Gifts That Tie Generations Together

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed Menagerie

BuschN animals01webNancy Busch wanted something a little different from her mink fur coats.  She wanted a Monkey, a Pony and a Dog–so that is what we made!

People often ask about the patterns I use and, with my bears, it is complicated because the patterns are an amalgamation of several patterns that I combined and then, those patterns have morphed over the past 16 years as I adapted them to work with every kind of material thrown my way :)  However, I don’t get to do different animals that often in an average year so I usually use an existing pattern.

BuschN monkey01webThis was the first time I’ve used this monkey pattern.  I normally like to use the monkey pattern from the book Adventures in Toy-Making by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith (published in 1976).  It is a fun pattern and I like the look.  However, there was a pattern in another book I have Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals by Donna Childers (published in 1978) that has had me intrigued for some time so I decided to give it a try.  It is a more difficult pattern, but I do like that the features are more defined.  The face, ears, foot and hand pads are made of doe suede.  It had the right texture to go with this fur.


BuschN pony01webThis pony pattern is also found in Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals.  It is my favorite for thicker fabrics or fur usually.  There is another really good pony pattern in the book Easy-to-Make Stuffed Animals & All the Trimmings by Jodie Davis (published in 1992) but the legs are somewhat thin so they don’t work as well with thick fur or fabrics.  For this pony, I chose to add some of my own contrast black mink on the hooves and found some died black fox for the main and tail.  To help him stand, I did sink small dowel rods wrapped in poly fiber fill into each of his legs


BuschN dog01webFor the dog, I have a lot of different dog patterns to choose from–including a variety of breeds–however, I keep coming back to McCall’s Crafts Pattern #M6620.  I’ve used this pattern many times and really like it for a basic dog even though it has a couple of different breeds represented.  It isn’t a particularly easy pattern, but the finished dog usually actually looks like a dog :)

Fur Jacket made into Cats

Barker Monica

Monica Barker sent her late aunt’s fur jacket/cape from the 1960s and asked me to make two cats for her and her mother for Christmas this year.  She specifically wanted Siamese cats, but I could not find a pattern specifically for that breed of cat and the coloring of the fur wasn’t really a good match.  However, I think we ended up with some very pretty cats.

Fun Raccoon from Real Fur

SPurdyS Raccoon01webharon Purdy sent us her raccoon coat to have us make a raccoon for her.  I have a variety of soft animal patterns but had never made a raccoon before.  Happily, Woman’s Day magazine published a book in the 1970s “Book of Soft Toys & Dolls” and it has a raccoon pattern.  I did an adaptation of the pattern because I wanted a jointed raccoon that could sit on its own.  I also added some black fox fur I had on hand for the “mask” on the face.

I’m pleased with the way this guy turned out.

Bear and Dogs From Fur Coats

MaherS Bear01MaherS Scotties01MaherS dog01Sara Maher sent us three fur coats to have a large bear and three dogs made. The dogs were a bit of a challenge. She initially wanted to Scott Terriers and a Sheltie but the fur didn’t lend itself to making a Sheltie so we ended up with a more standard Dog.

Furry Bunnies from Fur Coat

PurdyS01webSharon Purdy sent a fur coat that her late husband had purchased for her over 40 years ago. She told me that the coat was sitting in storage and she wanted to have it out where she could see it so asked us to make two good-size bunnies.

These guys have wired ears so that they can be posed.

Panda Fun

HarlanBPanda2webBobbea wanted a Panda created that would incorporate pieces of a panda she had when she was small.  All she had were scraps of the original so we had to build from scratch.  I used the pieces for ear and paw linings and for a pair of slippers on the final panda.

Ruth’s Dragons

My niece likes to write and she publishes some of her writing at One of the projects she has going is a series of 52 poems (each 52 words long) about dragons. It is a cute series and inspired me to try and create a couple of her dragons.

SA Banana03 “In the jungle there lived a bright yellow dragon with brown spots. He called himself Banana and hung around with a wild boar and one crazy jaguar. The three of them could often be found experimenting with the many hallucinogens one finds in the jungle. That is, until the cottage cheese incident.” SA DeathFang08“He was the most feared dragon in all the land, but with a name like Death Fang it was kind of expected. He was huge with glossy black scales and a glare that could melt steel. You can imagine the surprise when they found him wearing a pink feather boa and lipstick.”

Mink Makes Great Bunnies

SA BM10webBonnie sent me her mink coat to have two 16″ bunnies made for her daughters. The pocket lining was a light pink velvet so I used it for the ear pads and noses. I used the coat lining material for the paw and foot pads. Bonnie also had me put her daughters’ initials on a foot.

My bunnies have arrived!!! They are SO cute. I love the way you wrapped them, just like a gift. I can’t wait to give them to my girls on Easter.

Thanks again. I will keep your web site on my favorites


Whimsical Cats

SA EJcats03webErica had two of her late mother’s sun dresses. She contacted me wanting cats instead of bears. In an email exchange, I let her know what patterns I had available for cats. She chose an old primitive pattern with very whimsical cats. The fabric from the dresses was colorful wtih a tropic feel to it. Getting the colors to work well together was quite a challenge and made for four very bright, whimiscal cats full of character.


I just receved the cats.  I absolutely LOVE them!  They are quirky and have so much personality.  My Mother would’ve loved them.  I originally wanted to go with the Memory Bears, but noticed you had other pattern designs.  I found one of the cat patterns and instantly fell in love.  My Mom was a vivacious, kind-hearted, cat loving woman and these Memory Cats are the perfect tribute to her.  My stepfather and sister will adore them.  Thanks for making my Mother’s essence live on  :)

Thank you, Erica

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