Wednesday, February 04, 2015

It's Elementary Soft Book

Last night I dusted of the sewing machine and revved it up! I had done some sewing for Christmas gifts, but as I was sewing last minute, I had no time to take pictures, let alone write a blog post. Someday I will catch you up on what I made.

I bought this soft book panel at Sew What?, a lovely quilt shop in Buffalo, NY, when I went on a shopping trip with friends in December 2013.  I was 6 months pregnant at the time, and having strong nesting feelings at the time. I bought a whole bunch of fabrics, most of which still need to be used in some way.

It's Elementary soft book panel by South Seas Imports

It was so cute, I couldn't resist buying 2. And they sat and and sat and sat. I even took them to my mom's place when I moved there just before I had the baby and for 2 months after. And they sat there, too. 

My nephew is going to be 1 year old on the 25th. It is hard to believe that the year has gone by so quickly! I mentioned Lucas in this post. (I am also planning on completing The Quiet Book.) My own baby girl is now 10 months old.  10 months! Since my sister-in-law is planning Lucas' birthday party, I figured I should finally put this together.

I was a little nervous about this project. I have used my machine for piecing and for sewing clothes, but never with a layered quilty project like this. I read the instruction panel and a bit of it didn't really make sense, but I figured if I just started, it would straighten itself out by the time I got there.

First step was to cut out the book panes on the dotted line. There was a note about leaving 1/4 inch for the seam allowance, but that is already included in the dotted line space. That was confusion #1.

2 panels cut out

Next, I layered the listed pages with right sides together, then placed them on a piece of quilt batting.
Pages layered with batting
All lined up and ready for pins

The batting I was using was iron-on, so for the first couple of pages, I used the iron. I found that the batting would stick to the ironing board, then to the cloth I used, so I decided to skip the iron and just pin the panels and the batting together.

All pinned up and ready to sew!
Next, I sewed around the outside. There was a white line on the front of the panel that I could see through on the back, so I sewed just to the outside of that line. 

On my first page, I left a 3 inch gap so it could be turned inside out...I learned my lesson! On the remaining pages I left 4-5 inches open to make turning easier.

The seam
The gap - needs to be larger!
The edges need to be trimmed to reduce the bulk near the seams when the pages are turned right side out. Also, the corners nipped off so the corner is a pointy as possible.  Here, I learned an important order to hand sew the gap after turning, you need to leave more fabric at the other words don't trim the fabric off. The batting at the gap, however, should be trimmed lower than the seam, so that it does not get in the way when closing the gap by hand.


...nip off the corners...
...and turn.

I closed the gap by hand sewing, using a blind stitch (I think).

For Maggie's book I decided to top stitch around each box on the page. It turned out a little wonky, so I skipped that on Lucas' book.

Last, the pages were stacked together in the correct order and I sewed the all together down the centre.


All in all, it took me about 1.5 hours to put both of these books together. I am quite happy with how they turned out. An easy project, made with love. I would definitely buy another soft book panel.

More to come,


  1. So cute! I have bought book panels, but never made the books. I cut them apart and put them in quilts.

  2. I didn't really think of separating the panels for use in a quilt...but I will next time! :)