This year, we have already experienced two summers, although for a time our second summer was elusive . Summer Solstice in England, or at least the south where we were at the time, was a day of thick mists that did not lift till late afternoon. The weeks before had been bleak, grey, cold and wet. However contrary to predictions of “another bad, wet one,” the sun came out . Summer was dazzling,warm and bright offering magnificent floral displays. Conditions were just right as well for bumper crops of berries. We feasted on raspberries, blackberries and strawberries that tasted so different from what we are used to here in Australia.
Once back home and longing to get back to creative pursuits it took a while to settle. Initially nothing came up other than jet lag .The memory of summer lingered. It came as a surprise that it was not a paint brush or a textile art work that filled the creative urge but rather the urge to make strawberries, or rather strawberry mice. They are not a new idea, nor an original one, nor the first time that I have made them but seemed the way to express the delight and enjoyment of a dreamy and delicious summer.
These are fun to make, and very easy. All that is needed is a half circle, mine was about 31/4 “( 8 or cm) but you can make it any size . The little mouse featured here is made from felt with french knots to make the seeds, although sometimes I just make tiny straight stitch seeds. Pin dot cotton fabric is faster and works just as well .
Fold the circle on half and then back stitch the short straight sides together , then turn out and gather along the curved top edge. Stuff with wool or poly fill, pull up the stitches and secure.
Next cut the sepals, a tiny star-like shape, from green felt. Knot a length of yarn for the tail thread it onto a wool needle and pull through the centre of this piece. Using straight stitches go from the tail to the gap between each point and secure the stitching onto the gathered end.
To the pointy end add ears , black beads or knots for the eyes, a few tiny stitches for a nose and perhaps whiskers if you will . That is it, all done.
If you make a longer tail these mice can be used as bookmarks. Another idea is to fill them with lavender to keep moths at bay , or cat nip to treat you cat .
Without the mousey bits, you have a felt strawberry to use as decoration or felt play food.
By adding a ribbon loop as the stem it becomes a bag charm, scissor fob or key tag.
The strawberry can also be filled with potpourri or lavender to become a sweet, small gift .
As a mouse or just a little strawberry they are perfect stocking fillers , party favours, or pocket pals.
Not only quick and fun but also very moreish, just like the fruit.