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.
QB Page02

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.
QB Page03
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.
QB Page04
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?
QB Page05
You must carefully trim them like so:
QB Page06
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.
QB Page07
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.
QB Page09
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!
QB Page10
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.
QB Page11
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.
QB Page14
Here are the front and back of a completed page, ready to put in the cover.
QB Page15

QB Page16

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.

Another Quiet Book Binding Variation

I am helping a friend from my exchange finish her quiet book, and we are binding this one without so much edge binding, and this time we used buttonholes. I think it is much more doable for people who do not have a thousand yards of leftover quilt binding to use up, as well as vast patience for binding.  Since this method is easier than my first one, I thought I would share.

quiet book binding

Here you can see that there is not much difference in the general appearance between this one and mine. The main differences are the pages. We put them right sides together, sewed around the edges, and clipped the corners, leaving an opening.

Then we turned the pages inside out, ironed the edges, and sewed up the opening.

Rather than the lengthy and troublesome grommet application, we marked and sewed buttonholes on these pages. My Bernina 230 PE, to which I may or may not have written a love letter at one point, has a function where I have to push the reverse button one time to show the machine the buttonhole length I want, and then it is programmed to repeat that exact buttonhole as many times as I want until I clear it. Oh Bernie, I love you.

This is the result:


quiet book binding2

We are still about a week away from total completion. I quilted the cover, added the strips to hold our rings, and traced the Quiet Book letters today, and next week we will iron them on and finish binding the outside. I am excited for hers to be complete. It is so fun to see how an identical exchange can result in books that are similar but different, almost like sister books.

I visited another friend today who is doing an exchange, and she had some fabulous pages. I wish I had my camera there. My favorite was probably the barrel of monkeys, with monkeys that hook arms cut out of craft foam. She also had a simple mitten page that reminded me of my childhood. It’s so fun to see these. They take me back to my childhood and I just want to play with them myself.

Quiet Book Cover and Binding (Updated with more Pictures)

qb cover

*Update: I have also helped a friend bind hers now, and you can see an easier version of completing and binding the exchanged pages HERE now.

Here is my cover. It is a little big for the pages, but I’m still happy with it. My kids begged me to play with this, but I only let them play with it on Sundays, so it won’t get worn out too fast.

qb finished

If you ever want some practice binding and doing mitered corners, just decide to bind every page of a quiet book with your binding scraps. While it was a lot of extra work, I loved the way these page edges turned out.

Inner spine details…
completed quiet book (1)sm

I got the grommets and loose leaf rings at Amazon (click the link to go to a page of them). The grommets are half inch, though you could easily go smaller, and the book rings are 2″, which seemed large to me at first, but with the thickness of bound pages, it is a great size.

completed quiet book (2)sm
Outer spine detail…
completed quiet book (14)sm

completed quiet book (4)sm

completed quiet book (10)sm

completed quiet book (5)sm

completed quiet book (6)sm

completed quiet book (7)sm

completed quiet book (8)sm

completed quiet book (9)sm

completed quiet book (11)sm

completed quiet book (13)sm

One word of warning: if the kids get too excited, it’s not actually that Quiet of a Book. I was shushing them quite a bit during church when they were playing with it because they both wanted it to themselves.

Binding my Quiet Book

Right now I am working on binding my book. I was going to sew the pages right-sides together and then turn them inside out, but someone mentioned using normal binding for them. I have so many scraps of binding, and I love scrappy-looking anything, so I am binding.

qb rings

I bought some 2″ book rings, and tent/tarp grommets, and went to work. I have a few notes for if I ever work with grommets again:

* The hole punch that came with my grommets didn’t work on a cutting mat, but a scrap of carpet or felt underneath helped it make a small cut. Then I used scissors to finish the hole.

* Hammer lightly at first, and be careful to hold the top applicator straight at a 90 degree angle. I hammered really hard at first, and the grommet edge cut the fabric edges around them. I recommend trying a few test ones before doing it on the actual product.

* Half inch grommets are pretty big, but for 12″ pages with brightly colored binding, it doesn’t look too bad. I would like to check a hardware store next time. I just ordered them on Amazon this time.

* If I make another book I might also try reinforced button holes. You sew the buttonhole like normal, except include a small piece of cord that gets sewn into the satin-stitched edge of the hole. I only know about these from the classes that came with my sewing machine. I love those Bernina people.