My sister Sarah and I have been gone for the last two weeks on a 3,560 mile adventure from Nashville to Nebraska to North Dakota back to Nebraska and then home. We were able to see all 10 of other siblings, the majority of our nieces and nephews and celebrate our Mom’s birthday. We attended a huge Easter celebration, a soccer game of a great nieces and even took time for a movie. On top of seeing several of our loved ones we also got to eat at every one of our favorite places including getting an angel cream donut from a fuel station in a small town called Humphrey, NE. It was a successful trip.
This was our first trip to North Dakota. Our sister Deidre lives there with her husband and four children. We also have two brothers in that area and our parents recently moved there as well. We had never been to ND to visit so while we were in Nebraska we decided to make the trip.
Since we were visiting for the first time we wanted to take our three nephews and one niece a little something special. I love making things for children out of felt. It is a very versatile and forgiving medium. It doesn’t have sharp edges, no small pieces that can be eaten and it is pretty durable. Sarah and I decided on making Felt Monsters for the three boys. Deidre’s boys have trouble sleeping, they suffer from night terrors so she has to be really careful what they watch for TV and the stories they read. She also prays with them each night before they go to bed.
When we showed her the monsters we were going to make she suggested (or was it Kristal that suggested, I can’t remember) that we make them nightmare eating monsters. So our felt monsters became stuffed toys with a purpose.
Full disclaimer time, I did not create this monster pattern. I found it in a magazine, called Made In Felt. The pattern can be found in the Summer 2014 edition. This edition also has many other great things made from felt. The pattern is called Monster Mayhem and it was created by Louise Evans. Sarah and I picked the colors, added tattoos, ties and suspenders. Our monsters were made with each of our nephew’s favorite colors.
As hard as we tried we could not get all of the stitching done before we left so on our second evening in North Dakota Sarah got out the pieces to work on them. Immediately my nephew Mecklen was asking questions. What is that? Who are they for? How do they eat the nightmares? Are you going to get mine done tonight? While Sarah spent some time answering questions, I began work on sewing and stuffing Mecklen’s monster. It takes a little bit to sew around it so as I chatted with my Mom, I worked on the sewing. Every few minutes Mecklen would come in and ask if it was done. Finally after the fourth “progress report” was given, I had to threaten to go on strike if he didn’t stop asking me if I was done. He understood the situation and I didn’t see him again until I called his name. He was so excited to have his Monster. He hugged on it and was sure he was going to sleep well now that he had his monster. It was almost bed time so he ran off to get his PJ’s on so he could try it out.
Before leaving however Mecklen turned to Sarah and said, “Are you done with Donnie’s?” (Donovan is his older brother)
“No, not quite.” Sarah answered back.
Then Mecklen stated, “Are you going to work all night on it so you get it done.” I have to say both Sarah and I chuckled a little at this. Mecklen struck as a very concerned brother or a bit of a slave driver in a sweat shop. Sarah informed him that she would finish them tomorrow. With a look of concern in his sweet little face, Mecklen said “Okay.” and went on to bed.
The next morning as we were enjoying a cup of coffee and visiting with our parents in came two little boys. One looked spry and well rested and the other looked like he may have not slept at all. It was then that Mecklen informed us that his Nightmare Monster had worked well. He didn’t have any nightmares however Donnie did have nightmares since his monster was not done yet.
Well there is nothing like a good guilt trip over a cup of coffee to get you motivated to sew. After breakfast Sarah and I took up our needles like the cobbler’s elves and completed Donovan’s and Liam’s monsters before the next night. All of our stitching was worth the three smiles that greeted us the next morning.
If you are looking for something to make for kids try a felt anything; tea pot, garden, doll, animal or even play food for the pretend market. The possibilities are endless with felt.
Talk to you soon!