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a Flutter Sleeve Tunic

2014 July 29

I’ve been wanting to make something else with the Flutter Sleeve Nightgown tutorial I posted earlier this year. Mostly, something that wasn’t a nightgown! I managed to whip up a tunic the week before we headed off to Quebec city on vacation, so I could hopefully try a photo shoot in the old part of the city.

Thankfully my daughter decided to be spontaneous, so we got some fun twirls and cartwheels in front of the Chateau Frontenac. You can’t see much of it here, but it’s huge and beautiful – apparently one of the most photographed hotels in North America. These photos are taken on the boardwalk that runs along the outside, and parallel to the Saint Lawrence River. This day there were lots of tourists and we attracted more than a few glances from curious onlookers. I’m sure they were thinking we were either crazy or amazing and fun for photographing cartwheels in the busy area next to the hotel. (I’m hoping for the latter!)

The fabric I used for the main body of the tunic was a 1/2 metre I picked up from Country Clothesline at the spring Creativ Festival this year. It’s a beautiful print from Martha Negley called Dahlia. (I can’t find it on their site anymore, but this is similar and here is the same thing in lime. PS. This post is not sponsored by them, but I love their fabric selection!) When I brought it home my oldest was so pleased it was for her and I am glad she likes what I made from it as well. The contrasting pink sleeves and hem were a necessity due to my daughter wanting everything “as long as possible, Mom”. I’ve really got to stitch up a maxi dress for her!

The tunic is simple to make, I used the Flutter Sleeve Nightgown pattern piece I drafted for the set of nightgowns I made previously and changed the length of the nightgown main body pattern piece to fit into exactly the length of my 1/2 metre of fabric. It’s always amusing when I have to go back and print out my own tutorial so I can remember how I made the everything the first go around! Thankfully the length turned out just long enough to wear with a pair of shorts. And it’s a good, casual, “to the park” shirt she can happily twirl in it pretty much anywhere!

I’ve got one more post this week and then we are off to our annual cottage weekend with only a small amount of solar energy to keep our lamps working at night. It’s a nice break from the electronic noise we’re used to all the time! And, if you are looking for news on the Quiet Book Sew Along, it will be back soon. We are still on track to finish by the end of November, I’ve just needed quite a few more weeks off than I was expecting. Happy Tuesday to you!

Kid Art – Simple Fabric Painting

2014 July 26

A weekend nod to Kid’s Clothing Week’s end today! This fabric painting idea is a fun summer project to do with your kids. Especially if you plan to do some simple sewing with it. (That they would love to be included in!)

Fabric painting with “puffy paint” is something I immediately associate with the eighties and early nineties. In grade six I made a pair of cut off shorts (right above the knees to be modest of course!) with painted bows all over them in different colours. Very puffy, neon and verrrrry coool. If I remember it right they were the most amazing shorts ever… I wonder what happened to them! (Mom?) Anyhow – it is these memories that make me hesitate when I dig out my old-school fabric paints. The horror of the item I’m painting actually turning out puff-painted is enough to make me run in the opposite direction. Until I found this post by the girl creative.

Though I am blogging this a year later, these photos are from the second time we painted fabric. I thought it would be fun for the girls to use paintbrushes and see if their watercolour paintings could be a bit more intentional than the splatter-type art we created the first time. I love seeing just how much the girls have changed and grown up over the last year! They look so much more grown up now, time goes by so fast. My youngest had just turned 3 at this point, it’s such a great way to preserve their art in something they can touch.

To make these, you can refer to the girl creative’s post. My paintings look a lot different than the watercolour look she got on her fabric – you’ve got to check it out!

The painting is really simple and easier outside because it’s simpler to clean up, but if your kids will sit still it works indoors too. Just make sure you cover everything first because the paints do not wash out. To make each square of fabric easier for the girls to paint on I backed them with freezer paper. Just iron the shiny side onto the back of your fabric and it stays in place. (This works when using fabric pens as well!)

As a confession… I’ve still got the squares the girls painted on my to-do list. (Yikes!) Maybe another summer project I could work on with them?

5 Days of Giveaways – Winners!

2014 July 24

Thanks so much to everyone for entering the giveaways last week! I am so excited to mail out these prizes. As usual the Rafflecopter widget I use randomizes everything and chooses the winners for me.

Day 1 – Pretty Potent Bundle + Vintage Bias Tape & Rick-Rack ~ WINNER: #1396 – Robin S. who won just by clicking to enter the giveaway.

Day 2 – Handmade Fabric Tray ~ WINNER: #526 – Margo who left a comment to win. She said “Oh that tray looks just adorable! I found another pattern…but I love this one! Pick me! Pick me!”. Looks like it worked out well for her!

Day 3 – Fiskars Scissors and Clover Seam Ripper ~ WINNER: #335 – Laura E. who won by clicking to enter as well!

Day 4 – Two “I can see Clearly Now” Mini Pouches ~ WINNER: #716 – Lori M. who left a comment saying… “We have Jo-Ann’s close by…no real Quit Shops close…an hour drive or longer. So I love to buy from Bear Creek Quilting& Southern Fabrics online stores… also  Am a very Happy customer of them.”

Day 5 – Gold & Crabapple Bundle + Buttons ~ WINNER: #405 – Jacklynn G. who also won by clicking to enter!

I have everything ready to go and will get them in the mail by Saturday for sure. Save Laura, who happens to be a friend in-real-life. I got to drop hers off today! So exciting! I’ve been waiting through two years of giveaways for the randomizer to pick someone I sew with on a regular basis and it finally happened.

If you haven’t won yet don’t despair. There will be more fun happening around here soon! And, I haven’t forgotten that it is Kid’s Clothes Week this week. I’m not sewing along, since I was lucky enough to have contracted strep throat last weekend so I’ve been trying to sleep it off (along with taking some dreaded antibiotics) this week. Just goes to show you should never vacation, whenever you relax your body goes into shock and gets sick! Bad, I know – but true!

Anyhow, in a small nod to the Kid’s Clothes Week theme of “kid art”, I have a photo-shoot from last August (yes, I am that behind in blogging it!) with a fabric painting idea that my kids love, and I should probably do more often. I think I will be able to share it on the weekend. Until then, I am off to get some rest!

the Staple Dress {drop shirt-tail hemline tutorial}

2014 July 22

And now… back to our regular programming folks! Last week’s giveaways were so much fun and I will be sending out emails to all of the winners today. Thanks again for your comments, I felt so fortunate to be able to find out more about all of you! And especially thanks for the amazing birthday wishes. I had a great day and was spoiled rotten by my husband and kids. I hope you all had as much fun as I did last week!

A while ago I mentioned that I wanted to make the Staple Dress, and what happens? Daryl from Fabric Spark has given me the opportunity to make one! I have had this pattern on my list for over a year, and I LOVE the results. I made a wearable muslin with the regular hem, so I thought that I would change it up and include a tutorial for a drop shirt-tail hem in this pattern review. What is a shirt-tail hem? After some searching I found out it is curved on both sides, like a dress-shirt. And a drop shirt-tail hem is just a bit longer on the back. I really like how it gives the pattern more shape at the hemline.

And, can I say that this is the most comfortable dress I have worn in a long time. It’s perfect for hanging out with the kids – or walking around Quebec city. We did quite a few photo shoots along the way on our vacation last week and it is so nice to have something old and historic in my photo backgrounds! You’ll be seeing more of the city in the next month or so.

I had a lot of fun choosing my fabric from Fabric Spark’s shop. She has so many great fabrics that work really well for sewing apparel. In the end, I decided to chose one of her Art Gallery fabrics, since this dress looks best in a fabric with a great drape. As usual with Art Gallery I was not disappointed! The selvage says “Feel the Difference” and it does not lie. These fabrics are so smooth and the drape is perfect for clothing. I picked African Palm Indigo from the Safari Moon collection by Frances Newcombe. The colour is so amazing in person. It is a soft blue and totally wearable – and almost the same colour as my eyes… which is a fun bonus! I love the art deco palm trees, and the scale is perfect for a dress.

I got the pattern in my Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 purchase (not available anymore). But lucky for you, Daryl has the Staple Dress pattern available on her site. And, it’s the real deal paper version, so you won’t have to print and assemble the pdf pattern to make it! Now when you are choosing your fabric, you can get the pattern too – hint, hint! The pattern is well written, with lots of tips and hints on how to use elastic thread to shirr the waist, and on lengthening and shortening your dress. You can even move the shirring up or down to suit your natural waistline. And… it has pockets! I was so disappointed when I realized I didn’t take any photos of them. But, they are there and I used them a lot. Don’t you just love a good set of pockets?!

On with the tutorial then… Here is how to alter your pattern pieces and hem the new shaped hemline into a drop shirt-tail hem.

You will need:

  • Staple Dress pattern (available here from Fabric Spark)
  • large paper – I use freezer paper
  • tape
  • pencil/marker
  • french curve ruler – helpful but not necessary
How to alter the pattern pieces:
  1. Cut/trace both front and back pattern pieces in the longest length. The front will be cut on the “straight hem” line and the back will be cut on the “drop hem” line.
  2. Remember to take into account that there is a 5/8″ hem included in these measurements – whatever you draw will end up 5/8″ shorter when hemmed.
  3. I already knew that I liked the straight hem dress length, so I used the drop hem length on the back pattern piece as the length for the drop shirt tail. I wanted the top of the hem where the side seam comes together to be a bit shorter than 1 1/2″ above the straight hem length. Draw a 5/8″ wide line at that point on your back side seam, measuring up from the straight hem pattern line. The 5/8″ line gives you room to sew the 5/8″ side seam without stitching into your hemming area.
  4. Use your curved ruler to draw a curve from the right side of your 5/8″ line (Step 3) down to the drop hem pattern line. Or you can draw it by eye using the curve in the photo as a guide.
  5. Cut your pattern on the new line.
  6. Place the Front pattern piece on top of the back pattern piece. It will match from the underarm down to the hem. (The shoulder is a bit higher on the back.)
  7. Trace the bottom of the back hemline onto a new piece of paper. Also trace the bottom of the front hem.
  8. Cut the extra paper along the back drop hem line. Place it underneath your front dress pattern piece, matching the traced line so it is correctly placed. Tape. Fold up or cut off the left corner of the original dress front so the new line is visible.
  9. Now we need to shorten the front hem, creating the “drop” at the back. Draw a straight line at your new height, parallel to the straight portion of the drop hem line (furthest on the right). I drew mine about 2″ up. Cut along the new line.
  10. Place the cut piece along the bottom of the cut line as a guide, and draw a new curve.
  11. Cut the front hem line along the new line.
  12. Cut your fabric using the new pattern pieces.
How to stitch the new hem:
  1. Follow all directions (up to the hemming instructions) as per the pattern when stitching the dress except when stitching the bottom of the side seam. Leave 5/8″ un-sewn at the bottom of the dress. Make sure to iron your seam open and finish your seam allowances.
  2. When you get to the hemming instructions continue on here instead. Baste from one side seam to the other along both dress front and dress back hemlines with a 1/4″ seam. Leave long tails at either end of these separate basting lines.
  3. Press the hem up 5/8″. Pull the long threads (as if you are gathering the fabric) to help ease in and curve the fabric along the hemline. Make sure your curves are neatly pressed, use lots of steam.
  4. Fold the raw edge under to meet the pressed edge of your hem. Iron again, pin if desired.
  5. Stitch along the upper edge of the hem, about 1/4″ away from the bottom of the hem. Curve the corners up to a point at the side seam, then continue down the next curve until you have stitched the entire hem.

Enjoy your new dress! And if you have any questions please contact me by email:

** This is a sponsored post and the fabric for the Staple Dress was provided to me at no cost by Fabric Spark. However, as always, all opinions are my own and I will not promote something to you that I do not love myself. **

5 Days of Giveaways {Day 5}

2014 July 18

Oh dear… it’s the last day of the giveaways… I’m a bit sad to see this week end. I’ve so enjoyed reading all of your comments! They are always such a bright spot in my day. I’ve saved my favorite bundle for this giveaway prize, because it happens to be my birthday today. I love vacationing on my birthday. The memories are always different and full of new things!

Today’s bundle… the photo does not do it justice. I’ve been attracted lately to metallic fabrics, and soft colours. And gold – which is apparently right on trend. Fancy, me being on-trend! I was never “that” person. I must be gaining a better perspective on life now that I’m 35. (Is it sad that I had to ask my husband how old I was turning before I wrote it down?!)

Anyhow. I picked up some fat eighth’s from one of my local quilt shops and paired them with a fat quarter of Crabapple Path that I recently got from Fabricspark. (Tomorrow is the last day in her Summer Sale! Code “Summer Sale” to save 25% on orders over $50.) Just for fun, I decided to add a few handmade buttons from some gold dupioni silk I had in my stash. I am imagining some sort of amazing bag made from this bundle, and since I bought some of the same fabrics for myself you might see one soon!

Here’s the detail recap again: Each day this week I have posted a new giveaway. Each giveaway will stay open until midnight on July 21, 2014 (EST). The giveaways are separate, so be sure to enter each day for your chance to win! The giveaways are open internationally – so everyone can have a chance! Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email!

Be sure to go back and enter each giveaway from this week if you haven’t already. Here are the links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll be back from vacation on Monday, so you’ll hear from me on Tuesday and hopefully I can post the winners by mid-week! Have a great weekend, and thanks so much for following along and hanging out with me this week. I so appreciate your support!

5 Days of Giveaways! {Day 4}

2014 July 17

Day 4 already – WOW! Thanks for your vacation comments on yesterday’s giveaway. They sound amazing! I am reminded of how many non-North American readers come to visit this blog when I hear your favorite vacation spots are somewhere “close by” in Europe, or Japan! Also, there is a very prominent theme of people who like beaches, and/or nature – specifically quiet nature. I was feeling like some quiet would be good today after traveling with my (thankfully) pretty well behaved kids in the car all day! (and… PS… I’ve saved my favorite fabric combo for the last giveaway tomorrow… since it also happens to be my Birthday!)

I made the pouches for today’s giveaway quite a while ago. Actually, I made 6 of them. I’ve used 4, but saved the last two for a giveaway – and this week was it. I LOVE the cuckoo clock fabric on these, and the retro records, and the Lotta… what can you say, it’s Lotta! The fabric for these is almost all from a 10×10 precut bundle I picked up from Warp & Weft at the Fall Creativ Festival last year. (The records are from Double Decker Fabric.)

The pattern for these little pouches is based on Cynthia Frenette’s “I Can See Clearly Now” Pouch. The original is much larger, and wouldn’t fit within my self-made 10″x10″ constraints. I tested the original pattern for her and use those pouches all the time. They are perfect for sewing supplies, patterns and things the kids need to bring in the car. I’ve actually brought the other 4 smaller ones on our vacation – here and here. You can get Cynthia’s pattern in her shop, and see my review of it here.

Make sure you have entered the other giveaways this week – Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Here’s the detail recap again: Each day this week I am posting a new giveaway. Each giveaway will stay open until midnight on July 21, 2014 (EST). The giveaways are separate, so come back each day to find out what that day’s prize is and to enter for a chance to win! The giveaways are open internationally – so everyone can have a chance! Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Days of Giveaways! {Day 3}

2014 July 16

Day 3 Folks! Still interested? I know I am, you all have been so helpful with your comments I can’t wait to ask another question! I am always grateful to get feedback on what you’d like to see and what you’ve liked in the past. It helps me to plan so much better and hopefully put together something that is better tailored to what everyone is interested in. (That said, today’s comment question has nothing to do with the blog!)

My family left for our vacation this morning and it was so much fun to read all of your comments as we drove along. I was super excited to see the amazing number of new readers that entered yesterday’s giveaway (which is still open) – Welcome everyone! I attempted to send you all a “Hi” through email, but I think I may have missed a few of you – if so I hope you will take this as your personal “Hello”! And a special shout out to Linda, who made me and my husband laugh when she mentioned that a “perfect wonky star” is probably an oxymoron! (See yesterday’s tray description for the background on this one…)

Today’s giveaway is not pretty, but it’s super useful! I thought it would be nice to give someone a pair of my favorite sewing scissors. I got my pair from my mom, and you can find out more about them in this post. Of course, with sewing comes the unfortunate necessity of a seam ripper – so I picked up a nice one of those to throw in today’s giveaway too. Don’t forget to make sure you enter for your chance to win each day this week - Monday’s Giveaway is hereTuesday’s Giveaway is here.

Necessary detail recap again: Each day this week I am posting a new giveaway. Each giveaway will stay open until midnight on July 21, 2014 (EST). The giveaways are separate, so come back each day to find out what that day’s prize is and to enter for a chance to win! The giveaways are open internationally – so everyone can have a chance! Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Days of Giveaways! {Day 2}

2014 July 15

Welcome back! Ready to enter for a chance to win the next giveaway?! If you missed yesterday’s giveaway be sure to enter that one as well.

Thank you so much for all of your amazing comments from yesterday. I am excited to put all of your ideas for the blog into some sort of chart and plan around them for the coming year. (I suppose I don’t need the chart… but they are so much fun!)  I’m also glad to welcome some new friends who are following along!

Here’s a recap of the details… Each day this week I am posting a new giveaway. Each giveaway will stay open until midnight on July 21, 2014 (EST). The giveaways are separate, so come back each day to find out what that day’s prize is and to enter for a chance to win! The giveaways are open internationally – so everyone has a chance to win! Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email!

Today I decided to give away one of my fabric trays. I love how bright this is and this one is my favorite because the wonky star block in the middle turned out perfectly! I have realized that blogging creates much extra handmade goodness, more than I can use for sure. So I would like to make sure this tray goes to a good home where it can be used, instead of sitting in my “extras” box! (find the tutorial for how to make these here, the fabric is Petite Plume from Warp & Weft)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Days of Giveaways! {happy blogiversary to you…}

2014 July 14

It’s that time again… Who’s up for a giveaway… or 5?! Thread Riding Hood turned 2 on July 12th and I’m in the mood to celebrate!

First off, a huge thank you to YOU! My husband can attest to the fact that that I exclaim excitedly (almost daily) about the number of people who have commented on, liked or visited Thread Riding Hood that day. I am so grateful to you for reading, without all of you I could not continue writing. There would not be a reason to post tutorials and new information if there was no one to read it… I cannot thank you enough. Your comments always make me smile, because it means I get to have a conversation with you! I am so grateful that you have taken the time to write something, it means a lot to me.

I have several amazing comments I keep posted on the inspiration board above my sewing machine. They remind me, maybe when it is 2 am and a post is due… or when I have had a not-so productive day, that my job is amazing! And that I so, so love what I do. I am in awe, still, every time I reflect on the fact that I’m close to being able to make this a job, like a real job… with enough income to warrant the amount of time I spend on it! It’s those moments, where I realize that I might soon be able to have a job that isn’t a job – where the “work” is play and I love coming to work every day. And it’s all because of you…

I would love to be able to meet all of you in person and give you something tangible to say thanks. Last year, I was able to post for two weeks straight… but, this year my family is on vacation this week and it isn’t practical. (Also, seeing as how I almost killed myself putting the posts up last year… big beginner mistake! I figured I shouldn’t do that again!) So… I decided to do a giveaway. And then I thought maybe I should split up the giveaway prize into 5 mini-giveaways so 5 people could win instead of only one. So that is what I have done.

Each day this week I will post a new giveaway. Each giveaway will stay open until midnight on July 21, 2014 (EST). The giveaways are separate, so come back each day to find out what that day’s prize is and to enter for a chance to win! I’ve got everything from notions to fabric, vintage to handmade. The giveaways are open internationally – so everyone has a chance to win! Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email!

Today’s giveaway is a lovely bundle of Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent fat eighth’s + a little matchy vintage love – some “extra wide” bias tape and “29 cent” rick rack! I saved half of the Pretty Potent bundle I used make my insulated lunch sack last month. I hope you like it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Quiet Book Sew-Along: Abacus Materials & Tutorial {week 14}

2014 July 13

I love a good quiet book page with some movement and a fun learning opportunity! This abacus (of sorts) is not terribly accurate, but you can count each string’s beads and move them up and down as you do. I made the first version of this with actual beads, (which you can substitute if you want of course) but I’m so paranoid of someone’s child choking on a bead, that I’ve devised a way to (hopefully) make it safer by using scraps of vinyl or leather.

I’ve also omitted the numbering, since I was not satisfied with the quality and “professionalism” of my 80′s-esque puffy paint art on the beaded version! I think it also promotes parent/child interaction by creating an opportunity to play with the child and count the beads out loud. Wow – look at me, I sound like some sort of educational parenting expert now… so totally not the case in real life!

the “original” quiet book abacus page

I’m posting the materials and tutorial for this today because I’m on vacation this coming week – hooray! I’ve also got some secret plans for the week… so there won’t be room to post the proper Quiet Book post. What is it you ask? Come back Monday to find out! (Hint… it has something to do with the fact that my blog started 2 years ago on the 12th of July!)

How about making that Abacus page… just to stay busy so the curiosity doesn’t drive you crazy! (If you are just starting find all the information you need on this Sew-Along page.)

You will need:

  • Background Fabric: 1 piece quilting cotton exactly 9″x9″ square
  • Page Interfacing: 1 piece exactly 9″x9″ square, medium weight fusible interfacing (you will have this from your Week 1 shopping list)
  • Top & Bottom of Abacus: 2 pieces of fabric, 2.5″ high by 7″ wide
  • Abacus Strings: 5 pieces of 6″ long, 1/4″ wide, 100% polyester ribbon
  • “Beads”: 3 small leather or vinyl scraps in different colours (approximately 2 3/4″ x 3″ each)
  • Ribbon: 3 1/2″ long for the side tab
  • Small Safety Pin
  • Glue Stick
  • Leather needle (if using)
Before we begin/Important Notes:
  • When you are sewing this book it is good to remember that some of the edges will be covered after the book is completed and sewn together. 1/2″ on the top edge of your page and 3/4″ on each side edge will not show in the final project.
  • Remember to use your iron liberally when you are sewing this book. It is going to be a work of art when you are done! Since it is thick and some of the pages will not be iron-able once you are finished with them it is advisable to take all of the care you can to remove wrinkles so they are not accidentally permanent in your final book.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Interface the 9″ square background fabric with the 9″ square interfacing as per the manufacturer’s directions. (My background fabric is “Quote This” in Cherry from Double Decker Fabrics.)
  2. To cut your vinyl/leather into 30 rectangles, you first need to cut 2 pieces 1.25″ x 3″ high from each of your 3 coloured scraps.
  3. Place the cut vinyl/leather wrong sides together with their matching colours and glue a very thin (1/4″ max) line along each edge to hold them together.
  4. Once the glue has set, mark each pair every 1/2″, as in the photo below. Use a pencil for this, so the marks can be removed later. There will be a space at the end that will not measure 1/2″ – this is extra.
  5. Stitch down each edge of your leather/vinyl with a 3/8″ seam. ** It is important to treat each 1/2″ mark like it is the beginning or end of a seam. Back stitch at the beginning and before you reach the end of each 1/2″ mark. We will be cutting on the marks to make these beads, so you want your stitching to be strong and reinforced so the beads stay together. If you are having trouble stitching the vinyl or leather because it is tacky – try this trick.
  6. Cut each leather/vinyl rectangle 1/8″ away from your stitches on each side. This will create a 3/4″ wide rectangle.
  7. Cut each long rectangle along your 1/2″ marks to make your beads.
  8. Fold the ends of your fabric in 1/2″ and use a glue stick to hold them in place.
  9. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press, unfold and fold each side into the centre. You can use a glue stick to hold this in place, or just press it extra well with lots of steam.
  10. Prepare your abacus strings by melting each end of the ribbon over a flame. (I know you will be… but please be careful!) The melting will only work if your ribbon is 100% synthetic fibres. ** If it does not fully melt, it is not appropriate for use in a quiet book because the strings could fray over time (even when stitched) and come out, leaving the beads to be chewed on and potentially becoming a choking hazard.
  11. Use a glue stick or pins to adhere one side of one of the folded fabric strip to the background fabric, 2″ down from the top. Adhere the other one to the bottom centre, 2″ up from the bottom. Make sure there is a 4″ gap between the strips. Leave the strips open so we can place the ribbons between the folds.
  12. Line up the strings so they are equally spaced along one of the fabric strips. I used a glue stick to hold them in place. The ribbons are long on purpose to make them more secure. Place the excess ribbon inside the folds of the fabric strip. Make sure the bottoms of the strings are inside the bottom folded fabric strip as well, but do not pin or glue them in yet.
  13. Pin/Glue the top fabric strip shut. Stitch around the edge of the fabric, catching the ribbons. Also stitch through the centre 2 or 3 times to reinforce your stitching and make sure the ribbons never come out. **Please, again, be careful when using beads and small objects around children. I cannot be held responsible if anything happens… and I want to be extra certain that this page is safe!**
  14. Place the beads on your strings. I have separated them out to make the numbers 1 through 5. A skewer helps to get the ribbon through the bead.
  15. Insert the bottom edge of each ribbon into the fabric strip and follow steps 11 and 12 again to close up the bottom of the abacus.
  16. Fold the 3 1/2″ matching ribbon tab in half and use the small safety pin to attach it to your page so it does not get lost.
All done! And we are half way through our Quiet Book pages! 6 down, 6 to go… Thanks for sewing along! Please check the Sew-Along page for a list of all the tutorials + ways you can share your book. As usual, please let me know if you have any questions: email or leave a comment.
** As usual: This tutorial is for personal or charitable use only. Please do not sell items made with the Quiet Book Sew Along posts. If you wish to sell these please contact for information on how to purchase a license. Thank you!