I decided to do a cloth book instead of a board book – don’t ask me why as i have never sewn anything in my life!! well not since i was a nipper – and i think that was a little blue purse – not quite the same amount of skill required. Anyway, as i am always up for a challenge i decided to have a go at this sewing lark – initially my friend Jean was going to help me out with some of the more complicated sewing, but then poor Jean went down with Shingles and i ended up having to do it all myself – couldn’t be helped – and thought i might as well give it my best shot!

Textures were very important to me in this book as i wanted it to be experienced by young children of all abilities including those that couldn’t see. The book is about a rabbit that can’t find his bed and he journeys through all sorts of places trying to find it. I decided to make a ‘actual bunny’ so the child could take the bunny out and mover it through the book looking for its bed. The pages are highly textured and 3D, and as you move them they rattle and crackle because of what they are padded with.On one of the pages there is a flap that lifts up and underneath there is a textured pig and additional words.

I have received really good feedback for these pages and i would like to continue to make the rest of the pages i have designed .I have other ideas of how the book can be put together – as in wall hangings etc, and i will continue to develop these over the summer, and i also have lots of ideas now connected with sewing and illustration that keep popping into my head all the time – so i think i have definitely opened a little can of worms here!!…..watch this space!!

Front cover of the cloth book

A 'lift the flap' page

The flap is lifted!!

Ssssssssssh the pig is wallowing!!!

A lot of the processes that have been used to create the pages could easily be simplified, as most of this has been sewn by hand, which of course would not be a viable or cost-effective technique. I think the greatest effect can be from the textures and the design of the material, the only stitch i would like to keep in would be the red blanket stitch if possible.There are however endless variations that i can think of on the same theme,and it has been a really rewarding exercise.