Meet Mary, a very feminine hippo! I needed another soft toy for the show so I decided to make one that could be a large pincushion afterwards. I did this last year and it worked very well, I love my Scottie dog pincushion and a second one won’t come amiss.
I found the pattern on Stitch, Craft, Create. They named her, not me! Mary isn’t the first name that comes to mind for a hippo, but it seems to have stuck! The fabric was some I had in my stash, it’s one of those that is really pretty, I just never quite found a use for it. It’s got teacups and teapots on it.
The instructions are nice and clear, easy to follow, the only negative thing I would say is that I prefer to have the seam allowance included, particularly when there are little fiddly pieces! The pattern went together reasonably easily apart from the feet, they were very fiddly! I hand tacked them first but I still wasn’t really happy with them, it was a shame as I’d even fussy cut the soles of the feet so they each had a rose on them. They just weren’t quite perfect enough for a show entry.
I did have a bit of a laugh with the ears, the instructions said ‘if you have a scrap of wadding…’ I glanced at the floor and in amongst the threads and pins, there was a perfect sized scrap of batting!
The nostrils were meant to be machine stitched on but I decided it would be neater to blanket stitch instead. I tried a few shops for suitable felt but I could only find bright pink, very pale pink, or a salmony pink. The bight pink does actually match the fabric very well, it just is rather bright, I would have preferred a middle of the road shade,.but bright pink it had to be!
Having stitched on the bright pink nostrils, they stood out somewhat, Mary needed a bit of pink somewhere else. I cut out flowers in varying sizes, enlarging each time until I was happy with the size. I stitched it together and then tucked it under her ear. I added a flower and a leaf to her mouth to balance it out.
When I looked at her feet again I really wasn’t happy, I wondered about giving her pink soles, but then decided on the idea of pink toenails! It didn’t take as long as I thought to blanket-stitch around the four feet.
The feet then looked a bit pink, or rather a lot pink! To tone it down I gave her mint green soles, which I think nicely blends with the flower theme, they look vaguely like flowers!! It’s amazing how things develop according to need!
I think Mary is really cute, I love her little ears, she’s got a butterfly in each one! She’ll make a great pin cushion at the end of May!