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Quiet Book Sew-Along: Yardage Overview {week 1}

2014 February 13

Here we are – the first official Quiet Book Sew-Along post. How excited are you?! This post has a lot of beginning information, but I promise we will be sewing in no time. Besides, choosing fabrics isn’t bad ever, right?!

Today we are going to get ready by making sure you have thought through your fabric choices. You will need a bit of time to collect yardage for the page backgrounds and cover, and also pick up some interfacing and binding for the pages. I’ve included helpful information on what to buy for each of these below. I would also recommend not cutting any of your fabrics until you need them. However, you can pre-wash them, it’s important that a kid-friendly book be washable!

There are lots of helpful hints in this post – but since is information heavy I have give you the shopping list for week 1 first. Just click, print it and go. Remember, just like a pattern, all of this information is important so be sure to read over it so you don’t miss anything!



You have two choices for the page background fabrics. The starting size of each page is 9″ x 9″. I would recommend using a quilting cotton weight fabric for them. Since we are building more fabric onto each page they can be hard to finish and bind if they are too thick. Here are your two options:

Page Background Yardage:

  1. Scrappy Look: If you take  a look at my book, you will see that none of the background pages use the same fabric. I love the scrappy look and I also love using pieces from my stash that are too small for other projects. 6 of the pages for this book are based on a scrappy look anyhow and wouldn’t use a coordinating fabric background. You can buy or use your scraps for the page background fabrics as we get to them, some have specific colours.
  2. Cohesive Look: If you like a more cohesive look it would be fun to order enough fabric now to cover all of the page backgrounds. Eight of the 12 pages can use the same background fabric. There are 6 pages that won’t need it due to their construction. You will need to buy 3/4 of a yard of fabric for the page backgrounds.


Once you have decided on a scrappy or cohesive look you need to choose a cover fabric. You have two options for the cover:

  1. Cohesive Look: Cover matches the pages. Buy 1 yard of 44″ wide fabric. This is enough fabric for your pages & cover (see diagram below).
  2. Scrappy Look: Cover is different. Buy 1/2 yard of 44″ wide fabric. Note: You can still choose to match only your pages as per the “pages only cohesive look” above.

Both yardage recommendations are below and in the shopping list. The cover is 11″ high by 21″ wide. You need 2 pieces, one each for the inside and outside of the book. I found it helpful to buy this at the beginning because I think it influenced my colour decisions as I went. Even though my book is scrappy, I tended towards a more colourful look because the outside fabric was black and white. This gives you quite a bit of extra fabric to play with later! (Hooray for stashing!)

Cover Fabric Yardage:

Option 1 – Pages & Cover are the same.

Option 2 – Cover Only (Scrappy Look)


You will also need a few “boring” things like interfacing and binding. To be honest, I don’t remember if I used heavyweight or medium weight interfacing in my book. However, I am recommending that you use a medium fusible interfacing for this Sew Along because that is what it feels like I used. Also, I think I only interfaced every other page, so one of each pair of pages that are sewn together has interfacing. This time around though I think I am going to interface both – it will make the pages a bit stiffer, which would be nice. This is what I have included on your shopping list.

Interfacing Yardage: 

    • You will need 3 yards of 20″ wide medium-weight fusible interfacing.


As far as the binding. I used what I had last time and stitched half of the pages with white 1/2″ double-fold binding and half of them with black grosgrain ribbon folded in half. This time around I want them all to match, so I am going to recommend the 1/2″ double-fold binding. You don’t need the binding until the end of October, but again, if you like to have everything planned out you can buy it now and I will remind you again later! You can also choose to make your own binding, and if you do it does not have to be cut on the bias, which will make it a bit easier to sew.

Binding Yardage:

    • You will need 3 yards of 1/2″ double-fold bias tape exactly to bind all of the pages. Buy 1/2 yard extra if you want to be safe.

So – which are you choosing to make – A Scrappy or a Cohesive look? What colour are you using for your binding? I’ve got to decide on my cover fabric this week too. Since I’m trying to make a unisex book it’ll be a more interesting challenge!

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20 Responses leave one →
  1. February 13, 2014

    I am so excited – that’s how! I think I’m just going to go with whatever I have laying around at the moment – totally trying to use up my scary-huge stash this year :) But I will make the bias tape the same for them all to tie it all together!
    Amy recently posted… Baking with the Little’s -Mini Whoopie PiesMy Profile

  2. Laura permalink
    February 13, 2014

    Like Amy, I think I’ll have to go for the scappy look and use my scraps. This is sew exciting! Sorry, I had to do it :)

  3. Sherry S permalink
    February 14, 2014

    Confused by the shopping list above – seems to be 2 or is it 3 different shopping lists, depending on cohesive or ??? (not sure what the non-cohesive option is). And then there is appears to be an option within an option, ???? I have never made or seen a quiet book so have no frame of reference. I will just see what y’all are doing before I jump in.

  4. February 14, 2014

    I think I use the fabrics I have in my little stash (this week I bought a piece of corduroy 1.5 meter by 1.5 meter for only 1.50 Euro! Can you believe it? – pictures of it will be on my blog soon). And this would be a great excuse to buy fabric online for the first time ;)
    Mirjam recently posted… Toen Ethan Ethana werd… – When Etan became Ethana…My Profile

    • February 15, 2014

      What an amazing price! Stash fabrics are great for this project. And it’s nice because you can collect them as you go along. Fabric shopping?! Awesome!

  5. February 16, 2014

    Well, I’m not going to miss this sew-a-long! I love yours and want to make one so bad! I am SO glad you are doing this! I’ll probably choose a fun white background novelty print for the cover and make the whole thing scrappy. I’m not a fan of cohesiveness. I’d like to see as many of my fun fabrics being used and not just a few.
    Stephanie @ Quarter Incher recently posted… Sponsor LoveMy Profile

    • February 17, 2014

      Hooray Stephanie! I’m so glad. I love the scrappy look and love how it uses up all of my cute prints too – great choice! :)

  6. February 23, 2014

    I don’t know if I can sew along right now, but I’m pinning so I can come back later! I need one of these for church… :)
    Lisa at Mabey She Made It recently posted… Savannah Pleated Party Dress ReviewMy Profile

    • February 26, 2014

      That’s great Lisa! Thanks so much for pinning this – it would be a perfect church project :)

  7. Tara permalink
    July 3, 2016

    I just decided I want to make a quiet book for my two kiddos for Christmas and I found your quiet book sew-along through Pinterest. (Yours is gorgeous, by-the-way!) I’m intrigued that you didn’t use any felt. I want our book to last a long time so I’m wondering if you can give me some pros and cons to using felt and using all fabric. Also, which might be more durable? Thanks so much for all of your ideas!

    • July 5, 2016

      Hi Tara. Thanks so much! Good quality wool felt should last ok. Plus it is tons faster to make something with since the edges of the fabric don’t have to be finished. I like the fabric because I think it is still likely more durable in the long run due to the edge finishing,d top stitching and double layers needed to make it look nice. I suppose in the end it depends a lot on how hard the kids are on it? Hope that helps! Sherri

  8. Tori Willey permalink
    August 16, 2017

    I’m making quiet books for family for Christmas, and I’m so excited that I found your pattern! It’s darling! :) Can’t wait to get started!


  9. April 11, 2020

    I know this blog post is a few years old, but I found it on Pinterest during Covid-19 with stay-at-home orders, looking for something to fill my time productively, satisfy me need to create something useful, and help my 3 year-old’s development since she cannot attend daycare right now. I may get back into posting on my own blog again, and this may be just the thing to get me going again…in so many ways.

    • April 20, 2020

      Hi Kara, I’m glad you found it too! Hope you have fun making one :)

  10. Peggy permalink
    April 28, 2020

    I just love your ideas for the quiet books. I know you posted them Years ago but all the information is helpful for new book creators.

    • April 30, 2020

      Thank you Peggy, These books really are timeless, and such a keepsake! :)

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