Quiet Time Toys to Make for Little Ones


Quiet Toys Altoids 2

I thought I’d share some of the little “quiet time” toys I’ve been making.  I’m calling these “Altoidies”, but they’re supposed to be little mice that live in Altoids tins.  I left off the ears after I realized they’d likely get pinched in the tins when closed.  (Maybe I made their legs too long.)  Next time I’ll either make shorter legs and add the ears, or I’ll make the bodies out of really wild colors so that they look like happy little monsters, not mice.  I think they’re adorable as they are, so I’m leaving them this time.  You can get the pattern from mmmcrafts on Etsy.

Quiet Toys Altoids 3

The cream colored teddy bears remind me of Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes.  I need to make an orange one for myself!  You know, to keep in my purse, because you never know when you might need to entertain a child.  Not because I want a tiny Hobbes in my purse … *ahem*

This next one I’ve seen all over the ‘net, but I still don’t know what to call it.  We’ll go with “button practice”.  You sew a large button to a ribbon, and sew a square of felt to the other end …

Quiet Toys Button Practice 1

and make a pile of felt squares with a slot cut in the middle.  A small child can practice buttoning by sliding each felt square over the button, until the ribbon is full of colorful squares.  (I made mine 2.5″ square.)

Quiet Toys Button Practice 2

Of course you’ll want to pay attention as this toy is used because the button could be a choking hazard.  I made a little case for this one to keep all the little pieces together.

Quiet Toys Button Practice 3

Tag blankets are great for babies and so quick to make!  These are a good size for babies to hold, and the minky fabric on the reverse is so soft and cuddly!  I made these with their parents’ favorite football team in mind, because these baby boys are going to be watching some football this season!  For extra security, I triple stitch when sewing the blankets and ribbons together, then top stitch around the top to “catch” the ribbons in place.

Quiet Toys Taggie Blankies

And this one is still a work in progress – globe stuffies!

Quiet Toys Globes 1

For $18 dollars for a yard of “globe fabric” (found on Spoonflower by Weavingmajor) you can make one 12″ globe, three 6″ globes and four 3″ globes that are perfect for juggling or hacky sack.

Quiet Toys Globes 2

Those little globes are fun to toss around!

With all the electronic diversions surrounding them, quiet toys that inspire creativity are very much needed in little ones’ lives.  Share your craftiness with the tiny ones in your life!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Play Mat Quilt


Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

So, my friend Clint has cancer.  He’s been fighting so long, and has so much support from an amazing group of friends (even Lance Armstrong!) … but his wife Angela says he’s sleeping a lot more now, that maybe something is progressing or his body may be shutting down.  I hope it’s just a bump in the road, but realistically, no matter how much we pray or how hard he fights, the odds are against him.  I hate even saying that, it brings me to tears, but if his wife can be that strong, so can his friends, right?  I’m trying.  What I’m going to concentrate on is that we all love him, and that gives us a feeling of responsibility and a desire to help his family.  Love doesn’t quit.  I’m focusing on what I can do.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

I’m not wealthy but I’m crafty, so my contributions will often involve things I’ve made.  Clint and I actually had a discussion about this.  Earlier I asked him if I could make a purse for Angela, something he could give her, because it might be nice for him to be able to surprise her.  He told me about what colors she liked and what her other bags were like, so he had a good influence on the design.  It was made just for her, from him.  We talked about ideas for this play mat/quilt for their boys, too.  I thought about making a simple play mat from felt, but then realized how much better a quilt would be in the long run.  We’ll get to that in just a minute.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

Let me quickly get the details out of the way: The front is a printed fabric panel, On The Go Playmat Panel by Jill Webster.  (I bought mine here.)  The back is Michael Miller’s Ta Dot in Moss and the binding is Michael Miller’s Toot Toot Cars in Lime.  I did random straight line quilting — well, mostly random.  I did notice an usually high concentration of lines through the Sweet Shop.  Lead me not into temptation, for I can find it myself.

I’m sure the boys have lots of cars already, but just in case I’m going to send a few more, including a little train and a couple planes so they can make full use of the mat.  (I tried to find a school bus with no luck.  I might have to keep looking and send that along later.)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

I love that this is a play mat, but it’s also a true quit.  The boys can pull it up on the couch as a lap quilt when they watch a movie, read a book or play a video game.  They can throw it over a chair to make a little fort or play Hide the Dog.  Montana has cold winters, so I hope this little quilt will get lots of cuddling as well as play.  It should be tough enough to stand up to whatever they can dish out, and their Mom can throw it in the washer and dryer whenever she feels the need.  It will just get softer and better the more it’s used.

That’s the thing I love best about this little quilt — it is a quilt.  I hope when the boys outgrow playing with cars, it will get tucked in a closet somewhere, almost forgotten.  Then before we know it, these little boys will grow up, get married and hopefully have little ones of their own.  Then it will be remembered, pulled off a shelf and used all over again.

From Clint to his boys to his grandkids.  Because we never really leave someone we love.

So there.  That’s the best way I have to pray.

In the words of his wife, Angela:
Cancer is a terrible thief. Clint Aaron Miller 03.08.1971 – 12.11.2011

Pocket Scarves

Pocket Scarves

Polar fleece scarves are warm and bright, and you can have a stack of them made up in no time for last minute Christmas gifts!  Polar fleece doesn’t fray, so you won’t have any hemming to worry about.  I estimated the length after wrapping a little around my own neck, and cut widths from six inches for the oldest child down to four inches wide for the littlest toddler.  Cut squares for the pockets an inch less than the width of the scarf, then sew them on about an inch from the bottom of the scarf.

For a completely no-sew version, just cut lengths of polar fleece, then fringe the ends by cutting strips about a quarter to a half inch wide across either end.

This time of year you can find so many different polar fleece patterns and colors at the fabric store.  Be sure to check the remnants bin because you can often find all you need for your scarves right there!  (I did!)

Happy crafting!