Meet Cletus, My version of the Monster Book of Monsters
Ha! I laugh right out loud every time I see him. I’m just so happy with how he came together and I really love that the fur is removable! I don’t have a step by step tutorial for you, but I did take pictures along the way. I think there’s enough info here to repeat it. As always, if you have questions, drop me a line!
Designing the Block
To design the block, I taped a piece of tracing paper on my cutting mat. I drew the “finished size” lines at 10″ and trimmed the paper to the 10″ + seam allowance. I put the accessories on the paper and drew the lines for the book. Having the grid under the tracing paper is super helpful in keeping everything straight and even.
I’ve been really careful not to include any perspective tricks in this quilt, but I really wanted Cletus to have implied movement. In my head, we’re looking at him the second after his belt has come loose and he’s impossibly stretched his spine in preparation for opening his mouth and eating anything nearby. It’s a weird idea, but I wanted a fair amount of the flat cover to be visible and this shape seemed like the most reasonable solution.
I looked for fur by the yard and never found any that I wanted for my monster. I ended up in the leather/feather section of the store and found “decorator’s” fur in 2″ x 30″. 2″ was clearly not wide enough, but I thought I might be able to use it none the less. I sewed together the small sections with black thread and a zig zag stitch until I had a section large enough to cover my book. It is crazy important to finger comb the fur out of the way when sewing each section and continue to pull it to the sides as it goes under the presser foot. After they are sewed to together, you fluff the fur and you can’t see the seam at all.
To Finish the fur, I used a piece of fusible wonder under directly on the backside of the fur. I had no idea if the fur would melt or not, so I tried a low heat setting. That didn’t melt the glue on the wonder under, so I switched to a medium heat. That seemed to both melt the wonder under and NOT melt the fur so I didn’t try any hotter settings. I used my sketched out pattern to draw the finished shape on the back of the fur. Since it is symmetrical, there’s no need to reverse the pattern. I then cut the fur by folding it on the line back sides together. I separated the fur on the line and cut between the roots of the hair. This keeps as much fur as possible on the book and avoids weird haircuts. It looks something like this –
To finish the fur, I put a small black zig zag stitch around the unfinished edges. This may not even be necessary, but I really like things to feel finished and I don’t think it ever hurts to fortify a fusible. Finally, I machine sewed his button eyes right to the front of the fur and called it done!
The Block Background
To make the background of the the book, I used my measurements from the template I created at the very beginning. The tongue is a raw edge cut of red fabric quilted with a low loft batting and finished with a zig zag around the outside. The straps are just like every strap you’ve made for every bag in your life. Folded and finished with straight stitches on the edges. Then I tucked the tongue and straps into the seams of the blocks. Here’s what the layout looks like:
To get the fur on the background and have it removable, I used sew in snaps. I put them in seemingly logical places on the fur by hand (corners, center, under the eyes). I then put the other half on the background my laying the fur on the background and marking there the snaps were on the fur. When the job was done, it looked like this
The teeth are polymer clay. They were pretty straight forward shapes. I did not make them as “buttons” but rather as flat backs. I intend to try making them stay on with velcro so they too are removable. I don’t have any velcro to try it so I can’t report success or failure. If the velcro doesn’t work, I’ll drill button holes in my teeth and if I still hate that, I’ll add them as appliques in the background.
I was very careful to try to keep the weight of all of the pieces to a minimum. I didn’t want to snap the fur on and have the quilt bend or otherwise behave badly. I think I manged to keep it from being a problem, but I will add a stabilizer to the back of the block before quilting it. When I quilt around the snaps, I intend to use the opportunity to fortify them as well.
Want More Project of Doom?
Check out the Harry Potter Project of Doom index. It is full of links to the original project and patterns as well as links to any related posts with embroidery patterns or applique templates. You can also see more about my machine and software in this post.