narwhal

When I first met Sarah Jane I was completely star struck, my cheeks flushed and I had a hard time speaking (those of you who know me know how rare it is for me to be at a loss for words).  I have been an admirer of her beautiful illustrations for a long time and was so excited to finally meet her.  What I loved immediately about Sarah was how down to earth and personable she was. Sarah Jane recently launched the most darling line of nautical fabric perfectly named 'Out to Sea' and I was lucky enough to help make a couple of things for her booth at Quilt Market.  The first item I made was Ned the Narwhal.  At first when Sarah asked me to make a narwhal mounted head I could not imagine 1. How I would make it with fabric and 2. How I would make it look cute.  Have you seen actual pictures of Narwhals?  They are pretty odd looking.  But I always love a good craft challenge and started brain storming and came up with this little guy.

If you'd like to make a narwhal with some of Sarah Jane's amazing fabrics (I used the yellow stripes and gray anchors from the Morning Coral line)  here's what you'll need:

* a wood board, at first I chose an oval and then I changed my mind and went with an octagon

* a styrofoam square and cone piece

* fabric to cover the narwhal head and tusk (you don't need much, less than a fat quarter will do)

* small scraps of pink and black felt

* white paint for the wood board

* gold paint for the plaque

* 2 yards of navy blue rope

* fabric mod podge.

* stiffy (the coolest stuff ever!)

* a wooden skewer

* scissors

* a serrated knife

* a paint brush

* sturdy all purpose glue and hot glue gun (I like to cover my bases)

1.  Paint the wood board with the white paint (I wanted it to look white washed so I only painted one layer).  With the all purpose glue, glue on the navy rope.  I also stapled the rope on the back of the board for a hook.

2.  With the serrated knife carve away at the styrofoam (carve away from yourself).  This part is very messy so I carved over the trash can.  Carve in small, thin slices so that you don't take out huge chunks (this part takes the most time, but you want to make sure you get the shape and proportions right).

3.  Cut the fabric in small rectangle shapes (for the tusk I cut the yellow fabric in longer narrower strips).  Mod podge the fabric onto the head and tusk.  Paint a coat or two with the stiffy, to harden and protect the fabric.  Put the wooden skewer through the tusk, glue the end of it and stick it through the head.  Glue on the pink felt for the mouth and two small black pieces of felt for the eyes.  Glue the head onto the board (I used the all purpose glue and the hot glue).

4.  Cut out a plaque for the name with a small piece of cardboard and then paint it with the gold paint.  I then wrote the name:  Narwhal, Genesis:  Monodon, and Species:  monoceros.  Glue the plaque onto the board and you're done!

Ned will soon be going home to a loving boy who will take care of him.  Stay tuned for a feature on how I decorate with him in a child's room.