July is birthday month for the littlest grandsons in our family, so I mustn’t let the month pass without noting the handmade gifts they got this year – and what a blessing it is to have them still small enough to enjoy grandma’s “handmade”!I’d long wanted to make a fabric book so I was happy to acquire Rebecca Page’s Doll’s House Quiet Book to inspire my stitching. You can find it on Etsy. It’s a really good basic clear pattern, with lots of ideas to help you create a really imaginative toy. My quiet book follow the structure of her book. There is a front cover…I personalised it with collage (lots and lots of handstitching – my happy place), buttons (that’s a number Zero on the front door because that is Felix’s favourite number) – and fabric photos.
You can get specialised fabric paper for use with your home printer (Prym Creative Fabric Printable – available on eBay) , or some copy shops will print straight onto fabric for you (as they do t-shirts). Worth experimenting with …
The next page features the bed …I added a little bit of a child’s rhyme – but customised it for this special book …You need to reverse the writing before transferring it onto fabric. I use Photoshop for this, but I believe you can also do it in Word …The text is then inked over with a Hemline Hot Iron Transfer Pen (also bought on eBay), and ironed onto the fabric. Here is Gary Goblin transferred onto felt for stitching …Now we come to the fun part – these little characters! I asked my son, Jam, to get drawing – and these are some of the guys he came up with…I selected six (there was only room for six in this bed!) and got stitching. Gary Goblin, of course …And Little Les (they all wear their names on the back) …And just a couple more …And then we had a full compliment – here they’ve all got out of bed!They can go to the playroom next door – where there are toys tucked into the play bags. Very Hungry Caterpillars of course …On the back, I followed Rebecca Page’s suggestion and put a pond – with lots and lots of weird and wonderful animals stitched into this colourful collage. Plus some finger puppets to play with (a Zero, of course) …And here’s Birthday Boy Felix, absorbed in the finger puppets …Which gave me an idea for Roo (whose birthday was later in the month). I was all out-booked by the first book I’d made, but finger puppets are obviously a winner. So we set out to make some more finger puppets …The characters come so easily with felt, a bit of raffia, odd scraps of wool, stitching. There is so much you can do when making these little people. I just found that I had to let my mind run free and play …Little Roo has a musician dad so there has to be a guitarist …Well, perhaps a couple …And finally, Stephen ( having already loaned the shape of his hand for this project) put together a stand for these little characters …Just look at that little Birthday Boy Roo’s face!I’m sure there’ll be plenty of play value in these simple toys in coming years. And the best thing? – why you can always respond to requests and make more characters as required!
Happy Third Birthday, Felix, and Happy Fourth Birthday, Roo!