Thank you to Pardis Amirshahi, the editor of Living Crafts magazine, for providing this special guest post.
Being a mother to a preteen who used to love the Runaway Bunny story (by Margaret Wise Brown) as a toddler, I thought of making a picture from the book for her as a gift for Easter this year, and wrap it with the book, which she does not even remember now. The book tells the story of a bunny who tells his mother he has decided to run away. The mother tells him that she’ll run after him and find him and bring him home in different scenarios, starting with the chase in the meadows.
The first time my daughter heard the story, she was two years old, at a time she wanted to be more independent and saying “no” a lot. I often gave her a puppet show when telling her this story. Now that she is almost twelve, going through another stage of independence yet as she enters adolescence, I thought this would be a great occasion to celebrate the sweet carefree toddlerhood days, and the fact that after twelve years, again this is the Year of Rabbit, her Chinese birth year, and again, her favorite word is “no.”
Hung on a wall or simply leaned against a book shelf, this felt scene is a reminder of the bond between a mother and a child, with hints from the Easter, the daffodils and the bunnies, and hints from the storybook, the meadow, mountain and the river.
How to Make the Picture
— One 9” embroidery hoop [Note: you can enlarge picture and use a larger hoop. Making the tiny baby bunny on this size needs patience!]
— Wool felt in the following colors:
- Pistachue green (valley on top)
- Light green (river side)
- Variegated green (bunny meadow)
- Light yellow (daffodils and moon/sun)
- Light orange (daffodils)
- Gray (mountain and rocks)
- Blue (background)
- White (bunnies and snow caps)
— Embroidery thread:
- White (for mountains and bunnies)
- Pink (for bunny nose)
- Eye color (your own eyes’ color and your child’s – we used brown here)
- Yellow (for flowers and the moon/sun)
— Embroidery needles
— Sharp scissors or rotary blade
1. Place your blue piece of felt onto the embroidery hoop and secure.
2. Trim the blue felt and your background is ready to receive the scene.
3. Cut grass area from the light green felt, and stitch at the bottom, leaving 3/8” space from the edge.
4. Cut 3 daffodils, circles, leaves, the rocks, the sun/moon and the bushes.
5. Tuck in the leaves under the grass, and place the daffodils where you want to stitch them. First stitch the leaves on. Then place the small light orange circles in the middle of each flower and stitch with a knot-stitch. Then secure the end of each petal with a stitch as shown below.
6. Cut the mountains, ice caps, the valley, and the meadow. Cut the meadow from green variegated felt. I chose variegated to show the various landscape vegetation and the depth. If you choose a solid color felt, that works too, or you can give depth by stitching tiny flowers, attaching tiny bushes, or other detail to make it more realistic. Important Note: When you cut the mountains, as well as the green valley, be sure to cut an extra ¼” or more at the buttom so you can tuck it in the piece below.
7. Using the templates provided cut the two bunnies out of white felt. Optional: You can cut the ears separately and sew on afterwards to give it a more realistic look. Picture shown here was made of the all-in-one-piece templates here. Place everything on the scene to see what it looks like before you start stitching.
8. With pink thread, make 3-4 stitches for the mother’s nose and 2 stitches for baby. With thread the color of your own eyes stitch mother’s eyes, and your child’s eyes for the baby bunny.
9. Stitch the bunnies onto the meadow.
10. Stitch the valley onto the picture, tucking in the mountains under it. As you see I have cut this piece extending the buttom part so when I stitch the meadow over it it gives it a bit of a raised look.
11. Stitch the mountain and the ice caps onto the surface using white thread.
12. Now you are ready to add the meadow and the bunnies to the scene. Start stitching at the top and add the rocks and grass as you go.
13. Add the sun/moon onto the scene. The blue in the background can act as the day or night, so I picked a light yellow so according to your child’s imagination this scene can serve as night or day.
14. Take a 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” piece of white felt and cut it into very thin strips. You can also use white yarn instead. I didn’t have any!
15. Group the strips together and lay it on the bunny tail. With white thread secure the middle to the surface going around twice and pull tight so the strips jump up like a pompom. Note: you can also make your own pompoms with yarn or thread, or use ready-made pompom trims from the store.
16. Now do the same for little bunny’s tail, except for him you use 40 strands of your embroidery thread.
You’re Done! Enjoy!
Pardis Amirshahi is the editor of Living Crafts magazine and also writes for their popular blog. Living Crafts is a natural crafts magazine designed for families who embrace a natural lifestyle. Although she always enjoyed sewing and other crafts, Pardis discovered the true joy of handwork when she became a mother. You can reach Pardis directly by emailing her at editor[at]livingcrafts.com.