Category Archives: Fabric Frenzy

Quiet Name Book

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      Hello again! It’s been a crazy, wonderful couple of months. Between traveling to visit family and dealing with snow one day and 70 degrees the next, I am tuckered out! But I am glad to be back home because it means I can get back to my craft projects. 🙂

      My niece is turning one this month. She’s growing so fast! I wanted to make her something, but I wanted it to be something a 1 year old would enjoy. Not just a blanket or another dress, but something she could play with. So I racked my brain and I almost gave up when I stumbled across something called a quiet book. Some of you probably already know what these amazing books are so I’ll just get to the point. A quiet book is basically a fabric book that often times has small puzzles or fine motor skill activities, such as zippers and buttons, for kids to keep themselves busy. They are really great for long road trips or doctor appointments. Plus, they help kids develop their fine motor skills, which is always a plus in my book. 🙂

     So, I looked up a few quiet books to get some ideas, but a lot of what I found just wasn’t age appropriate for a 1 year old. So I just decided to do a quiet name book. It’s pretty straightforward. Just letters of the child’s name, one to a page. It’s never too early to know how to spell your own name.

     Off to Hobby Lobby I went! Here’s my shopping list:

  • Felt – I used the pre-cut pieces found in the craft section
  • Matching embroidery floss * optional – you can use fabric glue, but I liked the look of the thread
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Matching sewing machine thread * optional – again, you can use fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Stencils – I free handed my letters using a ruler, but stencils would help keep things even

     Step 1: Picking out Colors

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     The first thing you want to do is decide what colors you want to make your book pages and letters. Since I am making this for my niece, I went with pink, purple, turquoise, and different patterned felt for the letters. It’s really up to you. You can make it simple using only two colors, or get as wild and crazy as you like. Just pair up your fabric to see what looks best.

     Step 2: Cutting out Letters

    Now it’s time to cut out your letters. I used my niece’s first name. If you are using stencils, then it’s pretty straight forward as to how to use them I would think. If you are free handing your letters, just be sure to use a straight edge and mark your letters off so you won’t have any wavy edges. It will really show up next to your background.

     Step 3: Applying Letters to Background

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      For the next step, you can either use fabric glue to glue your letters onto the backgrounds or you can sew around the letters. I sewed my letters to keep them in place and to keep little hands from peeling the letters off. This is just my personal preference.

     If you are using fabric glue, apply with a paint brush or sponge. If the bottle has a nozzle, you may want to go back after squirting the glue and spread the glue as close the the edge of the letter as possible. This will help to keep anyone from getting their fingers under the letter to pull it off. Do this for every letter.

     If you are sewing your letters, set your stitch to a zigzag stitch. If you want, you can make your stitch length short or wide. I set my stitch length at 2.5. Now you are going to sew all the way around each letter. Make sure with each stitch you are going into the letter and then into the background fabric. Otherwise, your letter won’t stay down. When you are ready to make a turn, go all the way to the edge of the letter and leave your needle down in the fabric. Lift up the presser foot and turn the fabric to begin sewing the next side. There’s a really great tutorial on how to do this here:  

You are basically appliquéing the letters onto the backgrounds, but without using backing. Anyway, once you go all the way around the outside of the letters don’t forget the inside if there is one.

Step 4: Connecting the Pages

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     This step can get a little tricky if your book is more then 2-3 pages. In order to bind the pages together, you can either sew them or glue them. I chose to sew, just to make sure things wouldn’t be pulled apart.

     If you are gluing your pages together, just make sure the glue goes all the way to the edge. You only want about one strip of glue down the side. Too much glue will get messy. Once you have all your pages glued together, set a heavy object such as a book or sturdy box along the glued spine to keep the pages pressed together while the glue is drying.

     If you are sewing your pages together, you will only be able to sew through 2-3 pages at a time. I pieced two pages together and sewed them before sewing the whole book together. I just found it easier to keep the book together while sewing the spine. After machine sewing your pages, put all of the pages together and pin into place. Now take your embroidery floss and thread it through the needle. You are going to do a whip stitch down the spine. Basically, pull the needle through one side only. You do this over and over all the way down the spine. Tie it off when finished. I tied my ends on the inside of the last page so the knots would be hidden.

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     Now you have created your very own quiet name book! There are several tutorials out there for more elaborate edges and different ideas of what to put in a quiet book, so get out there and find what you like! I hope this tutorial helped you out as far as the basics go. Let me know what you think or if you have questions, comments, or concerns. I’m always open to new and better ways of doing things if anyone has suggestions!

     I hope you all have a great day and stay tuned for more DIY projects in the future!


Minky Dot Football Blanket

It’s getting to be that time of year where we all start thinking about what we’d like to get our loved ones for Christmas. Well, this year I have set out to DIY most of my gifts. Thanks to my wonderful husband who bought me a brand new sewing machine for my birthday! Anyway, I saw this really neat Minky Dot Football Blanket on Etsy and I thought, “I can do that.” So I did.


Here is the finished product, football side up.2013-11-21 19.09.38


Fleece side up.

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Both sides, just for contrast.

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I was really happy with the finished product. It’s a super simple project, but the material is kind of expensive. I took advantage of Hobby Lobby’s sales, but the total price still cost around $25. The Collegiate material is what gets ya and I’m not even an Auburn fan! ROLL TIDE!!! Unfortunately (just kidding)  🙂 my little niece is apparently destined to be an Auburn Tiger. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did making it for her!

If you want to give this a try, here’s a detailed list of steps I took to make this blanket. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures during the project, but it’s pretty self explanatory if you’re familiar with a sewing machine. I hope to make another for a friend’s baby so stay tuned for pics.

Materials Needed:

  • Minky Dot Fabric 1yd. – I made a football so I used brown, but you can use any color you like.
  • Fleece  – I chose the Collegiate material 1yd. and white 1/2 yd. for the football markings
  • Thread – color to match material
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing Machine

Step 1:

Since this is a baby blanket I only used 1yd. Feel free to use more material for a larger blanket. Take the minky dot material and fold it in half hamburger style and in half again hot dog style. This is how I cut my football shape to be as even as possible. Cut an arch from one corner to the opposite diagonal corner. Make sure you are starting on the raw edge side in the lower corner. you will end up on the folded side in the upper corner. After unfolding the material you should have a shape similar to a football. Fold the Collegiate material the same way and use the minky dot material as a template. I didn’t unfold my minky material before cutting the fleece.

Step 2:

Now you are going to cut the white fleece for the football stripes and stitches. I chose to curve mine simply because I liked the way it looked. You can make the stripes straight if you like. It’s easier to measure and sew that way. If you want them curved, lay the white fleece on top of the unfolded minky dot. You can’t see through the fleece, but you should be able to feel the outline of the minky material. Use your finger to trace around the minky and imprint on the fleece. I just eyeballed my stripes. I’m not sure how else to tell you to do it without requiring some math and other such things that I just didn’t have time for. So, eyeball it as best you can…it’ll look great! Cut out your stripes and stitches. The stitches are easy. One long strip of white fleece about 8-10″ by 2″ and three short strips about 3-4″ by 1″  You can add more stitches if you have a bigger blanket. It’s really up to you.

Step 3:

Now it’s time to pin and sew. You want to sew all the white fleece onto the minky dot before you sew your two sides together. Pin the fleece into place. Use the zigzag stitch on your machine and stitch around the stripes. You don’t have to stitch the tops and bottoms. They will be sewn shut when you sew the two sides together. To sew the stitches, do the same thing, but stitch the long strip first and then add the smaller stitches. This gives it a more uniform look and nothing poofs up in the middle.

Step 4:

Once you’re done with the white fleece, you can piece and pin together the two sides. Remember you want RIGHT sides together. If you’ve ever made a pillow this is kind of the same thing. After pinning, use the straight stitch on your machine and stitch all the way around the edge of the pinned pieces about 1/4″. Be sure to leave enough room to turn your blanket inside out. Then take a needle and thread and sew the opening shut.

NOTE: I chose not to quilt my blanket because minky tends to pull and tug. It is open in the middle, but the seams are heavy enough that it doesn’t get twisted around all that much. If you choose to quilt your blanket, do this before sewing the sides, otherwise you’ll have lots of loose strings to trim. You may need to get some binding if you choose to do your blanket this way.

WASHING minky dot material: Wash normally. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER. Tumble dry low or hang dry. Minky dot will keep its softness wash after wash!


I hope this helps if you decide to make a Minky Dot Football Blanket. Have a wonderful day! Be sure to like me on Pinterest and remember “Teach Yourself, “Teach the World!”