Here are some tips and links which I found helpful in making my quiet books:
- I try to do something almost every day. Eventually you get there! Some days all I do is cut off the ends of the cotton that I sewed the day before. Sometimes I cut out the pattern, or even just part of it... I've still done something!
- Celebrate small successes :) I show my progress to my husband and text pictures to my sister and Mum.
- Don't worry too much about small decisions or lack of skills. My sister pretends she is making it for someone else. If you can't choose between colours, don't worry, it will probably look great either way. And your child will probably enjoy it either way. Also, they won't complain that your sewing is not professional enough. It will still be tons of fun and learning, and therefore achieves the goal.
- Do the easy bits first, that way you haven't got much left when the hard bit comes, and you want to see the outcome.
- When sewing small fiddly pieces back to back, only cut out the top piece, then sew it onto a sheet of felt for the bottom. Cut it out after sewing it together using the top piece as a guide. It is much easier to sew and keep from moving around that way. See a tutorial on Laura Thoughts here.
- Unless you want a stand out effect, match your thread colour to your felt, or use a clear fishing twine type of thread available from sewing supply stores. Be careful though as it can be difficult to use this kind of thread.
BINDING THE BOOK
- I bind my pages back to back and insert ribbon tabs along one side to put album rings through. It is easy and I am able to undo the pages if anything needs fixing.
- Here is a simple way to put the pages together by Vanessa Goertzen from Lella Boutique.
- Novel idea on how to sew thick cloth books together by Deborah from Cloth Books for Baby.
- And Deborah's skinny version here.
- Button hole binding by The Hawkins Family requires few extra supplies.
- Cluck Cluck Sew has a great tutorial on how to sew binding on to a quilt. Use the same method to finish page edges back to back when making a fabric quiet book. Here is a good YouTube clip by HeirloomCreations.
- Watch a video of how to put the pages together once they have been finished with binding by Sorokina Irina here. Sorry its not in English.
IRON ON TRANSFERS
- An easy way to make quiet book pages, but there are some drawbacks.
- Always remember to reverse the image, particularly if you are using words or want things to face a particular direction. It will be reversed back again once you iron it onto your felt.
- The felt will not stick to the background if you use a transfer for the background. So it is best to use this method for pages where you intend to have movable parts or hidden things behind flaps, or on pages where you have sewn the background with felt so it will still stick.
- Use an appropriate transfer paper. They come in transparent or opaque. Transparent is best for use on white felt, whereas opaque can be used on any colour felt and the image can still appear white where needed e.g. on a face etc.
- Here is a good tutorial by Pam from Keeping Life Creative.
PRINTING ON FABRIC
- How to Stiffen Felt by Jessica at Cutesy Crafts
- Cutting detailed shapes out of felt using freezer paper by American Felt and Craft
- Painting felt by American Felt and Craft
- How to make a zip pocket video by Lella Boutique and Fat Quarter Shop.
- Tip for sewing with vinyl by Make It & Love It.
WHERE TO BUY FELT
- Aside from the usual Spotlight, Lincraft, and Hobby Sew, here are a few more links below...
- JJ Davies & Sons Pty Ltd in Melbourne, and Felt Fabricating Pty Ltd in Adelaide, sell a range of wool designer felt, viscose decorative felt, synthetic craft felt, and self adhesive felt. They sell it as rolls, squares and scrap bags, which are ideal for arts and crafts and very affordable. See their website here.
- Theo's Discount Crafts, also in Melbourne, sell quite cheap felt squares and a bunch of crafting supplies. They also publish their sale dates for the year ahead of time, which is awesome!
WHERE TO GET BUTTONS
- My local dump has a recycle center where they give away free clothes! You can find some very interesting buttons on clothes at the dump. You can also find material there occasionally too.