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Made by Me Monday – Quiet Book {construction}

2014 January 28

This week’s post subject is a un/happy accident – or not (we will find out tomorrow!). As I was finishing today’s project my machine decided to make some lovely loud clunking noises. So I decided I should pull out a project to show you that has been around for a while.

*Edit* This book is now a free tutorial series! CLICK HERE for the FREE 12 Page Quiet Book Series – Including links to all 27 posts and tutorials!

I made each of my girls a quiet book when they were 1, this book is my youngest’s. It is one of the most time consuming projects I have ever made, but I love the results! Everything is attached to the book – which was important to me – I hate lost pieces! And (almost) nothing is felt. If you are here for ideas, please take them. Be warned – this takes a long time, a really long time! But, in the end it is worth it, and it is a wonderful keepsake.

The no-felt idea came about because I really wanted everything to last as long as possible. I think I have/had the idea in my head that felt balls up and tears and is in general an inferior product to fabric. I think though, if I was to do it again, I might be open to using some – just maybe the “good stuff”, and not the felt from my local craft store. Either way, not using felt makes the whole project take a lot longer, since every seam must be finished and pieces need to be “good on both sides”!

I have made a few of these and I think the method of attaching the book pages is different in each one. I like this book’s construction the best.  It is the easiest to add pages to and simplest to construct. One piece of grosgrain ribbon, stitched with 2 channels for 2 binder rings. Each book page has 2 loops added when it is stitched together, and it is hooked into the binder ring – tada! I thought maybe my daughter would figure out how to take it apart, or start chewing on it and happily neither thing happened! So I think it is a success.

This book also has a ribbon tag on the outside edge for each page. The ribbons all correspond to something on that page and I love how they look. It makes the book all the more fun-looking. I also love the outside fabric – Alice in Wonderland. It may seem to be a bit morbid to make a child’s toy in black – but it sets off the colourful pages so nicely! Inside this one I was apparently into making work for myself, because many of the pages have a patchwork background. I love looking through and remembering where a lot of the fabrics came from. I really need to make a scrappy quilt top someday to use up my scraps and keep my memories somewhere!

The outside of the book is flat, I think I added in some interfacing and fusible fleece. If I was doing it again I would most definitely add in some batting and fun quilting. But this thing is almost 3 years old and I’ve learned a lot since! The grosgrain ribbon goes all the way around the book to the back, where I’ve added a tab and velcro. It was sewn on before the inside was attached. So the stitching doesn’t show on the inside. I’ve also used ribbon and bias tape to finish the bottom and top edges of each page. It was what I had on hand at the time, and with an almost 1-year-old around you generally don’t just “run” to the store for something!

This was going to be the world’s longest, most photo heavy post – so I decided to split up the construction and the pages and post a few times in a row this week. I will update each post with links to the others as I go. What do you think so far? *Update: You can find the first 6 pages here and the last 6 pages here.

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43 Responses leave one →
  1. January 28, 2014

    I cannot wait to see what’s inside!! Based on the sneak peeks, I’m gonna be stealing some of your ideas :) And I love the Alice fabric – I think it’s more classy than morbid!
    Amy recently posted… Curious Cat – PR&R RefashionMy Profile

  2. Jen permalink
    January 28, 2014

    I LOVE thus! I have a little one on the way and so does my brother. I see a lot of sewing during my maternity leave future!

    • January 29, 2014

      That would be a perfect project gift Jen! I hope you have fun doing it :)

  3. January 28, 2014

    I love what I see so far. Do you think big key rings could be used in place of the able to open binder rings? I think it would make it more safe for a geriatric resident (my main goal for one of these). Book looks fantastic…looking forward to seeing more!
    Shari recently posted… FNSI, Quilty Stitches, & On The NeedlesMy Profile

    • January 29, 2014

      You are a genius Shari! That is an amazing idea. I would most definitely swap out the binder clips for key rings – funny thing, I just bought some heavy duty ones at my local $Store and didn’t have a purpose for them yet!

  4. Amanda permalink
    January 28, 2014

    LOVE this and I have been wanting to make these for my girls but always put them on ‘pause’ because I know it’s going to be a big project. Pretty sure you’re going to inspire me though… just the outside of yours has me dreaming :) Can’t wait to see more!

    • January 29, 2014

      Thank you Amanda! I hope you like what you are seeing now that the first set of pages are posted.

  5. Laura permalink
    January 28, 2014

    Love it! Makes a great, special gift since it’s so time consuming. Definitely a keepsake! As always, I love your choice of fabrics.

  6. January 28, 2014

    Wow, what a great idea! I really love it. I’m so curious to the pages inside. I’d like to make this for my kids, but I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to do it. I’m looking forward to your other posts about this book.

    • January 29, 2014

      I’m glad you like it Mirjam! It does take a lot of time, but my motivation was to make something the kids would keep “forever”. Everyone is motivated by different things! Maybe you will surprise yourself! :)

  7. February 1, 2014

    Looks great! I’ve been working on a quiet book too, they are such fun!
    Christie recently posted… Baby boots! (or slippers)My Profile

    • February 5, 2014

      Hi Christie – I’d love to see what you are making! This was so much fun, will you be joining our sew along?

      • February 5, 2014

        Unfortunately I’m away at school, so I won’t be using my sewing machine until May! Only had enough room to bring yarn crafts, I miss sewing already. My quiet book has been a loooong ongoing project, haven’t taken pictures yet, hopefully one day :)
        Christie recently posted… Yarn!My Profile

        • February 5, 2014

          Too bad! I’m sure you will get back to it. Maybe pick up a little hand sewing while you are away? I know that is becoming a trend too!

  8. judypfennemore permalink
    March 15, 2015

    Thank you SOOOOO much for so generously sharing your ideas – I’ve been stressing over grommets and rings, so your clever solution has stopped the agonising over metal bits that might fall out and provide a choking hazard. And then there are the fabulous ideas for the pages – thank you thank you!!!

    • March 16, 2015

      Hooray! I’m so glad you love it Judy! Wow – hooray, I’m so glad it has helped :) You are so welcome!

  9. May 6, 2015

    i just finished my first quiet book for my 3 year old grandson.
    My cover was made very similarly but I did add fusible fleece to make it slightly padded. All of my pages cone out of the book. They are attached via 2 3″ rings but I sewed buttonholes on each page.
    Love you teddy bear page.
    Thanks for the on line Canadian fabric list. it will help a lot.

    • May 8, 2015

      I’m so glad you stopped by Chrisanna! Your grandson is going to have so much fun with it! Great idea adding the fleece and the buttonholes. Very nice! :)

  10. October 2, 2015

    Hi Sherri,
    I love your ideas and suggestions, I have a new step granddaughter (born March) and have been looking for ideas. are you shill thinking of having a “sew along” as I’d be interested :o )

    Thanks a lot

    • October 3, 2015

      I’m glad you like it Romila! I have all the details in the Sew Along tab at the top of the website. It’s almost finished – just the cover and then the sew along will be finished.

  11. Mary permalink
    December 2, 2015

    Love your book. Just wondering what size binder rings you used. I’m agonizing over what size to make the cover. I know adding the ribbon to each page for attaching the rings and the rings themselves will add inches to the width of my book, just not sure how much. Part of my cover is going to be embroidered at my local embroidery shop and I want it centered, and need to get that done before I put the cover together. Suggestions??? Thanks.

    • December 2, 2015

      Thanks Mary! I’ll email you over my jot notes for the construction. I’m really hoping to post in the next 2 weeks – it’s almost done! Hooray!

    • December 2, 2015

      Sorry – forgot to mention that my binder rings are 1″ in diameter.

  12. Alisa permalink
    January 24, 2016

    I’ve been researching the best way to attach the books to the cover so they can also be removable. I love what you did! But I didn’t see where you mentioned what exact type of material you used(for the two loops in each page)? Is it shoe string, rope, or a specific type of ribbon??? Thanks!

    • January 24, 2016

      Hi Alisa. I used twill tape – sewn in a loop into the side seam of the pages – to attach to the binder/key rings. Hope that helps!

  13. Odile permalink
    February 18, 2016

    Hello, your quiet book is fabulous!
    I am french leaving in Paris with three grandchildren ages from 3 to 1.
    I am a quilter and they each have their quilt and now i would love to present them with a quiet book such as yours.
    I know it is very late to join your sew along group but maybe i could buy you a tutorial?

  14. kristy amen permalink
    March 24, 2016

    Hi Sherri

    Do you sell these quiet books anywhere such as Etsy? Or would you consider selling one to me? Please. I can’t I love love this quiet book. Thanks- Kristy

  15. Linda goetz permalink
    May 29, 2016

    Awesome ideas to put the book together. I stated a quite book and have not finished it . ??? I will use your idea to attract the cover and pages together. I also used fabric not felt . Kudos

    • June 8, 2016

      Wonderful Linda! Crazy about fabric not felt – extra work, but so worth it. Great job! I’m glad you can use the information :) So good to hear!

  16. October 3, 2016

    What size is the book?

    • October 3, 2016

      Hi Betina, The book is roughly 10″ tall by 9″ wide, and about 2″ thick, once all of the pages are in it :) Hope that helps!

  17. Anne permalink
    December 14, 2016

    I am an avid sewer/quilter and want to start quiet books. How do I get in on the tutorials step by step

  18. Lori permalink
    March 27, 2017

    Better late than never! I found your Quiet Book about a month ago and have been having a blast working on it. Some of your pages I’m copying, and some I’m actually thinking of myself. Your directions are so easy to follow, and so thorough. I really appreciate it.

    Do you still have a place set up where people post pictures of their finished books? I’d love to see others, and will also post mine when it’s done. I am making this for my first granddaughter who is due to be born any day now.

    • April 3, 2017

      Hi Lori! I’m so glad you like them. I love this project because it is fun to be creative! I don’t have a link on my blog – but if you use Instagram or Facebook you could post photos there. On my Facebook page there is a place to add photos and comments. On Instagram you can tag me @sherrisylvester – so I can see it!

  19. Andrea permalink
    May 26, 2020

    Hi Sherri!
    Your “Quiet Book” is just what I’ve been looking for! I am a Grandma and new to sewing(a month or maybe 2) and I’m enjoying quilting things and trying to find things to sew :) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this quiet book and look forward to reading more about how to construct it and each page that you used! Thank you for sharing!

    • June 1, 2020

      I’m so glad you can use this Andrea! Have a fun time making it!

  20. Norma permalink
    July 4, 2021

    This quiet book is fantastic! I’m looking then for idea, to sewing one for a child with special need. Thanks

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