Friday, October 12, 2012

Quiet Book Basics: Planning and Supplies

I mentioned that I was starting a new DIY project, a Jewish Quiet Book for A. It certainly isn't because I don't already have a million half finished projects. I just have craft ADD and can't stick with one for long.

Anywho, I said I would bring you along for the fun so this is where it starts. Before you start buying up supplies for your quiet book, which is very, very tempting, have a plan first! Some questions to consider about your quiet book are:
  • how many pages?
    • this will probably be cut in half as you go along, don't feel bad
  • what is the theme or goal of your quiet book?
    • mine is obviously religious in theme but there are millions ideas to go off of
  • what age are you looking at?
    • this will affect how heavy duty your book is and finishing touches like if there are buttons or snaps
  • what do you already own that you can use? what can you borrow?
    • I have over the years collected a myriad of felt, ribbon, buttons, etc
    • I own a sewing machine I can kinda use but my mom is a great resource
    • My mom has a machine that can do button holes and surging
Once you have answers to these questions you want to start sketching out ideas for each page. I can't draw on paper to save my life but I've always been partial to computer layouts since high school. So I decided to design mine on the computer using combinations of free clip art and the free photo shop like program Gimp.

I'm use to using Photoshop but I can't find my disc for it all of a sudden. It was old, way old, from 2001 old. Even with my Photoshop being that old, Gimp still does not have all the bells and whistles. It looks similar in the interface and has the same kind of learning curve Photoshop does. But it's free. Actually free. Not, download it and you have 20 days before they charge your credit card, kind of free. No, just free. And for that reason, it's the perfect software.

Once you have your book all planned out you can finally go shopping! This was honestly one of the best parts of this project. I of course first went through all of my sewing and craft stuff and gathered it all in one place. Then with my ideas, layouts and coupons (serouisly, why is crafting stuff so expensive?!) in hand I headed to the local craft places like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Joann's and a local fabric store with My Mom. Some supplies I ended up needing for the quiet book were:
  • fabrics (pre-wash and dry on low all fabrics before cutting out pieces)
    • fabric for the cover - any fabric works
    • muslin fabric - each pages base was made out of this
    • felt - for details; I used the most of felt
    • fat quarters - when you need a pop of color or pattern
  • thread
    • regular old thread, various colors to match fabrics
    • embroidery thread, various colors to match fabric
  • Pellon - turns any fabric into self sticking fabric
    • this stuff is amazing! I wish I would have known about it before when I was making stuff for the classrooms I was in!
  • extras
    • buttons
    • snaps
    • velcro - the clear backed sticky kind is your friend
    • ribbon
  • misc sewing items
    • fabric scissors
    • seam ripper
    • cloth pen
    • sewing machine
I will be sharing over the next few weeks months all of my layouts and templates I made for A.'s Jewish Quiet Book. I will also show you page by page how it's coming. Hopefully A. likes his book at the end!

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