Handmade Teacher Gifts

Halloween is over, and as much as I want to keep sewing for Halloween, I’m going to take a break and move on to handmade gifts! Not quite Christmas posts, but a few gift idea posts are coming up before I move into full on Christmas!

What do you do for Teacher gifts at the Holidays? I’ve always made handmade somethings! One year I made a two in one pouch for a teacher and one year I made a personalized pouch with the teachers initial pieced on it. I forget what else! ha! And then for the last two years, I’ve made these adorable little quilted ‘folios’ from the book Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays.

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I’m a little obsessed with buying quilting and cross stitch magazines, but I rarely buy books. One year, I found this book is  super sale bin at the bookstore and I bought it. I have to say it’s one of my favorite project books I have! The projects are focused on Christmas primarily, but most of hte projects also have suggestions for turning the projects into other holiday sewing projects. Stay tunned for some more projects from this book this holiday season!

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I made this one just like the directions say. I laid out my blocks how I wanted them, then turned them over, but forgot to flip their location… The little girl flying the kite was supposed to be on the front, not hte back! Oh, well!

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My family gave me all the lovely Cotton and Steel fabric for Christmas. I think it was a perfect choice for this little gift!

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I loved placing the little apple on the side pocket! Aren’t you supposed to give teachers apples?? I’m not exactly sure what apples have to do with teachers, but it’s a thing! ha!

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And then I made another one last year for his teacher. This teacher is a University of Washington grad, so I went with a UW themed version! Purple and gold with touches of black and white!

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Photo via Amazon

And for this one I combined the folio project with the Ho Ho Ho pillow project! The book has directiosn for each letter, so I made the W. I pieced this as quilt as you go and didn’t go back with any additional quilting. Looking back at this picture, i’m kinda inpreseed with how striaght my lines are! 

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And the inside of this one!

I’d love to know your favorite teacher gift go to! I have a new idea for this year….. More to come on that!

 

My Halloween Quilt! with a paper pieced pattern download

I know, most everyone has moved onto Christmas, but I’m still posting about Halloween!

I started this about this time last year. I had a plan. I was going to do one block each month… I was also going to make one Halloween and one Christmas placemat each month. Let’s just say NONE of those things happened! Oops!

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I didn’t quite finish in time for Halloween, but I finished 3 days later. So I’m calling that a win!

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I did intend for the stripe to go from top to bottom, not side to side… But I realized I didn’t have enough of the green fabric, so I switched gears mid stream. I actually really like having the stripe of pieced blocks along the bottom.

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Our Halloween guests seem to like it as well! They can still scare, but show off the stripe! ha! Who doesn’t love seeing monsters and skeletons cuddling under a quilt on the porch bench??? So sweet!

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For this quilt I did paper piece the stripe. That’s how I got such sharp points! Look at those points! I love it! You can download the quilt block here. It is a 12×18 page, so most home printers won’t print it, but your neighborhood office supply store will be able to. The block makes a 10″ square.

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How do you do binding? I sew mine onto the top and then iron it over to the back and hand stitch it to the back. I have not mastered the machine binding! Nope! And I love the time away from the machine to do a little hand stitching anyway!

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And the back. I made a few extra blocks with the scraps to put on the back. Then I just pieced all my scraps for as much of the back as I could. Then I just started adding larger pieces to make up the difference.

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Man, did this quilt almost give me a heart attack??? I was in the process of quilting it. I quilt on the dining room table. We had family friends over for dinner, so I just through my quilt and the machine in my son’s (also known at Lulu’s room, our 3 year old great pyrenees mix) room. Well, the pup got super excited about our guests, so we put her in ‘her room’ to calm down… When we go in the room, she has chewed up the quilt. I stifled my scream! we did still have guests… But luckily, she had just chewed the excess you add to the batting and back! So it was totally ok, but, man, did it scare me! And no, she didn’t get sick at all!

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My token label picture that I take for each quilt!

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I’m so excited to have it finished! And even though I have a list of more Halloween projects to do, I’m also excited to move on to handmade Christmas presents! What you working on after Halloween? Did you sew anything for Halloween?

 

ABC- O and Q Quilt Blocks

 

This years Modern Quilt Guild Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge is all about Text.

‘Quilts incorporating text have been popular in the modern quilt movement right from the start,” says the MQG. And this year all the participating guilds get to interpret that challenge in a black, white and grey pallette. The SMQG giving committee had a call for design ideas and they landed on one that includes a bunch of letters. You can see more about that here.

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I came home and knew I wanted to make a Q. Instead of using a circle, I had the bright idea of using a hexagon. But then I wasn’t sure how to make the little line for the Q. As I’m thinking this out in my head, it started to look familiar… Like maybe someone else had already done this… Like maybe Jaybird Quilts in her alphabet block book, Alphabet Soup… Yep. That’s where I had seen this! I’ve been wanting to buy this book, but haven’t had a need for quilted letters. Mine are a bit different from hers, but totally inspired by hers!

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And the hexagon used as an O! No patterns were used. I just started with a hexagon. and went from there! 

I really do like these blocks and can’t wait to see what the giving committee comes up with!

Another Handmade Backpack

OK, I’m a pretty bad blogger these days. it’s been a while since I showed anything… I missed back to school, when most people are blogging about back packs! And I made this back pack a while ago… But despite all that, here I am!

The first backpack I made was really cool! I loved the alien backpack! It was designed by the kiddo and so is this one! I don’t know where the design came from, but I have to say it was quite a bit easier to put together than the alien!

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I didn’t use a pattern, but there are some great backpack patterns and tutorials out there! There’s one by Crazy Little Projects that is pretty similar to the one I made. I also love Sew Sweetness Bags and she has two backpack patterns, the Cumberland and Edelweiss patterns. And I like the pattern that So Sew Easy has on their blog. It’s small, but you can enlarge it for a larger kiddo or yourself. I haven’t made any of these patterns, but they can help you make your own, if you don’t want to wing it like I did!

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On the inside I used a laminated cotton fabric. A bright laminated cotton fabric! I made this while I was at a retreat and I didn’t take a non-stick foot, and it did not treat me nicely! But I pushed on anyway!

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I love to add key fobs…

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The design on the outside is what the kiddo designed. It was much easier than the alien, but it was still tricky! Keeping those lines straight wasn’t as simple I thought it would be and especially without the right foot.

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The other thing I think all backpacks should have is the side pockets. I always include elastic, so when it’s not being used, it scrunches up close ot the backpack and doesn’t flop around.

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In the back I padded the straps and angled them out a bit.

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And the kiddo liked it! That’s the best part of the whole thing!

 

A Harry Potter Project Pouch

This week is Harry Potter’s birthday and I have a couple of projects to share for the celebration!

I made a project pouch for the kiddo! I’ve been realizing that there are a lot of projects that I want to make, but I end of up quilting more than making fun things as well. I’ve been wanting to make some project pouches so when I got issue 76 of Love Patchwork and Quilting and saw the pouch project, I decided to make one!

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The project is the Zip It Up Pouch by Minki Kim. I’ve kinda become obsessed with magazines, but now I have too many with too many projects to make! It was fun making this one! Even if I might not have followed the directions 100%…

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I love the little clear pocket on the front. I think on my next one, I might put a snap on the pocket. I thought about putting in some elastic, but decided against it.

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The pouch in the magazine was actually quilted. I decided not to quilt mine, but you could. I also took out the quilted back and used a piece of clear vinyl on the back so you can see which project you have in the bag.

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I tried my hand at machine binding… I’m horrible at it. this corner is the best one. I know, I should show the corner I messed up, but I’m not going to! Ha! It was the best way to sew on the binding with the vinyl, but I think I have a slightly different plan for the next one! I think I’m faster at hand sewing the binding than at machine binding because every time I machine bind something I have to pull part out and try again!

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What is your favorite pouch pattern? I really like this one! And I’m excited to make some more for each of the projects I want to take on vacation!

 

 

House Mini Challenge

I’m typically not a fan of mini quilts! Being honest here! Ok, I should say, I’m not a fan of making mini quilts. When I make a quilt, I like them ot be big enough to use as a quilt.

But recently I’ve started participating in the Curated Quilts mini challenges that they have for each issue. Have you made any?? This mini was for their House mini challenge.

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I also have never made a house quilt block or a house quilt. Oops, I take that back. I did make some house blocks for a do.Good Stitches quilt. But I haven’t made any on my own. When I saw this challenge come up, I pretty much said nope. Not going to that one! In the end, I couldn’t not play along.

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Do you ever google vintage mid century house plans? If not, you should! Every now and then I do because the drawings and ads and plans are just so cool! Being an architect, I knew that if I was going to do this challenge, I would have to do a floor plan. So I went back to my google searches and found a design I wanted to make into a quilt.

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I took that plan and then laid out how I was going to break it down into a mini quilt.

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And this is what I got! Walls, windows and planters. Originally I had planned to hand quilt in the pavers in the patio. I finished this right before I headed out on summer vacation last year, so the plan was to finish it on the road. That didn’t happen. I really think it would be more dynamic if it did have the hand quilting, but oh, well!

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This quilt did not make the cut! And I totally see why. It’s not my best work, but it was still fun to make it!

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Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Giving Committee 2018

Another trip down memory lane, although this lane isn’t that far back! Today I want to share the giving quilts I helped coordinate as a co Chair of the Giving Committee with the SMQG!

Does it kinda look like the same quilt twice? We didn’t start with that plan, originally for 2018, Debbie and I decided to make three quilts with the guild. One using the 2018 Kona Color of the Year, Tigerlily, one using a bunch of green fabric we had from Clothworks and the QuiltCon Quilt. For both of the first two quilts we ended up with two each from all the blocks we received!

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Let me introduce Tic Tac Tigerlilly! I’m not sure why, but this one totally reminds me of a tic tac toe game! Do you see it?

Having a co-chair like Debbie meant we were going to have to use one of the colors of the year in a quilt! She’s a pro at making a quilt using the Kona and Pantone colors of the year each year. She has inspired me to do the same thing, but I buy the fabric and have yet to make a quilt on my own with the colors of the year! Anyway… For these March quilts we knew we wanted to use Kona’s Tigerlily fabric.

We really enjoy improv, but knew some of our guild members weren’t as excited for improv as we are. So for this one, we decided to skip improv and go with something a little more structured. A Log Cabin. But of course, it’s not a simple normal ‘ole Log Cabin. We added a twist!

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We started with a red square for the center. Instead of each side being made of one strip, two sides of the block are made of groups of two strips of fabric and the other two sides are each made of one thick wide strip. You can follow the tutorial here.

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We didn’t know how many blocks we’d get or how big the quilt would be. But we did know how we wanted to lay it out and that we’d need at east four groups of four. We got more than enough for four groups fo four!  I took the 16 that were the right size, the correct layout and the requested fabrics and put those together to make this quilt. The quilting was done by Cindy Krafft. Love how the swirls work with the straight lines!

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For the back I found this great orange circle fabric that I love! And of course, I really love to use extra blocks on the back and we just happened to have some extra blocks and an unfinished block to bring it all together!

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Quilt Name: Tic Tac Tigerlily

Quilt Size: 66” x 66”

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Quilt Top Pieced by: Louise Wackerman

Quilted by: Cindy Krafft

Quilt Binding by: Louise Wackerman

Recipient: Northwest Breast Center

Organized by: 2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske

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Remember how I mentioned we had more than enough blocks for Tic Tac Tigerlily?? Let me introduce you to Scatterlilies!

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For this one we used the more ‘scattered’ blocks. The ones that weren’t quite the right size, or colors or color placement. I added a little bit here and there to fit the blocks together.

A special shoutout to Pam Cole for doing both the quilting and the binding on this one.

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Quilt Name: Scatterlilies

Quilt Size: 48” x 66”

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Quilt Top Pieced by: Louise Wackerman

Quilted and Bound by: Pam Cole

Recipient: Greater Seattle Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Organized by: 2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske

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For the May Giving Committee quilt, we started the design around a bunch of green cuts of American Made Brand solids given to the Guild by Clothworks. Then we added solids from member’s stash solids.

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We started with making squares using the green as the dominant color in the blocks. We could use any colors except bright white. We tried to keep the colors the relatively same value as the green.

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Once you had your squares using the green, we asked members to start filling in with their solids until they had created a 14 1/2″ block. You can find the whole tutorial we used here.

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Kinda like with the Robbing Pete blocks, I had a moment that I didn’t know if I was really liking these blocks or not. I don’t know why I was second guessing the design idea, but I was! But then, WOW! It really excited me as Debbie was piecing the blocks! I fell back in love with the idea!

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Again! I love it!

Quilt Name: Bein’ Green

Quilt Size: 56” x 72”

Green American Made Brand Solid Donated by: Clothworks

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Quilt Top Pieced by: Debbie Jeske

Quilted and Bound by: Jana Royal

Recipient: Northwest Breast Center

Organized by: 2016-2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske

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And last but not least! It’s the second quilt that started from the quilt above!

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Once we had all the blocks laid out, there was a natural divide between the blocks based on the stash fabric choices. So again, we got two quilts out of one design! For this one, Debbie held out the blocks made with more brown fabrics and white linen blocks. And they just go perfectly together!

 

Quilt Name: GreenSquare

Quilt Size: 42” x 51”

Green American Made Brand Solid Fabric Donated by Clothworks

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Quilt Top Pieced by: Debbie Jeske

Quilted by: Jana Royal

Bound by: Debbie Jeske

Recipient: Northwest Breast Center

Organized by: 2016-2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mountain Pillow- Quick and Easy Handmade Gift!

Every year my office has a White Elephant gift exchange with a theme at our Holiday party. Last year the theme was High Low.

We never really tell each other who got what, so I’ve never actually made a gift for the exchange. This year, I had a little problem…

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I bought these beautiful beaded snowflakes from Blair at Wise Craft Handmade. They start high in the sky and end up low on the ground… Get it? High Low….

Well, the day of the party I decided I didn’t want to give up any of my ornaments and I needed to come up with something else to give at the party!

I’d been seeing a lot of these mountain pillows. I got the ornaments at our local handmade craft show. And at the craft show, there were a few people selling these mountain pillows. Most of them were made of beautiful felt and were way over my price range. But I kept being drawn to them! And then I had a great idea…. I’d make a new gift. I’d make a mountain pillow! High Peaks, Low Valleys… High Low!

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I just happened to have this grey fleece that looked kinda like the felt that all the others were made of. And I had this fluffy white fleece, which I totally think looks like fluffy snow!

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Although I didn’t actually made a tutorial, I’ll tell you how I made it! It was so easy and quick, I didn’t even have time to think about pictures! ha! I cut out the mountains, sewed on the snow on top. I made a front and back, with snow on both front and back sides. Next I sewed the front and back together, right sides together and then turned it right side out and Boom! A mountain pillow! SOOOOO easy!

And the pillow was stolen a couple of times, so it was a hit!

These were all adults that loved it, but they could be fun in kids rooms too! Adventure themed rooms… So many possibilities and such a quick make!

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A Halloween Pillow

Well, I had started a Halloween quilt back in January, I think… Despite the 10 months, I didn’t get it done….

No quilt, but I did get a pillow done! And I love it! I keep looking at it admiringly as I walk by the couch!

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I also like seeing it with the other pillows I’ve made over the years. I love seeing the different styles and fabrics I’m into over the years!

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For the pillow, I’m using a lot of the fabrics that I’m using my quilt. Or a different color way… Most of the fabrics are from the Cotton and Steel collections. I LOVE their holiday lines! LOVE them! Was this the best fabric to use for tiny piecing? I don’t know, really!

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Last month I took a paper piecing class with Giuseppe Ribaudo, aka Guicy Guice. I’m not sure why I did, since I’m pretty well versed in paper piecing. Honestly, when I signed up, I thought it was a small piecing class, not paper piecing. It never dawned on me that his small piecing was paper piecing! Ha! Anyway, I’m glad I did! He shared his Mini patterns with us and I picked Courthouse Step block. I almost didn’t go because I had so much birthday party stuff going on and the whole paper piecing thing. But I’m glad I did! he was super nice and a lot of fun. And I loved seeing what everyone else made from the patterns! And I love my block!

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Guicy Guice centers a lot of his minis in a neutral background so I thought this neon bat fabric would be great. And I did some matchstick quilting. I love doing matchstick quilting on small projects. One day I’ll do it on a larger project. maybe… ha!

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I loved this fabric so much that I bought it in two color ways!

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And if you know my pillows, I always do envelope backs because I’m kinda lazy that way… But this time I decided to put a zipper in it. I used to always put zippers in pillows. Especially when I was selling pillows. If I can do it when I’m selling them to other people,, why can’t I do it for myself? I did use Sew Katie Did’s tutorial to remind myself how to do it. Its’ not hard at all, but I used to be better at hiding the zipper than I did on this one. Luckily the fabric matches it!

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Have a Happy Halloween from my photo assistants!

Ted Wiggins and his Unicycle!

This project is a kinda old one, but I never showed it! And it deserves it’s spot on the blog, in my opinion…

A while back my friend wanted a Ted Wiggins doll with his unicycle for her son, but couldn’t find one online. So she asked me! I love the Lorax, but was blanking on who Ted Wiggins is! He’s the kiddo in the lorax that goes and meets the Lorax outside of town and learns the whole story. In the movie he has a unicycle. A big red unicycle. And of course, I bit and took the challenge!

This isn’t a real tutorial, because I didn’t measure everything and I didn’t save my templates, or any of that. But I do want to show you a bit about how I made these guys! First up is Ted.

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I started with the Mikey Monkey doll pattern from mmmcrafts. I have made this pattern before when I made Bear and his best friend Pear for my kiddo. I altered it a bit then for the monkey to be a bear and I did it again for the monkey to be a boy.

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The main alteration was the shape of the head. I didn’t want it to be as round as the monkey head, so I worked that out. One reason I wanted to use this pattern is that he comes with accessories, like shoes and a baseball cap. I knew I needed a helmet, so I altered the baseball hat to be a bike helmet. I had to make a trial hat to make sure it fit on the new head shape though! I also added more pieces of fabric for the shirt to match the look of his shirt!

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And I winged it on the hair and face! When I stitched the hair on the back of the head, I also stitched up through the brown to give it a little more dimension, instead of just along the edge. I didn’t like it just straight across the back, so I added a couple of curves. And the hat turned out great! I put the front and back together and then hand stitched the flames on. The hat is removable. In hindsight, due to the age of kiddo that this was going to, I probably should have sewn the helmet (and the shoes) on the doll! I wouldn’t be surprised if they got lost pretty quickly!

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And I love the shoes!

I had fun taking pictures of him as he was being stuffed and coming to life!

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And his unicycle!

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The handlebar… So for the handlebar, I wanted it to be skinny and stand up straight. I tried a few things and this is what worked best. I sewed on the red pieces to the longer sides of the grey ‘x’. I included the seam allowances, ironed those over, folded it in half, wrong sides together, and then topstitched. I left the bottom open and one side of the handle to stuff in the pipe cleaners. Then stuffed the pipe cleaners in. As many as I could! Then sew up the other side of the handlebar!

For the bottom of the unicycle, I totally winged it and drew it out. I cut the black and red based on my drawing. The design is to have two sides and one long stripe going around the sides, like a box pillow.

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So I sewed the two red sides to the handlebars.

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I measured out how much black and red sides I’d need. Made long side strips. Pinned the sides on (yes, missing some step photos, but not a full tutorial here!) to the front and back, right sides together and sewed it all together, leaving a hole in the bottom. For stuffing I used foam pieces. I used two pieces of foam so that the handlebar would be situated between the foam.

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And, like the helmet, I hand sewed the flames on the unicycle.

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And there you have it! Tedd Wiggins and his Unicycle! I think he turned out pretty cute!

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