We went on a family vacation to Virginia Beach this past summer. And by “family” vacation I mean myself, Hubby, J and C, plus my sister, my two best friends and their families. I brought along J’s ABC quiet book since that’s exactly the type of occasion for which it’s meant. Amanda flipped through it and loved it. Since I adore compliments and was thrilled with her praise, I told her that I would make one for her 1 year old son for Christmas this year. I figured it was the perfect idea–I could just continue to give him pages for Christmases and birthdays each year! She was super excited and immediately started a Pinterest board with the ideas she liked. This was back in July so I had some other projects on my plate to get done first, but I’m finally starting it now. And the advantage for you is that I can take step-by-step pictures and remember exactly what I did. Unlike when I eventually get around to posting the pages from the other two quiet books I’ve made. And since this is for someone else (and I’ve given myself plenty of time to complete it, haha!) I’m taking my time and not just throwing it together because I’m so excited for the finished project. Plus with some of the repeat pages that were in J’s book I can take all of the things I learned not to do and apply them! I’m really pleased with my results so far.
So this is the first page I worked on: the Peek-a-Boo house.
This is almost an exact replica of the one in J’s ABC Quiet Book. It’s a very simple concept and I think it’ll be perfect for a 1 year old. There are six flaps that open (the 4 windows, the door and the chimney) to reveal family photos. I added the moon and stars to complete the night scene.
I started with the background.
The grass is a sheer fabric, kind of like a tulle maybe? I don’t know, I’m not a fabric expert by any means. Since I’m obsessed with quiet books I always go through the scrap fabric bins at JoAnn’s and pick out anything that might come in handy. I figured this would be a great texture for a toddler. Then because the shade of green combined with the sheerness looked like grass at night (just nod your head) I decided to make it nighttime. I have a black fabric that’s stretchy and has lines on it (geez Louise I’m really going to have to start researching fabric types if I keep this blog up!!) which works well with trying to go with different textures.
Next I started on the house. First I cut out a square for the house and triangle for the roof. I have a ton of scrap fabric, so I opted to use that instead of felt. To make the lines straight (since I can’t cut in a straight line to save my life) and to prevent fraying I folded the edges down and ironed them flat. I didn’t bother to sew them down since I would eventually be sewing it down to the background piece. Didn’t want to do any extra work!
I did the same with the triangle, which is why it’s not exactly straight on the finished project. It was impossible to fold it so the angles would match and at the end of the day this is for a 1 year old. I somehow doubt he’ll care. It’s close enough for government work, right?
After I ironed the edges down I flipped both pieces over and figured out how I wanted the house to look. I grabbed 5 different colors of felt from my insane felt collection. I cut 2 matching rectangles out of 3 of the colors for the windows, 1 rectangle for the door and 1 for the chimney. Next I arranged the pieces where they were going on the house and cut out matching rectangles of vinyl for each opening.
I then sewed each piece of vinyl down. Except for the chimney.
I’ve had experience sewing vinyl on several of J’s quiet book pages and I know it’s a b*tch to work with. Technically you shouldn’t put pins in it because it’ll leave holes, but I do it anyway. The holes are minuscule and, once again, this is a book for kids. It’s fine. I don’t know why I have such a difficult time sewing vinyl down straight. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t cut it straight to begin with or if it shifts while I’m sewing since it sticks to the presser foot or what. I made sure to go nice and slowly this time, though, and it made a world of difference. They all turned out fairly straight! Obviously only sew it on 3 sides, leaving the top open to slide in photos.
Next I added the shutters. I made sure to line them up so they met in the middle without any gaps and then straightened them. I sewed each one on, making sure to sew it twice so the stitch is nice and reinforced. I did all of the pieces except the chimney. Before I sewed the door down I grabbed a button out of my stash and hand sewed it on the front for the door knob. Puffy paint would have worked as well, but I like the button.
Then I positioned the house and roof on the background page. Like I said earlier the triangle didn’t exactly turn out straight, so I pinned it down so it looked as best as it could. Before I sewed them I figured out where the chimney was going to go and sewed down that vinyl and felt. I only sewed it down on the bottom left corner so most of it opens. That was something else I didn’t like about J’s Peek-a-Boo page–the chimney doesn’t open enough. See, look at how much I’m learning from my (numerous) mistakes!
Almost finished! All I had left to do was to sew the house and roof to the page and then add my embellishments. I had a leftover circle from one of J’s quiet books so I sewed that down. I also found some plush stars in my craft stash so I picked out all of the yellow ones and hot glued them to the page. Ta-da, page 1 complete!
I was much happier with this page than the first one I made. The only thing I would change about this one (at least so far) is the felt I used. I just cut my pieces from scraps and some of them had the heat n bond from previous projects on the back. I know from J’s page that when I sew the finished pages together and iron them flat that the heat n bond will stick to the vinyl. It’ll still peel off just fine and it doesn’t do anything to the vinyl or felt, but it does bug me. So another lesson learned! Stay tuned for the next page!