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I am a mother of eight and grandmother of four who loves to make and create. Rosemary Hill is the name of our home where we live, work, learn and create together

Sunday 25 April 2010

Monster Tutorial

We needed monsters and so we made a bunch. (Possibly a dungeon of monsters actually) Some of you wondered how we did it, so here is a tutorial explaining how. I must say here that the designing brain behind this was Mrs 25 (Picklesticks). I have her permission to write this tutorial. There is no pattern needed, you just go with the flow!

It's not necessary to have a large Ikea bag full of fabric to create a monster, but it's how we do it!

You will need
  • polar fleece for monster front and legs. Two or three colours.
  • felt for eye and teeth
  • teddy bear eye
  • fur fabric for monster back
You start out by looking at the shape of the polar fleece that you have. (This accounts for some of our weirdly shaped monsters) Find a piece that looks like a monster and cut it out.

Some monsters have a mouth that cuts their head in two or you can insert a mouth on one side like I have here. Cut the monster piece for the mouth. This is also when you cut out some teeth or a tongue if you want to put them in.

Choose a narrow stretch stitch on your sewing machine. This is the stitch that you will use for the entire project. If you don't have a relatively narrow stretch stitch choose a narrow zig zag stitch to use for the entire project.

Stitch the mouth to the rest of the head using a narrow seam. If you are putting teeth in sandwich them between the mouth and monster pieces before sewing this seam.

Next is the eye. (You can use as many as you like. We tend to go for the cyclops look cause it stretches the available eyes across more monsters. However, I think a 3 or even 5 eyed monster would look very scary!) You need to use felt on both sides of the eye. This is so that the polar fleece doesn't stretch and the eye fall out.

Sew the top piece of felt on the front of the monster. It is not necessary to have the back piece of felt sewn on. It doesn't even have to be the same size as the front. Just large enough to keep the eye in place. (You can use scrap pieces of felt for this)

Clip the felt and polar fleece so that the teddy eye can be placed in the felt. Clip the back piece of felt too.

Place the eye through the front of the monster and then push the back piece of felt onto the teddy eye and secure the eye.

This is how it looks from the back.

The finished monster front. Next you make the legs and arms if your monster needs limbs.

Mrs 25 always sews the limbs freehand. This freaked me out at first and I did draw my first set of legs and arms with pen on the wrong side of the polar fleece. Do this if you want to. I soon realised that the limbs don't have to be very accurate to be representative of monster's limbs! Put the polar fleece together with the right side on the inside. You must have the stretchy bit of the polar fleece running across the narrow part of the limbs. This is so you can turn the limbs through more easily.

Now is the time to get your Purple Thang out if you have one. I recently won one at the Wallaroo retreat and it works a treat!

Turn your limbs through. If they are narrow this can be a little difficult, but with a Purple Thang I managed to turn through really narrow arms without any trouble at all. (The stretch helps here)

These are my three legs. Not identical at all, but very monster-like!

Pin the limbs to the finished monster front.

Place the finished monster front on the fur and cut out a back. You can just use polar fleece for the back if you want. We did for some. However the fur has much more prescence! (Place the monster front and the fur with right sides together before you cut out the back)

Sew the front and back together leave a small opening so you can turn your monster through and stuff it. The best place for such an opening is either on the bottom or the top.

Make sure you leave the turning opening larger than I did here! It was a struggle to work with such a small opening.

Turn the monster through.

The finshed, flat monster. Now to give it some shape!

Stuff your monster

Thread a needle double and tie a knot at the end.

Then sew the opening up using ladder stitch. Knot the end of the thread when you are finished and cut the thread off.

Finished monster! Hmm..... he probably could do with some teeth. I just completely forgot them! Have fun, and I hope you make plenty of monsters.

Saturday 24 April 2010

My week ended with a party

We have two birthdays in April. Mr 15 became Mr 16 earlier in the month and Miss 17 became Miss 18 yesterday. Here she is with her brother (Mr 21) at her carnival themed dress up party last night.

We had a bouncy castle, sideshows with prizes, music, food, a guest book, and lots of fun. Poor Miss 18 woke up with a sore throat and some kind of virus (So did I actually) but managed to enjoy herself even without a voice. Mrs 25 helped out with all the creative and design things and everyone else worked all week on costumes etc. Miss 18 was the lady clown from the tv show "Round the Twist". The only thing I managed to sew all week! I am looking forward to next week because I have no looming deadlines next week. Ahhh...... back to normal.

Monday 19 April 2010

Inspired Stitches

Saturday morning saw me at Quilt Fabric Delights' Inspired Stitches with tutors Natalie Lymer and Natalie Ross. We were to have a third tutor, but she couldn't make it. When Janelle Wind heard about this she sent a new release pattern for us to use. (All the patterns at Inspired Stitches are brand new patterns) So there was plenty to do! This was our table.

There were so many pretty things to look at and to do. I chose to do a Cinderberry Stitches stitchery (by Natalie Lymer). There were a couple of stitcheries to choose from. I chose the gadget bags stitcheries just like the bag in the photo below.

Natalie Ross of In Stitches had a gorgeous strawberry themed stitching set with some needle turn applique. Lots of people did this appliqued strawberry so that they could learn Natalie's needle turn technique. I think every one on my table (except me) did it.

This was the bonus pattern from Janelle Wind. It is a journal cover and just looks so very like Janelle!

I really love Natalie Lymer's birds. Sooooooooooooooooo cute! I just had to take a photo of this because I really love the way it is quilted. It's just beautiful! I want to quilt like that when I grow up!

And this is my stitching. Wonder what I will use it for? A bag maybe?

Sunday 18 April 2010

Friday I stitched with Marg Low

It's been a big weekend. I am all stitched out. Let's start with Friday. I spent the day at the Patchwork Apple. A wonderful day in fact! I took dozens of photos, blurry photos, but this is the one I chose to show you. This is the bookmark I made. (AND finished!!!) I hardly ever finish something in a class so was really thrilled to have this finish. In fact I think we all had a finish. Joanna, Rhonda, Shontelle, Vicki, Pru and I. Marg Low is such a nice lady. We had a lovely time with her. She did a trunk show first (gosh her designs are just so beautiful!) and we all just ooooooohed and ahhhhhhhhed at her work. Then we sewed, ate lunch at the bakery, and sewed some more. The perfect day. Then I drove down the hill to Inspired Stitches. More on that later.

Friday 16 April 2010

A Week of Sighs

It has been one of those weeks. Okay, so not really. Nothing has really gone wrong and technically speaking the week has been just fine, but I have spent the week sighing a lot. Do you do that? Sometimes when I am sewing I start to sigh. Loudly. That usually marks the moment that it starts to be not so fun. Maybe I'm tired, or doing some kind of repetitive sewing and despite the fact that I am completely in love with sewing and I want to do it every moment of every day, I am over it. Well I got over this week some time on Tuesday night I think. It feels like Sunday night to me right now, but it's only Thursday. (I know the post says Friday, but that's only because it is after midnight. I haven't managed to get to sleep yet so to me it is still Thursday night.) Even the fact that I have the most exciting weekend in history ahead of me is not cheering me up. It starts Friday morning (I know! A weekend that starts Friday morning should be amazing, right?) at the Patchwork Apple. I am booked in to a class with Marg Lowe. After the class I am off to Quilt Fabric Delights' Inspired Stitches. A weekend of stitching and fun. A couple of designers will be there, but I am looking forward particularly to Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches. It should be amazing. You've seen her blog, right? But I'm still feeling very ho hum about the whole thing. I've lost my zing I think. Hmm....... better get some sleep.

Oh, and as well as monsters we made donuts this week too. Not sure why we made donuts, but we did. Someone who commented on the monsters post requested a monster tutorial. I thought that was a pretty good idea, so look out for a monster tutorial next week some time. (You really don't want me writing a tutorial when I am zingless. Hopefully I will locate some zing during my amazing weekend.) Have a great weekend!

Monday 12 April 2010

We got monsters!!!

Lots of them!!! We spent today making monsters. Me, Mrs 25, Miss 17, Mr 15, Miss 13 and Mr 9. Mrs 25 is a softie expert and had us all sewing like crazy! They are prizes for the sideshows at Miss 17's birthday. We are planning to sew more later in the week. Soooooooo much fun!!!

Friday 9 April 2010

Inspired by James May

Miss 13's lego house. I love school holidays!

Pancakes in the holidays

A top hat, a star, and a squiggle. Miss 13 made these pancakes (as well as the traditional circular variety) today. I am loving the school holidays! Miss 13 is the only one at school this year (Mr 9 and Mr 15 are being homeschooled) but I guess I am missing her creativity. She loves school, but by the end of the term is starved of being creative and the holidays are an orgy of creativity! She started out with lego building (Sparked by last Friday night's "James May's Toy Stories" on SBS where he built a Lego house large enough to live in. We have really been enjoying this tv series. Such a joy!) and has progressed to cutting up clothing and repurposing it. Right now some old jeans are being turned into a pinafore. What a week! So glad there is another week of holidays to go!