Time to catch up with my blog posting. Last week, in addition to some quilting that I was doing on my own, I had some fun with my sewing students. They had been begging to make some stuffed animals, and of course, I needed to come up with something different for the repeat students. I have a range of ages and skills, as always, my projects need to work for everyone. Three of the kids sewed with me last year and, as their instructor, I want to push their skills and see how much further they can go with new projects. However, my youngest student is a true beginner who is so proud of himself each week that you just can’t help but smile!!
A sock animal is always fun and I looked at Pinterest to get some general ideas. I have to say, I couldn’t find turkeys, but challenge accepted. I designed a rather strange looking turkey but I knew that my kids would jazz it up and make it their own. While it is tempting for me to spend hours making my own creative animal, I never want my samples to be too perfect, or too fancy. I consider it a success if my projects are looked at for the technique and not for my specific ideas.
This project required socks, easy-to-cut-felt, fiberfil stuffing, old buttons, fabric glue and our machines. To fix anything loose so that all the animals could go home that day, I brought my glue gun as well. Given the ages of the kids, and the strong heat of my glue gun, I did any touchup glueing that was needed. I keep wanting to get a cool glue gun and until I do, no children will use my extraordinarily hot one.
A quick trip to Amazing Savings for some inexpensive, colorful and wild socks and I had plenty of choices for everyone. Naturally, these kids didn’t disappoint and everyone loved choosing a fun sock and especially stuffing them. Some of the kids understood how to incorporate the sock heel into the design of the animal face. The student who made the pink owl below actually used a zigzag stitch for the first time. I loved listening to her explain it to a classmate. “I just changed this button here and then it sewed back and forth like this.”
This lesson had a limited amount of sewing, just closing up the head, but even that was not as easy as it looked. Some of us had turkeys and owls that were too fat to fit under the sewing machine. While some had animals that were too skinny and needed more stuffing. This project was a chance for everyone to go at their own pace and make something fun that could go home and start the Thanksgiving mood. While the older boys sewed the button eyes on their projects, the younger kids “cheated” a bit and used fabric glue. By the end of the year, everyone will need to sew a button in the class, but we can get there slowly. Even professional quilters and tailors use fabric glue once in awhile, so I think it’s just fine.
Several kids commented that you can really make almost anything with a sock, which thrilled me. I wouldn’t be surprised if some odd socks are turned into little creatures in their spare time.