Monday, September 07, 2015

Zen Project

I've been working on what I call my "Zen Project" for a couple of weeks now. When Will started taking more regular naps, and I started anticipating (not pleasantly) taking him to church, I couldn't help remembering my Quiet Book from when I was little. I LOVED that thing. It kept me busy every week at church. And I thought, "It's too bad I don't have that for Will." 

And then I remembered that I can sew.

Most of these ideas are based off designs I found on Pinterest, so I'm including a link to my sewing board where they can be found, here.

This is the inside cover put together just before sewing it and the outside cover together. On the left is part of the first page of the quiet book, and on the right is a big pocket for a coloring book or board book. The spaces on the reinforced spine are where the binder rings slip through. I based this design off a couple of books I saw on Pinterest. I lined each side with fusible fleece for body and structure.

Here's the cover all sewn together, turned right-sides out and edge-stitched, rings in place, and ready to fill. I sewed the button on after it was filled to make sure the placement worked.

Name Page. The letters store in the pocket and velcro into place. The buttons all slide on the ribbons. Weee!
My pages are 10x10" and made on extra-heavy interfacing fabric (Pellon). I machine or hand-stitched everything. Nothing is glued or ironed on. Basically because I don't trust glue, and I hate ironing, though I did iron on the fusible fleece for the cover. I used fray-check for ribbon edges.

Stoplight Page. This was a basic template. I added the pocket and words, and the "hanging wire" look. The lights snap on.

Dump Truck Page. This one was pretty fun. The basic template was a solid-pieced truck and load, with wheels that turned. I loved the big wheels, but wanted more. I made everything bigger, then made the dumper into a pocket with a removable load, and hinged it using two buttons (one in front and one in back). I hope it's sturdy enough! The wheels button on and off and turn great in that mud. Vroom.

Flower Page. All the templates I found for the classic flower page had them in a vase. But I wanted them in the dirt. So I layered brown woven ribbon and "planted" those beauties. All the colors can mix and match.

Matching Page. I made this one up. Will loves peek-a-boo, he loves finding things, and as he grows he'll learn matching skills. Cars, penguins, bears, oh my! It was fun to pick out the little buttons.

Grocery Store Page. This template was for a bushel of veggies and fruit. I LOVE the patterns. But I wanted a step up from the bushel. So here we are in the grocery store. I love sales.

Hamburger Page. This is another idea I saw and changed it up. Will loves burgers and fries. The burger-building items store in the cup. 

Shapes Page. I struggled with this page. At first I had all the shapes attached to the pocked with ribbons. But that made a big jumbled mess. So I cut the ribbons off. I can totally see that semicircle getting lost first. I guess I know where I can get another one, huh?

Counting Page. This came straight from the template. I liked the simplicity of it.

Dress-Up Page. This is probably my favorite page. The only change I made was to make the facial features closer to Will's, and I created a better treasure box for the loot. Super fun. The hard part was stopping myself from making a dozen more dress-ups. I may add a few later. Scuba gear, football helmet...I drew out a template for a luchador mask...

Bedtime Bear Page. Who wouldn't want to put a soft teddy to bed? The bear and the page on the right is the original template. I added a toothbrush, a bottle, and a storybook. After all, Will loves routine.

The book has fabric pages and a real story that I wrote.
"Sweet dreams...Sleep tight...I love you...Good night."

Zipper Page. I had to throw one more page together so the bed page had a "back" and could go in the book. I'd found these zippers so I sewed them on. And I thought, "BO-RING." So I thought and I thought.
Then I remembered that I can draw.

Now, it's one of my favorite pages. Yay!

And here we are! The beginning of Will's Quiet Book! The button is really the color of that green ribbon. Not sure why it showed up chartreuse. ANYHOO...I made one engineering mistake. I should have made the cover about two inched longer on each side so as the book fills up with pages on the 3" rings, those that rise up in the middle won't stick out. But I'm not too broken up about it. I love how everything turned out!
I can't wait to show it to Will. And it was so great to create something with my hands again. It really helped me destress during nap time, and it also gave me an opportunity to think about the stories I will write next. After I finished each page, I would look at it lovingly and say to myself, "Will is going to tear this apart." Then I would add it to the pile and allow that to be okay. I didn't make it for a museum. I made it to be loved.


Kimberly VanderHorst said...

This is one of the most stunning crafty creations I'be ever seen. Wowza!!

Jenny Moore said...

Love it!!

Arlene Brimhall said...

What a great book by a great Mom! Love it☺️💕