So I have this crazy idea to make a "quiet book" for my granddaughter as a present for her first birthday. This should be easy and fun right? I watch a couple of videos and grab ideas from them and then find Pinterest full of more ideas. Before I know it, I have written down about 25 "idea" pages. I head out to the studio to see what I have for background fabric and find lots of broadcloth that needs to be used up. I have some felt, but head to the store to make sure all colors are present and accounted for. Then I start cutting. At first it seems pretty easy --- simple shapes and ideas. The first day goes well and I have this page to show for it. The butterfly parts are buttoned on and the shapes velcro on to their mates. The edges are all hand blanket-stitched and only the pieces actually attached to the broadcloth are machine sewn on. I will keep that pattern throughout the book.
Day two has me working on a "lacing" page. The hope is that this book will teach skills as well as provide entertainment. The other half of the page is a lady bug that zips open and has her spots inside. Pretty simple, yes?
Day three is an abacus made with beads and yarn. The grey squares have the number embroidered on each one and then are machine stitched to the back, holding the bead-filled yarn in place. I feel like I'm doing pretty good -- getting two pages a day finished.
Day four I decide to get a bit more complicated. I have a painter's palette and a mail box. The palette has blobs of paint that button on to match colors and the mail box opens with letters inside. Each letter is in an envelope and has a stamp. I get it cut out and then start the process of handstitching everything together before attaching the main parts to the backing. I DO machine stitch the ric rac on for the envelopes. The flag for the mail box uses a button to moved up and down and I decide to make the stamps interchangeable. (Not my idea -- Pinterest!) I embroider messages on the "letter" and the put them into the envelopes. Once it is pretty much finished, I change plans to put a regular paint brush in and make one out of felt as well. I'm loving this page but it took eight hours. Wow.
Day five begins in the afternoon as I start in on the laundry pages by making a "tile" floor from scraps. Mister helps me out by making patters for the clothes and I get the pages totally cut out. That is it for today.
Here are a few detail shots: This page is just oh so cute. I think I outdid myself. I am having such fun on this but just cutting is 3-4 hours today. Oh my. At the estate sale this morning, I found the cute little clothespins. How perfect, right?
Here is a close up of the washing machine and clothes.
I even get creative and cut out little birds for the trees. All free style and not very good at that.
For day six -- I do not feel at all well today so set myself up in bed and just do hand work on all the clothes and parts. I'm really not up to much else.
After several hours, I have clothes! Aren't they adorable? They are turning out so dang sweet that I have to say I love them even if no one else does.
Day seven I finish the hand work on the laundry pages and move on. I need to make up some time. Today I get the clown and snowmen pages cut out then stay up super late to finish the hand work on both pages. The faces are embroidered with appliqued noses. I'm getting super good at the blanket stitch now too.
I love the way these tuck into the snow banks to hide until being used.
The snow lady even has a necklace made of beads that I put together in the wee hours. Too cute. The snowflake buttons are left from a dress that I made Bekah when she was about 6 or so. Yep, I hang on to things forever. These -- about ten years is all. All three pages are now ready for the machine.
Day eight is picnic and clock page day. Literally. It takes me 12 hours to get them cut and partially sewn. The picnic box gets the ribbon machine stitched on but otherwise is handstitched. I make service for two that includes plates, sandwiches that include meat, cheese, lettuce, and mustard. There is also grapes and watermelon. The clock get each numbered embroidered several times onto small squares that can then be used for the time -- in 15 minute increments for the most part. The face is embroidered and the hands move with the help of a button and the envelope that holds the numbers buttons closed while the picnic basket has a toggle to close it. I LOVE the ant fabric I found for the picnic "blanket". These pages are now ready for the machine too.
Day nine and a decision has been made. I am going to cut all remaining pages, then do the handwork on all of them before heading to the machine to finish up. I have moved everything into the house and I have established a nest in the office.
I cut on pages ALL day and don't quite get finished. The Spring/Summer pages, Gardening (apples/carrots) pages, and the Autumn page are cut as well as the letters for the front/back.
Day 10 and I am in my nest -- ALL DAY and evening.
Day 11 finds me still hand stitching away.
Day 12 is another day in the nest. I am working in colors so all pages are being worked on at once. No finishes to show.
Day 13 I had no idea what I bit off when I decided to chew on a quiet book. Oh my goodness. I have about 100 hours into the book and it's just now ready to start binding SOME pates. Others still need the final machine stitching. I only have one week before I travel with it. Just keep sewing, just keep sewing. Channeling Dorie here.
Day 14 and I pick up Jared today down near Hillsboro and stop in a local store to see if I can find more buttons/appliques for the book. I score on quite a few and return home with my grandson in tow. He builds a man cave under my quilt frame and settles in for some game time. I head for the office and my own little nest to figure out where to put the new buttons/appliques. That's about all I get done on the book today.
Day 15 dawns and Jared tells me he wants another quiet day. Well alrighty then. I am able to sit and totally finish four pages complete with batting and binding. I LOVE the butterfly fabric that I found for the binding. Oh there is hope here.
I spend all morning of day 16 and into the afternoon with my grandson. We have such a good time together before he is ready for his own quiet time, allowing me to work on this book. I get all the remaining binding cut and made for the rest of the pages along with pinning all the pages together. I have all new buttons and appliques sewn on, any remaining major pieces machine stitched on, pin the pages together with batting inside, and prepare for binding.
Two more pages are totally complete before I call it a night.
Day 16 has Jared wanting to do some sewing of his own so while he cuts, I attaching binding to the remaining pages and am now just having to hand stitch the bindings down in order for the pages to be complete.
While Jared works on his project and throughout the evening, I finish all of my pages and attempt to figure out a closure for it. My first thought is a side release buckle. Now to figure out the other side. After Mister gets home from work, we run some errands and I pick up some rings, grommets, and tool. I have an idea.
It is day 17. Really? Jared is finishing his pillowcase today so I am out in the studio with him attempting my idea of attaching grommets to the pages. My first step is to determine where I want the grommets and mark the spots. I then take one part of the tool and hammer a circle onto the page. (In theory -- this should have cut through the fabric but with the batting there, it only marked it.)
I then use my scissors to cut out the circle before using the other half of the tool to insert the grommet. Once again, I hammer away.
As soon as all the grommets are in place, I stack up the pages and put the binder rings through the holes. It works. Halleluiah. It has taken about 145 hours but I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I have accomplished my goal and it is done in time for my trip. I am flying tomorrow night.
I also change the closure to just a velcro strip as the side release buckle is hard for me to open, much less a child. Here is the finished book: (There are pictures at the end of Ophelia with it.)
Yep, it's thick.
For a video link of how each page works, please click HERE
Here is a breakdown of each finished page in the order they are in the book.
I have a few things I want to add while on my trip so with plane time and some quiet time in my room in Utah, I finish up the sand castles for the summer page, a dress for the laundry page, and some strawberries for the picnic page. Here are the totally complete pages.
Since I have strawberries for the picnic page now, I have moved the watermelon to the summer page.
And who is the recipient of this book of wonder? Well Miss Ophelia, of course. And yes, she loves it instantly. Ahhh, my heart is happy.
Here are some pictures from her birthday party.
What a great day! I have loved making this for her and it feels so awesome to deliver it on time and see the smiles of not only her, but everyone else there too. All 150 hours were worth it. I am one happy Gammy.