Valentine's Day Quiet Mat
After making my first quiet book, I wanted to try making something smaller and more portable. I came up with a template for a mat version of a quiet book. It only has a few activities, but it's small enough to fit in my purse or diaper bag, and didn't take me weeks to make! I was able to finish this in less than a week, working on it every other night. I also machine sewed a cover to the back side, to help protect the felt and keep all of the pieces held together.
The mat folds up like a book, and is secured by a strap with velcro. When you open it, it folds out into a 10x15 inch mat that could easily fit on a high chair tray or an airplane tray.
There are three activities on the mat, and two little features that are just for fun. You can pull the sugar cookies out of the bowl and add the icing to them. I wanted to add designs and sprinkles to each piece of icing, but didn't feel like adding a backing to hide the stitches ;) The flowers button on and off of the stems, and there is a bumblebee hiding behind one of them. The chocolate box opens and has four chocolates attached on one side with velcro. On the other side, I embroidered the outline of the shapes and more velcro, so you can match the chocolate to their coordinating shapes. Finally, I added a little embroidered valentine card that opens and closes.
Assembling the Mat
The red background is a 10x15 inch piece of felt. I hand sewed all of the activities to the red background first (instructions below) before assembling the whole mat together. For the cover, I used cotton fabric I had leftover from another project. I cut out a 10.5 x 15.5 piece and ironed the edges over by a quarter of an inch on each side. Then, I cut a piece of heavy interfacing to make the velcro strap, covered it with the polka fabric and sewed around all the edges. I sewed a piece of velcro onto the end of the strap and one to the front of the cover, then sewed the end of the strap onto the back of the cover fabric. Once I finished sewing all of the activities onto the red background, I sandwiched the red felt piece and the polka dot fabric together (right sides facing), and machine sewed around all edges leaving a 3 inch opening at one corner. I turned the fabric right side out, and hand sewed the opening closed using a ladder stitch.
For the card, I cut matching rectangles out of pink and white felt. On the white felt, I backstitched the XOXO and I used a satin stitch to make the heart. On the pink piece, I back stitched To: Rhys. I sandwiched the two pieces together and blanket stitched around the top flap. When I reached the bottom, I whip stitched both pieces down to the red background.
I started the flower activity by whip stitching the green stems and the purple vase to the background. Then, I sewed the two yellow buttons to the page, and embroidered the bumblebee using small pieces of white and black felt, and yellow and black embroidery floss. I cut the flowers out using two layers of felt for each, and blanket stitched the layers together. After I stitched around all the edges, I cut the button hole in the center and blanket stitched around that opening.
I cut out two pieces of pink felt in the shape of a small bowl and used a whip stitch to secure them to the background around all sides, leaving the top open. I made three cookies by cutting six hearts out of felt and blanket stitching two layers together. The icing is just smaller heart shapes cut out of pink or red felt.
For the chocolates, I cut out two layers in brown felt for each shape. I backstitched a design onto one layer of each shape, then blanket stitched both layers together to make the chocolate shape. For the box, I cut two rectangles out of light and dark purple. I embroidered a brown and red heart onto the front of the dark purple, and I used a running stitch to form the outlines of the chocolate shapes. I sandwiched the light and dark purple together and blanket stitched the front flap, then used a whip stitch to secure the back flap to the red background. Finally, I hot glued the two dark purple rectangles to the inside of the front flap, and hot glued velcro to those pieces. I also hot glued velcro to the inside of each shape and onto the back of each chocolate.
Rhys is too young to play with this on his own and I have to watch him with the chocolates (since they are small), but I hope he can get some fun out of this for the next few years on Valentine's Day! He tested it out earlier today and had fun taking stacking the cookies and rearranging the chocolates :)