Here we are – the first official Quiet Book Sew-Along post. How excited are you?! This post has a lot of beginning information, but I promise we will be sewing in no time. Besides, choosing fabrics isn’t bad ever, right?!
Today we are going to get ready by making sure you have thought through your fabric choices. You will need a bit of time to collect yardage for the page backgrounds and cover, and also pick up some interfacing and binding for the pages. I’ve included helpful information on what to buy for each of these below. I would also recommend not cutting any of your fabrics until you need them. However, you can pre-wash them, it’s important that a kid-friendly book be washable!
There are lots of helpful hints in this post – but since is information heavy I have give you the shopping list for week 1 first. Just click, print it and go. Remember, just like a pattern, all of this information is important so be sure to read over it so you don’t miss anything!
You have two choices for the page background fabrics. The starting size of each page is 9″ x 9″. I would recommend using a quilting cotton weight fabric for them. Since we are building more fabric onto each page they can be hard to finish and bind if they are too thick. Here are your two options:
Page Background Yardage:
- Scrappy Look: If you take a look at my book, you will see that none of the background pages use the same fabric. I love the scrappy look and I also love using pieces from my stash that are too small for other projects. 6 of the pages for this book are based on a scrappy look anyhow and wouldn’t use a coordinating fabric background. You can buy or use your scraps for the page background fabrics as we get to them, some have specific colours.
- Cohesive Look: If you like a more cohesive look it would be fun to order enough fabric now to cover all of the page backgrounds. Eight of the 12 pages can use the same background fabric. There are 6 pages that won’t need it due to their construction. You will need to buy 3/4 of a yard of fabric for the page backgrounds.
Once you have decided on a scrappy or cohesive look you need to choose a cover fabric. You have two options for the cover:
- Cohesive Look: Cover matches the pages. Buy 1 yard of 44″ wide fabric. This is enough fabric for your pages & cover (see diagram below).
- Scrappy Look: Cover is different. Buy 1/2 yard of 44″ wide fabric. Note: You can still choose to match only your pages as per the “pages only cohesive look” above.
Both yardage recommendations are below and in the shopping list. The cover is 11″ high by 21″ wide. You need 2 pieces, one each for the inside and outside of the book. I found it helpful to buy this at the beginning because I think it influenced my colour decisions as I went. Even though my book is scrappy, I tended towards a more colourful look because the outside fabric was black and white. This gives you quite a bit of extra fabric to play with later! (Hooray for stashing!)
Cover Fabric Yardage:
You will also need a few “boring” things like interfacing and binding. To be honest, I don’t remember if I used heavyweight or medium weight interfacing in my book. However, I am recommending that you use a medium fusible interfacing for this Sew Along because that is what it feels like I used. Also, I think I only interfaced every other page, so one of each pair of pages that are sewn together has interfacing. This time around though I think I am going to interface both – it will make the pages a bit stiffer, which would be nice. This is what I have included on your shopping list.
- You will need 3 yards of 20″ wide medium-weight fusible interfacing.
As far as the binding. I used what I had last time and stitched half of the pages with white 1/2″ double-fold binding and half of them with black grosgrain ribbon folded in half. This time around I want them all to match, so I am going to recommend the 1/2″ double-fold binding. You don’t need the binding until the end of October, but again, if you like to have everything planned out you can buy it now and I will remind you again later! You can also choose to make your own binding, and if you do it does not have to be cut on the bias, which will make it a bit easier to sew.
- You will need 3 yards of 1/2″ double-fold bias tape exactly to bind all of the pages. Buy 1/2 yard extra if you want to be safe.
So – which are you choosing to make – A Scrappy or a Cohesive look? What colour are you using for your binding? I’ve got to decide on my cover fabric this week too. Since I’m trying to make a unisex book it’ll be a more interesting challenge!