Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Tahlia's Quiet Book - Teddy Page

Here is another page my Mum and I made for Tahlia's original quiet book. I am including the free template so you can make one for someone special too!

This teddy was originally a full teddy that my Mum designed and had her primary school craft class make.  We cut him off at the shoulders and put a ribbon to learn to tie around his neck. This is proving to be a challenging task, but one that has been of interest to Tahlia for quite a while now. She undoes the bow very quickly, and then pretends to do it back up. She watches carefully as someone does it up for her.

We also made his ears able to flap, which I am so happy about because Tahlia has found that she can play peek-a-boo by covering his eyes with his ears!!

Since I got the idea of making quiet books around the time of my friend's baby shower, I decided we should make her one at the party.................... Right.................... Probably not a good idea. Mum and I had to finish off a lot of pages. Actually we were making two of each page at that party since my friend's sister was also planning a baby. So, along with a few others, we made this page three times, phew!

The other teddies we made had blue and green eyes. Tahlia ended up with the pink ones because she was the only baby with a known sex at the time. They all ended up being girls though! Anyway, I'd like to teach her about having 'pink eye' and how to treat it with pretend eye drops. We could get some real imaginary play going on at the vet or doctor's clinic.

Materials needed to create the Teddy Quiet Book Page:

  • A4 felt background sheet in cream
  • felt scraps in tan
  • ribbon
  • black wool
  • black thread
  • two large buttons
  • my Mum's teddy template... Thanks Mum!

How to create the Teddy Quiet Book Page:

  • Cut out each ear twice and sew together to strengthen.
  • Cut a length of ribbon and burn the ends to stop it fraying.
  • Cut out the head and body section and pin in place with the ribbon and ears positioned underneath. Sew down.
  • Mum embroidered his mouth and nose for me with some black wool.
  • Attach the eyes with black thread.

All Done!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Genesis 4 - Cain and Abel Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 4, God accepts Abel's offering but does not accept Cain's.

Memory Verse: Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6,7.

Materials needed to create the Cain and Abel quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used dark green.
  • felt scraps in thick white, thin white, stone, and wheat colours
  • sewing thread to match each colour of felt
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • various blind samples in stone and stick colours and patterns
  • red and wheat coloured wool scraps
  • an altar template - I used this activity page from Calvary Kids
  • a sheep template - I used this image from Free Bible Stories For Children
  • my wheat sheaf and altar sticks template
  • instructions on how to do the wheat embroidery stitches by Mary Corbet on YouTube
Cut out the altar template as a complete altar, leaving space around the edge. Cut four of this from stone coloured felt and sew them doubled up to strengthen them. Sew them down leaving the edges that face the middle of the page open so that the altars become a pocket to store the other items in.

Cut the stones out of the template. Cut two lots of stones from blind samples, one from a light stone colour, and one from a darker stone colour. Hot glue them onto the altars using a mixture of light and dark stones on each altar.

Cut out the sticks background template and cut out doubles from dark brown felt. Sew them back to back. Cut out the sticks from a mottled brown blind sample and hot glue them onto the backgrounds.

Cut one the complete sheep template and cut one from some fairly thick white felt. Then cut off the legs and face of the sheep from the template. and cut out two lots from some thinner white felt. Sew them onto the sheep as it's wool coat, one on each side. Cut out the ears from the thinner felt and attach by hand or using a zero stitch length zig zag setting on your machine.

Tie some red wool around the legs of the sheep.

Cut out the wheat sheaf template and cut one from some fairly thick felt. Cut out two from wheat coloured felt. Hand embroider the wheat on first, then sew on either side of the thick felt with the wheat coloured wool layered in between. Tie the wool into a bow.


Difficulty Level = Intermediate

The sheep and bundle of wheat are the slightly harder elements of this page. You could simplify it by finding images online to print onto transfer paper and then ironing them onto the felt instead. This was the first hand embroidery I have ever done (aside from a few cross stitches and things as a child).

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 4 - This page tells the story of Adam and Eve's sons Cain and Abel, and the devastating result of sin.
  • Ordering - place the sticks and sheep/wheat in the correct order on top of the altar.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through positioning the pieces on top of the altar.

Read the Chapter

Genesis 4


There is debate regarding why God was displeased with Cain's offering due to the fact that there are no recorded instructions given by God prior to this incident.

Some think that the reason was more that Cain's offering was proud and or selfish, not the fact that he had not brought an animal. Cain needed to trade with Abel in order to get an animal, since he was a herdsman and Cain grew crops. The other differing point was that Cain brought some of his crop rather than the best like Abel did, bringing fat portions of some of the the firstborn.

An offering can be, but does not necessarily refer to a sacrifice.

God did demonstrate what constituted a sacrifice for Adam and Eve before they left the Garden in the previous chapter, Genesis 3. God made them clothes out of animal skins. Most people think of them dressed as a cave man and woman, but it was most likely sheep skins they were dressed in, and therefore they were wearing white. The animals were used to cover them, and represented the covering of their sins. They were made righteous again by the shedding of the innocent animals blood which represented the shedding of Jesus' blood, which if they believed, would make them truly righteous. I am sure they tried their hardest to be good parents, to raise their children well, teaching them how to serve God and passing on this story and belief. In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Hebrews 9:22 CJB. This verse refers back to Leviticus 17:11 in the old testament.

Also, Cain and Abel were grown men - Cain reminds God that wherever he goes, people will want to kill him, surely evidence that by this time, his brothers and sisters had also grown up and reached adulthood. So I assume this was not the first sacrifice they had done, and that Cain had previously pleased God with his sacrifices.

So, why do you think God was displeased?

Image Source

The mark given to Cain by God is very interesting. Jewish sources (Rashi and the Zohar) claim that the mark was a Hebrew letter. I imagine that it was the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, 'tav'  or "t" in English, which was in the shape of a cross and means "mark, sign, signal, or monument". Follow the transition of the shape of the letter 'tav' from early to modern Hebrew on the Ancient Hebrew Research Center website.

The purpose of this mark was to dissuade people from wanting to kill Cain, i.e. to save him. God continually offers us His grace, forgiveness and salvation, no matter how bad we think we are. I think there is a chance that Cain accepted God's grace and will be in Heaven.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Tahlia's Quiet Book - Ice-cream Page

What little girl (or boy) doesn't like Ice-cream? This page encourages imaginative play, and imaginative ice-cream flavour naming!!! I can't wait to hear what Tahlia comes up with.

The pocket flap is designed to extend the page so it is tall enough to stack up lots of flavours. The bubble gum flavour on the top of the right cone is one of my favourites, and it was made by collecting a heap of coloured cotton scraps and sewing them down by machine.

I wanted this page to be it's own pocket. It was a challenge for myself as I already had the idea of one page per chapter of the Bible, which doesn't allow for extra pocket pages. Plus why not make each page as exciting as possible, rather than just being a filler in a book?

To reinforce the bottom pocket section, I just folded it in on itself and sewed the edge down. To do the top part of the pocket where the ice-cream hangs down past the pocket flap, I sewed two green spotted felt pieces together where I wanted the flap to end, but left both edges with a large length of hem below where the ice-cream edge now is. Then I sewed down the ice-cream tops on the top of the flap and over the seam extending into the length of hem. Then I trimmed the hem around the ice-cream tops and along the flap edge.

It took forever to create this page - around three weeks of evenings, and I did double of nearly everything so I could include this page in my niece Vashti's book as well. The bead work really slowed it down.

My mum made the pattern for this, which is a great personal touch for Tahlia, and something I really appreciate. However, I did have a problem on my machine with the wavy edge being a little tight to allow me to turn easily. Since then, I found a free pattern available from Wee Folk Art which will probably work better, so I will refer you to it instead of uploading my mum's template.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Tahlia's Quiet Book - Front Cover and First Page

Here is the front cover and first page of Tahlia's first quiet book... with instructions on how to make the pages!

Tahlia is a Hebrew name, and means "dew from Heaven", and in a broader sense, "blessing" because essentially, dew is a blessing from God. So the tear shaped sparkles on the flower petals are to represent dew. She loves it!

I used the template provided by Rachel from the blog Lines Across available here for the flower, although I made a few modifications. I tacked down the petals with a sewing machine first, and sewed them onto the page rather than using glue. I want my creations to last, so machine sewing is a better option. I did glue down the flower center as it would have been difficult to sew. I did use the circle as a guide so I knew where to place the petals, although it wouldn't be necessary if felt is limited. Also, I found that the recommended number of petals was no-where near enough. I probably placed the petals nearer to the outside of the circle than Rachel did. In my creation, there are 17 of the largest petals in the outermost layer, 16 of the middle sized petal, and 14 in the inner layer of the smallest size.

The first page that you open up to is a back-to-back laminated Bible verse page. It has two verses making reference to dew from heaven, Zechariah 8:12 and Psalms 133:3. Both imply blessing, just like Tahlia is to us.

If you click on the H2919 in the above Zechariah link, it will explain the Hebrew meaning of the word translated as dew in English.
To make this page, I first printed the two verses on coloured paper, cut them out, and laminated them back to back. I trimmed the edge leaving a 5mm clear edge around it to ensure it was laminated properly, and to allow the ribbon that I sewed down on the page as a frame to show through. The corners are made from a square of felt folded and sewed down along the outer edges with a triangle of overhead plastic sandwiched in between. I have since discovered thick stiffened felt, and will probably just use a triangle of that if I do something similar again.

Tahlia was keen to get her hand in the photo!

Learning to tuck things in is an important skill for a toddler, and this page is a fun way to learn. It might seem pretty basic, but Tahlia does enjoy this page, and when the time comes to learn about the meaning of her name, I'm sure it will only gain significance.

My husband and I actually didn't know there were such verses in the Bible when we named Tahlia. We knew the meaning and that it was of Hebrew origin, but didn't know that there were verses containing the root word, albeit not the actual name. God showed me the Zechariah verse one day when Tahlia was only a few months old. After that I looked up the H2919 occurrence in the Bible and read all the other verses, of which there are thirty. My other favourite was Psalms 133:3, but there are plenty of other nice ones too. Perhaps she will prefer some of the others, and we can always laminate them and swap them over.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Sew a Hexagonal Game Board

I have been wanting to make a hexagonal game board forever... You can play lots of abstract strategy games on this board, including hexagonal chess and three player hexagonal chess.

I've been thinking about how to make a hexagonal board with ease, and when I went through my material stash and found this material with hexes already printed on it, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. But if you are a sucker for punishment, here is a link to a blog post by Candice of Sew Says You with awesome pictures of how to make quilt-as-you-go hexies.

So, this is the not-really-quilted game board I mentioned I was working on in my Placemat Game Boards post.

It is double sided, with a 91 cell honeycomb board (the more common one) on the blue side, and a 127 cell honeycomb board on the pink side.

Board Game Geek has a list of games you can play on a few different sizes:

127 Cell Honeycomb Board set up for Batalo

I went through the internet printing off a myriad of board game rules and boards quite a few years ago, and I remember a game akin to paper scissors rock played with a queen, horse and bishop on a hexagonal board. I can't find it again, but I'm hoping it is with the stuff I printed off. I can't access it at the moment as it is in storage, but when I can, I'll have the board ready.

I did find a similar game on another site Pair of Dice Games where you can download a printable board, rules and counters.

Materials Needed to Make a Hexagonal Game Board:

  • wool quilt batting
  • hex printed material (in two colours)
  • thin ribbon to outline the board
  • thick ribbon for edging
  • co-coordinating and contrasting thread

How to Sew a Hexagonal Game Board:

Decide how many cells you would like in your honeycomb board. Cut a square of batting slightly larger than the area taken up on your material by that number of hexagons. Fold it into quarters and mark the center with a pin.

Unfold the batting and place your first colour of hex printed material on top. This will be your smaller board. Line up the center pin with the mid-point of the central hex of your board. Pin the material to your batting.

Pin each hex and batting together around the outside edge of your board to make it easier to follow where you are going for the next step.

Sew through the middle of a ribbon along the outer edge of your game board so you can easily see where it ends when you are playing. Remember to melt the ends with a match to prevent the ribbon fraying.

With your needle firmly planted in the corner of each hex edge, lift the foot and pivot your material and ribbon ready to sew the next edge.

 Pin back the material out of the way. Turn your board over and place your other colour on top, again lining up the center pin with the mid-point of your central hex. Also make sure your boards are oriented the same way. Pin each hex and batting together around the outside of your larger board. You can turn the batting over to check they are lined up OK before you sew the next step.

 Sew a line of fancy stitch in a contrasting colour around the edge of your larger board. A fancy stitch is wider and will be more visible than a normal stitch. You will need to to this on the actual side you are outlining so you can see where you are going. My picture is of the other side so you can see why you need to pin the under side back (that way you won't get two outlines on the smaller board).

Unfold the fabric from underneath and Cut off the excess from your board. Leave enough room for your binding ribbon to stay clear of your contrast stitching.

Sandwich your thick ribbon around the outer edges of your boards and sew down. I stopped and started a new line of sewing for each side. 

At the corner I only sewed until I reached a pin I had placed perpendicular to the outer board hex, and then back stitched. That gave me room to fold the ribbon for the next side. When you get to the end, fold the ribbon under itself before sewing the last section down.


And why not take the opportunity to talk about different strategies - Satan's, God's, and ours in how we can reach other people with God's love...