Saturday, 1 September 2018

The Evolution of Quiet Books

While it may at first appear that there is not a lot of readily available information about the history and development of quiet books, I have been able to find some quite interesting details regarding their evolution.

Firstly I would like to draw your attention to a very informative article The History of the Bendable, Durable, Chewable Board Book by Olivia Campbell on the LIT HUB website. She talks about the results of technology development and the financial access it brought to books and toys as well as a dramatic paradigm shift that occurred in relation to children and books in general. It is an interesting read.

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In 1902, Dean's Rag Books Company was formed, publishing the first printed cloth books. They had pinking sheared edges and were advertised as being indestructible. Unlike paper books, the pages could not be torn and/or eaten by children and they could be washed, sterilized, and slept with comfortably. The company went on to produce printed panels which could be sewn into a book by the purchaser. They extended this idea to their traditional book range and made cut out model books out of card which buyers could put together themselves. See The Brighton Toy and Model Index for more details on Dean's Rag Books Company or the book on it's history pictured above.

Dean's Rag Book Company was an offshoot of the Dean & Son book publishing company founded not long before 1800. The University Libraries website credits them with publishing the first movable books, including pop-up books, pull-tab books, and pantomime toy books. Dean's Rag Books Company does not seem to have incorporated these ideas into their cloth books.

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One of the earliest tactile books published may have been "Cottontails - A Tactile Book" dated to 1938, a copy of which is preserved in the Bennington Museum. As you can see, it features tied binding, beads, pom-poms, buttons, fabric, ribbon, a bell, and what appears to be felt.

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The earliest dated quiet book pattern I am aware of is by Ann F Pritt, copyrighted in 1967 to Deseret Book Company. She made a Mormon version because she noticed a lot of mothers bringing quiet books to church and wanted to promote a focus on scripture. You can download her pattern for free from The Idea Door website: How to Make an LDS Quiet Book by Ann F. Pritt

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Thanks to a lovely friend, I own a copy of  How to Sew A Quiet Book from Craft Course Publishers, copyright 1977. It is Craft Course SP-11 and says it was adapted from a book submission by Annelle Simmons. Many of the classic quiet book pages are included in her patterns and it is my guess that they were already established as classics before this publishing.

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In addition to the try my mitten and football lacing pages featured on the front cover, pages include pockets for a pad and pencil/crayons, flower buttoning, hair braiding, clothes on a washing line, a clock, a train, balloon colour matching, shape matching, 1-10 bead counting, bow tying on a kitten, a clown face to rearrange, and a zippered ladybug with babies.

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If you know of any earlier patterns or other information, I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Ephesians 5 - Marriage Quiet Book Page

Ephesians 5 contains some good marriage advice and makes an analogy with marriage and Christ's relationship with His Church - the bride.

Memory Verse: " “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33.

Materials needed to create the Marriage quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used yellow.
  • ivory satin scraps - mine came from my Mum's wedding dress to my Dad
  • wadding scraps
  • ivory lace edging
  • 5mm ivory ribbon scraps
  • Plastic wedding rings - I got mine from some Christmas bon-bons - bought from Supabarn if you live in Australia!
  • My free template
Using the template, cut out two pieces of satin and four pieces of wadding to size. Arrange the pieces in two piles on your page with two pieces of wadding stacked underneath each piece of satin. Pin each corner and side to the background felt. It may look bunched at this stage, but mine had no bunches when finished. I sewed around the edges twice using stitch no 13 on my sewing machine.

Melt the ends of your lace and ribbon to prevent fraying. Sew the lace to the edge to cover the stitching and turn the edge under at the end to get a nice finish. Don't forget the sew the lace on in the opposite direction on your second pillow in order to get a symmetrical look happening with the lace.

Sew your ribbons to the center of each pillow using a zig zag stitch with stitch length set to 0. Tie on your rings with a bow (then untie them and try them on)!


Difficulty Level = Easy.

Just be sure to use plenty of pins to help prevent bunching of the pillows around the edges.


Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Ephesians 5 - marriage is an analogy to the relationship we the church have with Jesus!
  • Imaginative Play - a little girl's dream page
  • Threading - thread the rings onto the ribbons
  • Tie a knot/bow - use a knot and bow to keep the rings secured to the ring pillows
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through threading and tying knots and bows.

Read the Chapter

Ephesians 5


I find it so validating that Paul in the Bible wrote about the differing love needs of men and women before modern research discovered them. It is well documented that generally men and women feel loved in different ways. A man needs to get respect to feel loved, a woman needs love.

Apart from "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" by John Gray which I found was great, one of the best books I have read on the topic of men is "Wild At Heart" by John Eldredge. He also has one about the girls which he wrote with his wife called "Captivating" - although I have not read this one.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Genesis 2 - Adam Names the Animals Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 2, God asks Adam to name the animals.

Memory Verse: “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18

Materials needed to create the Adam Names the Animals quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used light green.
  • Stiffened felt - I used black.
  • Wonderwall (or Veltex and double sided iron-on interfacing) scrap - I used light grey.
  • Velcro sticky dots
  • hot glue and glue gun
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • Tangram template from - they also have the image below which demonstrates how to make a heap of animal shapes out of the tangram which goes perfectly with this page

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Sew your Wonderwall to the background page, leaving enough room for a colourful border and to allow you to sew your pages back to back once you are ready to sew the book together.

Cut out the shapes from the template and use the paper pattern to cut the shapes out from the stiffened felt. It is probably better to make your size smaller than mine so you have room rearrange the shapes on your page.

Cut your Velcro dots in half and attach the Velcro dot to the same sides of the stiffened felt shapes so that they will fit together to form a square when you are done. You will need to use a little hot glue to hold them in place as the sticky will wear out rather quickly.

Stick your shapes onto the Wonderwall with the Velcro and re-arrange to make all sorts of animals. They should all fit on the page for storage purposes.


Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

A very easy quiet book page!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 2 - God asked Adam to name the animals, what an awesome job!
  • Imaginative Play - animals are so much fun to imagine with.
  • Shapes - tangram, square, triangle, parallelogram.
  • Puzzle - place the tangram shapes in a way that will form a picture and then back into the shape of a square.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through pulling the Velcro pieces and rearranging them.

Read the Chapter

Genesis 2


Some people say that you can't appreciate the good without experiencing the bad. I'm not sure if I agree.

I can see that experiencing bad can enhance your appreciation of the good. But does that mean that if Adam and Eve had never fallen and evil had never entered the world that we would not have appreciated the goodness in the world around us? God pronounced everything He had made "good" and when it was finished, it was "very good". If it is not possible to appreciate good without evil then I think it was not possible to make a decision on the matter, and yet they were required to. Therefore it is possible to appreciate good without experiencing evil.


Nevertheless, it appears that lack of good may increase your appreciation for good. In Genesis 2, God demonstrates to Adam that he is lacking something before He provides that something. Before God creates Eve, He asks Adam to name all the animals - who all have a mate.

The willingness of Jesus to die for our sins on the cross is the most abhorrent thing possible. We deserve such a death and yet the Crown Prince who is and has always remained perfectly innocent endured a torturous death. Evil is so destructive that it reached all the way to the top and resulted in the death of the Creator. Yet goodness demonstrated it's superiority to evil in that even death of the life-giver could not defeat LIFE itself.

A very interesting talk about the Hebrew alphabet and how the letters give pictorial meaning to the words. It talks about Adam naming the animals :)

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I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

How To Ring Bind Felt Quiet Books - Free A4 Buttonhole Guide

One of the reasons I chose to use felt pages my quiet books was because they are so simple to sew together.

I sew my Bible Quiet Book Project pages back to back and insert a ribbon tag to use to thread rings through. This allows me to completely disassemble my pages if anything requires fixing.

When I am making a book for someone else however, I usually use buttonholes instead. Threading the rings through buttonholes seems to keep the book more sturdy and keeps the pages lined up better. The rings pictured below are 50mm Album Rings from Daiso. You can get smaller rings, sometimes called split rings or hinged rings from places like Spotlight in the scrapbooking section, and sometimes in office supply stores.

In case you would like to follow the buttonhole binding method, I have uploaded a free A4 Buttonhole Guide to make lining up your buttonhole quick and easy. You will need to print it out and copy the hole spaces onto card stock and cut them out. Use this as a template to mark where you want your buttonholes to go. I did mine in pen, but it is best to use chalk or fade-able pen so there is no chance you will see the marks later.

My sewing machine has a one-step buttonhole setting, and I used a female Kam Snap as the button at the back of the buttonhole foot to get the correct sized buttonhole for this guide.

Thanks to my friend who allowed me to use her book as an experiment! Have a good look at the next lot of page spreads to see if you notice what my experiment was:

You may have to click on the photos to make them big enough to notice. Post your guesses in the comments below!

The quietbook owner having a Michelangelo moment with St Peter

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Isaiah 25 - God Will Wipe Away Our Tears Bible Quiet Book Page

Isaiah 25 looks forward to the time when the troubles of this world are over and God will take the time to comfort us and wipe away all our tears.

Memory Verse: “He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken." Isaiah 25:8.

Materials needed to create the God Will Wipe Away Our Tears quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used maroon.
  • white handkerchief
  • patterned felt and plain felt in a similar colour
  • wide translucent ribbon
  • matching thread colours
  • God Will Wipe Away Our Tears template
Start by using your template to cut out a piece of the patterned felt including the hole at the top. Pin this to the similar coloured felt and stitch it down around the outside and the hole. Cut it out including the hole.

Cut two lengeths of ribbon to reach across and past both edges the longest section of the tissue box. Melt the ends of the ribbon with a match to prevent fraying.

Pin the ribbon in position on top of the tissue box and sew them down. Fold the longer ends of the ribbon underneath the tissue box before pinning it to the background page and sewing it down around the outside edge only. Leave the hole open to allow you to fold and place the handkerchief inside.


Difficulty Level = Easy.

This is a very basic page.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Isaiah 25 - God cares about the tears we cry.
  • Imaginative Play - pulling tissues out of a box is a pretty exciting thing to do for a toddler. Then you can wipe everyone's tears with it too.
  • Pulling - pull the tissue out of the box.
  • Folding - older children can learn to fold the handkerchief so it fits nicely back into the tissue box.
  • Tucking - tuck the folded handkerchief back into the tissue box.
  • Touch and Feel - if you use a handkerchief edged with lace, it will provide sensory stimulation through varied textures.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through pulling, folding and tucking the hankerchief.

Read the Chapter

Isaiah 25


Wiping someone else's tears is rather personal. Our God loves to have a personal relationship with each of us. He often makes me laugh. He gets my sense of humour and He knows which verse to show me when I am feeling down in the dumps.

Sometimes you can't tell a soul in the world what you are going through or what is knawing away at your peace of mind. But you can trust these secrets to the One who gave you life. 

There is a saying "If you love something, set it free; if it comes back to you it is yours". He cared enough to create you, He cared enough to give you freedom, He cared enough to come rescue you. It's up to you if you want to return to Him and allow Him to wipe your tears and restore your status.

God Shall Wipe All Tears Away