I love giving children’s books as baby gifts. I remember how my own children loved their books. I tried to keep books out and accessible to their young hands in many different spots in our home. My son in particular had an affinity for books, and he nearly always had one in his chubby little fingers even before he could walk.
I don’t remember either of my kids having a cloth book however. I sure wish they would have, especially Luke! He had a habit of chewing on book corners when he was teething. But hey, he was “reading” and as long as he didn’t swallow a hunk of book, I tried not to get too uptight about it. Still, a fabric book sure would have been nice for my son!
Recently the kind folks at Quilt Girls sent me a cloth book panel to sew up. It is called “Fun in Somebunny’s Garden” by Kathy Rusynyk for Wilmington Prints. The pictures on this panel are timeless and sweet, and the story about the bunny making friends as he plays in the garden is so nurturing. I thoroughly enjoyed making this book and plan to give it as a gift.
The panel comes as one piece of fabric approximately 30" by 45”, and the instructions are printed on the side of the panel. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. You can put one together in an hour, unless you get distracted by the story . . . and then thoughts of your own children or grandchildren! If you haven’t made a cloth book before, I’ve included a few tips at the end of this post. But it's a very easy, quick project.
Quilt Girls has so many darling cloth book panels, including classic/vintage stories, ABC/123 primers, holiday stories, and contemporary characters. Please visit their website when you have a chance. I'm sure there is a little one in your life who would treasure a soft book!
Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I hope you get carried away quilting often . . . maybe even this weekend!
Just a few tips . . .The instructions on the side of my cloth panel provided all the information I needed to sew this book. However, if you are new to this type of project and (like me) enjoy seeing visual examples, then I've included a few photos and notes about how I made my book. I hope you find it helpful!
- First, using your phone or ipad, take a picture of the entire panel. When you begin sewing this together, the page numbers will be sewn into the seam. The instructions will remind you of that and tell you to mark the pages somehow. But I found it handy to snap a picture so that I could refer to it later for the page order.
- I began by cutting the two-page spreads apart, using my scissors, on the dotted line as indicated in the instructions. I then pressed each of these spreads and used a bit of spray starch.
- Next I used my rotary cutter and rulers (doubled up) to trim the page spreads. Although the instructions indicated to trim them 10" x 20", I cut my 9 3/4" by 20". I only did this because I used the wooden frame in the image as a guide and I wanted nice finished edges. You'll see what I mean in the pictures below. The important thing is to cut all of your page spreads the same size.
- Next you will put the pages right sides together, per the instructions, and add the layer of batting. The instructions say to cut the batting the same size as the page spreads. I chose to cut mine 1/2" smaller, which would leave 1/4" space all the way around. I think this makes turning easier and creates less bulk in the seam. I also used temporary spray adhesive to adhere my batting.
- I pinned my layers before sewing, and used the larger blue headed pins to indicate where to leave a hole for turning. You can see below how I trimmed my batting slightly smaller than the page spreads. Simply stitch all the way around, making sure to leave a hole for turning.
- Before turning this right side out, trim the corners as shown below.
- To close up the turning hole and to ensure that the batting stayed in place, I stitched all the way around each page spread, about 1/8" from the edge. I used my walking foot.
- Finally, I layered the completed page spreads in order and sewed down the spine, securing the book together! I did backstitch 2 or 3 times at the beginning and end to make sure the pages stay together. What a fun project!