it’s time to make the squirrels, stitching expressive creature eyes and wool stuffing in the shop

little stuffed squirrels and whale ornaments on my work table

It is time to make all the little things, the little gift and ornament things. It is officially time. For those of you less procrastinatey than me it is way past time, I know you are out there, you organized types who start in June. Maybe I’ll turn over a new leaf this year, I would love to be done making my Christmas stuff by Thanksgiving.

little hand stitched squirrel

little stuffed wool squirrel

forest folk sewing pattern


Today I’m making very little squirrels, and thoughtful whales. This squirrel is just the right size for somebody’s pocket. He looks very happy in there.

get the forest folk pattern

stuffed wool squirrel in my pocket

He is a relentlessly happy little fellow.

whale ornament eye

For most of my small creatures I make the eyes the same way, a disorganized little cluster of stitches (you can see how I hide my knots here). On wool I use embroidery thread so it shows but on cotton I like the subtlety of sewing thread. And I find the less I think about the placement of the stitches the better, the more expressive the eyes turn out. This little whale has things on his mind.

squirrels and whales on my work table

adjusting stuffing placeement with a large needle

I stuff all the little folks and creatures with the loveliest wool stuffing. I spend a lot of time stuffing things, getting it just right and almost always fine tune the shape from the outside with a big needle.

Have you tried wool stuffing? it is all I use and I’ve added it to the shop in 4 ounce packs – that’s enough wool for lots of little creatures.

Are you sewing for the holidays? What’s on your worktable?

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  1. Wool stuffing is the best! It’s the only thing i’ll use for my stuffed toys.

  2. I love your little squirrel and friends! I’ve had the patterns for a number of years, but hadn’t thought about making them for Christmas ornaments!

    Wool stuffing is the best!

  3. I love the squirrel and rabbit pattern and have made both. They are hanging on my Christmas tree that stays up year round. I try to be ahead of the season — usually working on Halloween in April, working on Christmas in July, and working on chicks and bunnies somewhere in between. But it is hard to stay on track as I am easily distracted by new ideas and unfinished items that need to be cleared from the work area (preferably in a completed state). I understand procrastination.

  4. This type of stuffing is not available in California, was told at Joanne’s it was prohibited here. Hemostats, large and small are the best tools for stuffing toys, especially small parts of bodies, i.e.heads, fingers, feet, etc.

    • I’m in California and I’ve bought wool roving and used it for stuffing–totally legal!

  5. Jane Plant

    How firmly do you stuff your owls? I was amazed at the amount of stuffing I could get inside one. It is very firmly stuffed! I also decided your small was still a little larger than I wanted. I’ve reduced it to 80% and hope it isn’t too small to make work.

  6. Joanne e. Brown

    I tried my hand at making a bird. It came out pretty good. Now to make more and increase the dimensions.

  7. I have been working on the squirrels and rabbits and just finished a squirrel in flannel, forest green plaid. I enjoy the pattern so much. Going to start on a rabbit today, wish I had the wool stuffing.

  8. Super cute. I also use wool stuffing, it’s the best. Your work has a charming and original look to it that I find quite intriguing.

  9. Actually….. I applaud your procrastination, Ann! I long ago gave up trying to make Christmas presents in the heat of summer. I’m just can’t muster up the Christmas vibe if it’s pre-season. ;-}. Besides, a big part of the fun for me is listening to Christmas music, looking at the cozy lights, & breathing in the seasonal smells while I’m making stuff. I just pulled out my elegant rag doll I made at the LA workshopthis past spring and am working on a Christmas outfit for her. So.Darned.Fun. And I can’t wait to get my hands on some of that wonderful wool stuffing — thanks for adding it to your shop! P.S. That pocket squirrel? Ohmygoodness, adorbs.

  10. Sally Anderson

    I am 81 and have sewn since six yrs old. Today is first time I’ve seen your work. It’s totally magical. I have many great grandchildren. Do you offer a book with patterns/instructions?

    • Delores Rosebrock

      I am trying to find where to buy the bird patterns?! And a tutorial for make ng them. Hat is the stiffining for the bird tails?- also – price of these items?- thank you . Delores

    • Delores Rosebrock

      I am trying to find where to buy the bird patterns?! And a tutorial for making them. What is the stiffining for the bird tails?- also – price of these items?- thank you . Delores

  11. TURICHI michele


    je viens de découvrir votre site car je suis à la recherche de patron pour faire un écureuil

    pouvez me dire comment faire q,q

    donnez vous vos patrons?

    merci pour votre attention à mon message

  12. Vera Lopez

    Seu trabalho é divino!Parabéns!
    Como conseguir moldes dos esquilos?AMEI

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