Now that all of Nolan’s quiet book pages were finally finished it was time to put it all together. First I had to decide on the order of the pages. Obviously I wanted the dump truck and fork lift pages to be opposite one another. Same with the two road pages. It didn’t matter for the rest, so for those I just lined them up with the page that matched the closest size-wise. I still don’t understand how so many of my pages were different sizes! I mean I used my awesome rotary cutter set to measure each page and cut them in straight lines. Seriously, what is wrong with me?? But anyway, some of my pages were different sizes (and significantly different…I’m talking about an inch on each side!), so I just matched them up the best I could.
Next I cut rectangles of interfacing for each page. It all gets folded into the book so the size of it really doesn’t matter. Finally, cutting something out that doesn’t have to be even remotely straight! Hallelujah. I use the interfacing to give the pages a bit more stability. It’s not necessary, but it does make a little bit of difference. When I was making J’s ABC quiet book I made one set of pages without it to see if it was worth the extra time and cost and I decided it was. Use your discretion!
I lucked out and the Fabricland at our last duty station was going out of business so they had a huge clearance sale. They had some sew-in interfacing for 14 cents per meter! I prefer iron on (obviously) but there was no way to beat that price! So I picked up about 20 packages, haha. I should be good on interfacing for a loooong time now!
Once your interfacing is cut out, line it up on each page. Normally this would be when I would iron it on, but since I was using sew-in I just laid it on top instead. I didn’t bother to sew each sheet onto the individual pages; I figured that was an unnecessary step. It could just be sewn in when I sewed the pages together. This made it difficult to work with but I still preferred that over sewing an extra time. Next, place the pages that are going to be sewn together with the right sides together and pin in place. Make sure that the pages are facing the same direction! I haven’t made this mistake yet but I’m sure it’s somewhere in my future…
Then sew each set of pages together! Leave a gap big enough so you can pull the pages through. I try to keep it in the same place on all of the pages, usually either in the center along the bottom or on the side where the holes will get punched. My gaps are usually about 4-5 inches.
Turn the pages right side out and press both sides with the iron to flatten the seams and get rid of any wrinkles. Find your gap and fold the raw edges inside to hide the interfacing and fraying pieces. Iron to keep them in place and then sew it closed! If you’re worried about seeing the stitch you can also hand sew them shut with a blind stitch instead. Thanks, but no thanks. I definitely do not care that much! I just use a beige thread to hide it as much as possible. If the gap is over a fabric/felt other than the muslin I’ll use a thread color that matches it as best as I can. And if the fabric on one side is different from the other then I’ll use two different colors–one threaded through the machine for the top fabric and a different color in the bobbin for the bottom.
Once all of the pages are sewn together it’s time to add your holes. For my other quiet books I’ve always used grommets. They work, but they’re a huge pain in the @ss. Since they’re usually going through several layers (two sheets of muslin, two interfacing, plus two layers of felt/fabric), I always have to have Hubby punch them for me. He’s smashed his finger with the hammer on more than one occasion. And then the cutting tool doesn’t last for more than one book (and when I made the ABC book he had to improvise and use a drill for the last few pages because it didn’t even make it that long!). Plus some of the grommets have fallen out. And they’re entirely too large; they take up way to much space on the page. So I knew I needed to find a different solution.
I’ve seen some people use eyelets. While browsing at Michael’s for some ideas I found this tool: a Crop-A-Dile.
I debated for awhile about whether or not to purchase it. With a $30 price tag it was an expensive impulse buy. And I was unsure of two things: if it would punch through my pages and if the 3/16 eyelets (which was the biggest size it would punch) was large enough to put a binder ring through. So I bought one package of eyelets (figuring I could return them if i didn’t end up buying the tool), went home and tried threading the binder ring though. Plenty of room! Then I hit up Amazon. The reviews were mostly positive and it sounded like it would work on the quiet book pages. It was cheaper on Amazon, but at this point I only had a couple of days before they were showing up and I still had to make the cover so I didn’t have time to spare. I used a 40% off coupon which made me feel slightly better about the cost!
Let me tell you this: best $18 I have ever spent. It took me longer to figure out how to work the thing than it did to punch all of the holes. I love it. And will never use anything else.
It took me awhile to figure out how to use it since the “instructions” it came with were completely worthless. Thank goodness for Youtube–I found a super helpful video by user kristinbell that explained to me exactly what to do. The part the instructions neglected to make clear was that the black cubes spin!
Basically you punch a hole with the hole punch on the top/bottom (one is 3/16 inches and the other is 1/8), set the correct size eyelet in the hole, spin the cube to the correct side (see the instruction manual for the settings), hold it so the base is on the bottom, line it up with the eyelet and squeeze! So simple!!! And painless!
I put a small dot for where the holes would go with a random marker I found laying within arms reach. I just eyeballed the first page, punched them, and then lined the page that was going next to it on top and marked the holes. Earlier I had said how some of my pages were smaller than others, so that’s why I punched each page based off of the one before it. That way I could line the smaller pages in the center of the larger ones and punch the holes accordingly.
I am going to need to practice using it–sometimes I squeezed too hard or not hard enough or didn’t have the tool centered with the eyelet so the backs of some of them are a bit wonky. Still much better than the grommets though!
I’ve always used binder rings in my quiet books. This is something else you can look at options for to see what you might prefer. Other people have used different materials. I like the binder rings. It’s easy to change out pages, easy to thread them through the grommets/eyelets and they look nice. Oh, and they’re cheap. I have two different sizes: 1.5 in and 3 in. Since this book probably won’t hold that many pages at a time, I opted for the 1.5 inch ones. The 3 inch ones are huge, FYI. Really huge.
I pushed the binder rings through all of the holes and flipped through the pages, making sure it all looked okay. Fantastic! So close to being finished!