Monday, September 24, 2012

Little Monkey Counting Book - Tutorial

I really love making my children toys and books. There is something so peaceful about knowing exactly what materials were used. I especially love when I can create a soft, fabric toy for them. My youngest is almost two and still loves to chew and rip books. I was elated when I saw Sharon Kropp's new line for Blend Fabrics, Little Monkey. The line is full of sweet monkeys, chevrons, and more. The numbers panel in particular is quite versatile. I made a counting book, song accordion book, and have an improv quilt in the works. Today I will be show you how to create this fun counting book that is sure to be hit with your children.

Little Monkey Counting Book

Materials Needed:
1 panel of Little Monkey- multi numbers
1 fat quarter of the Chevron - light blue
1 fat quarter No More Monkeys - brown
Scrap of Jungle - light blue
Scrap of fusible fleece
1 yard of woven fusible interfacing

1.) Cut out each of the numbers (0-9) and trim them down to 8.25" x11.25".

2.) Cut out (1) 8.25"x11.25" rectangle from each of the two fat quarters - these two pieces will be the front and back covers.

3.)Fussy cut out a monkey from the scrap piece of Jungle and iron on a piece of fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric. Cut a 6" square of Chevron with pinking shears and iron on a piece of fusible fleece to the back of the fabric. Now you will place these pieces on top of the brown No More Monkeys rectangle and free motion applique them in place. If you are not comfortable with free motion sewing, you can of course use a decorative sewing machine stitch instead.

4.) Cut out (12) pieces of fusible interfacing measuring 8.25" x 11.25" - iron these to wrong side of each fabric rectangle. This interfacing will give your book more weight and body. You could use fusible fleece or batting instead, but I prefer the weight of interfacing.

5.) With right sides together, sew the front and back cover along the left long side with a 1/4" seam allowance. See placement picture below.

6.) Continue sewing page panels together in the following order:

**If this page construction seems odd or wrong, jump down below to see photos of finished pages**

7.) You are almost done! Now we will complete the page panel construction. First place your front/back page panel right sides together with the 0-9 page panel.

Pin them together and sew along the perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance - leave a 3" opening.

Clip corners up to the stitching line and pull right side out through the 3" opening. Press and topstitch with 1/8" seam allowance - this will close your opening and provide a nice finished look to the pages.

8.) The second page panel set is 8-1 and 2-7 (see reference photo below). Construct as described in step 7.

9.) Your final page panel set is 6-3 and 4-5 (see reference photo below) and construct as described in
 step 7.

10.) Now you will lay the three completed page panels on top of each other in order.

After carefully lining up the pages, sew a straight line down the center of the seam.

That's it! It makes a fabulous gift for babies and toddlers paired up with a coordinating blanket or quilt.
My Kiddo loved counting the monkeys on each page.

Come back later this week to learn how to create a song book for "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" in an accordion style construction with snaps and ribbon tie.

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