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Friday, February 24, 2012

Zech's Quiet Book

The day is finally here! I thought I would never get to say this. Zechariah's quiet book is done and ready to be shared with the world. There were times I thought it would never be over, times when I figured Zech would outgrow the book before I even finished it. I'm not a very patient person, so for me two months spent on a project felt a little like insanity. Okay, it was more like 6 weeks to be exact.


What kind of a mother would make a book like this? One who dearly loves her child? Or one who can't quit on a project that she started and must finish it at all costs? It probably was a little bit of both, but honestly more of the second. The project was becoming my obsession. I had to finish it, and I wanted to finish it quickly. I spent hours and hours of the past weeks sewing, cutting, measuring, and ironing. You name it; I did it. I even learned how to use my fancy pliers for doing eyelets. Impressed?

I have a great sense of accomplishment now that it's over, and I hope it will be a keepsake that Zech can treasure for the REST OF HIS LIFE.

If you've felt that my blog has been lacking lately, it can all be blamed on Zech's quiet book. After I've sewn for a few hours, I never felt like sitting down at the computer. It took all my mental energy. With all that said I still loved every moment of the sewing and creating. I was able to turn the book into my masterpiece and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'd do it again too... in a few months.

quiet book
I put my heart into this book, but at the same time I used many many ideas that I found other places. I researched this book far and wide... at least as wide as the internet goes. I probably got most of my information from this blog. She must have gotten at least 100 pageviews from me. It was full of great ideas and links to other great blog posts all pertaining to Quiet Books.

I followed the pattern here for my Quiet Book cover. I put eyelets in all the pages and now I wish I would have done eyelets for the inside of the cover too. I used button holes like the tutorial had, but I'm afraid they might rip. Only time will tell on that.

One of my favorite pages I found that seemed the most unique was a quiet book full of Bible stories and other things. I used Laura's template for the Armor of God and then added little parts to make it my own. She had lots of great stuff. If I make another quiet book, I might do one full of Bible stories like hers. My favorite page besides the Armor of God was one that you could put Jonah inside the whale. It was so cute!

Zechariah really loves to take all the clothes off the man and make him naked. What a boy! He then switches everything around to make the man silly, from putting his sword on the head to the shield covering his feet. I didn't want to make a pocket for the pieces so I sewed on snap fasteners to each piece.

armor of God quiet book page
My ABC page... wow! This page took me forever! 52 snaps to sew by hand!!! I decided pretty early on in the making of my book that I'm not a fan of Velcro. I find it very annoying to sew, and I'm worried it will collect too much lint too fast. Silly, I know. I found a package of sticky felt ABC's and Numbers and stuck them on some felt. I didn't want them coming apart so every letter is also sewn on. I became a huge fan of snap fasteners during this project. I put them on practically everything! Zech can very easily unsnap and re-snap them.

alphabet quiet book page
The letters can put in alphabetical order, or they can be rearranged to make new words and sentences. They must be very simple as I only made one of each letter. I also included a nice pocket to hold the letters for when Zech is making words.

alphabet quiet book page
The famous shoe page. I knew I had to include one in the book for Zechariah. I would love it if he learns to tie his shoes early. Already he's only had instructions from me twice and he's well on his way. I can't believe he picked up on it so quickly. It's very difficult to find short laces. These ones are 36 inches and as you can see they are still a little bit long.

So far the clock page has been very helpful. As I finished pages in the book, Zechariah would request to play with them. So while the book has only been completed for one day, some of the pages have been around for awhile. I've started working on preschool stuff with Zechariah so these pages have come in quite handy while I've been teaching him things.

shoe tying and clock quiet book page
My first pages I worked on were the mailbox and letters. I was so excited to start and these looked like so much fun to me. I saw a lot of mailbox pages in other people's quiet books that had pencil and paper slots but I knew if I put them into this book it would give Zech the wrong idea. It wouldn't register in his mind and he would be trying to write in other books too. I know my kid.

mailbox quiet book page
I saw the idea of already made letters and loved it. I spent hours using my sewing machine to write names on each envelope. It would have been quick and easy if I owned an embroidery machine, but I don't. So these fun letters are what I came up with, one for mom and dad, brother and sister, and of course grandma and papa. So far he loves mailing us our letters. The box is full at all times, and he makes sure to put up his little red flag for the mailman!

I had to include a photo of the back to the envelopes. I think they're so cute! Each envelope has a different corresponding color back.

mailbox quiet book page
Zech LOVES the counting page. If I had more numbers I would have sewed them on each row. The picture show the beads blending in really well, but I promise you in real life you can see them perfectly! I had to improvise on this page a little. I didn't want to purchase new fun colored beads (I spent around $50 on all the supplies for this book). The only ones I had on hand were white, pink, purple, and orange. Since I knew Zech's favorite color is red, I went for a whole themed page to work in the pink beads. I think it still works for a little boy's book!

This will be great for later when he needs to learn addition. Move two rows of beads to the other side and you can count them all to see what they both equal.

abacus math quiet book page
Tic-Tac-Toe ... what kid doesn't love this game? I feel like I've played it a million times already. Zech is determined to be a winner, especially if it means getting help from God. Just yesterday I shared a Kids Say the Darndest Things post about this.

The tic-tac-toe board is a pocket for the pieces. The top opens up and closes with Velcro so the pieces can fit snugly inside. I really wanted to make this with Mario and Luigi playing pieces but I haven't been successful in locating any fabric with them on it. If you find some, point me in the right direction!

tic tac toe quiet book page
I personally am quite fond of the barn page. I loved the finger puppets. I would show Zech pages online and ask if he wanted it included in his quiet book. This was one that he didn't seem to care for as much, but I really wanted to make finger puppets. I figured he might change his mind later, and he did!

barn seasonal tree quiet book page
I really liked the idea of a changing seasons page, and had to make one for Zech's book. I used buttons to attach the different leaves and flowers which is something he's going to have to grow into. Right now he's trying to pull them off like the snap pages. I made it for him to learn the skill of buttoning; however it's really difficult to watch him messing with them. I keep wanting to stop him and say, "Here honey, I'll do it for you." Remember, this book is supposed to last for the REST OF HIS LIFE, not just the rest of this week.

seasonal tree quiet book page
I tried to involve Zech is all the decision making process. I would show him different leaves and flowers and he ultimately chose which ones he wanted in the book. He also got to choose a lot of the color choices and fabrics.

If you can't tell, the grass at the bottom is a pocket that holds all the different flowers and leaves. I should have used a button to close it rather than a snap. Maybe we wouldn't have difficultly switching between the two if the page had more continuity.

barn quiet book page finger puppets
I love my barn too! I had so much fun making this book and all the different pages. Something I've found in hindsight, I should have made the window at the top of the barn to open and close. Zech is always trying to pry it open.

These are so adorable! I just want to sit and play with them all day long. Zech doesn't really use them as finger puppets he just gets them to fight each other without sticking his finger inside.

animal finger puppets quiet book page
I saw several cooking pages in various books. I really liked the idea of the cupcakes and tray, but it was too hard for me to think up how to make it. I also wasn't too fond of putting an oven in the book as I believed the point of the quiet book was to teach them things. My son will try most things he sees or hears about. I figured a microwave was a much safer thing. He always wants to cook in there and for now that's perfect. When I gave him the choice between the two, hands down, he wanted a microwave for his quiet book. The microwave door opens so you can place your food inside.

food quiet book page
I had so much fun making the felt food!!! I could have kept cooking things up, but I needed to move on to a new page. The silverware is also snaps so they can come off and be used. The red tablecloth has a pocket behind it to hold all our felt food. I tried to make all of Zech's favorites. Now that the book is done and I have more time, I just might make a few more things. It's addicting! And I still need to make a lunch!

microwave plate food quiet book page
In a boy's quiet book you must have cars! I asked Zech what he wanted on this page. There are so many things you could make for the cars to do. He really felt it was necessary to have a garage for each car to sleep in.

garage street quiet book page
Each of the stoplights are also snaps that come off. See how I went overboard on the snaps? They are so easy to sew and I couldn't help myself.

cars in garage quiet book page
I wanted to include a close-up of my cars. I thought they turned out so cute! They are both reversible and are exactly the same on each side. Each car actually has four buttons!

cars for quiet book
And last, but certainly not least, the I Spy page. This is my son's absolute very favorite page in the book. It has been tossed around countless times. Already before I was able to sew it in, the laminated card started to fall apart. And it was even the last page I made! I thought it would be so obvious and easy that it wouldn't be fun, but it's like the look and find pages in a book. There are so many different things to look for something is always hiding, and they are always changing places. Zech LOVES this page! It is a little heavy, but it's totally worth it.

i-spy quiet book page
I had so much fun going around the house trying to find random items to put in the I Spy pocket. There are 30 items inside! When I first made this page I did it with white rice but it seemed like all the stuff stood out a little too easy. Since I used green felt, I decided to color the rice green to match. It adds a little bit of a challenge for finding the larger items. If you're wondering from the picture, yes, that really is a Nintendo DS game inside. We had to replace our Super Mario Bros because Zechariah kept jamming it in the wrong way and it broke. The kids asked me a hundred different times, "Can we please throw this game out?" I always said no, and now I'm glad I wouldn't let them. I knew I had a reason. What better place to recycle your game?

i-spy quiet book page
Now that I'm finished with the book, I'm almost sad. It was so much fun to make and I hope Zechariah grows to love it. It's going to be a stretching time for me. Anytime I make something I always feel that it's not very sturdy and you must baby it. I've already caught myself several times wanting to take the book away because I thought Zech was going to break it. The good news is, I made it!! I have to keep telling myself that. If it breaks, I certainly know how to make it again! In all honesty I would much rather it be used and broken than just sit on a shelf collecting dust.

I can't wait for opportunities to keep Zech quiet with it!


  1. wow..this is incredible! great job!

  2. I just found you on google, and am so impressed with your quiet book! Really cute!

  3. Fantastic! What type of felt did you use?

    1. Thank you! I just used the sheets of craft felt.

  4. This is amazing. I am particularly interested in how you did the I spy page, what is the transparent fabric that you used? Do you have a tutorial on how to make such a page. Also, I am actually wanting to make an I spy page for a Passover book, but my family being Ashkenazi Jewish are not allowed rice on Passover, could you suggest an alternative non-food item I could use...

    1. Thank you! The fabric is actually a clear vinyl that I used for the window. I'm sorry, I don't have any extra tutorials on this quiet book. This post is it. And if you didn't want to use rice, you could buy some plastic pellets to put inside. I think that's what they are typically made with. I just chose rice because I wanted to color it green to match my page. Hope this helps!

    2. You add a tablespoon of vinegar to a Ziploc bag, some drops of food coloring, and about 1 cup rice. Shake it up, lay out on trays to dry.

  5. I really like the way you made your road page! I searched and searched for some inspiration for my road quiet book page and saw yours and thought it was perfect! I linked back to you :)
    Thanks for sharing!!



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