October 22, 2009

Baby's Soft Book of Colors

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This tutorial uses crazy quilt squares to make a soft book for baby. Each "page" is a crazy quilt square with scraps of just one color so baby can see lots of shades and variations of each color; together the pages make up a rainbow soft book. Use scraps with lots of texture and pattern to keep baby interested. Finn and I had a lot of fun choosing the fabric scraps and everyone in my family has enjoyed seeing little bits of memories from their lives sew together: a piece of Granny's shirt, a scrap from a cousin's baby blanket, a bit of fabric leftover from an auntie's first quilt. The whole family has loved "reading" Finn's book of colors!


Finn with his Papa.


Finn with his cousin Ella.


Finn with his auntie Leandra (my little sister) and uncle Obie.

If you've never pieced a crazy quilt (or any quilt) before, don't worry! I hadn't either and it turned out to be really easy and fun. And I've put together a little video to help you.

Supplies:
fabric scraps
1 4" piece of ribbon
fabric for backing: 4 pieces measuring 8"x8", 4 pieces measuring 7 1/2"x7 1/2"
batting: 1 piece measuring 8"x15", 1 piece measuring 7 1/2"x14"
small piece of iron-on velcro
and of course thread, sewing machine, and an iron.

All seam allowances are 1/2".

1. Separate scraps into piles based on color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. You should have at least 5 scraps of each color.


2. Piece a crazy quilt square for each color. Use the larger backing squares for red and purple. Use the smaller backing for orange, yellow, green and blue. Here's a video tutorial for piecing crazy quilt squares... it's easy and very free form!



3. Make a front and a back cover using the remaining 8"x8" backing squares. I made a rainbow for the front and embroidered a message on the back. Other ideas are an appliqued title or even just a solid piece of a favorite fabric.


4. Start putting the book together:
Put the back cover face up, top with the front cover face down. Sew along the right side.


Red square face up, top with purple face down. Sew along the right side.
Blue square face up, top with orange face down. Sew along the right side.
Yellow square face up, top with green face down. Sew along the right side.
Press all seams.


5. Attach your velcro: one side to the ribbon, one side to the front cover 1 1/2" from the right side and centered top to bottom.

6. Now for the batting:
Put the back and front covers face up, lay purple and red face down with purple on top of the back cover and red on top of the front cover. Lay the larger piece of batting on top. Sew all three layers together along top, right side, and bottom.

Place blue and orange face up, lay green and yellow face down with green on top of blue and yellow on top of orange, lay one layer of fleece or batting on top. Sew all three layers together along top, right side, and bottom.


Clip corners (but don't clip the seam!), turn both pieces right side out and press.


7. Hand stitch the final seam closed on each piece.

Be sure to stitch the ribbon into the seam between the back cover and the purple square.


8. Hand sew the book together with a line of stitches along the binding of the book. Make sure the colors are in rainbow order. It's ready for baby!
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And I managed to finish this tutorial just in time to enter it into the Sew, Mama, Sew! Scrap Buster contest! Have you been checking out all the scrappy goodness? Lots of Christmas ideas!


Updated to add: If you make a soft book, please consider adding photos of it to Homegrown Happy's Flickr Group.

83 comments:

  1. That's adorable! My 5 month old little one will love this.

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  2. Wow Jaz, how gorgeous! and the book is nice too. I miss my little nephew and he's getting so big! Look for a visit from this auntie soon. xo, SL

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  3. what a great idea! Combines so many things I love: color, crazy quilt, soft books, and baby!

    This makes me so happy - I'll have to add it to my list.

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  4. You are so creative! I love this idea and me daughter, who is older, would love helping me with it. Thanks for the video, it really helped me "get it" on what to do.

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  5. beautiful!! i am only bummed that my daughter is too old to enjoy something like this!! ;-(

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  6. Love!!! Ooh, this would be great for a little I-Spy book, too. Great, just what I needed, another project to make... ;)

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  7. What a great idea! And I see all sorts of other possibilities, too -- baby's book of cats, or sports, or baby's wild animal book. What fun!

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  8. Saw your feature on Sew, Mama, Sew. It's a great idea!

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  9. Great minds think alike? Without seeing yours, I made a soft color book for the contest as well! (it hasn't been posted yet). I like yours better though, the crazy quilting really adds so much more interest than the squares I used!

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  10. I was needing ideas for my 2 baby grand daughters, this is perfect! Thank you.

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  11. such a brilliant idea. really lovely. thanks for sharing this.
    this is my favourite scrapbuster so far.
    i love how it can use all sorts of scraps - big or small.
    and i love the idea of a rainbow book.
    :-)

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  12. Love the book and a great tutorial. Including the video on crazy quilting is super. I'm going to link to it on FaceBook.

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  13. wonderful. I think that my little guys needs to have this for christmas....thanks!!!

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  14. Wow, this is beautiful! I just clicked over from Sew, Mama, Sew. What a wonderful gift. I would love to link to this if you didn't mind.

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  15. Thanks for all the sweet and encouraging responses! I'd love to see any books you all make, so please leave us a link to your photos.

    And Rachel, link away!

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  16. This is such a cute idea! I have two soft books from when I was a kid...one with colors and animals...and one to help with getting dressed stuff (zippers, shoes laces, velcro, buttons, etc.) such a great idea!

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  17. Thanks again for a great idea! I couldn't resist making one of these myself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24268088@N08/4055819714/

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  18. Two Dogs and a Quilt: I love the book! Beautiful fabric and you incorporated a couple of mods I've been considering for my next one (topstitching and omitting the batting.) Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I loved this tutorial, and had to make one of my own:

    http://theadventuresofroryandjess.blogspot.com/2009/10/soft-color-book.html

    thanks so much!

    Jess

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  20. Very sweet!! Cloth books are fun. I had fun making a cloth busy book lately too. It is so fun to see the kids enjoy it so much.

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  21. This is so sweet!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-soft-fabric-color-book-for-baby/2009/11/01/

    --Anne

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  22. That's a very good idea ! I think i'll make one for my baby but wtih some animals patterns. I just started a new blog. Have a look if you have time and tell me what you think… I love yours :)
    http://thefrenchfrogtouch.blogspot.com/

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  23. How cute! And your little one is adorable, too. :-) *sigh* Makes me miss mine being younger, lol.

    I shared this on my Creative Mamas Monday blog hop!

    http://kindredspiritreviews.blogspot.com/2009/11/no-sew-projects-creative-mamas-monday.html

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  24. Hi ! Me again…
    I'm doing a little giveaway on my blog. To enter, here it is : http://thefrenchfrogtouch.blogspot.com/

    The french frog

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  25. That's so pretty! Babies LOVE those. I had one when I was little too.
    Great tutorial!

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  26. I loved this tutorial the best of the Scrapbuster month tutorials! I made one of my own for my toddler and for the baby on the way: http://adamandtori.blogspot.com/2009/11/finished-color-book.html

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  27. Oh my goodness, this is so precious! What a great idea!

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  28. Great idea! You could also put something crinkly between the pages.

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  29. I am IN LOVE with this idea . . . now I just need the baby to with it. :>) I linked to this on my roundup of favorite scrap buster projects - thanks so much!!

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  30. what a great idea! i thought of making little booklets in english (i don't live in an english speaking country) but my husband said that our son would tear the pages. this is a great alternative! and i'm so into quilting anywway! thank you!

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  31. here's the pictures! i added them to the group on flickr!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cooper_cm/4460579844/in/set-72157622595866572/

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  32. Hello to everyone

    Well, I'm a big fan of all kinds of books, magazines, comics and order all kinds of readings ... I love collecting unique pieces .. Its publication is really interesting

    Bye.
    Maryan Steller

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  33. These pillows as books are perfect for when we go for a walk with the babies, so they can sleep anywhere.

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  34. thanks so much for a terrific tutorial. i've got loads of scraps and was looking for a project for a baby shower i went to tonight. i had a hard time giving it up! i put a wrapper from a baby wipes package in the inside pages, sewn in underneath the batting, to give the pages a crinkly feel. thanks again!

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  49. Great minds think alike? Without seeing yours, I made a soft color book for the contest as well! (it hasn't been posted yet). I like yours better though, the crazy quilting really adds so much more interest than the squares I used!

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  53. We used a similar process with paper to make a photo book for Mothers Day and it turned out great but it's for kids age 3 to 5 so it will be awhile before you can make one with baby finn.

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