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How to create Sock Monkey?

handmade monkey

If you read Sock Monkey any farther than this post, you’ll know that it isn’t all about Sock Monkeys. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have named my blog after them if I didn’t love them. So I wanted to share with you the Sock Monkey quilt I made for my new (1st) grand-daughter, Kyah.

So how did it work out for me?

I started with the Peek-a-Boo Monkeys quilt pattern out of Quilting for Baby (by Jeanne Stauffer). I used the materials as listed in the pattern, as well as two large and two small Rockford Red Heel Socks. I made my quilt a little wider and longer than the book pattern by cutting the strips a little wider and using the width of the fabric. If you don’t want to buy the book, but want to copy my idea, be my guest. The fabric strips that I used for the front were about 4 3/4 inches wide before sewing, and the narrower brown strips were 1 3/4 inches. The back is pink polka-dotted flannel.

I wanted Kyah’s quilt to be tactile experience as well as a snuggly one, so I used some different fabric textures and made the monkey ears independently floppy. The mouths of the peeking monkeys stick out from the quilt, and are made with the heels of small Red Heel Socks, stuffed with leftover monkey stuffing and backed with piece of Warm & Natural batting (cut to the size of the pattern piece) before sewing to the quilt.

As quilts go, this one was pretty easy to make. The hardest part was doing all the applique work with the Red Heel Socks. Here’s what worked best for me:
One of the tricky parts about this quilt is that some pieces have to be sewn on before you sew the fabric strips together, and some have to be sewn on after the rest of the quilt top is assembled. Just think it through and you shouldn’t have any problem – any piece that looks like it goes into a seam goes on before sewing the strips together, and any piece that sits on top goes on afterward. Be sure to sew the ears onto the head pieces before appliquéing the heads down.

To finish, I double-layered it with Warm & Natural (a full-size folded in half worked nicely) and “stitched in the ditch” just along the seam lines, then sewed down the binding from the top and hand- stitched it to the back. If I hadn’t put it off until the very last-minute, I probably would have done a little fancy quilting along the strips, but I’m OK with it the way it is. I think it turned out great, and even my son-in-law says he loves it!