She starts out with a Matryoshka doll page (Russian stacking dolls). They're something that I've never seen in a quiet book before and it is a really cute way to teach kids about big, bigger, and biggest. Mandrina then has a flower page and a forest page (with little animals hidden that can play peekaboo).
Next there's a really cute counting page spread with leaves on one side covered in certain numbers of bugs. The leaves velcro off to show the number written underneath, and then the child can put the leaves in a vinyl jar on the opposite page. It's followed by another number page where you can lift the flap with a number on it to count the number of buttons beneath, and then an awesome page with two people one it, where you can flip the tops and bottoms to create new combinations of people. (It's really cool, and hard to explain. You'll just have to look for yourself.)
Next Mandrina has two space pages: one of the solar system with all the planets, and one with an astronaut, rocket, and alien. She made her daughter the astronaut. :) These pages are followed by a build-a-robot spread, and two snow pages where you can decorate a snowman.
Following the snowman there's a laundry page, complete with washing machine and socks that you can match up on the page. The clothing theme continues into the next spread, which is a girl's bedroom with a wardrobe full of clothes. On the opposite page there's a doll that you can dress up with all the clothes from the wardrobe.
The next pages take us outside to a farm, where a barn is filled with adorable finger puppets (and I love the fabric used for the background!) and a tractor goes up the hill where you can pick carrots and radishes.
We then go underwater to one of the cleverest shape pages I've ever seen. All of the ocean animals are particular shapes, so you can practice with your toddler by asking them where the triangle-shaped fish is, the rectangle fish, and so on. The next page is an alphabet page with the ABCs sewed on to the page and also stored in little pockets, followed by a quilt page, and then the cover, which is made of cute fabric and has handles for easy carrying.
What's your name? Describe yourself in one sentence.
Who did you make this quiet book for? How old are they?
I made this book for my daughter who's 20 months old.
What's your level of sewing experience?
I've been sewing off and on (mostly off) since I was a kid. Becoming a mom has re sparked my interest in sewing and I've becoming a bit of a Pinterest junky. I still feel like a beginner. My work isn't perfect but I'm happy with the finished project.
How long did it take you?
I worked on it over three weeks for a few hours a day while my daughter was napping. I've fallen behind on a lot of other things.
Did you use any templates? Where can they be found?
I spent hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration for the pages and used templates from imagineourlife.com for the solar system, astronaut, socks and robot pages. Her designs are adorable and she has a great Montessori inspired blog. On the snowman page, I directly copied the skiing snowman from betzwhite.com.
How did you bind your quiet book?
I bound it with 3.5" rings pulled through button holes on each page and made a canvas cover with handles.
What material are the pages made out of?
I've been collecting loads of different fabric remnants, fat quarters and scraps. I used felt and various cotton bits.
What other materials did you use?
I used sequins, buttons, snaps, velcro, beads, clear vinyl sheets and ribbon as well.
How much did all the supplies cost you?
I think it all probably cost about £40 once I finished.
What's your favorite page? Why?
My favourite page is the forest page with my daughter's hand as the tree branches and the hiding animals because it's one that I designed on my own. I think it's also the one that took the least amount of time to put together.
Mandrina, thank you so much for sharing your fantastic book with us!
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