Table of Contents
- Coming up with airplane quiet book ideas
- Designing the quiet book airplane and cloud
- Cutting out the quiet book patterns
- Quiet book airplane page materials
- Cutting out the quiet book airplane page parts
- Putting the quiet book airplane page together
- Sewing on the velcro for the quiet book airplane page
- Making the quiet book felt alphabet
A quiet book airplane page is one of the many lovely options you have if you want your quiet book to have an element of learning in it for the intended toddler. I am making a quiet book for a friend’s little boy called Sameer, who is two years old. Therefore for the letter A of his name, I decided to create this quiet book airplane page. Let me show you how I did it.
Coming up with airplane quiet book ideas
The first thing you need to do is to come up with some different quiet book ideas for your airplane page. For this, Pinterest is a great resource along with Google images. Just browse through some quiet book airplane images to see what you like.
For example I wanted a fairly simple airplane quiet book page with a large airplane and the letter A. I also wanted it to have a tactile element to it. So I decided to put an airplane, a cloud and the letter A on the page. I would figure out a way to make these elements tactile and interactive on paper.
Next, as you can see, I did a very rough draft of how the layout of this airplane busy book page would look. It is here that I came up with the ideas of making the wings and the cloud movable. I also wanted the letter A to be removable.
Designing the quiet book airplane and cloud
Next, I needed to actually make the quiet book airplane. I like to do my designs using a free software called Inkscape that you can simply download from the internet. Inkscape helps you make vector graphics easily. This means that you can resize the images without blowing up the pixels.
I searched Google images for cute airplane images. Once I found what I was looking for, I saved that image and imported it into Inkscape. Then I did a basic manual trace of it using the Bezier curve tool. I tweaked and tailored the image to the way I wanted it to look, rather than simply recreating a copy of someone else’s work.
Finally, I resized the image to fit my quiet book pages. For example my quiet book page size is 18cm x 18cm. So I kept the length of the airplane at 15cm. I similarly created a simple flat-bottomed cloud and resized it to a height of 5cm.
I broke up all the parts of the airplane so I had individual pattern pieces to work with. Finally, I exported the file as a pdf and printed it out. And so my quiet book airplane and cloud patterns were done.
Cutting out the quiet book patterns
As you can see, this little quiet book airplane has lots of different parts. I used two different sizes of scissors to comfortably cut out all the bits. For finer details like the tail flaps or the nose, I used a pair of small sharp scissors.
For the tiny little circles to make the windows, I used my handy little curved scissors. I used a single circular pattern over and over to cut out all the airplane windows.
Quiet book airplane page materials
Once my quiet book airplane pattern was cut out of paper, I turned to the materials.
I used stiffened felt in white and orange to make the airplane’s body and side wings. But you could choose any colours you like. For the cloud, I used white and grey felt. And for the felt letter A, I used green and grey felt. I stiffened all of these using the method at this link.
I used fusible web to stick the parts of the airplane flat on the quiet book page. You can read all about how to use fusible web here.
Heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
The small details of the quiet book airplane include the nose, the front screen, the side windows, the tail flaps along with the little star on the tail. I made all of these little details using HTV or heat transfer vinyl.
Velcro for the quiet book letter A
I knew I would be making a felt letter A for this quiet book page. I also knew that I would stick it to the page using Velcro. So I used a 2cm square of Velcro that I cut off a tape. Hint: never use sticky backed Velcro! It will gum up and destroy your sewing machine needle.
Optional ─ a die cutter with a star-shaped die
For the little star on the tail of the airplane, I used a manual die cutter with a star-shaped cutting die. You could choose to sew on other details like a cute button or bead instead.
Cutting out the quiet book airplane page parts
Now I cut out all the quiet book airplane page parts. First I ironed on fusible web on the back of the felt to make the airplane’s body and large wings. Next, I traced out the simpler quiet book patterns on the back of the fusible web paper.
For the smaller, more intricate shapes, I taped the pattern directly on to the felt or HTV before cutting. You can read more about this process here.
Putting the quiet book airplane page together
Once all the quiet book airplane and cloud pieces had been cut, I went on to the quiet book page construction.
Fusing and sewing the base layer
First I ironed and fused the airplane’s body and top wing on to the quiet book page. Next, I sewed a simple straight stitch all around the edges.
I also taped the white cloud shape cut-out to the bottom grey layer using cello tape. I forgot to use the fusible web on this one! (Also notice that the cloud above is not a print-out of my Inkscape pattern. My printer refused to print it out so I just traced it off the computer screen by hand. There is always room to improvise when making a quiet book!)
I moved on to the HTV pieces and arranged them where I wanted them. Then I placed them under my heat press for 15 seconds at 160 degrees. I peeled off the top plastic carefully and then gave the whole thing another shot of heated pressure for around 5 seconds to set everything in place.
Making the movable wing
I placed the cut-out of the large front wing on to another piece of stiffened felt and fused it using a hot iron. Then I sewed all along the long outer curve. Now, I trimmed off the excess felt material to leave a tidy double-layered wing. I passed the top threads to the back, knotted and snipped off the excess.
Next, I positioned this wing on to the airplane and sewed only the top edge to attach it on. I also finished sewing the fused wing.
Making the cloud
Making this felt cloud was incredibly easy and fun. I placed the cutout white cloud shape on to the backing grey felt layer. And you know what … I forgot to use fusible interfacing on it! But it was fine, although it would be nice to fuse it on for good measure.
Then I used a blue pen to very lightly trace swirls upon the felt cloud cut-out. (The markings were so faint, you can’t even see them in the photos!) Now I placed the felt cloud it under my sewing machine and very carefully sewed all along the edge.
I slowly sewed each swirl, stopping to lift the presser foot and turning the cloud after every other stitch to create a twisty shape. Then I back stitched along it again and continued all the way through to the end. This created a cute almost quilted cloud. Once the stitching was done, I passed, knotted and snipped the threads at the back.
Finally, I attached the cloud to the page using a simple straight stitch.
Sewing on the velcro for the quiet book airplane page
I held the quiet book felt letter A over the space I needed my Velcro and gently marked the position with a pencil. Then I sewed on a piece of fuzzy whitle Velcro in place. I was careful to pass, knot and snip the threads at the back of the page.
Making the quiet book felt alphabet
How I made the felt quiet book alphabet deserved a separate post altogether. So you can see how I created these sweet letters at this link.
And voila! My airplane quiet book page was complete. The only thing left is to attach cute little buttons behind the tactile cloud and under the wing. I am waiting for them to arrive in the post any day now. I shall update here once I do that.
In the meanwhile, you can have a quick visual overview of all the various quiet book steps here.
You can also read about how to make a quiet book here and follow the links within.