Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Pin"spiration - Jedi Quiet Book

My "Pin"spirations are things I have found on or through Pinterest that inspired me to try something new, whether it's a new craft, a new project or a new recipe.

Among my ever-growing list of To-Do's was this Jedi Quiet Book from Julie's Blog that I found through Pinterest.

Being part of a Star Wars family means I am magnetically drawn to all things Star Wars - at least for a look. But in this case, I thought "What a fun way to show the next generations the ways of the force!" I have a new nephew due to appear in the Spring...soooo... (I wish I had this pattern when my own children were toddlers).

As you an tell, stitching the letters on by machine was not exactly easy. I had a couple of whoops moments. 
I bought the pattern from juliebell on Etsy - the whopping 45 page pattern. Whew! I knew it would take awhile to make, but it really didn't take quite as long as I thought it would. It looked worse than what it was. Most of the pattern pages were templates and not actual pattern instruction pages.

The pattern was very thorough - with pattern templates for all the lettering, figures, text and backgrounds. Thank heavens I bought a rotary cutter a few months ago. It came in handy for cutting the book pages out of the felt (which by the way wasn't usually as squared off as you would think felt sheets should be). I tried to cut back on a lot of the work - machine sewing where I could (I despise hand sewing) and found out it is definitely better to hand embroider the pieces rather than try to machine stitch the details. There is a BIG difference in the finished product (I tried to machine stitch the details on the tie fighters and it just looked...messy).

All those cute little figures are finger puppets (and I know Yoda was never on the Death Star, but as the pattern creator mentions, Yoda was just too cute not to include with the rest of the bunch...and I have to agree. Chewbacca was not in the pattern but I'm working on creating a Chewie finger puppet to include with the book before I send it)
After one round of cutting out letters using the pattern page as my guide (layered on top of the felt), I thought "There's GOT to be a better way!" The paper kept slipping and I was worried the letters would come out crooked. They didn't, but I knew I needed to find an alternative. I had no tracing paper on hand and REALLY didn't want to go to the craft store yet again just to get it. Then I remembered freezer paper. I had been reading about people using freezer paper for all sorts of things. Pattern appliques, stencils, etc...

Freezer paper ironed on the felt and ready to be cut out.
With the shiny side of the freezer paper facing down, I traced my letters and text (everything, really) onto the freezer paper, cut around the traced images, placed them on my felt and then ironed. So. Much. EASIER. It was especially helpful for doing the text embroidery.

Embroidering the text using the freezer paper stencil
Once I was done, I ripped off the freezer paper leaving only my stitches. It was thicker than regular paper and therefore harder to rip off than regular paper. I used tweezers to get the tiniest bits of paper out. I was worried about pulling stitches loose so I brushed a bit of Mod Podge onto the back of the page where the stitches were then let it dry before I ripped off the freezer paper on the front.

The Dagobah Forest had to be shortened by at least a half inch to get it to fit beneath the lettering on the page (and even then it came down to the very bottom of the page). If you are going to make this yourself, definitely test the position on the page before you sew all the forest pieces together or sew Yoda into position:

By the way, that's pale blue water around the trees. It looks so much lighter on the computer screen than it actually is.

I did stray from the pattern a bit. I outlined C3PO's body (easier for a young child to assemble rather than having only a blank slate with floating snaps) and added a pocket for the "pieces and parts":

I marked on some of the pattern pieces where the snaps should be located. The first set of pieces were cut out for the individual pieces of C3P0. The second set of pieces were traced onto freezer paper in "assembled order" (as in the photo) with the dots marking where the snaps go. This kept my pieces lined up correctly once everything was assembled and the snaps were sewn in place.

I added multi-colored felt "wires" to Luke's robot hand (instead of the optional computer parts and wires):

This was definitely not a project to decide to make at the last minute and I'm glad I started it early. I worked on it constantly for the first week and off and on during the second week. (And when I say "constantly for the first week" I mean it. 8+ hours a day. If you have many outside responsibilities, plan on much, much longer than a couple weeks to complete this.)

Mr. LH and I were even trying to think up some other puzzles/activities to create new pages but IF I do those, they will have to wait for another time and another book. Maybe in time for my not-born-yet nephew to grow up and have children of his own.

I decided to do a layered yellow on white for the "Star Wars" on both this page and the first page rather than a double layer of just yellow. I think it stands out nicely.
 I had to add my own little bit to the back along with my initials. This seemed fitting:

"May The Force Be With You...Always"
Still, though the project took a lot of time, I am VERY happy I bought this pattern and VERY VERY pleased with the results. I've even started to cut out another set of pieces so I have a jump start on another one. As mentioned before, I also HAVE to make Chewbacca and Darth Vader finger puppets which were not included in the original pattern. If this was for my brother's child, I guess I'd have to make a Boba Fett finger puppet as well.

The Girl wants to take it to school for "show and tell", too. It's already been "gone through" many many times. I'll have to give it several good swipes with a lint roller just to make it looks new again before I send it off. And Elder Boy has requested his own set of finger puppets as well, though I have no idea what an 18 year old wants with felt finger puppets...but at least that means this project has probably passed his "cool" rating.

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julieb said...

Oh I love it!!! and love the additions you made! Love love the white under the star wars letters! it looks better then mine... for reals!
and I love the pocket for c3po. why didnt I think of that.
the may the force be with you on the back!!! what a cute idea.
Basically, I am jealous of your book, love all the additions you did, and wish that I thought of them for the original!!!

Trish said...

Are you kidding me? You did an awesome job on your book! And thank heavens you made a pattern so I could make one too :) I LOVE IT!

julieb said...

so maybe i just bragged about you...

MadeinAmandine said...

Incredible job ! It's fabulous ! you must have worked hard to get this... I'm really impressed ! Thank you so much for sharing !

Trish said...

Thank you so much! I am really pleased with the results!

Debbie said...

Just wanted to thank you for posting this 'journey'. :) I'm about to undertake making two of my own for nephews (and a Trekkie one for another nephew.) All turning two this year - so I've got until July, August and September to get these finished. So incredibly helpful to hear from someone who has undertaken recreating this book from the pattern!

Jan said...

Oh, my. I have finished four pages and have taken hours and hours and hours with all the stitching, but now that I've seen your book, I feel like I should start over. It is amazing.


Anonymous said...

lol I did star war finger puppets one year while recovering from a surgery and my bother in law who is a huge fan and about 40 at the time had me make him his own set too for his collection. lol

awesome tip about the freezer paper. Well done.

Anonymous said...

chewie and darth vader finger puppets.