This Velveteen Rabbit was once part of a homemade Velveteen Skirt of mine.
If you want one of your own Sally who blogs at The Objects of Design has a wonderful tutorial.
And this Velveteen Rabbit also came from my Velveteen Skirt.
If you want to make one of your own I found a tutorial at Purl Soho.
You may or may not have seen all of the bunnies I previously made but here's some of them. I now have them all together in a quilt top. That is the part of this process that went improv.
I knew I wanted the Velveteen Rabbit to be the last rabbit in the quilt (which was supposed to be baby quilt sized but more on that later). I knew I wanted to use up the neutral 2.5 and 1.5 sized pieces I had leftover from making bunnies. I knew I wanted bunnies to be staggered, not all in a row. I knew I wanted bunnies randomly facing different directions. And, I don't normally lay all blocks out on a floor and I don't have a design wall (that's an old cutting mat covered with a piece of batting I prop up to take pics) so I kind of put things together as I go and don't look back. I know myself well enough to know if I had a design wall or I lay things out I move things around waaaaaay too much, am never happy and then never get anything done. So....
I just took six bunnies and started putting them together for the third row as you see above. Yes, I started with the third row. I figured if in some fashion I added two 1.5 strips and one 2.5 strip to the top and bottom of each rabbit in a random fashion and then added a 2.5 or 1.5 between rabbits I would end up with somewhat even rows. I did not measure strip before I sewed them to the rabbit blocks - I just sewed and cut.
Then I made the fourth row in the same fashion with Velveteen Rabbit the last block.
And then, as the story unfolds...you can see row three and four sewn together. And, if I had laid blocks out on the floor ahead of time or put them on a design wall those two teal bunnies would not be one on top of the other. But they are. And that's fine. (Type A side of me - don't look. Cover your eyes with the improv hat).
And then row two hooked up with rows three and four.
And before you knew it...there were four rows.
And remember...I didn't square anything up as I went...I just sewed and cut and sewed and cut and sewed. And, guess what...when I got to the very last row - the top row - I noticed that one side of the row was quite a big longer than the other side. Hmmmm....well, I hadn't noticed that the bunnies I sewed after I got my new sewing machine (gifted to me by myself for my very recent birthday) and didn't move the needle over quite right for 1/4 inch seam were a little bigger than the oldest bunnies I sewed on my old sewing machine that had a perfect 1/4 inch seam. So, I kind of lined up both ends and folded in half and just kind of cut the bottom of the row so sides were even. See that spot at the top where I whacked that is just shouting "look at me"? (Type A part of me...don't look).
And then guess what...there was about a 1 5/8 inch difference between one side of the quilt and the other side. The darned quilt was way out of alignment because I hadn't measured and squared and measured and squared as I went and I had some big bunnies and some smaller ones - blocks I hadn't squared up and I used scissors to cut strips off instead of cutting precise pieces to sew to top and bottom and in between blocks. So, I measured and calculated and cut precise 2.5 inch scrappy pieces and added them to the bottom and top and sides of the entire quilt. And it was even all around. And it became bigger than it started out to be (about 42 x 60) but it is still baby quilt sized if you ask me.
And as the Skin Horse said to the Velveteen Rabbit:
"But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
And then I put on my Improv hat and made some letters and then there were the words "GET REAL" ready to go with the fabric I'll use for the backing. (Disregard that stray thread or is it a stray hare? )
"Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter.”
And that's the rest of the story about how an old homemade Velveteen skirt became Velveteen Rabbits and quilt top ready for some hand quilting love (after I piece together some batting and finish a few other hand quilting projects.)
When all is said and done this will be a quilt and toy for the hope chest for a future (very far into the future) great grandchild I may or may not get to know. Oh, and I hope to find the Velveteen Rabbit book around here to put with it too. If not I guess I'll have to buy one.
This is how I improv (improvise).
What about you?
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