felt strawberry
S is for strawberry

Bringing quiet book patterns to life is the next step in our fun and creative journey. In this section, we look at one of our quiet book patterns, a strawberry from the “S is for strawberry” page.  

Creating quiet book patterns ─ tracing a strawberry on Inkscape

Making quiet book patterns on Inkscape
Check the size of your trace in Inkscape

We shall begin by creating a quiet book pattern, using the free software Inkscape. To do this, first we will find an image of a strawberry, perhaps on Google images or in a book that we can scan into the computer. Next, we will trace this image to create a vector quiet book pattern on Inkscape. There are lots of useful videos on Youtube that teach you how to do this, such as this one.

Once you have traced a strawberry, you can tweak it further to how you want your quiet book pattern to look. Make sure that the size of the strawberry is exactly the size that you want inside your quiet book page. For example here, the body of the strawberry is around 9 cm tall and the overall image is 10 cm tall which is exactly how large we want it to be.

Make pdf of your quiet book patterns
Turn your quiet book pattern into a pdf file

When you are happy with your quiet book pattern, export it into a pdf file and print it out.

Cutting quiet book patterns

Now we will cut out the pdf print using a pair of sharp scissors. You should have two separate pieces of quiet book patterns, one for the strawberry body and the other for the stalk. Remember to cut the finer details using a sharp pair of scissors first, before moving on to the simpler shapes. To learn all about how to cut out quiet book patterns, click here.

Cutting miscellaneous details with HTV

However before we use the quiet book patterns to cut the felt, we need to put some details on the felt first. For this, we use cheap white HTV (heat transfer vinyl) and a sharp pair of scissors. As we can see, it is very easy to cut out tiny strawberry seeds using scissors. We cut out 10 seeds in all.

Using the quiet book pattern to demarcate the heat pressing zone

Now we shall use the quiet book pattern to roughly mark out an area of felt where we need to heat press the HTV seeds. We can do this with a Sharpie or any other felt tip pen. After making around the quiet book pattern, we carefully arrange the HTV seeds on to the felt.

Pressing the quiet book details

Now we preheat a heat press as per instructions in the HTV packet (around 160 degrees here). Next we carefully place the felt with the HTV seeds between the plates. We press the seeds on to the felt, making sure there is a Teflon sheet protecting our project.

Once the strawberry seeds are pressed on to the felt, we can remove the top plastic cover to reveal the lovely white HTV seeds underneath.

Using HTV
Remove the plastic sheeting from each strawberry seed

Using quiet book patterns to cut felt

Use quiet book patterns to cut felt
Use your quiet book pattern to cut out the felt strawberry

Now we move on to the quiet book pattern. Since the strawberry will be sewn on to the quiet book page, the felt has not been stiffened. However, we need to install fusible web on its back to anchor it before sewing. You can read all about how to use fusible web at this link. This is also the reason why we installed the HTV before using the fusible web; we did not want to activate the glue while pressing the HTV designs on to the felt!

Once the fusible web is in place, we carefully trace the quiet book pattern on to its backing paper and cut out the felt strawberry. You can read about this process in more detail here.

Using quiet book patterns to cut HTV

Now we make the stalk using our quiet book pattern. First we use Scotch tape to anchor the quiet book pattern on top of the HTV plastic sheet. Next we carefully cut out the strawberry stalk using a pair of sharp scissors. Your HTV should cut out beautifully.  

Putting the quiet book strawberry together

Finally it is time to assemble the quiet book pattern on to the page.

Sewing the strawberry

We begin by positioning the strawberry where we want on the quiet book page. Next we use a hot iron to fuse it to the page. Finally, we use our sewing machine with a red thread to top stitch around the strawberry.

Once it has been stitched, we use a hand-sewing needle to pass the threads from the top to the back of the page. We carefully knot the threads to secure everything, and then we snip off the extra lengths of thread.

Heat pressing the stalk

Next, we finish off the strawberry by heat pressing the stalk on to the page. Once again, following the instructions on the packet, we fire up our heat press. We carefully place and then press the green HTV cut out, making sure that we have a heat proof Teflon sheet covering our project.

In the end, we simply peel away the top plastic to reveal our lovely green HTV stalk.

felt strawberry quiet book
A felt strawberry quiet book page. S is for strawberry!

You can see how I made the second tactile play strawberry at this link.

Working with quiet book patterns ─ a few thoughts

If you are new to working with quiet books, or even if you are a seasoned craftsperson, remember that this is a whole new way of making quiet books. It is a method that promises to deliver superior and faster results than what has been done in the past.

Therefore remember to give yourself plenty of time to work through each stage of making your quiet book. You will make mistakes and you will stumble and feel frustrated. You will accidentally cut HTV the wrong way around. You will also heat press your vinyl on the wrong side. Sometimes your HTV might turn out gunky because you peeled away the top plastic too soon. Other times, your sewing machine will just give up on you during the last few stitches.

Pin it !

When this happens, just take a deep breath and step away from your quiet book project. Leave it alone for a few hours and do something else. You will realize that once you approach your craft with a relaxed attitude, wonderful things begin to happen.

Hopefully this has inspired you to create your own quiet book patterns for your next quiet book. You can read all about the process of how to make a quiet book here. You can also have a quick visual overview of all the steps involved in making a quiet book here.

You can see how I made the elephant quiet book page for the letter E here.

Happy crafting!