Friday, March 16, 2012

Quiet Book - Shapes Page

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I did it!  I did it!  I did it!  I finished a quiet book page!  No, really.

I know this isn't shocking news to anyone but me (and maybe some of you who know my propensity to start and never finish huge craft projects...) but when you make your own Quiet Book, you will be equally excited about your first finished page.  It isn't perfect by any means, but it is amazing to me.  

I give you The Shapes Page!

The felt shapes snap on to their corresponding fabric shapes on the page.
I tried to make the colors somewhat similar, too.

I'm a very visual person.  Writing directions is a bit of a struggle.  (Maybe I should unearth my How-To outline that worked so well for my third-graders.)  If you have questions after reading this, please ask.

Each shape is 3 pieces of material - 2 felt, 1 fabric.  The bottom piece of felt and the fabric both have snaps.  The top piece of felt is embroidered, and I machine sewed the two pieces together.  (Hahahahaha, that went awesome.)

To make the snaps stronger (remember, a toddler will be ripping these off the page) I put a piece of fabric behind each one before attaching the snap.  If you could see the backs of the snaps, you would see white material behind each piece of felt or fabric.  This is why I had a top piece to the felt.

For the shapes I either traced household things or used outlines I found by googling "shapes outlines".  There are a million printables out there to get the shapes you want.  It was difficult to choose just eight.

I sewed the fabric shapes on using some cool patterned stitch on my machine (button stitch?) that looked really awesome in another quiet book.  By the end, I was thankful that I was using white thread on a white background, because it devolved quickly.  I won't show you a close-up of the crescent.  Let's just say it ended in a straight stitch across the curve, and me stomping off to make dinner.  Stupid crescent.

The embroidery was an adventure.  I'd only ever embroidered one thing in my life and, in my lexicon, "embroidery floss" is synonymous with "friendship bracelet string."  There are many great tutorials on the web, though.  As stated above, I'm extremely visual, and this image is what got me through most of the embroidery.  It is emblazoned on my screen, I've had it up so often.

Things I would do differently next time:

I would cut the top piece of felt, decorate it, and then attach it to a bottom piece that was big enough to be the shape, but not yet cut, snap piece attached.  Then I would do the same with the fabric - attach the snap to a piece big enough to be the shape, but not cut.  Next, I would snap the two pieces together, pin it all in place, then cut it out.  It would avoid all the lining up issues I had.  Some of the snaps are wildly off, so the shapes don't cover... the most irksome being the crescent.

I would fuse the fabric shapes to the background... so maybe cut this with the above?  I had purchased Heat 'N Bond for this exact reason (and to finish the garden page) but I did not purchase an iron with which to apply said Heat 'N Bond.  (Our old iron was forgotten at our last home in NC, but we did own one, to be clear.)

I might put something more into the shapes.  We emptied a bag of Cherrios this morning (a weekly occurrence around here) and I cut a piece of the cleaned bag to fit inside the trapezoid.  Now it crinkles.  The bunny has a fuzzy tail, which V. is obsessed with.  I'm sure I could have thought of more creative things to do, but at this point I feel that there is so much going into every page that there will be more than enough opportunity for creativity.

And for those of you who don't sew or embroider, and are as clueless as I, some mistakes to learn from:

Don't start on corners.  This is a good rule for anything.  It may seem like a great idea to start that embroidery design or sewing right there on the corner, but it isn't.  The ends of your embroidery won't be nicely enclosed in the shape if you start it on a corner (and have some mad sewing skills like I) and if you start sewing on the corner - particularly felt-on-felt - your machine will let you know how very very bad this idea is.  Start on a nice edge.  You'll get back to it eventually, anyway.

Use pins, even if the pieces are small, for at least one side.  You don't want to be trimming everything later, realizing that your shape is not half what it used to be, or is somehow an entirely different shape altogether.

Maybe this will be done by her second birthday!

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