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At long last…

The hedgehogs!
As I’ve mentioned before, the Japanese word for hedgehog is “Harinezumi.” It literally means “Pin mouse.” So… how adorable is it to have a mouse holding your pins so aptly called a hedgehog?

Honestly, putting together your own hedgehog pincushion isn’t hard- and it’ll only take you about an hour to do one if you’re diligent.

These are the pattern pieces of a hedgehog- You can change the size of the pattern image on your computer to change the size of your hedgehog. Making the given image fit a standard 8.5×12 piece of paper will give you a hand-sized hedgie. Click here and print this PNG file: Click click! or Download this PDF: hedgiepattern

Warning: There is one piece missing from this image- the nose! I lost it! Simply trace a quarter (25 cents) on a piece of paper and that will give you the size you need (assuming you don’t change the size of the image)

Applique pins
Tailors chalk
Stuffing (polyfill/batting/cotton/emery sand)
Fabric (Cotton scraps)
Craft Glue

Step One:

Pin the cut-out pattern pieces to the fabric. This is a great time to use up old scraps- I usually use 2 contrasting fabrics. The Top and Bottom should match, and the 2 sides and nose should match. The ears, eyes, and tail should be cut out of felt. Mark the outline of the hedgehog with tailors chalk.

Step Two:
Cut out the pieces about 1/4 of an inch away from the tailors chalk outline. Mark with tailors chalk the places where the tail, ears, and eyes go on the fabric. Remove all pins.

Step Three:

Fold the felt ears in half lengthwise and pin both to their designated spots on the sides of the hedgehog. (Warning! The ears should be facing curved-edge down, and the opening of the fold should be towards the nose.)

Step Four:

Sandwiching the ear between the right side of the hedgehog’s side piece, and the right side of the top (spine) piece, pin the hedgehog along the top, starting with the tail and ending with the nose.

Step Five:

Sew these two pieces along the tailors chalk outline. I recommend hand-stitching unless you’re really good at working small turns on a machine.
At this point it should look like this when you turn it right side out:

Step Six:

Repeat pinning and sewing with the other side to the top, careful to include the ear again.

Now pin on the felt tail to the right-side of the bottom piece, and sew the bottom to the 2 sides.

Be careful to leave open a gap so you can turn the hedgehog inside-out.
I was instructed to leave a hole at the nose so as to insert the nose, but it has never worked for me, so I just sew the nose on half the time.

Step Seven:

Turn inside out. Stuff-stuff-stuff! Stuff very full. My friend puts wax candles in hers to keep her needles slick and add scent, but you don’t have to. Sew the stuffing hole closed with a blind stitch.

Step Eight:

Gather the edge of the nose with a running stitch and pull, forming a cup of fabric. Stuff and pull the threads closed around the nose shape. Poke the ends of the fabric into the hole left for the nose. Blind stitch around the nose to secure.

Step Nine:
Use some craft glue (ie:Aileens) to glue on the eyes.

Sorry it took me so long to add this DIY to the blog- it’s hard to explain a lot of these things.
Please let me know how it goes for you. I’d love to see images!
And if you don’t feel like making one, but really think they’re cute (cause, let’s face it, they are!) You can buy them on my Etsy site: alsn! I’m always open for color suggestions.


Once a week I’m down at the Freer-Sackler Galleries, two museums under the Smithsonian umbrella, which operate together as our nation’s Asian art gallery. It also houses some of the best Whistler and Tyron paintings around.

La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (The Princess from the Land of Porcelain)
James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)
Gift of Charles Lang Freer

I am usually found in the archives working on whatever project I’m given. Sometimes projects last a day- sometimes months. The last project I completed in a day was simple, but ridiculously fun.
I was asked to look through the “Freer Files.” Shelves of files belonging to Charles L. Freer when he was alive one hundred years ago. I was looking for purchase orders for art (The art now housed in the museum). One seller I kept coming across was Bunkio Matsuki a Japanese buyer who seemed to know exactly what Freer wanted. His invoice headers changed frequently, but usually contained a rabbit. I came across this near the end of my search, sent some time in 1911 from Japan- what an adorable receipt! Would that such art still came on our receipts!

(Click on the image for a MUCH bigger picture of this)

Can I just say- I adore the handwriting they used back then, but I can’t read most of it to save my soul! Can you imagine how long it would take to write a letter pen-and-ink style like this? Crazy!

Does anyone else feel like this when they’re anxious?
Today my heart is…

Working as a waitress to pay the bills, I often get flustered to this point, a type of anxiety that makes me feel like a very small bird desperate to escape. In our restaurant, customer service is so crucial that we aren’t allowed to say no. I often feel scared, trapped, and tongue-tied when trying to deal with our rich clientele. I wish people were more understanding in the restaurant business. I’m not perfect. No one is. But when you expect me to be… yikes!

Tomorrow I’m finally taking photographs of the “Hedige” or Harinezumi Pincushion process. It should be uploaded within the week!