Quiet Book Swap: Finishing Your Pages

I have been consulting on a friend’s quiet book swap, and some people asked for more details on assembly, so I am going to put a few things together, starting with this post. Today I photographed the details of the simple way to finish pages.
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Start with two pages that you want as a front and back. Make sure you don’t accidentally put two that should face each other together this way. I almost did that with the road pages, which would have been a shame.
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My friend made this road page, and she asked if she needed to pre-shrink the fabric, and I thought she would be okay not doing it, because I am lazy in my heart. Now I confess, I think I was wrong. Preshrinking is always a good idea, and it will help so much with the finished product and the sewing. PRESHRINK YOUR FABRIC. There, now it is out, even though I wrongly advised a good friend. I know, I’m lame. Anyway, Since this fabric is a little stretchy and skeewompas, I put it on top of a layer that is pretty uniform, and slightly bigger. This way I can make sure I don’t accidentally sew off the edge of the smaller page.
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Really smooth the two pages, right sides together. You want them to lay as flat and evenly together as you can. Sew them almost all the way around, leaving an opening of several inches that will later let you turn the pages inside out. I have a camera in my right hand in this picture. But I advise that once you get started and the machine is clamped to the page, you should  hold up the whole page as much as you can using both hands to keep the pages square and even.

Don’t turn it inside out yet. See these corners?
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You must carefully trim them like so:
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Get as close to the corner stitching as possible, but don’t cut through it. This clipping reduces bulk when the page is right side out.
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Turn the page right side out. I like to use my closed scissors to poke the corners and get them out.  This is the page before ironing. I highly recommend ironing. I know we don’t all like it, because getting friendly with the iron, well, you could get burned.
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Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  Anyhoo, Do Iron, Don’t burn yourself. After ironing, set your stitch length to a three. Hi Bernie! I love you!
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After you kiss your beloved sewing machine, topstitch around the edges of the page as close to the edge as you are comfortable.  I used the topstitching to close my hole in the side, and just ironed the hole carefully to make sure that would work well.
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If you are not one of those over-achieving grommet people, throw a few button-holes on each page. I measured the length of my page (11 ish inches), measured to the center (5.5) and marked the first hole. Then I marked the other two holes 1.5 inches in from the edge of the page. I used book rings to bind, so I didn’t have to match it to a binder. If you put it in a binder, just put the pages next to it, and mark that way.
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Here are the front and back of a completed page, ready to put in the cover.
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Just FYI, I use categories and tags, so if you want to read all the past posts about quiet books, just click on the label “Quiet Book,” and I think they will come up.

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