This Week I Have Been Mainly Getting Stuff Done

I have been working on reducing my stash. You know how one day you’re looking at some fabric and suddenly you realise that your stash is probably twice the size you imagined? Well, I’ve sort of had one of those times. I say “sort of” because I knew my stash was large, but recently it hit me what that actually meant! Ah! Yes! You recognise that feeling? I thought you might!

Well, I decided that I would work on reducing the volume of my stash. In my defence, I must mention that quite a chunk of it has been given to me to use for making things for charity. Actually, that fact helps me because Peter realises that those donations are “in transit”, as it were. He doesn’t mind when he knows that something is destined for charity. That’s a good thing as, in our box room, there are all sorts of things that are destined for charity including: toiletries, old knitting needles, pillowcase dresses, cones of sewing thread, baby clothes, syringe driver bags and knitted items.

As I said, I decided to start working on reducing the stash so my first project was to make stuffed toys using a bag of fairly large pieces of felt that had been given to me a while ago. I have a few templates for stuffed toys – you may have seen the teddies which I made from some of them late last year – so the next job was to choose which ones I wanted to work with. I settled on three: a rabbit, a cat and a bear. 

My trial run

I began by making some cats from the yellow and beige felt pieces that I had. The cat template was useful as it had two different sizes and I managed to draft a third size between the two. Those templates, appropriately placed, allowed me to make best use of the felt pieces. it meant that waste was kept to an absolute minimum.

I was worried that using dark brown thread had made them look sinister but people from three sources said not. Having received that feedback, I continued making.

The whole batch of stuffed toys

In addition to using the rabbit, cat and bear shapes, I designed one of my own. It is loosely based on the shape of a Russian doll, and I have defined its arms using rows of stitching in the basic shape.

Apart from the three dolls, all of the toys have buttons for eyes and some have buttons or stitching on their fronts. I hand-stitched all other facial features and machine-stitched the toys together. The hand stitching took quite some time but I enjoyed doing it, even if some faces did look a little unusual! I have made sure that each toy is unique as it is important to me that the recipients don’t feel as though they have one of many that are the same. I certainly hope that they like the fact that each toy is slightly different from all the others.

You won’t be surprised to hear that these toys are destined for children in Syria. I shall deliver them to Syria Relief when I have collected more donations.

Syria Relief


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