I’ll be honest– I was not expecting this project to take so long. I thought I could easily finish both this and the second felt quiet book that I cut out shortly after Christmas before my due date. With only 4 1/2 weeks to go, I don’t think that’s going to happen now. But I’m proud of how this turned out. I just really hope that Hobbit will enjoy playing with it, when he’s a little older!
So, without further ado, I present the Lord of the Rings quiet book, in all of its thick glory. (Seriously, this thing measures over 3″ thick! Though I’m sure it would compact if I put something on top of it.) And I cannot take credit for the design, it’s a pattern from the juliebell shop on Etsy. (With a few minor modifications on my part here and there.) One picture-heavy post, coming up!
Page 1: The front cover. In the original pattern, it called for a brown cover, but I used maroon instead– I’m justifying it by saying it ties in with the Red Book of Westmarch, from the books. But really, it’s that I’m cheap. I couldn’t quite find that “copper canyon brown” and I had a bunch of the maroon that I was able to get from my mom for free. (All of the felt in this book was either specially purchased for this project, or mooched off my mom, who wanted to get rid of it anyway in preparation for moving. All of the threads, embroidery floss, and miscellaneous notions, however, were part of my stash.)
Page 2: The Shire, with some panels you can lift and peek under. I’ll admit I thought long and hard about adding the pipe, because I don’t want to encourage smoking, especially given that the smell really makes me sick even when I’m not pregnant (and far, far worse when I am, apparently. Truthfully, frequent exposure to that was one of my major incentives to not go back to my old retail job this spring.). But in both the books and the movies, it’s kind of unavoidable that there is pipe smoking, especially in hobbit culture, and I couldn’t think of anything else to go there. So I left it.
Page 3: Rivendell, with one of my favorite–and bulkiest–features of the book…the Fellowship of the Finger Puppets! Seriously, how cute is that? I did change up some of the suggested colors for things to coincide a little more closely with the movie costumes, since a lot of the styling seemed to be based on the films anyway.
Page 4: Help Gollum find the Precious. He really is a friendly-looking Gollum here…but hey, this is basically baby’s first introduction to my #1 fandom, so why scare him right off? I did end up tweaking the face a bit, because my embroidery floss was so close to the color of the felt that he just looked weird with no nose. All three of the pieces under the water snap on and off, but I only took off the one hiding the Ring for this photo.
Page 5: Try on the Ring. This was the one I changed up the most. The original page had just an embroidered Ring, and I wasn’t sure what the action was here. Lay your hand over it and watch the Ring disappear? If I can’t figure it out, there’s no way a toddler could. So I used some wired gold ribbon in my stash to make a Ring that you can slip your fingers under. (The hand was also originally facing the other way, but that was just me making a mistake and not wanting to unpick the embroidery.)
Page 6: Help Gandalf escape. Technically, this should probably come before the Rivendell page, but this is the order the instructions had it in. And the bulk of the pages meant the eyelets I’d originally planned to use didn’t work, and I ended up basically just punching holes with an awl and threading the binder rings through, so they’re not the easiest to rearrange. It’s just an eagle on elastic, so he can get some distance between him and Orthanc. I also made sure to machine-sew both ends down as securely as possible, in hopes that the boy won’t be able to yank it off first try!
Page 7: Help Frodo and Sam through Mordor. Again, a somewhat less bleak and dreary Mordor, given that there’s trees and a pond. (I’m guessing this path leads through Ithilien first.) I’m especially proud of the Eye on here–maybe I spent a little more time embroidering on it than necessary, but it didn’t look as fiery and evil as I wanted it to after adding the initial embroidery. So I added more color, and I think it helped.
Page 8: Destroy the Ring in Mt. Doom. Again, I was having a little fun with the embroidery on the lava, mostly to make sure the orange showed up well. As for the Ring itself, it actually is a replica of the One Ring– it fell off of a bookmark I had gotten back when the movies were first out, and I had left it sitting with my jewelry supplies for years. Fortunately, I actually remembered that I had this now that I had the perfect excuse to finally use it–crafty pack rat tendencies for the win! (Again, this is machine stitched on as securely as I possibly could, to try to avoid any choking hazards.)
Page 9: Help Aragorn become King. I was working on this one while having a craft day/My Little Pony marathon with some friends recently, and we all had a good laugh over Aragorn in his undies! Again, I slightly altered the embroidery to do a white tree instead of dots on the king outfit, because Gondor demanded it. I know it’s hard to see in this picture, but it’s there.
Page 10: The End. Pretty self-explanatory. I wish that E was straighter, but the glue-tacking didn’t work so well and it was already falling off by the time I got through sewing on the first two letters. It probably would have worked better if I’d been sewing on a flat surface, but I wasn’t, and I was just trying to get it done by this point.
This was definitely a labor of love, and I’m completely amused by it, at least. And even though it took a lot longer this way, I’m not sorry that I took the time to sew everything instead of glue it, because I think it will be much more durable–especially given that on the occasions I did tack things down with glue, it was often peeling off before I even finished sewing the pieces! Even so, I’m thinking I might rely a little more on glue-tacking and especially machine sewing where I can for the Doctor Who one I have cut out next. After all, I’d like to start knitting again sometime this year!