Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sidetracked

I strayed off the quilt road this week. In the town where I now work there is a charity second-hand bookshop so I like to pop in and see what's come in now and then to add to my extensive collection of craft books - yup, I buy books about crafts I don't even do, I just like the pictures.



Anyway, whilst I was there I picked up these books on making stuffed toys. And herein lies another tale (but it is part of the story of this post). When I was a small girl I had a friend who went on holiday every year to Budleigh Salterton in Devon, a very traditional, very posh, very English seaside resort. Every year she would buy from a little shop there, a delightful miniature mouse made of felt, with covered pipecleaner arms and a dress made of gathered silk ribbon. Let me tell you, I craved those mice, they were so tiny and so pretty, but they were obviously handmade, probably by someone local in Devon so I had no chance of having one myself. I also suspect that they might have been quite expensive and that I wouldn't have been able to afford one anyway.



I've never forgotten those little mice, and I've never seen a pattern for them, I've tried to make my own over the years but failed miserably. So when I bought these books I had a little look for any mice patterns and lo and behold - there were mice patterns in the Beatrix Potter book, but to be honest they looked a bit rat-like and evil, not what I was after at all. But ... in the Jean Greenhowe book, Favourite Toys, was just the thing I was looking for - a little mouse made of felt. I made a few alterations to the dress to make it more gathered and to add a shawl or a collar but the basic pattern was fine. At almost 3 inches tall they are probably a bit bigger than the ones I remember from my childhood, but I think it's the closest I'm going to get (and anyway, I couldn't be bothered with pipecleaner arms). What I like most about the pattern is that they have such nice smiley faces. And for someone who doesn't do much handsewing, making them is getting quite addictive.

12 comments:

Marcie said...

Those mice are adorable! I can see how you would fall in love with them! The craft books look darling also.

gwen said...

I like the dresses of the mice, very much Laura Ashley! So tiny and yet so detailed. Well done!

anne bebbington said...

Sweet!!!

Meredith said...

I love the mice. I think I may need to acquire Jean Greenhowe's book. The flowers you added are daring.

Shelina said...

Fiona, these are adorable little mice. Very posh with their fancy dresses too! I can easily see how you got sidetracked from the quilting.

Joanne said...

How beautiful your mice are. So adorable, and so tiny!

paula, the quilter said...

I get sidetracked into crafts sometimes too. I think your little mice are adorable.

Ali Honey said...

3 Not blind Mice. 3 Cute mice. I love working in felt and used to make embroidered hexagon balls before quilting got me. I still have all the necesssaries for making them so may make some more one day. I think I made 16 in all. It's all creative and it doesn't always have to be quilts so go for it. Enjoy!

teodo said...

Your mice are beautiful and their dresses very nice. ciao ciao

Lois R. said...

OMG! They are adorable! You did a great job on them. They do look like something from a very posh gift store! They are just the sort of thing I would have envied as a kid too!

Clare said...

They are the Two Bad Mice, but with smiles, and they have brought along a companion. Did I notice Little Grey Rabbit amongst that lot?

Jeanne said...

They are adorable! It's funny how some memories from our childhood stay with us. I get sidetracked sometimes, too.