As you missed out on the progress photos of Lady Eleanor being made, I thought you'd enjoy seeing this video. It's a slide show of the making of Eleanor, from start to finish.
It's been a pleasure to have been instrumental is bring Lady Eleanor to life and I look forward to meeting the next bear. I'm sure they will have an interesting tale to tell.
Since I last spoke to you the bear has been given a name, meet Barnie.
Having made several quilts and cushions from shirts, I know that one shirt can go a long way. When I was asked if I could make a bear, I asked if they also wanted a cushion making if there was enough leftover. As the answer was yes, I made sure that I cut out the pieces as economically as I could. I started with the sleeves, used the back and then just the top section of the fronts.
I don't know about you, but not only are buttons important, labels hold a fascination too. Some are just too attractive to throw away. I asked about the label, and yes, they wanted to keep it too. I've removed it from inside the shirt and hand stitched it to his back once he'd been stuffed. He's been finished with a beautiful bow in matching ribbon.
As I wanted to keep the pocket and I wanted to use the buttons as the fastening. I stitched the two fronts together at the side seams to form one piece and then some creativity was required. I needed to fill the gap where the sleeves had been removed. Using off cuts, I patched these areas and used a decorative stitch to applique them in place. Due to the pattern of the fabric, these areas are not immediately obvious, and once quilted and the cushion is made up, you only find these sections by accident or if you're looking for them.
A cushion insert was made to fit inside and now Bernie can rest comfortably with his cushion. It felt so cruel packing him up to go in the post. If he was going somewhere closer, I would have happily hand delivered him.
Here is a slide show video so you can see Bernie as he comes together from beginning to end.
I love it when I get a message to tell me that something special is coming in the post. Seeing as this one came from France, it was here in pretty quick time. Inside the package was one very special shirt.
The shirt is being used to make a memory bear. This one is quite poignant for me as this belonged to a gentleman that died around the same time as my mum. The shirt has been treasured and kept safe in a drawer for seventeen years. It's a real privilege to have been asked to make it into a bear that will take pride of place.
He's not quite finished, but here's a video I did on Facebook yesterday. He's going to be finished over the weekend and I'll show him off properly next week.
The second bear has been made from the leftover white and blue shirs. It means, it's the same as mum and dad's cushion.
Second time around, the bear wash much easier to make, and he looks so different from the first. Each one seems to take on their on identity and character.
Both the bears spend their days sitting in grandad's chair, which the girls have in their bedroom. It's their special place.
After the family, had been given their cushions and bears, a request came in for another cushion. This is to be for the nephew. Back to the shirts to work out a suitable arrangement.
This one has gone to the youngest member of the family, and for her and her sister, we've decided to do something a little different. This time, it's memory bears. I've used two contrasting shirts, and we've even managed to keep the pocket from one of the shirts. I just love the tail.
For these, I've used a pattern from How Joyful and have a license to make and sell these. This was the first one I did and is full of character. The second one, has turned out slightly different, but will show you that one, after some more cushions.
I have had a lifelong love of crafts which started with being taught how to knit at a very young age. It didn't take long to realise that great joy and satisfaction came from making things. Even now, I get a thrill seeing something that started just as an idea, becoming a finished product, whether I make it, or teach someone else how to make it.