When you are lucky, you are lucky! Am I right? Well, I was certainly lucky the day I got an email from the awesome Kirstyn Cogan! Kirstyn is a fabric designer with a Scandinavian vibe, who lives in Seattle, Washington USA. We were immediately excited to internet ‘meet’ and chatted on through a bunch of emails. We had a little gift exchange and everything! Kirstyn sent me her Urban Scandinavian Sewing book and some of her lovely fabrics. I sent her my book and some local treats to taste. We kept emailing and talking and planning! We were looking for a way to collaborate and I noticed that the heart mug warmer in Kirstyn’s book kind of looked like bunny ears and maybe I’d have a go at embroidering a little bunny face. Kirstyn loved the idea and offered to work out a whole Bunny Mug warmer for me to make – I just love having such creative friends! More excited emails followed and Kirstyn even posted me some fabric goodies for my stash and some goodies to giveaway too! Can you believe how cool my friends are?
Both of us seem to have a thousand things on our to do lists but somehow we pulled this plan together just in time for you to make one (or a bunch) for Easter – Yay! How cute is this as an Easter gift? I would love to get Bunny Hug on a mug full of chockie eggs. The design is carefully crafted to work for varying sewing levels. You can pretty much ditch the sewing if you are short on time. I would still sew the whiskers because they are super cute and would only take a minute. Or sew all the details but skip sewing around the outer edge of the bunny. Even if you sew the whole thing, it’s pretty quick! A little hand sewing is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.
Kirstyn is a true sewing pro, so her Bunny Hug is beautiful and neat. I am not really very neat. I am impatient and can never keep my stitch size consistent. I said in an email to Kirstyn that my stitching was ‘rustic’ (read: messy) and she kindly replied, “Everyone is going to have a different “hand” – that’s what’s fun about doing projects like this :)”. So if you aren’t the neatest, don’t fear! I’ll show you how I made my Bunny Hug and the sneaky changes and substitutions I made along the way. You always have to put your own spin on a project, right?
I set myself up with Kirstyn’s Template and Instructions (get your own by signing up to Kirstyn’s newsletter) and my felt etc. The instructions have a really good materials list, with everything that you will need. Kirstyn had included a bunch of supplies in her package, I used the grey and white felt that she sent but couldn’t resist subbing the pale pink felt for this raspberry felt I had at home.
Once I had cut out the template, as per the directions, I marked the inner ears on the grey felt. My grey felt came courtesy of Kirstyn and already had the right sticky stuff adhered to the ‘wrong’ side. But do this step before you start tracing and cutting! I cut out the inner ear section and laid it on the white felt, before fusing the layers with an iron.
I traced out the template and cut Mr Bunny out! I also cut out the pink ear and nose accents and his little heart from a scrap of white. As per directions, I used ordinary glue stick to adhere these bits to the main bunny. I’ve seen glue stick used as a technique before but hadn’t tried it. It worked really well! If you are going glue only, make sure you get the whole back of each piece. I don’t know that it needed to dry but I went off for a tea break anyway and had a chance to.
Now comes the fun bit, the sewing! Unbelievably, I didn’t have plain white embroidery floss! But I did have a white metallic floss. This kind of floss can be a pain to work with because its more prone to kinking and knotting but also because even when you are only working with a single strand, it can sort of fray and split in an ugly way. So again, I departed from the instructions and used two strands (so I could tie a single stand into one knot and avoid some fray) of white metallic floss to outline my bunny. Because my thread was so thick and my sewing style so rustic, I only did the outer edge and omitted the inner, grey, edge of the ears. I really like the scrappy look of the stitches but didn’t want to overwhelm the bunniness. If you can get a cat to be annoyingly in the way, I recommend it but it’s not a requirement.
While I had white thread going, I added on his little whiskies. I traced them first and then got to it. You would think I could make a straight line of just three or four backstitches but I’m here to prove you wrong! They are sweet though. Then I broke protocol again and used two strands of matchy-ish sewing machine thread to sew down the nose and pink ear parts. But as per directions, I used a pale grey floss to add detail to his legs. Mr Bunny was coming to life!
I used the pinkest floss I had to make Mr Bunnies little toes and to do the French knots on his heart. I have only made two French knots before and was surprised at how easily I managed them! So embroidery beginners, don’t be scared! Then I did his little eyes. I’m so glad I followed Kirstyn’s directions here because I couldn’t think of a better way to make them! I added the Velcro and voila! My little Bunny Hug friend was made!
Of course I couldn’t find one single white, plain, standard mug! But I did find this pinky one and I think it works beautifully! I tried it on some more shaped mugs and it looked super cute there too. The Velcro in the design makes it quite flexible and mouldable but I love that it is made for a bog standard mug. I know that now you’ve seen it you want to make your own! And you definitely want in on the GIVEAWAY!
GET THE FREEBIES!!!!!
You can get the instructions and template for Bunny Hug Mug Warmer by signing up to Kirstyn’s newsletter (you can do that here). But you can WIN a copy of Kirstyn’s book Urban Scandinavian Sewing plus the white, pink and pre stickied grey felt and both markers you will need to make a Bunny Hug Mug Warmer by commenting on this post before 14 April 2017 (official giveaway rules apply). My giveaway is Australia/NZ but if you are in the US you can still win the book from Kirstyn herself! Look for the Happy Easter Giveaway 2017 post.
I am actually pretty hyped about my Bunny Hug Mug Warmer and it is going straight to my roundabout sister Janelle because that girl could use a few good coffees, hot chocolates, straight up gins! She has some little girls who are so pumped for Easter. But let me tell you, a little known fact about me, is that I had a real thing for bunnies when I was small. I had a whole family of stuffed rabbits that I loved to pieces! My favourite was called Carrots and he was sent to be by my cousin Caroline in the UK. He came everywhere with me and was repaired by Mums loving hand sewing many times. You see, he was nearly eaten by my dog Shannon on several occasions and had to have his ears patch worked back together! So you can see how I just adore this Bunny Hug Mug Warmer Kirstyn designed. And with my ‘rustic’ hand sewing, it is very much like poor old Carrots!
Get making and playing! And don’t forget to win! Get the how to by signing up for Kirstyn Cogan’s newsletter and comment to win the book and supplies. Happy Easter xxxxxx