especially when they have one. Nolan fits this generalization to a tee–he adores his dog, Stetson. I knew Amanda wanted a dog page and I had yet another stroke of brilliance–I would make it look like Stetson!
I’ve done a dog page previously for one of J’s quiet book pages. It looked like this:
I decided to start there. I liked the fact that the collar could be buckled and unbuckled and the leash could snap on and off. I did not like the dog itself at all. Fortunately that part didn’t matter since I was going to make him look like Stetson instead. Next, I checked out Amanda’s quiet book board on Pinterest to see what she had found. She had two dog-related pins on there, this one and this one. I liked the idea of putting stuff in the dog’s mouth like in the first pin, and doing the dog from the neck up like in the second one. Finally I went to my BFFs, Pinterest and Google images, and typed in “dog quiet book page” to see what else I could find. Nothing caught my attention, which meant that I was going to have to come up with the specifics on my own. Boo.
Since I liked the idea of being able to put things in the dog’s mouth I decided to start there. Hmmm, what else could the dog have besides food? Oh! A tennis ball! And a little toy! And since I wasn’t going to have a bowl like my inspiration pin, I opted to do a bone instead of food.
Next issue: making the dog. So here’s a picture of Stetson:
Interesting looking isn’t he? I had absolutely no idea how to go about making him. So I decided to procrastinate and make the accessories first. I cut a small circle out of yellow felt for the ball, a bone from white felt, and sewed velcro in the corresponding colors onto the back. I added lines on the ball with white puffy paint so it would resemble a tennis ball. For the dog toy I cut two blobs out of some textured blue fabric. I sewed a piece of blue velcro onto one, pinned them right sides together and sewed around the edges, leaving a hole on one side to stuff it. I wanted to make it squeak like an actual dog toy, but although I could’ve swore I saved the squeakers out of old dog toys before throwing them out, I couldn’t find them anywhere. So instead I took a piece of clear cellophane and shoved that inside the “toy” along with a small handful of polyfil. Doesn’t squeak, but at least it makes a bit of noise when you push on it. I folded the raw edges inside of the toy and then sewed that together. C’est fini!
When I made my previous dog page I cut about a foot off of a Dollar Tree leash from where the clasp was since I didn’t need the entire 4 feet in the book. So I took the remainder that I had stowed away, along with a red D-ring clasp (I had a pack of 6 that I saw at the Dollar Tree or the Dollar Spot at Target and picked it up, figuring I would find a use for them someday!). I folded the top part of the leash down to make a loop big enough for the “owner’s” hand to hold it and sewed it together. Then I made a much smaller loop on the other end, just big enough for the D-ring to slide through and sewed that side down as well. Finally, I sewed a piece of red velcro on the back in the middle. I didn’t want to place the pieces on the page until I had my dog done, which meant switching my thread out 4 extra times (once for each color of velcro). But oh well.
Okay, time to stop procrastinating the dog. I knew that I had some fake-fur-type material that I had picked up when it was on clearance awhile back. I was planning on making Stetson out of that, but it just wasn’t working out. Not only was the fabric more black than grey, I also needed something to break it up. I looked through my fabric and found some remnants of a grey towel I had used to make J’s hooded shark towel. I figured that was the best I was going to be able to do. Next, I needed a template to use for his face. There was absolutely no way that I could make that up on my own. Since Stetson is a mixed breed it seemed like the best that I was going to get was the schnauzer pictured in my second inspiration pin so I searched Google for a schnauzer template and came up with this one. That would have to do! I opened it up in my Silhouette program, sized it so it would fit on my page (leaving room for the dog accessories), and printed out the pieces. I pinned them onto my fabric and cut them out. I had to freehand the neck. Okay, now he needed some eyes (black felt circles sewed onto white felt circles), a nose (a black felt circle) and a tongue (pink felt with a small patch of white velcro). The last time I was at the Dollar Tree I had picked up the smallest dog collar they had, so now I dug that out and positioned it on. Good as he was going to get!
I sewed it all down. I started with the grey towel. Since those things shed worse than my Saint Bernard, I used a zigzag stitch all around it hoping to keep the raw edges from fraying a bit. I did the eyes, nose and tongue next. For the tongue I only sewed the top of it down (the straight edge), that way it comes up off of the page. Next I put all of the fuzzy black pieces on. They fell apart quite a bit when I was cutting and manipulating them so I have a feeling they’re going to make a huge mess someday in the future. This quiet book won’t be in my house though, so I’m fine with it ;-). Lastly, the collar. To sew it down I unclasped it and laid it flat on the dog’s neck, open. I sewed the entire back down. That way Nolan can clasp and unclasp the collar, opening it up. I was a bit worried about getting through it, but I always keep a heavy-duty denim needle in my sewing machine since I sew through a lot of thick materials and had no problems at all. I just took it nice and slow!
Now just the finishing touches! I figured out where the toys were going to go and sewed the corresponding color of velcro in the correct places. And that’s it! Another page done!