Quick and easy children’s gifts with panels

A friend I love dearly has a sweet little girl.  We have been planning to get together and sew soft books together for… pretty much all of her life.  She is 2 now.

I thought the time had come to just get on with it, even if I was doing it on my own.  It’s not her fault!  As we live on opposite sides of the country our sewing bees are few and far between.

At a craft fair I went to earlier this year I picked up a set of panels for making a soft book.  I hadn’t done one of these before, and so I was a bit apprehensive about getting started, but it was easy.  Ridiculously so!

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I think I had the whole thing done in half an hour or less.  That’s a perfect time frame for whipping something up after my own child has gone to bed (without staying up all night), or for sneaking in a bit of sewing during her nap.

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The only thing that I sometimes find frustrating about working with these sorts of kit projects is that the instructions are often lousy.  These ones weren’t terrible, but the instructions on how to cut out the panels, and whether to allow a seam allowance around the edge of the image or not were a bit lacking.  I decided to cut along the edge of the panel, so that I didn’t risk a dodgy finish if the panel was wobbly or my cutting wasn’t straight.  I didn’t want there to be glimpses of the background fabric!  On reflection, this was probably what the printers intended anyway, as the finish was perfect.

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I think it was a fun, simple project that even a beginner should find gives a fast sense of satisfaction.  I’m sure that the recipient of the books will love them too!

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A final word of advice:  I didn’t read the story before I bought the panels.  It’s pretty grim!  It’s got all the fun stuff: intent to murder, miscarriage, a female character described as “a simpleton”.  Not all kiddy themes, or female-empowering messages.  I will definitely read the panels before I buy again!  Ah well, live and learn.

Have a wonderful day.


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