I spent some time over the weekend finishing things up for the Autumn Arts and Fun Fest at the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center in Canton. The event will be this Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm and will include, “a boutique selection of New England crafters, a professional storyteller, hayrides, live animals, pumpkin painting, fall treats and fun for the entire family.” I am not one to sit behind a table at a craft fair, but this one is great because someone else will do that part!
On Thursday I am dropping off fish and birds, along with these little mice.
These mice are quick and fun to make, and use up some of those little scraps of wool felt that are leftover from other projects. I decided to write up the pattern in case you would like to make some yourself. The holidays are right around the corner, you know.
To make a mouse you’ll need:
- 9″ x 12″ piece of light gray wool-blend felt (I get mine here.)
- 6″ x 6″ piece of dark gray felt
- small scrap of pink felt
- 8″ length of 1/8″ wide satin ribbon
- 2 small black beads for eyes (or embroider the eyes with satin stitch)
- fiberfill stuffing, 2 ounces
- coordinating all-purpose thread
- glue stick
- optional: a craft knife for cutting the ear slits.
Download the pattern templates here and print them out. Note that a seam allowance has been added where it’s needed. Cut on the outer line and sew on the inner line.
1. From light gray felt cut 2 side bodies. From dark gray felt cut one underbody and two ears. From pink felt cut two inner ears. Cut the ear slits on the side body (a craft knife is great for this!).
2. Use glue stick to put a dab of glue on the base of each pink inner ear and press them to the outer ears. Fold ears in half lengthwise.
3. Insert base of ear into slit on one side body. Pin in place. With gray thread, sew across slit, catching ear in seam. Repeat for other ear.
4. Fold the ribbon into a loop. Place the loop on one side body and baste the ends to the body where marked on the pattern piece.
5. Sew underbody to one side body from A to B. Repeat for other side body, leaving a 1” gap for turning and stuffing and being sure to trap the ribbon in the seam.
6. Sew around remainder of mouse. Clip curves. Turn and stuff firmly. Sew opening closed with ladder stitch.
7. Use black thread to sew beads in place for eyes. Hang your ornament!
*Please note this pattern is for personal use only.
I added an embroidered nose and used a cotton print for the ear lining on these mice. The eyes are felt circles.
This morning I decided to visit the dump quickly after dropping Stella off at school. The dump is down the street from her school so it is very tempting to visit often. But today I came away with perhaps the best dump find ever. It certainly rivals the $250 Dansk pepper grinder I found last year.
I was walking past a table full of vases and three-ring binders (dump staples), when I spotted this box.
The obvious age of the box (a quick search after I got home revealed that RH Stearns Company was a thriving department store in Boston in the 1950’s, back in the days when department stores sold fabric…) gave me a clue that this might be something special.
I flipped the top of the box up quickly just to see what might be inside and then I just took the whole thing home. The great thing about the dump is you can take something home and check it out and then if you don’t end up wanting it, you can just take it back. But I’m not taking this back.
Here are some of the contents of the box. And it is very full.
This Audubon stationary box is full of perfectly cut feedsack hexagons and triangles.
And a little pamphlet from the 1940s from a chocolate company about quilting.
And the rest of the box has bigger scraps, pre-cut squares, and strips of triangles hand-sewn together with perfect neat stitches. The fabrics are wonderful.
A box to treasures. Oh yeah.
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mimi k says
You were the perfect person to find that box. Whoever left it was hoping for someone who would know what it was and appreciate it, just like you!
gorgeous find! how sad that it was thrown away, but wonderful it found you!
ooh! What fun! I’m sad there isn’t a transfer station where I live. They do curbside pickup and my apartment doesn’t offer recycling! I asked if there was somewhere I could bring it, but sadly the public isn’t allowed there. Where I grew up, we had a ‘dump’ with a Swap Shop, where you could paw through books and all kinds of things.
What an awesome find! Are you going to use the fabric in your projects, or hang onto it?
lu summers says
oh my. that is all.
I see a quilt in your future!
Julie Kirk says
I would have passed out [or worse] if I’d found that! Just wonderful!!
holy cow! what a wonderful find!
I have so many projects I can never finish them all. My wish is that some will end up where they will hopefully be found. Maybe I should leave your number amongst my goodies.
When you said it was the “best dump find ever,” I knew that it must be great! I can’t wait to see what you make from it.
Melissa Crowe says
WOW. It’s like the dump fairies left that box JUST FOR YOU!
And I’m going to make me some mouses, so we’re both having good luck today!
thanks for the show and tell…what a wonderfully perfect story!
Cathy A says
Wow! That is wonderful that you saved this treasure!
very lucky find indeed, and i know you will definitely make good use out of all that treasure. also, cute mice!
I just love this! I love to hear stories of things finding their rightful home and this is one.
How exciting! Doesn’t it hurt your heart a little bit to know it may have ended up in a pit of trash? So glad it was rescued by you. 🙂
Travis Ann Sherman says
Wanted to thank you for your cute mouse pattern, since I’ve been using the ten little mice in my storytime now for over two years. They’re perfected for acting out Mouse Counts by Ellen Walsh — not to mention Cinderella’s friends. Thanks!
Oh, wow, that warms my heart! Do you have any photos of them? I'd love to post them on the Abby Glassenberg Design Facebook page to give people ideas! If you do, or you can take one, would you email me abbyglassenberg at comcast dot net? Thanks!
The mouse pattern is just what I was looking for. I have a very old cat that plays hard for about 5 minutes a day. He sleeps the rest. I am making him a cat nip mouse with your pattern. Thanks again. The cat thanks you too :*)meow
I’m going to make the mice out of soft microfiber so they can be used to clean the screens of electronics. Christmas presents for all.
Pauline Perry says
How lovely to find such a treasure and I am happy that you found it and will appreciate it. Some people have said it is kind of sad to find something like that – I used to feel that way when I discovered a half done piece or work at a garage sale etc. or my club gets a donation from a deceased needlewoman and half finished projects are found in the box – but now I feel happy when I am able to use the donated fabric or finish the UFO in the way the donor was unable to do. It’s like helping someone out that can’t fulfill their plans for that fabric or that project. Call me weird but it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that the project is finished and not rotting in a landfill or something like it.
Hi, I was going to make the mice with my grandsons today and am confused about the underbody piece. It doesn’t match the contour of the side bodies and wasn’t sure how you attached it – whether you followed the curve of the body with the underbody? The shapes are very different. Appreciate any help! Thank you!
Yes, just ease the curve with the straight edge. If the length is the same they will match up. I hope that helps!
Tanya Hougham says
Hi there Abby! May I ask whether you stitched the body of the mice in ladder stitch throughout or did you use a swing machine?