Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Busy Book: Letters (Page 1)

With the end of April, and therefore the Chipmunk(!), in our sights (and by sights I mean that it was 45 degrees yesterday and despite the snow storm that's rockin' right now, I take that as a sign of spring), I thought I should give some thought to a gift for Goose when Chippy is born. After thinking long and hard I realized that more than anything I want to keep him busy. Sure there are plenty of lovely things out there that accomplish that task, but far be it for me to take the easy road. So I hit Pinterest for some Busy/Quiet Book inspiration.

First up: Letter Page

Now I know that Goose at the ripe age of 24 months cannot, and should not, identify letters, but he knows what they are as an image and will gleefully sing out "E! A! D!" to the tune of "ABC". He loves pointing out letters on his toys so I figured he may like this as well. Hopefully it will grow with him and he can practice the real letters and spelling as he gets older (as if there is any chance all the letters will stay with the book!).

I love this photo. The table is one that my dad made me for my 2nd birthday that Goose uses for his coloring projects. The chairs I picked up at Brimfield Antique Fair last May. It's all just so freakin cute together!

I appliqued all the letters to the backing felt with embroidery thread. It would have been easier to use fabric glue, but past experience showed me that he will rip those suckers off the moment he can.

The pencil is just for fun.

I painstakingly used a blanket stitch for every color on the pencil and then realized it was too flimsy to put in the little holder. I ended up using a zig zag stitch to secure a piece of heavy weight Pelon interfacing on the back. Next time I have a little piece like that I'll sandwich it between two pieces of felt or include it in the blanket stitch.

I used the Imagine Our Life tutorial for how to bind the pages with a few changes. First I cut the quilting fabric about 1/4" larger all around. Next I fused double sided webbing (my most favorite "making" product ever!" to the wrong side of the quilting fabric. Putting right sides of the fabric and the felt page together I sewed a 1/4"seam using the felt page as a guide (it means there's a 1/2" edge to the quilt fabric which I wanted for durability), leaving an opening on the grommet side. Lastly I turned it inside out, pressed the fabric side to fuse it to the felt page and top stitched around everything. it makes the page about 1/2" smaller all around, but I prefer the more finished look.

The pages look a little lumpy here because all the letters are in the envelope. The two pages really do line up nicely when not stuffed.

Oh and I LOVED using the grommet pliers. LOVED.

I know I'm supposed to wait until Chipmunk gets here to show Goosey the page, but I couldn't help myself. He immediately got the idea, opened it up and started placing letters on the page, dropping his train set and animals in the process, which for a 2 year old is a REALLY. BIG. DEAL.

He even took out the pencil to "draw". Nothing makes me happier than putting so much work into something to see that he actually likes it (not always the case)! Now to put it away until April and start brainstorming more pages!

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