The Ruffles Quiet Book

The Ruffles Quiet Book

You may remember some time ago I posted about the most amazing handmade item we had as children, the Harwood’s Quiet Book (apologies for the shit photos on there – I have gotten marginally better these days).

Hilariously I blogged that I was planning to make one in the ‘coming months’ HA, that was almost exactly 3 years ago! I have, however, finally produced said book for my lovely un-god daughter Beatrix, she will receive it when her new baby sister arrives (probably sometime next week!).

Preface: This took me a good 2 years to make, it’s probably the best thing I ever made so feel free to affirm my creation in the comments/on Twitter or facebook/call me up to congratulate me etc.

So let’s get down to it: The Ruffles Quiet Book has arrived.

I have to say I copied a lot of the pages form the Harwood book wholesale, having done some research online ours really is one of the better ones I’ve seen (take a look on Pinterest and Etsy). The idea of the book is to train your fine motor skills, as well as to divert annoying children of course, and the activities in ours seemed to be the best, and clearest for that.

The cover above was inspired (copied) from the Vine app home screen, perfect simple representations of hot air balloons, which I’m obsessed with by the way. If I won the lottery I’d buy a hot air balloon. I mean I’d have to play the lottery to win it but you get the idea. I like them.

The mitten page, which on reflection isn’t that great but does look nice. I must say up front that this is obviously not my writing (which is a barely legible scrawl), my sister used her perfect teacher handwriting to finish the book off, it would have looked crap without her!


I really love the fabric on the washing line page, which I bought especially, this was always my favourite page as a child for some reason. It’s odd because my sister was the one who professed that she wanted to be a washer woman when she grew up.

This is the first page I made and I tried to machine stich everything, didn’t go so well.

Washing Line

After that I hand-stitched most of the small felt pieces as a) I’m not that great/precise on my machine and b) it meant I could do it in front of the TV. I particularly like the ladybirds as I know Lizzy has a bit of a phobia of them. I gave it extra-mental faceted  eyes to make it more freaky for her.


So the clown is scary, I know. Why has he got no eyes? Why has he got massive unformed yellow ear tufts but no ears? Suck it up, kids need to learn to deal with these things. His eyes and mouth are latched on and the nose is a magnet (a really strong one actually). The policeman replaces the american baseball player, I wanted it to be more British. I found this image on Flickr and I copied it unashamedly, I love his mental face.

Clown and Policeman

It’s important to be able to use an abacus, come the apocalypse when all electronic items fail this will become a key life skill.


I had planned to make some stuff to go in the train’s carriages, but I failed. Also no puffs of smoke – completely forgot about those!


Plait, NOT braid. FFS. I made loads of candles, I always wanted more when we were kids. I’m really pleased with this page, I think the cake and present are bloody brilliant. The present is a pouch for the candles too by the way.

Plait and birthday

The trainers replace the laced football in our book, I like how loud they are but if I’m honest they are not that well constructed and I failed to get proper laces to go in them, also they have no tongue. Annoying.

The flowers on the other hand are brilliant, the pot is a pouch to store them in, clever huh?

Trainers and flowers

Ok the cat is awful, I know. I hate his eyes especially. Eugh, don’t look at it.

The shapes are fine, they popper on if you’re interested, although Amber reliably informs me that ‘diamond’ is not a shape.

Crap cat and shapes

Apparently the clock is ‘as crap as the one in our book’ but I like it’s retro look. Felt very pleased with myself for making the face with a nice button instead of a crappy split pin. The balloons are a bit hard to get on and off but it’s good to have a challenge I think.

Balloons and clock

The last page is a complete change, Amber and I decided the alphabet in our one was pointless and looked a bit lame plus we found this amazing page on Pinterest (original source here) which I really wanted to copy. It doesn’t have a specific educational purpose but it is pretty fucking adorable.

Vegetable patch

And that’s it, I finished this off in a panic of broken sewing machines, sewing buttonhloles on the flowers in the evenings after skiing (thanks Mum) and very last minute trips to the DIY shop in Geneva to make the rivet holes, completed on the day before I left Lizzy’s house. Remember people: a deadline is not a target.

Despite my bitching I’m really pleased with the finished result and I did enjoy making it, it’s fun collecting all the bits you need and rummaging around in all that crap you’ve been hoarding to find the perfect piece of fabric/ribbon/button etc. However it’s really nice to not have it hanging over my head, I am now free to craft without guilt!

I just hope Bea likes it, but Lizzy’s a good enough friend to lie to me even if she doesn’t 🙂


2 thoughts on “The Ruffles Quiet Book

  1. oh my goodness, its bloody amazing, truely bloody amazing…….. one very very special little Bea to receive such a ‘made with love’ gift… I hope she treasures it for a lifetime………


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