The Original Quiet Book, Part One

Okay so I’m about to slam you with posts about quiet book pages.  I’m actually writing a lot of these posts in advance and then scheduling them to publish automatically over the next few months.  I’m 8 months pregnant with our third child and am assuming that once he or she (we’re not finding out the sex this time and I love it!!) pops out, this blog is going to be the least of my concerns.  So I figured I’d stock up on a bunch of quick and easy quiet book posts and give myself some breathing room.  Especially since I’m also not currently involved in any projects and one of my goals for the last two years has been to revamp our quiet books.  I’m hoping this will be the motivation I need!

I can’t even remember now how I stumbled on quiet books.  I made J’s first one about 3 years ago and immediately became addicted.  You can tell that this was my first attempt and that I was just getting back into sewing after taking a 10+ year hiatus.  Not that my more recent pages (like Nolan’s quiet book) are amazing and awesome, but you can definitely see the difference in quality.  Hence why I want to revamp this one.

Fortunately I created a Word document that lists all of my pages, the inspiration pages I used to create each one and the materials I needed.  That’s going to make blogging about a project I did over 3 years ago ten times easier!  And I’ll be able to give credit to others where it’s due…I was wondering how that was going to work.

So this is the order the pages are in the Quiet Book.  First is a pirate treasure chest page.  quiet-book-pirate-page-3 quiet-book-pirate-page-2 quiet-book-pirate-page-1As you can tell, this one needs a lot of love.  I had seen a ton of lock and key quiet book pages when doing my research and I thought the idea of a pirate’s chest was neat.  I could put “treasures” like necklaces, gold coins and, for longer car rides, lollipops/other treats.  This and this example were my primary inspiration for my final product.  I didn’t want to “waste” two pages so I combined it all into one by nixing the treasure map.  I used this tutorial to make the pirate patch, which belongs in the chest.  I winged making the sword, which as you can see didn’t go too well.  The handle is super flimsy and I didn’t make the pattern pieces big enough to flip them so the raw edges were inside.  And I had some issues getting it to stick on the page.  There used to be a lock and key, but the red X I made wasn’t exactly great and the key wouldn’t actually stay inside.  And eventually the ribbon completely broke off so I had to remove the lock as well since the chest was now impossible to open.  J never really got into the pirate thing, so minus checking for candy every time she used her book (which 9 times out of 10 I forgot to put some in…) she never used this page.  I may or may not revamp this one for C…I haven’t decided yet.

Next is 5 Little Monkeys, which is actually one of my favorite pages.  J really enjoyed this one as well.  Definitely a keeper!quiet-book-5-little-monkeys-page-4 quiet-book-5-little-monkeys-page-3 quiet-book-5-little-monkeys-page-2 quiet-book-5-little-monkeys-page-1This one is actually still in pretty good shape.  One of the monkeys is lost and the number 2 pillow is missing its number, but other than that it’s good!  When I made the finger puppets originally they were too small, so I had to make another set down the road.  And of course those ones were too big.  I really despise making finger puppets.  That’s one of those things I’d just rather pay for!

I used this tutorial for the telephone.  I thought it would’ve been cool to find an old school telephone cord, but I couldn’t find one anywhere so I just stuck with ribbon instead. I used my Silhouette to cut numbers out of felt for the pad.

I really loved Imagine Our Life’s 5 Little Monkeys page but there was absolutely no way I could do anything that elaborate, so I dumbed it down for my skill level.  I loved the idea of having the monkeys tuck into the bed and that they each have their own spot.  I used my trusty Silhouette to cut out the numbers for the monkeys and pillows.  And then the damn things wouldn’t stay in the bed, so I ended up hot gluing velcro inside the bedspread to hold them in place.  For the monkeys I followed these instructions, just adding bellies and tails.  I even matched the googly eyes with the numbers!

Next up:  counting petals.  quiet-book-flower-page-2 quiet-book-flower-page-1I followed Serving Pink Lemonade‘s directions and used her template to make this page.  Except I have 10 instead of 8, so I must’ve resized it since my pages are bigger.

This one is a very straight forward page that, amazingly enough, is still intact.  Although I think it’s funny that the number 2 is missing, which is the same number from the 5 Little Monkeys page!  I did go back and draw the outline of the petals onto the flower since J was too young at that point to know which order they went in.  Looking back on it now, it really doesn’t matter if they were right or not.  I should’ve left it alone and she could order them however she wanted until she was old enough to look at the numbers and figure it out herself.  I don’t think J ever used it all that much, but since it’s still in working order I’ll keep this one as well.

Tie Your Shoes page.  quiet-book-tie-your-shoes-page-2 quiet-book-tie-your-shoes-page-1I relied on this tutorial for my instructions and template.  Totally not her fault mine turned out so crappy, haha…my sewing skills were just majorly lacking.

This one definitely needs to be thrown out and completely redone.  I like the background fabric that I used, but that’s about it.  The grommets are huge (this was early in my quiet book addiction so those are the only size I had.  And I hadn’t even heard of the magic Crop-a-Dile, which was going to make my addiction sooooo much easier!).  J was definitely way too young for this page.  I’m thinking about starting a brand new book for her with much smaller pages, and if I do this would be one of them.  Now that she’s 5 shoe tying is going to be an important skill.  Or I could just make one of those shoe tying boards.  Although then again, the kid refuses to wear sneakers and if this trend continues she won’t “need” to learn how to do it until she’s like 15.  Seriously, whose child is she?!

Okay, last one for today.  The fishing pages.quiet-book-fishing-page-2 quiet-book-fishing-page-1The link I used for my inspiration is now broken, so that blog must not be around anymore.  But I cut fish out of felt (they’re so realistic looking aren’t they 😉 ) and hot glued paper clips onto the back.  Then I made a fishing rod from a small dowel rod, tied (and hot glued) a piece of yarn around it.  I cut two worm shapes out of felt, put a magnet inside and hot glued it together and then onto the end of the string.  I made a pocket for the fishing rod, but as you can see since the rod is missing, it didn’t work all that well.

I know, these two pages are totally redundant.  I thought it would be a neat idea to have her “catch” the fish in the ocean and then put them in the goldfish bowl.  What a waste of space.  I mean she did use this page a decent amount, but not enough to justify taking up two pages.  I do like the idea of it and this would definitely be a page I would redo in the future for C.  Except I would make only the ocean scene.  And I would either make the sand on the bottom a pocket to store the fish and rod, or do what I ended up doing and making a special pocket on the cover just for the fish (the bottom one with the fish on it.  Obviously). j-quiet-book-cover-1So that’s it for today!  Check back next week for more pages in Part Two!

Quiet Book Barn Page

No originality with this one!

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.