Baby Activity Book Project

Individual designs can be found here, as described below.  The complete set is now available, too.

     We had plans to visit our grandchildren in March and I wanted to make something special
for them.  They were the right age to start learning about clothing fasteners so I decided to
create activity books for them.  My husband thought up the perfect punny name for the books:

covers of book

     Notice that the flap on the back page wraps around to the front and closes with Velcro.
There are also pages for shoe tying, snapping, zipping, and buttoning.  The pages are held
together with a small dog's collar, adding a buckle to the set of fasteners to practice.
A photo of the child, printed on fabric, adds a nice surprise to the button page.

4 inner pages

     One page has a hand with fingers that fold into the "I love you" sign.  I thought of
this design because my grandson tries to fold his own fingers into that configuration when
we visit by Skype.  My husband uses that sign and the little one knows it's something
important.  It does not teach about a clothes fastener, but love does fasten us all together.
My granddaughter was about 13 months old in this picture.  Isn't she a cutie?

I love you page

     The final page (before the back cover, that is) has an oval for adding your own picture,
also printed on fabric.  There is room for you to add your own greeting underneath.  If you
do not have software for adding text to designs, you can use Ann the Gran's Quick Font

photo greeting

     Our grandson wanted to talk to his grandfather one day but didn't know how to ask. 
He showed this picture to his mom and then she knew what he wanted.  It occurred to me that
a collection of pages from this design would make a very nice phone directory (or family
tree!) for a child.

     As I finished each page I posted its picture in my internet embroidery groups.  Before
long, I received requests to make the designs available for sale.  My groups include a lot of
embroidering grandmas, eager to create this gift for their own little ones.

     I was happy to oblige.  It took quite a while to write the instructions for making the
book pages.  I wanted to be as thorough as possible so that new embroiderers would be
successful in making their own books.  The result is MUCH longer than the book it is meant
to describe.  I have chapters on the steps that are common to all the pages (preparing fabric,
trimming embroidery, adding the fabric frame, and setting grommets).  In addition, I have
chapters for creating the movable parts and other additions as well as for the pages
to which they will be added.

     The result is 47 pages long! 

     If you have your computer near your sewing area or have a tablet reader with a big
enough screen, I suggest you read your instructions on screen rather than printing them out.
The PDF file has links which allow you to move directly to the chapters referred to in the

     Please do read the instructions thoroughly, including the introduction.  Each
embroidery chapter shows the thread colors for the relevant design and exactly what will be
stitched in which color.  For the appliques, I have separate colors for the running stitch
placement line, the double stitch tack down line, and the satin border.  You are welcome to
use thread colors that coordinate with the fabrics you choose; just use care to make sure
you are following along with where you are in the design.  You can change the thread colors in
software, or you can mark up a printed copy.  If you don't wish to print the full
instructions (as advised above), you can print the list of threads, fabrics and notions,
also included in your download.

     Thank you for reading about my newest design set.  Click here to see the complete set.
The pages are also available individually here, with the portion of the instructions that
is needed for completing the purchased page.

Comments (2) -

Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful book.

I have  a Down syndrome Granddaughter and made one

of the books for the Life Skills class at her school.

I used a giraffe on the peekaboo page and omitted the

grandparents page for the school.

The teachers and the kids love the book and they

have asked me to make a couple more for the class to use.

Many of the students even though in early teens cannot do

many of those "fastenings" so it is a very good learning

experience for them

It is great for more than just toddlers.


Thank you for sharing your wonderful use of my activity book designs.  You are so right that they aren't just for toddlers.  I am happy to hear that your sweet granddaughter and her friends are enjoying our creation.  (It's yours, too, since you picked the fabrics and threads.)


Pingbacks and trackbacks (1)+

Please login to comment
Why Test Stitching is so Important

Why Test Stitching is so Important

If you read any forums or follow social media groups, you undoubtedly have seen some of the blunders (and plenty of frustration) that can happen during the embroidery process. Much of that can be avoided by doing a test stitch of the design before applying it to the final product.


Problems happen: Needles get damaged, the stabilizer combination is not working, bobbin thread is showing, stitches are out of alignment, the fabric shows through, or puckering runs amok. Embroidery is like baking. There is a “recipe” for each scenario.


Often, we get in a hurry and do not take the time to adequately test. You have heard the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” You will ideally want to test once, stitch once. Here are some reasons why it is so important:


Mistakes are Expensive

Whether you are embroidering on a tote bag, a jacket, or a towel, and it is an item for yourself, a gift, or client order, you really don’t want to buy another one to replace the item that was ruined during the first embroidery.


Time is Valuable

It doesn't matter if you embroider for fun or profit. Either way, most of us value our time. It never fails that you sit down late one evening to stitch a “simple” project, usually a gift needed for an event the next day, and not only do you have problems, there isn’t time to buy another blank and re-stitch the piece.


The Fun Factor (or Lack Thereof)

When it is no longer fun, we have better things to do with our time. Test stitching helps eliminate the frustration by weeding out problems in advance.


Designs Can be Compromised

Design quality can be lacking although that is generally not the case if you buy from a reputable source. But because embroidery designs are digital, they can become corrupted during download. Other times, they have a quirk, relevant to certain design formats, which probably occurred during the conversion process.


Sometimes, just downloading the file from the vendor a second time eliminates a cyber glitch. If that doesn’t work, contact the vendor to see if there have been any issues with that particular design. Be considerate. Don’t post rants and technical problems on social media. Call the vendor or send them an email, or private message. Digitizers may not be aware of a problem until after the design becomes public. When they do, they almost always correct them and release them again.


Best Way to Test Stitch?

Use a similar product. If you are embroidering on towels, have a similar weight and blend towel on hand to use for testing. Embroider test stitches on that towel until there is no space left.

Same thing for t-shirts and quilting cottons, they come in a variety of weights and blends. Keep scrap fabric and a sample t-shirt on stand by.


Problems will still happen, but with less frequency and lower frustration levels if we take the time to test the stitching first.


Debbie SewBlest



Comments (3) -

Let me add that you can use these test designs, assuming that they don't fail, for samples, placing on other items and just keeping for a reminder of what happened under what circumstances.  Make sure you place these tests in a bag or folder with notes on what was used.

May you be blessed in ways you have not yet imagined.  

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Good point, Pat! Here is a link to a past blog on what to do with those test stitchouts:

WOW, I just looked at the 'test stitching' blog and those items are so beautiful!  I am so in love with that blue bird!!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Please login to comment