21 April 2011

Baby Boy Texture Book

If you know me at all by now, you know that I love scrap projects.  Check out this fun baby texture book I made for Olive's little friend down the street!


To make the basic fabric book, you will need six 8x18" rectangles in assorted colors and twelve 7" squares of batting.

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Fold each fabric rectangle in half and iron the crease in place. This "divider" will help us arrange and center our shapes on each half.  Later, it will help us center a batting square behind each page, and finally, serve as a marker to help us bind the book together.
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In order to include a variety of textures, round up any appropriate scraps and embellishments you might want to use.  If the variety at home is sparse, take a trip to your local craft store and check out what they have to offer.
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This baby book requires some planning ahead!  Lay out your fabric rectangles in a column and place page markers as indicated.
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Sketch your design on paper so you can decide what will fill the pages of your book.  I've jumped way ahead to show you what I came up with.  My shapes are complex and detailed--but yours don't need to be like this if you don't want to put in all that work.  A simple shape book with circles, squares, and triangles, letters, numbers, etc. could be cute too!
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After your initial sketch is finished, you will need to create a paper pattern of the full-scale shapes so you can trace them onto the textured materials.  The baby boy template I created is available here
I always use a lite HeatnBond iron-adhesive to create my shapes.  I find that it makes the work easier and always looks great!  See the full tutorial here
I've also added lots of letters to personalize the book. To add letters, see my fabric letter tutorial here.) 
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Peel off the paper from your shapes and letters. Arrange them onto the pages and iron them in place. Center a batting square behind each "page" and pin in place. Stitch all letters and shapes in place.
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Once everything is stitched down, take the first two rectangles in your column.
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To prepare them to be sewn together, place them (batting-sides together) so the pictures face out. Line up the edges and pin in place.
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Stitch around the rectangle's perimeter using 1/2" seam allowance.
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Take the next two rectangles from the column and sew them together using the same steps.  Repeat a third time with the final two rectangles in the column.  Next, make a new column with the following pages facing up: (1 & 10); (3 & 8); and (5 & 6).
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Stack the rectangles so that pages 1 & 10 are on the bottom, 3 & 8 in the middle, and 5 & 6 on the top.  (I've staggered the layers below to demonstrate.)
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Line up the edges and pin in place.  (Before you sew, feel free to close the book and preview to check that everything is in the right order.)  See the ironed crease?  It marks where we need to sew the book together.
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Start the needle so it will go down where the ironed crease meets the perimeter stitching.  I used a zig-zag stitch.
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Clip the edges up to the seam allowance (on all pages) and throw the book in the wash to fray.  
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The fraying adds another level of texture to the book!
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I love how it turned out!
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And just a special note about buttons: because of the choking hazard they pose to babies, I cannot recommend that you use them.  There are a lot of other alternatives you can use like pom-poms, fabric circles, or stitching.