Friday, October 26, 2012

Amy's quiet books

Hi everyone! I am so excited about the quiet books that I get to share with you today. They were made by Amy from Shouting for Ha, and they're fabulous! Her covers are adorable and I love so many of her pages - the ocean pages, the star pages, the makeup page, and the baseball pages especially. I also love the clean look of everything - it all just looks well made. So, enjoy!

Girl quiet book:

Boy quiet book:


What's your name? Describe yourself in one sentence. 
My name is Amy, a.k.a. Mrs. Ha. I'm a wife, mother, habitual volunteer and wannabe crafter. 

Who did you make this quiet book for? How old are they?
I made my very first quiet book for my boy's 2nd birthday; he's now eleven. These days, my nieces, nephews and our friend's children are the recipients of my books. I've found that they make a perfect birthday gift for a 2 or 3-year-old. 

What's your level of sewing experience? 
My mom is an amazing seamstress. She tried to teach me the basics when I was a teenager but, unfortunately, I wasn't a very good student. After I had my son, I realized that knowing how to sew could come in handy. Since my mom lives 1200 miles away, I was forced to teach myself. I would say that I currently sew at an intermediate level. That said, I typically sew things that aren't too complicated and I try not to worry if it's not perfect. 

How long did it take you?
The break-down of my time goes something like this: 1-2 hours to trace all of the templates onto the felt and then cut out each piece. 5-6 hours to sew all of pieces onto the book and sew the double-ply removable pieces together. Since I like to use coordinating thread, I try to sew all of one color at a time to cut down on how many times I have to change out my thread. 3-4 hours to hand sew all of the velcro, buttons and snaps, and attach the small grommets onto the shoes and secure them with embroidery floss. 30-45 minutes to write all of the words, add embellishments (fish eyes, letter...). I like to let it sit overnight to dry completely. 20 minutes to sew all of the pages together. 45 minutes to punch the holes in the pages and attach the grommets. 30 minutes to lace and tie the shoe, insert a picture into the frame inside the tent and thread the ribbon through the pages of the book. Total time (not including the overnight dry time): 11 - 14 hours. I try to work on the book a little bit at a time so that it's not overwhelming. Someone with only basic sewing skills could easily make their own book in just a week by spending 1-2 hours on it per day. They could also save a significant amount of time by simply sewing all of the pieces with one color of thread. 

Did you use any templates? Where can they be found? 
I hand drew all of the templates myself and then cut them out of card stock so they would be nice and sturdy. I've never converted them into any kind of pdf or other transferable document. 

How did you bind your quiet book? 
Each turnable page of the book is made from a double ply of felt (two pages stitched together). I used large grommets to make tear-resistant holes in each page and then secured the pages using a piece of ribbon or rickrack in a complimentary color. 

What material are the pages made out of? 
All of the pages are made out of felt. I originally decided to use felt because it doesn't fray and is more sturdy than traditional fabrics. When creating things for children, durability is a huge priority. I personally like to use the felt sheets that can be purchased at most craft stores because they are the perfect size and it makes one less thing that I have to cut out. 

What other materials did you use? 
I used miscellaneous animal print fabric scraps inside the barn doors, soft velcro to attach all of the removable pieces (shapes, stars, fish...), 3 sets of snaps for the raincoat, 1 short zipper for the tent, 11 buttons for the train and the pocket, 10 small grommets, embroidery floss and a shoelace (for the shoe), 24 large grommets (for the book pages), 1 belt (for the pants), a 3-foot length of ribbon or rickrack (to tie the pages together), coordinating thread (to sew all of the pieces) and fabric paint in a variety of colors (writing the words and any other embellishments). There is a supply list at the bottom of my Quiet Book posts. 

How much did all the supplies cost you? 
This is a hard estimate. I have made many quiet books over the years and so I am able to use scraps of felt that I already have on hand to make a majority of the pieces. I also have a large assortment of colored thread, fabric paint, buttons, different colored ribbons and fabric scraps that I have amassed over time. I pick up other supplies for the book, like shoelaces, grommets, zippers and velcro whenever I see them on sale. I like to take advantage of the coupons offered by the craft stores to pick up some of the pricier items like the grommets. The belts come from my local Goodwill or thrift store. Below is a list of the average price of the supplies here in my area: Felt Sheets: $0.30 - $0.40/sheet x 36 = $10.80 - $14.40 Velcro: $3.99/pk Zipper: $1.80 Snaps: $4.99/pkg Small Grommets: $4.49/pkg of 12 Large Grommets: $10.99/pkg of 24 Fabric Paint: $5.59/pkg of 6 tubes Buttons: $4.00 - $5.00/pkg of assorted buttons Embroidery Floss: $0.99 Ribbon: $1.99/spool (WalMart always has the lowest price in my area) Thread: $1.99 - $5.99/spool Belt: $0.99 Total: $50.62 - $59.22 To try and cut some of the cost, I would recommend pulling from the supplies that you have on hand. Instead of using expensive grommets, you could sew button holes along the edge of the pages. Additionally, all of the shapes/pieces could be sewn with one color of thread and the words could be written in a single color of fabric paint. 

What's your favorite page? Why? 
This is such a hard decision for me. I love all of the brightly colored pages and the simplicity of the design. But if you are forcing me to pick just one, I would have to choose "Button the Pocket." There is nothing better than watching a little one pull the note out of the pocket and then see their huge smile when their parent tells them it says, "I love you." It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Amy has detailed explanations (and more pictures!) of her quiet books here: Boy Quiet Book and Girl Quiet Book. Definitely check them out!

Thank you, Amy, for sharing your books with us! They're awesome!

Have you made a quiet book that you'd like to share? Click here for instructions on how to submit your own quiet book!

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