Friday, February 1, 2013

Keely's Quiet Books

Wow, I have a whole lot of cuteness to show you today! Keely from The Wilkins made not one but three awesome quiet books. Each of them is so cute and looks so fun to play with! And I love each of the covers she made - the fox, the viking ship, and the panda. Any kid who saw the cover of these quiet books would want to play with the pages inside. Check out all this awesomeness!

First Quiet Book:

Second Quiet Book:

Third Quiet Book:


What's your name? Describe yourself in one sentence.
Keely: I'm a wife and mother who is unable to sit still for long and happiest when I have my family around me and a project underway.

Who did you make these quiets book for? How old are they?
I made them for three children. Two of them are for my sons, who are both quite young (2 months and 18 months). One is geared toward an older level (which neither of my sons is really at yet, but they will grow into it) and the other is for younger kids (it's about right for my older son right now).
The third is for my niece who is also too young for it right now (6 months), but will grow into it. It is a mix of the two books I made for my boys, but it's a little more girly. Most of her pages are the same as the pages in my boys' books, but she also has a few unique pages.

What's your level of sewing experience?
Intermediate: I've been sewing with my mom since I was in elementary school, but that was mostly quilting and I'm not nearly as good as she is. I started working with felt a lot just a few years ago. I really enjoy sewing by hand so felt has been a fun medium to work with.

How long did it take you? (How many hours total? Spread over how many days?)
I started these book sometime in the summer while I was pregnant with my second son. I was so worried that with two little boys under 18 months old, I would never have time to work on projects again that I went on a frenzy of projects while my older son was napping or in bed. Needless to say, the three quiet books were my biggest projects and I was able to finish all but the binding before my son was born.

For all three books, it probably took 3 or 4 months working for 2-3 hours each day. Some days I didn't get to work at all, and sometimes on the weekends I worked a lot more because my husband was home to help with our son. It took longer because my books are completely hand done except that I used my machine to sew the pages to each other. It might have gone faster had I used my machine more.

Did you use any templates? Where can they be found?
I free-hand cut almost all the felt that I work with. It typically saves me time because I don't have to trace and copy patterns. For the viking ship cover I needed a pattern because it is so detailed. I found a picture of a viking ship online, enlarged it, printed it, and cut it out; then used it as a pattern. I also use a few templates from a blog called ServingPinkLemonade for the toolbox and its tools and the little boy because I just couldn't get the dimensions quite right. I adapted a few ideas from her blog for some of my other pages, but I didn't use her templates (although she does provide them for free). Many of the ideas for my pages were gathered from around Pinterest and other blogs, I just embellished on them to make them more how I wanted, but some pages are my original ideas.

How did you bind your quiet books?
I sewed two pages together back to back so that the messy backside of each page would be hidden and punched metal grommet eyelets into the pages. I used ribbons strung through the eyelets to tie the pages all together. I like this method because it is sturdy, but allows me to add additional pages to the book if I decide to; also I could update or clean one page at a time. My niece's book is actually the only one that is completely done because it was her Christmas present. I'm still looking for the time (with two little boys needing my attention) to finish binding the other two books.

What material are the pages made out of?
The actual pages are made from thick non-fusible Pellon. I used this material because I heard that it is more durable and holds its shape better than felt. It can be found at fabric stores with the fusible interfacing and is a really nice material to work with. Unfortunately, Pellon is only made in white, so the background to all my pages is white unless I sewed felt onto it.

I used wool felt for all the pictures in the book.A few years ago when I first stared working with felt I used the much less expensive synthetic felt, but found that it doesn't hold its shape as well as wool felt and pills (those little balls that gather up on fabric or on sweaters) very easily with a lot of use. I decided to spend the extra money on wool felt for all these books because I'm able to cut more detailed shapes from it and it stays looking nice much longer.

What other materials did you use?
Beads, buttons, Velcro, snaps, zippers, and of course embroidery floss.

How much did all the supplies cost you?
Ouch! I bet I spent close to $100. However, when you consider that I made three books with a total of about 40 pages, this isn't too bad. I have Pellon and felt still left over and plan to eventually make more pages to add into the books. Wool felt costs 3-4 times more than synthetic felt, especially when you buy it in the small squares rather than off the bolt (I did it this way because I needed a wider variety of colors). Had I used synthetic felt, it would have been much less expensive.

What's your favorite page? Why?
The cover of my boys' book with the viking ship is my favorite even though it doesn't have any activity that goes with it. My husband kept insisting that I do a viking ship, but I kept putting it off because I thought it was much too difficult. I finally cut a pattern out like I described above and spent a lot of time working on all the details of the ship. I like this page the best because it was the most challenging and I think it turned out really well.

To see more of Keely's quiet books, check them out on her blog here. Thank you, Keely, for sharing your seriously awesome quiet books with us!

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


  1. I am wondering how you made the telling time page? Did you have a template for that one?

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