Of all the Art Gallery projects I’ve done… this one is my favorite. I’ve really, really liked other ones… but I love this one because he was made especially for my son, who loves things that crinkle.
I love sewing, and it can be hard to find fun projects to make for boys. This bunny can be made for a boy, girl, or even made neutral, depending on the fabrics you use.
For this project, you’ll need:
Scrap Yardage and Fat Quarters of your favorite Art Gallery Fabrics
3/4 Yard for the backing
Empty Baby Wipes bag (yes, really)
Standard sewing supplies – sewing machine, needle, thread, pins, rotary cutter, etc.
(all sewing uses a 1/4″ seam unless otherwise noted)
I started by making my ears. I picked fabric for the front and back of my ears, and grabbed my wipes bag. The wipes bag makes a great crinkle sound, perfect for a baby toy. I cut the sides and seam to flatten the wipes bag, and removed the plastic cover to make it easy to cut. I folded it in half and cut the ear shape – cutting two identical shapes at the same time. If you have an extra baby wipes bag, you can cut two shapes for each ear to get some extra crinkle.
I put my two ear fabrics right-sides-together, and placed my crinkle ear right on top. If you are using two layers, just layer them on top of each other. Pin in place and sew all the way around. Then trim off the excess with pinking shears close to the seam – but make sure you don’t cut your stitching! The pinking shears remove excess bulk to give you a smoother curve on the finished ear.
Turn each ear right-side-out through the hole in the bottom, finger press, and top stitch 1/8″ away from the edge.
To start the body – cut your fabric into 2″ strips. If you’re using full yardage, cut the strips in half to make shorter strips, which will give you more variety. If you’re using fat quarters, you can omit this step. I used a mix, so I cut my long strips, and left the short ones. I used at least 2 strips of each fabric.
I wanted a very random, patchwork look, without the work of stitching tons of little squares… here is my scrappy-without-the-work technique:
Sew your strips into pairs. Then sew your pairs together to make sets of 4 strips. Press your seams. Cut your strip sets to 2″ wide. Lay them out.
Now mix up your strip sets and stitch them in pairs, and then the pairs together to make 16-patch squares. You need 9 of these 16-patch squares.
Stitch your 9 squares together into 3 rows of 3. Then stitch the 3 rows together into one large square. Looks scrappy – but a whole lot less work!
To make the head, I traced the mouth of a red plastic cup onto the back of the fabric I selected for the face, and cut about 1/4″ larger than my line. I placed the circle at one corner of my scrappy fabric, and sewed down on the line I had drawn, then cut away the excess with pinking shears.
I flipped it right side out, and top-stitched the head down.
Time to put this bunny together! I found a clean patch of floor. Well, mostly clear of toys… I put my backing fabric right-side-up. I placed my scrappy fabric with bunny head right-side-down. I added the batting in a later step, but it would be a good idea to lay the batting down under the backing fabric, and cut it all out at the same time.
Cut all the way around the bunny, cutting carefully around the head.
Pin all the sides together, through all 3 layers (batting, backing, top). Fold the base of the bunny ears into thirds to get a “fuller” looking ear, then pin your bunny ears in place, with the ears pointing into the neck, and just the raw edges pointing out, to get stitched into place. Make sure that the back of the ears are touching the backing fabric, so that your ears will be pointed in the right direction.
Stitch all the way around using a 1/4″ seam, through all 3 layers (top, back, batting) and leaving a hole on one side for turning. Turn the bunny right side out through this hole.
Fill the bunny head with stuffing or leftover batting scraps until he is as full as you would like.
Lay the bunny flat, and pin the edges. I pin only when I really have to – but in this case I really have to. To get the edges to look just perfect, I pinned all the way around to hold the layers into place. Then I topstitched all the way around the body, about 1/8″ away from the edge.
The last step was to quilt the body. Without quilting, the bunny blanket isn’t washable. I used a cross-hatch for interest, but stitch-in-the-ditch or free-motion would work as well. I had a helper who didn’t want to wait for the quilting to be done to play with his new toy…
He is a big fan of his new bunny!