Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Design & Make a Felt Quiet Book, part 1


      Felt quiet books are exploding all over the internet.  Many blogs are giving tutorials on how to do certain pages, people are posting pictures of their creations, and Pinterest is practically bursting with ideas and examples.  I first learned about quiet books after searching for felt figures for a flannel board for my children.  I thought the whole idea of a washable, soft, and entertaining book was brilliant, especially for my busy toddler boys.  I made two books using a design pattern I purchased off of Etsy and I was hooked. 

     The books turned out beautifully, my children LOVED them, and I felt I had created an heirloom quality piece of art that would last for a long time.  I really wanted to try some girl themed pages, but since I only had boys, it didn't seem very practical until a friend of mine adopted a five year old girl from China.  I made a quiet book for her using different ideas I found on blogs around the internet.

     Now before you get the idea that I am some crafty genius, I will tell you right off that up to this point I was ONLY using other people's patterns and ideas.  I could follow directions, but I didn't feel like I was adding anything special to my books.  There was just something missing.  Then one day I realized what it was: MY ideas.  See, the way I figure it, each person has unique ideas all locked up inside their head.  You may share similar ideas with somebody else, but there is something special that only you can create or add or accomplish.

     Using other people's patterns is wonderful, don't get me wrong.  But that should just be practice.  A starting point to spur on your creativity to making your own personalized, unique books tailored to the child you are sewing for.

     So, with great fear and trembling, I designed my own pattern page based off a song my boys liked to sing.  It wasn't as difficult as I thought.  In fact, it was exhilarating.  I had made something no one else had thought of.  And I am NOT an artistic person.  I can't draw much more than stick figures and forget about “graphic design”.  That is just not me.  I have basic sewing skills and a love of all things crafty.  That's it.  

     Now, why should you care?  Because my goal with this blog series is to give you basic instruction on quiet books and inspire you to design your own.  If you know the basics, you CAN design your own felt pages and books and you CAN turn out amazing felt quiet books with a little time and minimal cost.  And people will be amazed at the things you make  :)

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