Page number 2: the common can’t-search-for-quiet-books-without-seeing-18-million-of-these-pages quiet book barn
I started off by typing “barn quiet book page” into Google and Pinterest. Those are my favorite ways to search for ideas. To make my Google search even faster I click on the “images” tab so I can look at the pictures first. That way I don’t have to open a bunch of tabs for something that either I don’t like or isn’t what I’m actually looking for. I liked how this one had a window at the top with they hay poking out. I liked the windmill on this one. And I thought the silo on this barn was a nice touch.
One thing I did know for sure was that I wasn’t going to make finger puppets. I’ve made them twice in the past and they just don’t turn out very well. They look silly and for whatever reason I just can’t make them the right size! Apparently DIY finger puppets just aren’t a skill I was blessed with, haha. So I did a quick search on Amazon and found these adorable puppets which would work perfectly. Especially since they have a variety of animals so I can save the non-farm ones for a future quiet book page. Like maybe a zoo theme…
I debated about whether I wanted to use a patterned red fabric or just keep it simple with red felt. Since I was pretty sure I was going to add quite a bit to it I decided simpler was better. I liked how some of the pages I found had a grass/fence page adjacent to the barn for the finger puppets to “play” on, but I didn’t want to waste an entire page on some grass. Instead I made the barn smaller and decided to embellish the background.
With a basic idea in mind I got to cutting. I looked at the super-helpful templates by Homemade by Jill found here but I didn’t actually use them–I just eyeballed it. I used white felt for the doors and barn lining. I also cut out a small red rectangle to fasten the barn doors closed. I knew I was going to put a chicken or rooster in the window so I sewed a piece of white velcro onto the brown window. I also cut chicken pieces from this template and sewed him together, making sure to do the velcro first. Not exactly my best work, but she’ll do. I used black puffy paint to make the feathers, eyes and beak.
Finally I cut yellow strips for the hay in the window. At first I just cut a piece of yellow felt that was the width of the window and then snipped it almost to the end (figuring it would be a lot less work than cutting a bunch of individual strips). It looked funny though so I ended up having to cut it all apart anyway. I arranged all of the pieces on the barn. I sewed down the yellow strips first (as straight as I could–I really wish the long strip had looked better!), then the rest of the brown window, the white barn outline pieces and the sides of the barn doors onto the barn. I put a piece of red velcro on the back of the door latch and one of the barn doors, and then sewed the door latch down on the opposite door.
Next I went to work on the background. I have a ton of green fabric that kind of feels like burlap that I use a lot for grass in my quiet books. And I really like the scrap blue fabric I found one day at Joann’s; I think it makes for a perfect sky! I laid the pieces down and decided how much grass vs. sky I wanted. The page felt really plain with all of that empty grass. Then I came up with a brilliant idea–a pond and some mud! I cut an oval out of blue felt and took a wad of brown tulle and scrunched it up. I laid those pieces and the barn down. Better…but still not quite right. I really liked the idea of both the silo and windmill but obviously both weren’t going to work. I thought the silo would probably be too big and not really add anything functional to the page so I opted for the windmill instead. Except instead of cutting one out and sewing it on, I thought it would be neat to find a small pinwheel! I haven’t found one yet (as you can see) so I decided just to move the barn over to the side and leave space for it. I’m not sure if I’m going to sew a pocket down for it and slide the pinwheel in or velcro loops on to secure it or what. First I have to find one! Last but not least I cut out a sun. I started with just a yellow circle but it looked too plain so I added yellow and orange triangles.
Once I had a general placement for everything I started to sew it all down. I did the blue sky first, followed by the grass. Next I sewed on the pond and mud (for the mud I just balled up the tulle and sewed right across it a bunch of times. It still sticks up in some places, which I like). Then I needed to make a pocket for the finger puppets. I wanted to make sure it was high enough that the puppets wouldn’t fall out but low enough so it would be easier to get them in and out. I picked some farm-looking fabric (yellow and white squares), ironed the edges down to prevent fraying (and make the rectangle straight) and sewed down just the top line. Then I sewed the other 3 edges right onto the background just to make sure that it was secure since I have a tendency to cut things too small to actually fit. I pinned the barn down on top, lining the red and yellow edges as close as possible.
Then I sewed the barn down! I did the barn door opening first and then the outline of the barn (making sure to switch out my thread for white when doing the outline). And last, but not least, the sun! And voila, the barn is finished. Well, as everything in my life tends to go–almost finished. I still need to find a miniature pinwheel! Apparently December isn’t the best time of the year to find one of those…
Update: made a windmill! You can find it here.