Quiet Book (QB) is a toy which helps development of children’s fine motor skills. And what’s also interesting for the parents is the fact that the name fits the effect of the toy perfectly. The child is entertained with the activities in the book and plays quietly for a while.
I decided to make this QB for Mina's 2nd birthday as I made a similar toy for her older sister at this age. Also I find 2-3 years to be the age when kids most enjoy this type of toys. And let me just say - it was the perfect idea. Mina screamed of joy when she opened her present and started discovering all the tricks. And it works! She can actually sit down for 10 minutes and play with it without climbing the shelves or drawing on the walls!
This tutorial is actually 3 in 1. First I will tell you how to construct a QB page, then I will show you the activities in Mina's book and the last part is a detailed tutorial on the QB cover. Don't be scared of the number of steps, each page and it's activities are in a separate step but that's mostly photos.
This book is 30 x 30 cm (11.8 x 11.8 in), the pages are made from firm felt sheets and the fabric decorations are also from felt. The book cover is made from cotton canvas reinforced with fusible fleece. There are two bookbinding rings attached to the center of the cover and each page has 2 grommets through which the pages are attached to the rings.
Step 1: Constructing a Page
First, let me explain to you briefly how to construct the felt sheet page. Use 30 x 30 cm (11.8 x 11.8 in) felt sheets which you don't need to reinforce with fusible fleece.
After you have attached all the activities to the page, measure where the grommets will be (red dots in the picture above). Both grommets should be placed at the same distance from the edges of the page and also from the center. Then punch holes in the two places and place the grommet. (picture 1)
Put two pages wrong side together and stitch all 4 sides together about 0,5 cm / 0.2 in from the edges.(picture 2)
When the pages are stitched together, hem all 4 sides with bias tape. Your page is done. (picture 3)
Step 2: Page Inspiration - Video
Creating the activities for a Quiet Book is definitely the most fun part of the process.You can find so much inspiration online and I made a short video presenting the activities in Mina's book, so check it out and get inspired!
Step 3: Photos With Description - Front
And now you've watched the video let me tell you a bit more about the activities.
The front bears the letter A embroidered with the technique Amish stumpwork for which you can find an instructable here.
The flowers are made from buttons and one sew-on applique and the leaves are embroidered with straight horizontal and vertical lines that go over and under each other alternatively.
The flamenco dancer is stitched only on a part of her back, so she can be moved a little as if she was dancing.
Step 4: Collecting Fruit
The fruit is attached to the page with hook-and-loop fastener (velcro) and can be collected into the basket. The sun is made from a mirror and it’s rays are made from different materials.
Step 5: Who Lives There?
The roof tiles move when you stroke them with your hand. The door has a tiny keyhole for the key that hands next to the door. Behind the door and the windows there are photos of the children, parents and grandparents sewn into a transparent foil.
Step 6: Dressing Up
The washing machine is a spy bag – foil filled with beads that hide several tiny objects which the kids can find moving the beads away. Above the washing machine there is a cord with laundry and tiny wooden pins. The clothes can be placed on the boy to dress him.
Step 7: It’s Raining!
It’s raining colorful zippers from the cloud into the pond. The fish in the pond can be moved on the string. The butterflies can be moved, too, as they are stitched to the page only on the top.
Step 8: In the Garden
There’s a ladybug living in the garden. Her spots are hidden behind the zipper and can be attached to the ladybug with snap fasteners. A spider and a snail are hiding in the grass. The flowers can be unbuttoned. The pod with a golden closing is is the home of three mischievous peas.
Step 9: Mouse in the Cheese
The mouse on a leather string moves through the holes in the Emmenthaler.
Step 10: On the Farm
The animals live behind a fence in a barn and they are finger puppets. The vegetables can be harvested in the box.
Step 11: Notes
There’s a treble staff and a bass staff. Some magnets are hidden under the staffs and some more attached to the backside of the notes, rests, flat, sharp and natural.
Step 12: Doing the Hair
The redhead’s hair can be done with the elastic bands in her pocket and hairclips. The young lady is wearing beaded necklace matching her t-shirt.
Step 13: Clip
6 straps are attached to this page, each one with a backpack clip.
Step 14: Cover - Material Needed
You will need:
From cotton canvas:
- 2 rectagles: WIDTH: 2x page width + 10 cm / 3.9 in (spine) + 1 cm / 0.4 in;
HEIGHT: page height + 1 cm / 0.4 in
In my case: 71 x 31 cm / 28 x 12.2 in
From fusible fleece:
- 2 rectangles: WIDTH: page width;
HEIGHT: page height
In my case: 30 x 30 cm / 11.8 x 11.8 in
- 2 rectangles (spine): WIDTH: 9 cm / 3.5 in;
HEIGHT: page height
In my case: 9 x 30 cm / 3.5 x 11.8 in
- 2 bookbinding rings with diameter of 5 cm / 1.97 in
- 4 grommets or a thread to finish the holes with stitching
- 1,5 cm / 0.6 in bias tape to cover the circumference the whole cover plus a few cm/in - in my case: 210 cm / 82.7 in
- 2 stripes of the same bias tape, length 50 cm / 19.7 in
Step 15: Inner Cover
Measure a stripe 10 cm / 3.9 in wide in the center of one canvas rectangle – inner side of the cover (black lines). Then place one of the fusible fleece rectangles for spine in the center of the measured stripe so that there is 0,5 cm / 0.2 in left between the edge of the fusible fleece and the edge of the stripe. Iron the spine to the canvas so it sticks in place.
Then measure the holes for the grommets. They should be in the same height as the grommets on the pages – check out measuring the grommets placement here). First mark the center of the fusible fleece lengthwise (red line) and then take the height in which the grommets should be placed (in my case 10 cm / 3.9 in) and measure 1 cm / 0.39 on each side (green dots). (picture 1)
Punch holes where you’ve marked the dots and insert grommets (picture 2) or finish the holes with stitching (pictures 3 and 4).
Insert the rings into the holes and leave the opening on the right side. (picture 5)
If you want a pocket on the inner side of the cover, now is the time to stitch it (I forgot to do that and attached it later, that’s why you won’t see it in the following pictures). (picture 6)
Step 16: Outer Cover
Now take the other canvas rectangle – outer cover – and decorate it. (picture 1)
Then take the other piece of fusible fleece for the spine and iron it in the same place like you did the first one. Then take the two bigger fusible fleece rectangles, align them with the spine piece so that there’s 0,5 cm / 0.2 in between the fusible fleece and the edges of the canvas. Iron all the fusible fleece pieces. (pictures 2 and 3)
Step 17: Assembling the Cover
Place the inner cover and outer cover wrong sides together and stitch them. (picture 1)
Then hem them with the bias tape. (pictures 2 and 3)
At both sides of the spine there should be a 0,5 cm / 0.2 in wide stripe without any fusible fleece. Stitch through both stripes. (picture 4)
Take those 2 stripes of bias tape, fold them lengthwise and stitch. Stitch each stripe to the edge of the front and back cover to make laces to close the book with. (picture 5)
Open the rings and insert the pages. (pictures 6 and 7)
That's it! I really hope I inspired you to create your own Quiet Book and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and comment!