Sea Turtle

1/23/2011 11:49:00 AM Edit This 15 Comments »
Critter number three is finished!  It is a sea turtle made of felt and cotton.  Everything but the head is felt, and the head is a cotton print.  He measures about 7 inches, stem to stern.  There were some definite challenges in his construction, but all in all, he wasn't very difficult to make. 

The pattern stitching on the top shell was a bit tricky.  Part of the problem was finding something to use to mark the pattern that would show up on the felt.  The fuzziness of the material rendered my usual fabric marking tools useless.  I considered basting the whole pattern by hand with a single strand of sewing thread, but decided that since the zig-zag stitching was so narrow and fine, I would have a devil of a time either completely covering the basting with the machine stitching or removing it later without disturbing the sewn pattern.  I tried one of my Prismacolor pencils, but no luck.  I ended up using a pastel pencil which I licked from time to time to make it leave a relatively bright, white, line ... (sorry for the yuck factor, but  the truth is not always pretty).  Once I had that done, making the other body parts was a snap. 

Now came the really hard part..... assembling it.  Here the problem was the thickness I had to sew through.   There were 4 layers of felt to get through for each leg and also the tail.  Since the sewing had to be done so close to the edge (leaving little tolerance for error), and since it had to be done by machine in order to maintain some semblance of the shell pattern, it wasn't easy and I'm not completely satisfied with the results, but I'm leaving it as it is.  I don't really think I can improve on it with my current skills and tools.  And besides, continuous ripping out of seams renders the felt pretty worn and used looking.

Now one last thing.  Logically this turtle should have its hanging filament (I'm using clear fishing line) in the center of the top shell.  But, if you're a baby on your back looking up at it, the sight would be pretty boring.  So, I'm thinking I'll hang it by the nose or by the tail.  That way as it spins, all sides will be visible.  What do you think?  Good idea or not?  Here's 3 views - top, side, and bottom to help you make up your mind.

15 comments:

Vicki Holdwick said...

I love him, Nancy,

I think I would hang him by his tail so he appears to be looking at the person looking up.

I can't wait to see these in person.

xoxo

Cynthia Eloise said...

adorable. can't wait to see them all hanging. yes, your idea about hanging is right on. makes perfect sense.

Martine said...

Great job ! And I agree with Vicki, I would hang him by his tail ! Well done §

Tracy Swartz said...

Wow Nancy! Your animals are wonderful! I agree with Vicki and would hang him by the tail so he's peering down. :)

Sandy in Michigan said...

I agree with the above comments -- hang him by the tail. Then maybe it would look like he/she was holding its arms open for a big hug. Love the flowers on the head!

Shirley said...

Love him! This is going to be some mobile!

EVA said...

He is wonderful!! This is shaping up to be one fabulous mobile!!

Lucky baby!

Cathy Holtom said...

I think you grandchild will be entranced, so many things to look at and such an original gift.

marancat said...

I love the patterned head. You have made a great job of this and I think you are right about the hanging - it would be such a shame if the baby could not appreciate your handiwork on the shell!

AutumnLeaves said...

Another vote for hanging by the tail. He is exquisite!

. said...

Oh Nancy, he is just too cute, and I think my favourite (well, they are all cute). I like the mixture of different fabrics you used. Wow, this mobile is really coming along, cant wait to see next water creature you will come up with. Well, done!!!

Sandra said...

Very cute!

Alex said...

You've done beautiful work on this little green guy. I love turtles =) And you've brought the cuteness of them to the max

Barbara said...

Such a great turtle! I really like this one the best of them all (so far).

idcoach said...

I love this - and interesting to know that the turtle in native american teachings is about honoring your creativity. I think your project is really creative.