With these short, dark days suddenly upon us again, I decided I needed a little saturated color in my life. So...I looked around and found these scrap bags from Anna Marie Horner. Which certainly did the trick, and they turned out to be perfect for this project because I got a nice variety of coordinated prints to work with. I wanted the balls to be a bit more substantial so lined each section with heavy muslin, using a machine zig-zag stitch around the edges to hold the layers together. It worked pretty good, but I might try using an iron-on stabilizer next time. I've found that lining the fabric helps soft toys hold their shape; important if children are actually going to play with them, as they will undoubtedly get squished and squashed and eventually tossed into the washer. These two balls happen to be presents for the 'sandbox crowd' in the family. Namely, my two darling "grand-dotties". (I've since gotten a request for another, so I'm working on it now as a surprise for a certain someone.) Cloth balls are pretty easy and can be made in any size. Patterns for them have been around for ages -- for convenience sake, I used the (medium size) template offered here though.
Naturally, I couldn't resist putting a little embroidery on them either. I'm sure you must know by now -- if you've been following this blog for any length of time -- that nothing is safe from my embroidery needle around here. Besides, it's nice to have your own and know whose is whose, and since these are going to reside with sisters, it just makes sense in order to keep the peace. So they've been personalized. This monogram pattern is one of my favorites--the little flowers are very sweet and fun to do. The initial is worked using a satin-stitch, in chocolate brown. Yum. Pretty on the candy pink background, a scrap from my own stash. For the other ball, I traced the design from cute Japanese embroidery book and added letters to spell out the name, using the yarn ball as the "O". Used a red transfer pen for that. I'm still swooning over that book, trying to find ways to use more of the designs.
While I'm at it; must mention sweet piggy here. Grace made it -- used the pattern from this book again--with her own spin. She stitched this entirely by hand in just a few evenings. Loving those hamhocks. There is just something so intrinsically *right* about pink polka dot pigs. I think this one deserves a little shelf space.
OK. Without further ado, (I love saying that) the winner of the embroidery pattern give-away#1 is "shy" Arlene. (hee hee) Congratulations, my dear! Please contact me with your shipping info and I'll get your prizes on their way lickety-split.