I have been working on a quiet book for my friend’s little boy. Inside it, I decided to make this adorable mouse and cheese page. Didn’t it turn out cute? The best thing is that it is really easy to make. Let me show you how I did it.
This quiet book mouse and cheese page has 4 easy steps:
- Find or make a quiet book mouse and cheese page pattern
- Cut out the pattern
- Cut out your quiet book materials using the pattern pieces
- Sew and finish everything
Now let’s take a look at these steps.
1. Find or create a quiet book mouse and cheese page pattern
I love making quiet book patterns on Inkscape. It is a free software on which you can create vector images. Vector images are pictures that you can scale to any size without blowing up the pixels. Here’s how I did it.
Narrowing down the letter M quiet book pages
First I browsed the internet for different letter M quiet book page ideas; there were quite a few! I decided that I wanted to make a mouse. So I narrowed down my search to images of cute mice. Google images was perfect to find what I was looking for.
Hand drawing quiet book patterns
I studied all the cute mouse images I liked and then did a rough sketch of the kind of mouse I wanted to create for my quiet book. It did not have to be perfect; just enough to get me going on Inkscape.
It really was no more than a series of simple curves and shapes. But I knew that I wanted to make its ears and arms movable for the toddler to interact with.
Once the cute mouse was sketched, I scanned it into my computer.
Creating your quiet book mouse pattern on Inkscape
I imported my scanned mouse sketch into Inkscape and traced it to create a vector image. You too can learn how to do this on Youtube.
I made sure to scale the mouse to fit my quiet book pages. Inkscape makes it easy to do this. Next, I saved my quiet book pattern as a PDF file and printed it out on my home printer.
(Later I also realized that I had forgotten to make patterns for the eyes and nose … but I just winged those later. I’ll show you how!)
Creating a rough cheese sketch
I had a rough idea of the kind of cheese I wanted my little mouse to hold. I made a very loose sketch of it with a pencil. It looks a bit like a slice of pie doesn’t it?
Making the quiet book cheese pattern
Now I created a very simple quiet book pattern by folding a piece of paper in half and marking a dot along the fold line. I then opened a compass to a radius of around 4.5cm and made a narrow arc.
Next, I used a ruler to roughly guesstimate that the arc’s curve is around 2cm (which is half of our original 4cm width needed for the cheese). I marked this off and drew a straight line to the centre of the arc.
Then I cut out this half-arc with a pair of scissors and unfolded the paper. Voila, the quiet book cheese pattern was ready.
To make sure that it is the right size, I placed the actual pattern where I wanted it on the mouse. And sure enough, the size was perfect as you can see!
2. Cut out the quiet book mouse pattern
Now I set about cutting out all the different parts of the quiet book mouse pattern. I used fine curved scissors for the tiny parts such as the cheeks, eyes and feet. I knew I would be making these out of HTV and curved scissors work beautifully on both paper and HTV.
I also used ordinary small sharp scissors to cut the other details of the quiet book pattern such as the tail. But for the simple shapes, for example the body and ears, I just used a regular pair of sharp scissors.
I was done in no time at all.
It is important to pace yourself when you are making a quiet book. So I did not immediately cut out the quiet book materials. Instead I took an envelope and placed all the little pieces of the quiet book pattern inside it.
I carefully labeled it and put it away. I would return to cutting out the quiet book materials after taking a break.
3. Cut out your quiet book materials using the pattern pieces
You always need to prepare your quiet book materials before cutting them out. If you haven’t already, do check out my post here that will walk you through how to prepare you quiet book materials first. It will save you a lot of headache later on!
To make this cute mouse, I first stiffened and pressed two different colors of felt fabric. One was a lovely speckled gray felt and the other was a plain stone colored felt. These were both high quality 20% wool mix felt fabrics from my stash.
The felt was now ready to be traced and cut.
Cutting the quiet book materials
Now it was time to cut out all the felt and HTV pieces that I needed for my cute little mouse. I did this in two different ways as you will see.
Trace simple quiet book patterns with a pencil
I traced the simpler parts of the quiet book pattern on the fusible web’s backing paper. These patterns included the mouse’s body, arms and ears.
I was careful to flip the patterns over while tracing their outline. Since these were easier shapes to cut, I used a pair of ordinary sharp scissors.
Taping the quiet book pattern
For finer details, I directly taped the quiet book patterns on to the felt and then cut them out. I used Scotch tape to do this and it worked perfectly as always.
For cutting out the HTV as well, I directly taped on the quiet book pattern and cut around the pieces. The tiny pieces of the mouses’s cheeks and eyes could have been tricky to cut out with ordinary sharp scissors. But my curved scissors made quick work of this too and I was done in no time.
The mouse’s eyes
Notice the mouse’s eyes. See the little holes inside the HTV? I made those using a handy spring-loaded hammer punch. It was really easy! I shall make a separate post about it soon.
4. Sew and finish everything
Finally all the pieces of my quiet book pattern were ready to be put together!
Sewing the mouse
I first fused the mouse’s body and tail on to the quiet book page using a hot iron. I also fused the top layer of each ear and arm on to the bottom layer of felt.
After this, I used my heat press to install the HTV details including the pink of the ears, the face and the cheeks.
Next I took all of these to my sewing machine and did a tidy stitch all around. I used my little old Brother LS14 sewing machine to do this.
I did leave the top of the arms and the bottom of the ears unstitched though and for good reason as you will soon see.
Finally I knotted off all the threads ends and trimmed off the excess.
In hindsight, it would be better to bury the threads between the felt layers and then trim them off. Ah well, I learn every day!
My stitch length was 7 on the sewing machine’s dial. This gave me enough control to turn my project through tight curves easily. Anything longer than 7 would have been trickier to maneuver around tight bends and curves.
Finally, I trimmed out the ears and arms from their felt surround using my small sharp scissors. I put tiny dots where I wanted to place the ears and arms.
And then I sewed these in place to create 3D tactile ears and arms.
Sewing the cheese
For the cheese, I made a quiet book cheese sandwich … yes, really! I wanted the cheese to have some thickness as well as a spongy texture. So I used a piece of ordinary craft foam, the kind you find at all budget stores.
I sandwiched this foam between two pieces of stiffened felt. The top piece was the one I already cut out using the cheese pattern. And the bottom piece was just a slightly larger piece of stiffened yellow felt.
I took this ‘sandwich’ to my sewing machine and did a simple straight stitch all around. I knotted the thread ends and buried them under the felt before snipping off the excess thread.
Remember to keep your thread tension a bit looser than usual to allow the stitches to catch all the three layers you are sewing.
Decorating the cheese
The cheese needed some authentic-looking circles. To do this, I first used a fine-tipped pen to lightly mark out where I wanted the circles. Now, using a straight stitch again, I carefully sewed over these marked lines twice.
I knotted and buried all the thread ends before snipping off the extra lengths.
Trimming the quiet book cheese
Finally, I used a pair of sharp craft scissors to trim away the extra fabric and foam all around to reveal the quiet book cheese. It turned out beautifully didn’t it? I am so happy with the end result!
Finishing off the quiet book mouse and cheese page
The mouse and cheese were part of a letter M quiet book page. So the last thing to complete this page was to sew on the Velcro for the letter M.
To do this, I first placed the letter M where I wanted it on the page. Next, I marked the center of this position with a small pencil X.
Finally, I sewed on a 2cm x 2cm piece of fuzzy Velcro/loop tape. Once again, I carefully passed all threads to the back before knotting and trimming them.
And that’s it! My quiet book mouse and cheese page was done! The mouse can hug his piece of favorite cheese with his cute little arms. And no, the cheese doesn’t fall off either!
This quiet book mouse and cheese page is part of a personalized quiet book that I have been making for a friend’s little boy. His name is Sameer and I am making a quiet book for him with a page for each letter of his name. Watch this space as I post about how I made each of these quiet book pages and the quiet book binding.
To download the free printable PDF of this adorable mouse, click here.
You can watch a short video where I give you an overview of how to make this page here.
If you too are thinking about making a quiet book, check out my video where I walk you through how to start making a quiet book.
If you would like information about anything else related to quiet books, comment below. This website is brand new and I will be posting lots of content related to quiet book making every week.