Sunday, June 2, 2013

Waltzing with Bears

When my children were little, we liked to sing and dance to "Waltzing with Bears," a funny little song by Seamus Kennedy.  He tells the tale about 'Old Uncle Walter' who slips out at night and goes dancing with 'raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears, too.'  If you haven't heard it before, you can listen here:

I spent last Saturday doing my own waltz with bears.
A teddy bear made by my friend Martha.
Vitas, a hospice located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, has asked members of my American Sewing Guild chapter to help with a special sewing project:  when a person in hospice care has died, the family can request that teddy bears be made from their loved one's clothing as a keepsake.  I've volunteered for this sewing service project a few times, and a group of us got together to sew over the weekend.

These teddies aren't hard to make.  We use a McCall's Crafts pattern by Carol's Zoo.  It has only two pattern pieces!

From cutting to sewing to stuffing, it takes no more than an hour and a half to complete a bear. We purchase  child-safe eyes and noses from Home Sew, a sewing and crafts supply company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (

Pinning the front to the back of the bear.

On this particular day, there were eight of us working on bears.  My hospice family wanted five bears, and provided two pairs of lounge pants and a shirt from which to make them.  We had enough fabric to cut out two small and three medium bears.

We got a good head start, but I did end of bringing them home to finish stuffing.

It's a simple project, and I'm happy that I can bring a little peace and comfort to someone who has lost a loved one.

ASG members hard at work at their machines.
I had an Uncle Walter when I was growing up...he died in 1978.  He was a professional photographer and I'm lucky to have some of his photos and a keepsake ring to remind me of him.

Hope you like raggy bears, shaggy bears and baggy bears, too!

P.S.  I've been working on about five things at dress for my son's upcoming wedding, a gift for him and his future wife, a t-shirt quilt for a client, developing classes for the Bead Garden, and in the midst of all of this, my d.h. and I decided to totally re-do our bedroom!  Watch for future posts on these and other projects!

No comments:

Post a Comment