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June 2003
Pink Squirrel for Jim
About the Squirrel
06.02.03
Jim's Squirrel
Here's the squirrel I made for Jim for his birthday on Friday. He's made out of felt and fuschia (front) and maroon (back) felt at that. Why not brown? These colors were snazzier than the browns I had on hand. There's something so satisfying about working with felt. I love to super saturated colors and the sewing machine needle going through has an ineffable oomph. See below for how I made it. I've got more felt ideas brewing.

Intro
Here's the pink felt squirrel I made my friend Jim for his birthday. He's got some special bond with squirrels. He's a squirrel kind of guy. The finsihed squirrel is about 8"x8".

Materials

  • fuschia felt
  • maroon felt
  • brown felt
  • tan felt
  • fuschia thread
  • black embroidery floss
  • fiberfill

Tools

  • sharp scissors
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • needle
  • knitting needle

1.
I sketched the squirrel shape with a Sharpie. I used the Sharpie for three reasons:
1. I love Sharpies.
2. I tend to simplify my drawing when I draw with Sharpies - a good thing when making pillow type stuffed animals.
3. Sharpie lines are dark enough that I can lay another piece of paper over the first to trace and refine the shape. It took about 6 drawings to get the shape I wanted.

2.
I enlarged the sketch on my copier a tad and cut it out. Here it is pinned on the felt I was going to use. I had brown felt, but the color was too blah for Jim. I used fuschia for the top layer, and dark red/maroon for the bottom layer. I had enough fuschia for both, but thought the two-tone was more interesting.

3.
I cut through the two layers. Felt shows every uneasy cut, so if you're trying to make something like this, try to cut with confident strokes. You can always trim down, but it's slightly tricky.

I modified the shape by keeping part of the tail connected to the squirrel's back. I though that if I separated it, it would flop down.

4.
Here's the cut felt with the face added. I embroidered the fuschia layer with black floss. I used a satin stitch for the eyes and a chain stitch for the mouth.

As you can see, the ears are missing. I didn't want ears to be two layers thick, just the maroon felt. I could have just cut off the fuschia layer's ears, but I thought that they would stick up better if they were sewn between the two layers.

5.
So, I sewed the two layers together with fuschia thread. The white ears show where I positioned the ears cut from the maroon felt. I sewed along the edge with about 1/8" seam allowance - all but the two areas between the white dots. The white dots on the tail made the gap to stuff the tail, the two at the bottom allowed me to stuff the body. First, I stuffed the paws and foot (using a knitting needle to get the stuffing in those small corners), then the head then the body and tail. These animals use a small amount of fiberfill. If you use too much, it'll be too puffy making the felt wrinkle and the animal less recognizable.

6.
I then sewed up the holes and made the acorn. Sewing up the holes isn't too tough, because it's not very puffy. Just make sure to have the seams line up.

The acorn. and it's cap are made with two layers of felt unstuffed. The stem was sewn between the two layers or the cap, like the squirrel's ears.

And there you have it! A pink, felt birthday squirrel.

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