Aurelia is my best friend’s baby girl, who is nearly a year old. Whenever I see her which is pretty often, especially at mine she’s in to all sorts of textures. She will sit in my armchair and run her fingers up and down the arm rest feeling the fabric, with her other hand in on the cushion. Another texture. At 6 months old I saw her sitting there smiling away exploring all the different textures I had compared to her house and thought of this perfect gift for her. I also wanted her book to be something she can play with now but also grow into over the next few years.
Lavinia had no idea I was making this or gifting it to Aurelia. I put a lot of time researching, planning and making the book. I used youtube and Pinterest quite a lot to pin ides and adapt them. Most quiet books are made from felt but I wanted to make this in fabric mainly using felt and bits and bobs to embellish. For the front and back cover along with the bow I found this gorgeous baby pink with gold and navy blue flower detailing to it. I simply embroidered her name in chain stick and added the bright pink pompom fringe. Something simple but effective. On the back I just sewed on my Made By Melanie xx label so she forever knows I made it for her.
I wasn’t overly sure how to hold the book shut though I think it would naturally. I added the bow because it was gorgeous. It actually something extra special to the book.
So I would say page wise its completely up to you. There are so many to choose from, such a variety and its really does depend on who you make this for. Aurelia seems girlie to me, or thats how I see her. All girlie colouring, style and of course texture was key for me. So mine is very girlie or unisex, but you can also adapt these in colouring for the needs of a boy or unisex for anyone.
So these pages are the first in my book, so I fell in love with this fabric at the knitting and stitching show back in October at Alexandra Palace. I love all the cat faces and prints across the fabric but I also like the colouring to the fabric. Bold, bright and cheerful.
So the first is a cat that plays beekaboo with you. The paws are soft but crunchy. His whiskers hang so Aurelia can play with them. I have also embroidered on the cats features to add extra texture.
This is the other side to the page and this is a simple bit of yellow felt with circles cut out of! Its attached on the outer edged sides and the Mouse is on a long bit of string and he can thread his way through the cheese. How cute!
This blue patterned and pink fish fabric was actually the first fabric I found for my book. As many of my ideas were under the water or seaside themed. I also found these pages the easiest to make. I brought the wooden buttons, made sure they all had different amounts in before adding to the plastic pouch. This was really easy actually. I just zigzag stitched it in to place round 3 sides and then added the beads and buttons and zigzag stitch the remaining side up. Using blue embroidery thread I chain stitched “how many can you find?” Using felt I cut out the numbers and added velcro to them and to the fabric. Secured the buttons in place and thats it.
So Aurelia really loves this page. She loved looking in the mirror and its so cute seeing her playing away with this page. Lavinia her mummy loves makeup so I thought as she grows older having her own play makeup can entertain her when Lavinia is getting ready. For now she seems happy with the hairbrush and the mirror. Simple to make, all the products are made of felt. I stitched rickrack in so they can hold in place. For the mirror I peeled the backing off stuck it down and have sewn bias binding round the edge.
So the farmyard theme is another obvious one to do unless your theme is Disney Princess. Finger puppets are really handy to use. Aurelia loves them and cuddled them as soon as she saw them. They stayed out with her whilst we looked through the rest of the book. Lavinia and I were even singing Aurelia’s favourite song through the puppets to her. ” The animal fair”. All I did was cut the red felt to a shape of a farm barn and cut another strip to make sure the puppets stay in when on another page. I cut the doors in and stitched round the edge. I used the black rickrack for detailing. The puppets are knitted but felt ones would work too.
To make the garden page I just made sure the felt fit over the fabric which would make that page. I cut slots in the brown felt to hold the carrots in. These are made of felt also. Stitched all the backing felt with a machine stitch to secure and the same with the clouds. All the carrots can be pulled out from the “ground”. Also you will see I attached a ribbon and a baby hoop to this page thats so it can be used as a book mark or hung on any where.
Like I mentioned earlier Aurelia loves all the different textures. I made this for a pure touch and feel kind of page. With the ribbons on the jelly fish and the feathers on the flamingo. Both animals also have felt on them with the soft cotton fabric as the actual page.
Lavinia loves bunnies and thats always been a thing, a lot of Aurelia’s things or baby shower at least was Beatrix Potter themed. This page is really clever for now Aurelia can just play with it, removing the tails and putting them back wherever. But when the time comes this is a really good way to teach her colours. All the pompom tails are velcroed on and this will make a fun game to learn the colours. I just cut out felt bunnies and zigzag stitched them in place. Added the velcro to both the bunnies and the tails and that was it. A really quick but effective page.
Who as a child didn’t have at least one game of noughts and crosses? Imagine taking this on the plane or a long car journey as a child playing with a friend or sibling. This has to be my favourite page. Its one of the last ones I came up with and I love it. I found the bumble bees and lady birds in my local craft store, all I did was add the velcro and sewn the rickrack lines on. I know Aurelia at nearly a year can’t really play noughts and crosses but I wanted this book to last her a while. But for now she can touch them, feel the textures and remove them and stick them back again.
So as well as touchy feely to this page, the flower petals can be removed and swapped on to other pompoms. Really easy I just cut the felt flower shapes out and cut a slit in the middles perfect for the pompoms to fit through. The butterfly I brought the chew wings from the Knitting and Stitching show but I added the sparkly fabric to its body and stitch in its antennas. The wings are move about so Aurelia can play with these, pretending its a real butterfly flying above the flowers.
Ok so maybe I choose a over the top fabric for these pages but none the less its ice-cream so ties in with the pages theme. This is really simple again I stitched the ice-cream cone and 2 bits of velcro to where the scoops of ice-cream would go. The trick to any pages using velcro make sure all the velcro is the same so that the removable bits actually stitch to the bits secured to the fabric. The other page I just used felt to make scoops of ice-cream, a flake, strawberries and cherries for toppings for the ice-cream parlour. I then used some plastic and felt to make a container of shaky bits. I just added glitter and ok the glitter came out too fast and sequins. These are all secure in the plastic container. So don’t worry mums you won’t have glitter everywhere. This is the last pages in my book.
Once all the pages were complete I machined them together adding wadding to the middles. It was as easy as placing the book how it would be finished. Pin the pages together, so front cover to the first page and the wadding and sewing, then I used that wadding and stitch the second page to the third and so on until I got to the last page and the back cover. I then had to stitch this page secure but topstitched these. I then topstitched around the first and front cover to secure and thats you book finished. Obviously if you are like me and adding the bows you need to add these in your first and last pages.
What pages or ideas would/do you have to make your very own quiet book?