Thursday, 11 February 2021

Shabbat Quiet Book - Interview with Valerie Rose

Today I would like to introduce you to Valerie Rose and her Shabbat Quiet Book. I believe learning through play is the best way to learn and this adorable book is a great way to learn about Sabbath.

Carissa D:  Welcome Valerie! Please explain a little about yourself and your quiet book adventures.

Valerie: Hi Carissa,

I am a Wife, mother of 2 adult children and now a grandmother as well as a Midwife 4 days a week!!

I have been sewing and stitching since I was a small child but now I have the delight of sewing and creating for my granddaughter Ella who will be 2 in March. She brings me such joy and my love for her grows each day I see her. She loves playing with a box of felt and ribbon offcuts and various empty cotton spools I have saved for her. She loves the different textures so fingers crossed she has my passion for fabric crafts and sewing.

I am privileged to look after Ella every Monday while my daughter works. I have made her several quiet books already which she loves. They are full of texture and zips and removeable pieces. Most of them have a small animal outline hiding in the pages in a subtle colour for her to find and prolong the enjoyment of the book. For example, her beach book has seahorses and her Farm book has rabbits. Some pages also have crinkle plastic inside and even animal toy squeakers. It has been a great way to use my cherished scraps of fabric.

In this Shabbat Book I have sewn 10 cat faces throughout the book for her to find.

I try to personalise each book for her but hopeful one day there will be other little people to enjoy them as well.

Carissa D: I am a Sabbath keeper, so perhaps that is why I love your book so much. To me, Sabbath is special because God commands me to rest. I have a very valid guilt-free excuse not to study/work/clean the house that day! Where did the idea come from to create your Shabbat Quiet Book?

Valerie:   I come from a Jewish Family and growing up we always had Shabbat every Friday Night. It wasn’t a strictly religious night but I remember my father would bring home a block of chocolate for us to share while we played card games as a family after dinner.

Valerie's daughter on Shabbat - way back when!

My daughter married a lovely guy who is not Jewish and I am very careful not to push my beliefs on him and my Granddaughter Ella. Because Ella’s mother is Jewish Ella is as well by her birth right!

When my son and daughter were little we did not celebrate Christmas, instead we celebrated the 8 nights of Chanukah. I made them a large very simple Felt Menorah wall hanging with removeable candle flames. To this day my daughter still tells me how much she loved it and looked forward to Chanukah every year.

In December my daughter asked us to come to her home for Chanukah and Shabbat for the first time! She has decided Ella is old enough now to have some Jewish input in her life. I was delighted of course and excited. I instantly knew I wanted to make her a special Shabbat Book, and so I did!

Carissa D:  My favourite part of your book has to be your Kiddush Cups. You achieved such a good effect with the fabric choice and embroidery. What is your favourite section?

Valerie: I actually love the whole book! I was delighted how it turned out! My favourite page would be the inside cover of special Shabbat Fabric. This fabric has sat in my stash for over 25 years just waiting for the perfect project. And this was it!

Shabbat fabric Valerie had been stashing

Carissa D:  I love it when you find the perfect use for that thing you have been saving. That is what happened with my Psalm 46 - Be Still and Know that I Am God Tea Set Quiet Book Page. The herb fabric made great tea bags!

The herb frabric I had been stashing - made into tea bags

Carissa D:  How did you create this book? Did you make your own templates? 

Valerie:  The book is mostly created using machine embroidery files I have brought. See the list below for crediting:

The words I made on my Embroidery Machine. 

I stitched the designs for the pages on a Black Cotton fabric as I really like the contrast.

The removable appliques were stitched on felt then backed with felt to hide the messy side. For the flowers I added a small ribbon for a leaf.

The Wine Goblet, Challah and Challah Cloth have a cat face hiding underneath.

Carissa D:  I would like to take a moment to thank you for your generosity in sharing the embroidery files you made for the words of this book - here attached in .jef format for Janome machines:

Carissa D:  How long do you estimate that you spent on this whole quiet book from concept to completion? 

Valerie:  The book probably took me 2 days to make. There was quite a bit of hand sewing involved in finishing the removeable pieces.

Carissa D: Wow! That sounds amazingly quick to me! Is that normal for a book made using an embroidery machine?

Valerie:  Some take longer but this one just worked out really easily. Her other books have more details like zips and ribbons and buttons.

Carissa D:  When will your Havdallah quiet book be coming out?!! Do you have plans to make a Biblical Festivals quiet book?!!

Valerie:  Haha! No plans for a Havdallah book yet but I am planning one for Passover and then one for Chanukah later this year. But first I want to make another Shabbat Book to keep at my house!

Carissa D:  I am waiting with baited breath!

Carissa D:  Which is your favourite Faith and Felt Obsession post and why?

Valerie: My favourite post has to be the Car Travel Dice!

This has inspired me to make a travel snakes and ladders or similar for holidays and picnics as well as to help Ella with counting.

Carissa D:  That sounds like an awesome idea! I would 💖 to see it when it is finished.

Tahlia with her Car Travel Dice

Carissa D: How old is your Granddaughter and how does she enjoy finding the 10 hidden cats in this busy book? Do you find that they distract her from the message of the book, or do they ensure the book is loved beyond measure? 

Valerie:  Ella was just over 19 months when I gave her this book. On the Candle page she immediately took the two flames and put them on the candles on the next page! She was very quick to detach all the pieces. With the wine and the bread she was also able to feed her “baby”. As most of her Fabric books I have made her have hidden animal outlines she loves to look for them. I believe she loves it even more as it is personalised just for her. She always “reads” the book first then goes back to find the cats. 

Carissa D:  What a sweetie!

Carissa D: Lastly, How did you bind the book and are you happy with the method?

Valerie:  First I decide how many pages I will have, always an even number, plus front and back cover.

Then I cut a small oblong from scrap interfacing to represent 2 pages.

Then I pin them together to make a book.

On each page I would then write what will be on it.

Once done I can unpin the book and see the true page stitch map.

Once stitched etc iron on interfacing is applied and the 2 pages are sewn together right side fabric facing inside then trimmed and turned right way out and the small gap is hand sewed or if I am lazy a top stitch all around the double page. 

Finally the pages are stacked on top of each other in the correct order and several lines are stitched down the centre to form the book. 

This way works best for me at the moment. This book has 3 double pages which gives me 12 single pages to decorate and works very well but there would be room for more! 

Carissa D:  Thank you so much for sharing with us Valerie. Once again, your Shabbat quiet book is lovely and I hope it will be an inspiration to many as it has been to me. Terrific job!

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Do you use an embroidery machine to help make your quiet books? Has this book inspired you to make your own creation? Comment below!

Thursday, 14 January 2021

How to join a Sew Along

Quiet book sew alongs are a great way to get motivated and actually start making one.

They are held in facebook groups and possibly other online platforms (if you know of others please comment below), and are a great way for busy/stuck at home people to join in on a craft group. It can be difficult to find a craft group that you can attend in person, especially one tailored to a special interest such as quiet books. With an online group, things like the time of day doesn't matter as you can read, post and comment any time of day or night!

I run the Facebook group Quiet Book Sew Along, and aim to have monthly events from February to November. Ten months worth of quiet book pages are enough to make a full book (plus the front and back covers). You can sew enough pages for a book during the year and have December to sew it all together for a present!

Sew alongs are a great way to get inspiration, free patterns, advice and encouragement. I love seeing the variety that comes out of the same template used by different people.

Step 1: Join a Facebook Group that runs Sew-Alongs:

Aims for monthly events - February till November

Has run events in the past - you could join late if you are shy!

A French group

Step 2: Navigate to the Events tab under the group heading

Step 3: Click on the Event you would like to attend

Step 4: Mark yourself as attending the event (and invite your friends to join in)

Step 5: Get started - Print the pattern, ask questions, post progress photos, encourage others, have fun! The separate Event thread enables all of the posts relating to the Event to be separated from the normal group posts - so only those participating are notified etc (although you do need to set your notifications to all as per usual if you want to be notified anytime someone posts something new).

Would love to see you there!

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Have you joined a sew along? Tell us if it was useful in the comments below.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Easy Peasy To the Moon and Back Quiet Book Page

Do you sometimes wonder why you went to so much effort making a quiet book page when your little one prefers the simplest page in the book? 

I think this page is suited to a child around the age of four, but older children will still have tonnes of fun with it too. They do need to be old enough for you not to worry about them wrapping the cord around their neck and choking on it if you are going to let them play with it unsupervised, however.

How to make my To The Moon and Back quiet book page:

Materials needed:

  • velour in gray
  • thread to contrast or match for the edges
  • background fabric
  • 60-100cm cord/ribbon
  • rocket button
  • hot glue and glue gun

Cut out the template from my To The Moon and Back Quiet Book Page Free Template Pattern.

I used a pen to copy the template onto the back of my velour fabric and sewed zig zag off the edge of the holes after they were cut out, but you could definitely do it before and then cut out the holes too. 

I sewed the cord onto the rocket button and then hot glued the loose sections at the back of the button as well, just to make sure it would stay attached and not get in the way when threading. Sew the moon onto your background fabric using zig zag stitch along the outside edge, tucking the other end of the cord under one section. Leave the craters open to allow the rocket to thread it's way in and out through there as well.

I made this version for a cheeky little girl. Her name is Jannali, which is an Australian Indigenous name meaning "the Place of the Moon". I hope she gets a lot of fun out of it and it keeps her quiet when her Mama needs a break.

I think it made a good front cover.

Join a sew along!

This page is so easy and it comes together very quickly, especially if you use a button for the rocket. We did this page one month in my Facebook Group Quiet Book Sew Along. If you want to join in the fun, join the group, go to the events tab and mark yourself as attending, print the pattern and post your progress photos in event thread. It is a great way to keep yourself motivated, and you can ask all the questions you need and get advice from other quiet book makers.

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What do you think - does it look easy peasy? 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Genesis 17 - Abram becomes Abraham Quiet Book Page

 In Genesis 17, God establishes a covenant with Abram and changes his name to Abraham, and Sarai becomes Sarah. 

Memory Verse: “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5 NKJV.

Materials needed to create the Abram becomes Abraham quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used mint
  • my free Genesis 17 - Abram becomes Abraham Bible Quiet Book Template Pattern
  • gray hard felt
  • white felt and coloured felt in two (or three) colours, or alphabet felt in those colours, or
  • a method of cutting letters - see my Letter Cutting Hacks post
  • 5mm ribbon in matching colours to your white and coloured felt
  • sewing threads to best match the page
  • diaper hook and loop tape material (like velcro but doesn't wreck felt so much and is wider and can be cut to the size needed) - I bought this (not an afiliate link)
  • clear plastic - you can use tablecloth plastic or sheet set packaging
  • scotch tape and paper
  • hot glue and glue gun
  • scissors!
Firstly, cut out as many alphabet blocks as you need for the names you are making from the gray hard felt. I used: YHWH (4 blocks in white), ABRAAM (6 blocks in blue), SARAI (5 blocks in pink), and TALIA (5 blocks in green). You can add your own child's name if it has an "ah" or "ha" sound in it.

Tahlia's toy came in handy to trace around
to make the perfect block shape for me

Cut out you letters as required for the blocks above - see my Letter Cutting Hacks post (I used the Sizzix method). Sew them onto the gray alphabet blocks in the center of each block. Work out the length of each ribbon required to trim each block (13cm from memory). Cut the number of lengths needed and melt the ends to prevent fraying. Sew a border around each block using the corresponding colour 5mm ribbon, tucking the end of the ribbon under itself to finish it nicely at the ends.

Cut out the pocket from your clear plastic and trim with ribbon in a simmilar manner as above. Place scotch tape onto your sewing machine foot so the plastic will move through your machine easily. I also place paper underneath part of my sewing machine - see my set-up on my Psalm 46 - Be Still and Know that I Am God Tea Set Quiet Book Page post. Sew the plastic onto your page on three sides leaving the top open to form a pocket. Place it at the bottom leaving room to sew the pages together at the end and enough room at the top for the writing strip.

Cut the writing strip from loop tape material and sew it onto your page at the top.

Cut as many hook tape backings as you need and hot glue to the back of each alphabet block.

Finished! Store blocks back to back in the pocket to minimise dammage that can be done with the hook side of the hook and loop tape material.

Difficulty Level = Difficult

It would be easy except for sewing the ribbons around the corners is a little tricky, but you will get better with practice! Sewing the plastic is very tricky if you don't follow the suggestions of using scotch tape and paper above.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 17 - God gave Abram and Sarai new names to show his covenant with them
  • Spelling - learn to spell the names Abram, Abraham, Sarai, Sarah, and maybe some others
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

Read the Chapter

Genesis 17


I heard something about this Bible chapter once and it has stuck with me. I don't remember where I heard it so unfortunately I can't give credit where it is due. It may have been a sermon - I'm not sure. But their words definitely helped inspire this quiet book page.

Basically, they were saying that when God changed Abram's name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah, He was breathing into their names (and lives). God added the "H" sound from His name YHWH (often translated as Yahweh) to their names. The "ah" sound is the sound made when breathing, so it was as if God was speaking a miracle into their lives. And when God speaks, things happen!

God created the whole universe by speaking. He said "let there be light" and there was light. He made a man out of dust, and when He breathed into him, he became a soul. When God breathed into Abram and Sarai's lives, they had a baby in their old age, even though they both laughed at the idea.

Who But You (Abraham & Sarah)

I had heard this before Tahlia came along, and it definitely influenced how I spelled her name. It HAD to be spelled with an "ah" in it. Many Hebrew names contain an "ah" sound, and I suppose it is only natural since God interferred with the name of the first Hebrew, Abraham.

As I have discussed in more detail in my post Tahlia's Quiet Book - Front Cover and First Page, Tahlia means "dew from Heaven". If I had known that the root word for "dew" in Hebrew was "Tal" beforehand, I might have spelled her name Taliah instead. I have explained all this reasoning to her and occasionally she now likes to spell her name Tahliah! I guess the more "ah" sounds the better hahaha (pun intended)!

I hope this page will become a special one to your child as well, especially if their name is spelled with an "ah" or "ha" too. May God breathe into their life, and yours.

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Can you include your child's name on this page? 

Friday, 4 September 2020

Genesis 19 - Sodom and Gomorrah Quiet Book Page

In Genesis 19, Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed and Lot's wife turns into a pillar of salt, but Lot and his two daughters escape.

Memory Verse: “At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”” Genesis 19:15

Materials needed to create the Sodom and Gomorrah quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used cream
  • felt scraps in brown, orange, yellow, gray, light blue, sparkly white (or white plus glitter glue), and various other colours
  • furry yarn in a smokey/fire colour
  • one pop stick
  • hot glue and glue gun
  • my free Sodom and Gomorrah template download

This quiet book page was inspired by a page from Glued To Glory's Quiet Book #16: Old Testament Bible. If you want to simplify this page - head over to her site and take a look. Heck, just take a look anyway! The more inspiration the better.

Cut out a section of brown felt to cover the bottom half of your page and sew a horizontal buttonhole in matching thread towards the top of the brown and just to the left of the middle of the page. (You can use the template to line up where other things may be positioned to work out where a good spot is. This will form the pop stick slot for Lot's wife to be inserted in and out of so it should be wide enough for that but not much wider to stop her from moving around too much.) Then sew the brown felt to the bottom of the page around all edges.

Sew down your sun, the buildings, three little people and the right mountain. Double the felt for the left mountain and sew it down leaving the cave mouth open.

Cut out Lot's wife out of yellow felt and sew her down around all edges except the bottom to a piece of sparkly white felt (or add sparkles with glitter glue later), making sure she is facing the right direction for each colour. Cut her out and insert a pop stick, securing it and the bottom edge of lot's wife with hot glue.

Sew down the city in rows, adding your fire and brimstone furry yarn over the top of the two rows of city using zig zag stich before finishing with the city wall. 


Difficulty Level = Intermediate.

You will need to do a fair amount of hand turning of the wheel on your sewing machine as there are lots of small fiddly pieces.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 19 - Learn about where our focus should be - on where we are going (Heaven) rather than love of our current situations. Also, there is a Tale of two cities going on here - repentance is the difference between the different treatment of Sodom and Gomorrah and Nineveh.
  • Inserting - insert Lot's wife into the buttonhole, then pull her out, flip her over and insert again! Explore the cave with your finger.
  • Imaginative play - Lot's wife runs away but looks back and becomes a pillar of salt
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

Read the Chapter

Genesis 19


Sodom & Gomorrah · Tiko & Gitta

Verse 13 talks about the outcry that has reached the ears of the LORD against Sodom. The things reported to have been done there are recorded in Ezekiel 16:49-50. "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen." Whilst God longs to forgive and have all come to repentance, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed as a warning that sin results in death. You can read a thorough explanation of the text at What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? by Greg Koukl.

Had Lot taken the warning more seriously, would his wife have looked back? Yes, she was sorrowing for her other children who had not left with them, but should we also loose our salvation because someone else chooses not to accept it? Did she end up any happier? She showed that she cared more for her treasures that she left behind than for the favour God had showed her.

Jesus said that the people of his day were worse than those of Sodom - it is because they claimed to follow God, yet their lives did not reflect that. It seems to me that the Third Commandment applies to Christians more than anyone else. I know that mis-using the Holy names of God as swear words is not good, but it seems worse to me to claim that you are a Christian and then not live up to that claim as of course I frequently don't. People who use God's name as a cuss word probably don't even believe in God and therefore it is not such bad intent. But to actively say "I follow Christ" and then live life like there are no consequences to sin is to malign His name so much worse. We are giving Christ a bad name. People think that if that's what Christianity is like then I want no part of it, and we can hardly blame them.

Rather than miss out because others we care about are missing out, we should use our witness to encourage others to take the warning seriously. This world is destined for destruction, and we should make every effort to influence those we care about to accept God's love and provision of salvation. As the song Freely, Freely by Carol Owens says "Go in My Name and because YOU believe, others will know that I live."

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Hearing from you gives me great encouragement!