Sunday, 8 October 2017

Ribbon Quiet Book Binding Method

The Ribbon Quiet Book Binding Method is a very simple way to put a quiet book together if you want the book to be completely bound. By 'completely bound' I mean that you cannot swap the pages in and out. It is a completely bound book and will stay that way.


The pillowcase closure has been pulled back underneath so you can see the layers side on.


This is a method I came up with after trying Debbie's tutorial of How To make Cloth Books from her website Cloth Books for Baby. I tried her method on my Up-cycled Clothes Quiet Book, and while it was super simple, I found that the spine was rather thick and difficult to sew. It didn't help that I sewed some of the clothes right to the edge of my borders, but I guess that is what you get when you make a quiet book. Very thick pages.




So to combat this issue, I tweaked Debbie's idea slightly and came up with the Ribbon Quiet Book Binding Method.

I must warn you, I put this quiet book together very late, actually very early, on Christmas morning last year. It came together quite quickly, considering. If I was using the traditional quilted quiet book binding method, I am certain I could not have finished in time.




I think I may have already attached my Pillowcase Quiet Book Closure to the back cover before that night, but I can't quite remember. Let's assume that I had!




Most of the pages were made by people in a swap that I went in, so I can't take any credit for those. Aside from the cover, the pages I did made for this book were for a Felt Board in a Fabric Quiet Book, and a pocket page to store the felt board pieces and random pieces from other pages. I wanted the pocket to be easily accessible from the felt board pages as it is not constructive to play to be having to turn the page to get to a pocket, especially when there is nothing attaching the pieces, and they would likely fall off and have to be re-positioned.


View of the book folded out with the cover and closure showing.

I positioned the pages in the order I wanted them to appear once put together, then sewed the pages on two or three sides (depending on how many ribbon spines or joiners were to be attached to them) with right sides together. Then I turned them so right sides were facing out before attaching ribbons to form spines or joiners between the pages.




This reduced the bulkiness along the seams, and meant that the pages could be stacked together and sewn down the middle to form a spine so much easier than with my attempt for the Up-cycled Clothes Quiet Book.




Mum was horrified that I didn't top stitch the pages once I turned them, and is worried that they will fray, especially if I need to wash it. I guess I am just lazy, and I will hand wash it anyway if I need to so I think it will be OK. The zigzag stitch should help with that too.




View of the ribbon joiner attached at the seam where the pillowcase closure is attached.


The book can be folded innumerable ways so that any page can be sitting on top.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Genesis 6 - Preparing For The Flood Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 6, God tells Noah to build an ark.



Memory Verse: "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female." Genesis 6:19

Materials needed to create Preparing For The Flood quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used dark green
  • Betty Lukens Felt book 07 Noah's Ark available at Koorong.
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • scissors!
Cut out all the pieces for this page and the page itself from the Betty Lukens set. Cut it out as it is, not in the shape of an ark as suggested in the instructions. The Betty Lukens FAQ section has posted a cutting tips PDF.

Sew the Betty Lukens page onto the background felt along three sides, leaving the top edge open to form a pocket. Pop the pieces inside the pocket (or better yet, play with them)!

Finished!




Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

One of the easiest quiet book pages ever!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 6 - this page tells the story of how God instructed Noah to build an ark to prepare for The Flood.
  • Imaginative Play - get all the animals ready to enter the ark.
  • Matching - there are two of each type of animal - match them into pairs.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through rearranging the pieces.

Read the Chapter

Genesis 6

Devotional

How big was the ark? Tour the life-size replica at Ark Encounter via you tube.

Or read this article on worldwide flood traditions

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Psalm 127 - Unless the LORD Builds the House Quiet Book Page

In Psalm 127, Solomon notes that a lot of effort is wasted when we try to do things without God's help.


Memory Verse: "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain." Psalm 127:1

Materials needed to create Unless the LORD Builds the House quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used bright green.
  • Wonderwall in a slightly smaller size than the background
  • sewing thread to best match the wonderwall
  • stiffened felt in various colours
  • Velcro dots - hook side only
  • hot glue gun and glue - optional
  • the free template
  • pen and scissors!
Cut out the blocks from the template and draw around each the correct number of times on the colour of stiffened felt chosen. Cut out the blocks from the stiffened felt. Cut your Velcro dots in half and attach the Velcro dot to the side of the stiffened felt block which has the pen mark on it. You may need to use a little hot glue to hold them in place, especially if your Velcro dots are a little old like some of mine were, and the sticky is not so sticky anymore.

It is difficult to see in the photos, but the white circle is actually attached with a Velcro dot to a dark blue square block. It is meant to be a clock.

Sew your Wonderwall to the background page, leaving enough room for a colourful border and to allow you to sew your pages back to back once you are ready to sew the book together.




Stick your building blocks onto the Wonderwall with the Velcro and re-arrange to make all sorts of buildings.  They should all fit on the page for storage purposes.




Finished!

Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

One of the easiest quiet book pages ever!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 6 - This page tells about how much God works behind the scenes. We often forget that it is actually Him keeping our cities and country safe, and helping us to build our lives.
  • Shapes - Learn the shapes square, circle, semi-circle, arch, rectangle, pillar, and triangle.
  • Touch and Feel - The Wonderwall adds a rough texture to the page.
  • Imaginative Play - Build endless combinations of houses, city gates, and walls, etc.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through rearranging the Velcroed pieces.


Read the Chapter

Psalm 127

Devotional

Solomon wrote this Psalm. I'm not sure that this is what he was talking about, but I found it a little fitting because he was the one God selected to build His house - the Temple. David had been busy making plans to build a temple, but God told him "No". I guess David knew better than to argue with God, because it seems he accepted that without complaint. He did all he could so it was ready for Solomon though, gathering supplies and drawing up plans.

Like I mentioned in my last devotional for Luke 12 - Where is Your Treasure Quiet Book Page, no-one can be an expert on everything, and if you want your plans to succeed, it is best to ask for help. God's help is the greatest help, and He can find you the right people to provide you with help too. If God has decreed something is not going to succeed, it ain't gonna, so don't waste your efforts.

Once again, we can't rely on own own efforts to build a good life and to keep ourselves safe. That's God's job, and that's great for us, because otherwise how could we go to sleep at night? But He is always there keeping watch and helping if we ask Him to.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Deuteronomy 4 - Seek Me Find Me Quiet Book Page

In Deuteronomy chapter 4, God tells the Israelite's His laws and asks them not to let the memory of all the good things he has done for them fade from their hearts.


Memory Verse: "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29

Materials needed to create the Seek Me Find Me quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used black
  • flat silver cross (I found one at a bead shop) - see the photo at the end of the post to gauge the size - the Australian 10 cent coin pictured is roughly the size of a US quarter.
  • embroidered heart from an embroidered geometric tulle panel
  • ribbon to trim the heart with
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • scissors!


Cut out the heart from the tulle panel. Pin it to the background felt sheet and slip the cross underneath. Sew it down with zig zag stitch. Measure the length of ribbon needed and melt the ends to prevent fraying. I turned the ribbon under at each end for a nice finish. Sew your ribbon down on top of your stitching to hide the edge of the heart, beginning and ending at the junction at the top. I sewed mine down with a slight zig zag stitch as well because of the type of ribbon I used. It made the ribbon sit better. 


Finished!

Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

One of the easiest quiet book pages ever!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.


Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Deuteronomy 4 - This page tells about how God is wanting us to seek Him, and is ready to forgive if we do.
  • Seek and Find - Find the location of the silver cross underneath the embroidered heart.
  • Touch and Feel - The embroidery ribbon and sequins on the heart provides a textural quality to the page, and the cross underneath feels hard to the touch, but is hard to find.
  • Shapes - learn the shape of a heart and cross.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through parting the embroidery ribbon or palpating the heart in general to see/feel the cross underneath.


Read the Chapter

Deuteronomy 4

Devotional

What a beautiful promise God makes with this verse. He has just warned the Israelite not to follow Idols and what the consequences of doing that would be, but then takes the time to reassure everyone that He is very willing to forgive and will not snub them if they do but then repent. He is always there ready to be found if we choose to, in fact He is longing for us to. No sin is too great for God to forgive, for the price Jesus paid with His life is great enough to save us all.


Monday, 21 August 2017

Back to School - Stick Icy Pole Sleeves Tutorial

Welcome to my back to school project for the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop!

I made some cute and handy stick icy pole sleeves. I remember coming home from school and sitting on the couch at home looking out the window on our back yard eating icy poles. Summer enticed me into it. Generally I don't enjoy eating cold things like ice cream, but icy poles were different because you could bite it through the plastic and your teeth had a little bit of protection. Now your hands do too!




Materials needed to create the Stick Icy Pole Sleeves:

  • polar fleece scrap, 4.5" x 7" per stick icy pole sleeve - I used white
  • minky scrap 4.5" x 6" per stick icy pole sleeve - I used zig-zag and pink
  • and just in case you are lazy like me, I made a printable template you can use

First cut out your pieces and pin them right sides together along the shorter top edge, leaving a generous seam allowance. Sew using a straight stitch or a very slight zig-zag stitch (which is recommended for some machines when sewing stretch fabrics).


Next, pin and sew along the sides to form a tube, leaving a normal amount (1/4") seam allowance. Ensure you pin and keep the seam allowance of your previous stitch turned back on itself to reduce bulk when sewing. Please excuse the party blower that Tahlia insisted on putting in the photo. She thought it was hilarious.


After that, turn your tube starting at the polar fleece end (very important) so that wrong sides are together (very important).


Pin across the cut edge (not the folded edge). Make sure that the polar fleece seem and the minky seam are matched together in the middle of the edge and that the seam allowance is once again folded back against itself to reduce bulk. Sew in place.


Clip the corners.


Then turn inside out. You can use a ruler to help push the ends out properly.


Enjoy your hands-freeze-free stick icy poles!



This project is brought to you as part of the #sewmuchfunbloghop - visit the links below to find out what other Back to School Projects everyone has come up with.


You can also find a lovely array of Christian themed quilt patterns throughout her website.


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Luke 12 - Where is Your Treasure? Quiet Book Page

In Luke chapter 12, Jesus talks a lot about possessions, and what they say about our priorities.


Memory Verse: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke:12:34

Materials needed to create the Where is Your Treasure? quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used pink.
  • felt scraps
  • ribbon
  • large heart button
  • trinkets for the treasure inside
  • sewing threads to match ribbon
  • the treasure chest template by Stephanie from Imagine Our Life
I'm not going to give a detailed explanation here because Stephanie has already done a tutorial on how to make the chest in her post. Of course you will need to make the loop of ribbon on the lid large enough to fit over your heart button, and sew the heart button in place on the bottom piece.

It is important to sew the chest pieces using a colour thread that matches the ribbon rather than the felt so that when you sew the pieces onto the page and you go over the ribbon it doesn't look funny. That's my opinion anyway.

Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate

Getting the loop right is probably the most difficult section.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Luke 12 - This page tells the story of how it is better to store our treasure in Heaven, because on Earth our treasure can easily get stolen or ruined.
  • Imaginative Play - who doesn't like to find treasure!
  • Buttoning - Opening and closing the treasure chest.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through buttoning on the treasure chest, and trying on the trinkets.

Read the Chapter

Luke 12

Devotional

As I was reading this chapter and wondering what to write the devotional on, one thing stuck out to me.  A man asked Jesus to tell his brother to share the inheritance with him. Jesus doesn't. Actually, he reproves both men with one story. A man had a bountiful crop and no-where to store it, so he decided to build new barns so he could store it all up for himself and sit back and relax and not work anymore. Instead he dies that night and who knows who got to enjoy his bountiful crop. Jesus' point was that it is better to share what extra we have rather than trusting in our possessions to look after us. We can't look after ourselves by having lots of possessions anyway. For all we know, we will die tomorrow, and no amount of goods can change that.

The inheritance cannot save either of them, but God is the one who will meet their needs. And we can trust Him to because he values us much more than the sparrows, whom he never forgets. Life is about more than food and clothes, and God will ensure he looks after the basics if we stop chasing after them like madmen and take time to focus on the important things, like seeking the Kingdom of God and looking after others.

I used to be enthralled with the idea of self sufficiency. As I have grown older, I have begun to realize that self sufficiency is impossible. No one can grow and make everything they need. It takes too much effort and too much skill. Some climates are not suitable to grow certain things. We can do without a lot, but even so, I get exhausted thinking about everything I would have to do if I wanted to be self sufficient.

God created family and community so that we could support each other. We are supposed to need each other because that teaches us that we can't supply everything we need, and that we need to rely on God. The village baker and the village candlestick maker had very different jobs, but if you had a village full of butchers/bakers/candlestick makers (and every other job-ers), there would be a village full of hungry people with no working tools.

If we all focused on what God has given us that we could share with others and we would all benefit from the best of everything.


That man had a chance to ask the Lord of the Universe a question, and he blew it on "tell my brother to share the inheritance". I hope I would ask a more meaningful question than that, and receive an answer I could treasure.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Psalm 58 - Snail Quiet Book Page

In Psalm 58, David asks God to make the wicked like snails that melt away as they go along!

Memory Verse: "May they [the wicked] be like snails that dissolve into slime" Psalm 58:8a

Materials needed to create the Snail quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used sky blue.
  • felt scraps
  • rik rak
  • sheer printed organza or other colourful sheer material
  • embroidered flower motifs or other hide-able object
  • glass stone or marble, button, bead etc
  • sewing threads to match 
  • this snail colouring page from Coloring Pages for Kids (and a printer)

On your background sheet, arrange some green felt in the foreground to make grass and sew down.

Cut out a double layer of the same green felt in the shape of a bush. Sew the two bush pieces back to back. Then sew them down along the right top edge of the grass, ensuring you leave enough room to fit the snail along the rest of the grass.

Fold back the bush and sew/iron on your motif underneath.

Print and cut out your snail colouring page and use as a template. If you need a more detailed explanation, you could read how I used a colouring page as a template in my post on Jacob's Ladder.

Cut out the snail body and sew down, then add the eye pieces on top.

Measure how much rik rak you need by laying it over the snail outline. Cut a little extra to tuck underneath at each end. Melt the ends with a match so they don't fray.


Lay your organza or sheer fabric over the area where the snail shell will be. Pin your rik rak down in a spiral pattern over the top and slip in a glass stone or other item underneath the organza. Make sure there is enough room to move the stone around while it is still pinned. That way you can adjust it before sewing if needed. I started from the outside edge and went in towards the middle, then turned around a stitched all the way back out again. That will help to make it tough and be able to withstand being played with. Then trim the organza back.


Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate

The tricky part is lining up the rik rak. Also, make sure you cut out the snail shape after sewing it down and not before - I had to re-do it as I missed catching a section and there was a hole that the glass stone kept slipping out of.



This is Tahlia with her three pages of sewing on paper that we did after finishing the snail. She often sits on my lap while I sew and has been dying to test out the fancy stitches on the machine that I never use. So I let her.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Psalm 58 - This page tells about how ultimately the wicked will be like the snail - they will melt away and dissolve into slime!
  • Imaginative Play - Garden play perhaps, imagine how big everything is when you are as small as a snail.
  • Button/stone/marble maze - push the stone around the track.
  • Shapes - learn all about spirals.
  • Peek-a-boo - lift the flap to reveal the (half) hidden flowers.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through moving the glass stone around the spiral maze, and lifting and closing the peek-a-boo flap.

Read the Chapter

Psalm 58

Devotional

All too often, those in authority use their power to take advantage of others. Sometimes they are scary and they scare people into obedience. Sometimes they seem too difficult to stand up to. I guess David knew how that felt. The king of Israel was supposed to be looking after God's sheep, but instead he was hunting one of them down to try to kill him. David.

In a way this verse reminds me of the story of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz story.  She seems formidable until a simple bucket of water causes her great concern and she cries "I'm melting!" as she dissolves into nothing.

I guess my point is that the bucket of water is like a tiny bit of good or a tiny bit of faith. God and goodness are infinitely stronger than evil. In fact, wickedness is self-destructive. It cannot prevail against goodness.

This point was taken to heart by Desmond Tutu in his opposition to apartheid in South Africa. He knew he was on the winning side, because goodness always prevails in the end. Although living in a very volatile situation, he led his country to a war-less end to systematic racial discrimination and segregation, and advocated reconciliation through forgiveness. The country underwent a transition to democracy, and apartheid rule that had lasted over forty years was broken. It melted away because of goodness.

David had experience with that too. Everyone else could only see a giant problem when they looked at Goliath. But David knew that a little stone in the hands of faith could melt that problem. He trusted God to deal with his problems. Our problems might look insurmountable to us, but when you know how good and powerful God is, suddenly you have a way to dissolve them. Just ask Him.

“Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us.” Desmond Tutu.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Genesis 8 - In The Ark Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 8, the Flood recedes and Noah checks by sending out a raven and a dove through a window in the ark.


Memory Verse: "When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth." Genesis 8:11

Materials needed to create the In The Ark quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet, I used navy.
  • felt scrap for pocket
  • Betty Lukens Felt book 07 Noah's Ark available at Koorong.
  • sewing thread to best match the page and pocket
  • scissors!
Cut out all the pieces for this page, and the two ark pages from the set leaving as much margin as possible. You want enough to make it easy to sew back to back and also to leave a flap on the respective sides so you can sew it down to the page along that and it can flip open. The Betty Lukens FAQ section has posted a cutting tips PDF.

Cut out the three sides of the window and door so they can open. Hot glue (or sew) the pictures behind the window and door.

Sew the two pages back to back, sewing around the top along the shape of the ark. They should line up fairly well. Trim the excess, remembering to leave a flap down one side to sew it onto the page with so it flips open.



Make a pocket by folding down the top edge of a rectangular piece of felt and sewing along that edge to reinforce it. Then sew it onto the middle of the page where it will be hidden by the ark.

Sew the ark onto the page along the flap, going over it twice so it is strong.

Pop the pieces inside the pocket (or better yet, play with them)!

Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate.

Double check everything when sewing the pages back to back and ensure you leave enough margin to form a flap for the ark to flip open.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 8 - This page tells the story of how the Flood receded and Noah tested this by sending out a raven and a dove through a window in the ark.
  • Imaginative Play - Open the window to let the raven and dove in and out. 
  • Matching - Check on the animals inside and match the pairs.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through matching the pairs of animals and opening the window and door.


Read the Chapter

Genesis 8

Devotional

I always wondered what Noah and his family filled the ark with besides all the food they and the animals would need for a year or so. If I was planning a new life in a new world, what would I bring?
My sewing machine would be high on the list of wants, but how much good would it do me without electricity at the other end? Did they have items like this that they just had to leave behind because it would no longer be useful? I imagine they packed as much as they could to make setting up a new life as easy as possible.

I also imagined one of Noah's sons' wives being pregnant on the ark. When I was a child I guess I didn't consider things like sea sickness getting in the way of that, or the enormous amount of work looking after all those animals must have been. The first child to be born after the flood was born two years after the flood (Genesis 11:10). So I guess it didn't take them long to get organised enough to feel that getting pregnant was OK.

I recently had a dream where it was my family entering the ark, and as I was busily packing forgotten items, it suddenly hit me that all my debt was gone. I couldn't stop hugging my family and celebrating! In the morning there would be no more bank! I'm sure you can extrapolate this to mean Jesus paid our debts. But what really hit me was the physical debts gone. And that is also coming with Jesus' return. Money will become useless once again!