Monday, December 5, 2011

On a Whim(sie)

As excited as we are about Bert's first Christmas, we are keeping his present pile small (read: present pile, not present mountain). A couple toys, a book, a stocking full of baby food, that about sums it up. Besides, he's bound to get spoiled by his grandparents and great-grandparents, so we figured we can keep it pretty low key. That and he doesn't have a clue what's going on.

I did, though, want to make him a whimsie ball. Ever heard of them? It's a fabric ball made up of stuffed, roughly triangular, pillows. I've made a few for friends and babies, and even one with catnip for a cat, using a pattern my mom has had around for years. (The pattern has a 1988 copyright on it so I'm not sure how widely available it is anymore, but here is a link to a site where you can buy it if you are interested.) Since Bert is getting more mobile and has quite a grip, I thought he might enjoy a ball he could get his hands on.

After I had the pieces cut out and sewn together (using leftover terry cloth from his changing table cover and some other fabric I had around), it was time to stuff each pillow. Bert loves a little fabric book he has with crinkly, noisy pages and I wanted to get that same effect in the whimsie ball. I was kind of stumped for awhile as to what I could use. Then Keith was eating chips out of the bag one night and I couldn't hear the tv over the crinkling bag and a light bulb clicked. So I saved and washed a few chip, cracker, and cereal bags, then cut them into trips and stuffed about half of the pillows for the ball.

I also wanted to incorporate a rattle so I saved two bottle caps, one slightly larger than the other so they fit together, and put a couple small buttons inside and taped them together.

Then I filled the remaining pillows with regular cotton batting, tucking the rattle into one. The next step was to sew all the pillows together. First you take three pillow and sew their points together, and then the tops.

You end up with four sections like the one you see above, and those get sewn together into the finished whimsie ball.

It wasn't exactly a quick project, but I do enjoy making whimsie balls. I'm excited about how it turned out and hope Bert enjoys it. And if he doesn't, at least it didn't cost me anything since I was able to dig everything I needed out of my craft closet!

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