Monday, May 15, 2017

Making a Stuffed Flamingo for a Nursery

     We are joyfully expecting a second baby grand-daughter, and I wanted to make something for her. She is due the end of June, the first child for our Jacksonville Beach son and his wife. So, they won't need crocheted or knitted blankets anytime soon or a cozy little cocoon like the one I made for our Georgia grand-daughter, born in March and now a feisty, happy two year old.

     So, I looked at sewing patterns and was thrilled to find one that includes a stuffed flamingo. Why thrilled, you ask? Well, when I had asked the planned nursery decor, the mom sent me a link to some Etsy flamingo wall art prints she had chosen and said that the walls would be pale aqua, accented with accessories in the pinks and corals found in the prints. So, for our little Florida girl, this seemed perfect and fit the nursery theme. I used soft cotton flannel with a white felt face. The flamingo can sit (in various poses, I've discovered) on the nursery book shelf until she is old enough to play with it.

     This project was different from any sewing I have done for a long time--not at all like making clothes. There were a number of small pieces and many steps. But the instructions were clear, and I worked slowly and carefully. The pattern called for "safety eyes"; I needed a store expert's help figuring out what that meant. They are a smart idea although a bit tricky to put in. The wings and legs were stuffed before they were attached. Stuffing the rest, however, was a real challenge. It was quite difficult to push puffs of stuffing all the way from the opening left in the back through the relatively narrow neck and into the beak and head. So, it was with a real sense of accomplishment that I presented the gift. They love it, and the nursery is almost done--it's truly lovely.

     The pattern, Simplicity #1082, also includes a giraffe and hippo. The hippo looks like it might be a bit easier than the other two. Might give that a try one of these days, building on what I've learned from wrestling with this bird.

Question of the day: Do you enjoy making gifts using an art or craft you pursue? What has been one of your most satisfying gift projects?