A friend told me about an Artisan’s Market in Watertown that sells items made in Wisconsin. Mike and I decided to stop by and enjoyed the locally made woolen goods, wooden items, pottery and specialty foods (they even have fresh duck eggs!). The Artisan Market is at 111 N. 4th St. Click here for their website. I highly recommend visiting our town. Watertown boasts many delightful shops in it’s downtown, including our favorite bakery: Sweet Talkin Treats. Our favorite coffee/lunch spot is the Connection Cafe located on Hwy 19 on the west side of Watertown.
So what does this have to do with a quilted theater? Well, I couldn’t resist buying two hand-knit finger puppets, a tiger and a lizard, while at the market. I didn’t know why, but I knew I had to have them – plus they were priced at $3 each! When we got home I remembered the sweet little girl finger puppet I purchased while in Estonia. After a bit of searching, I found her and an idea struck! Sommer’s 9th birthday was coming soon and she loves to write stories. Wouldn’t a Finger Puppet Theater be “just the ticket” for her birthday? So I gathered some fun fabrics and a few sheets of plastic mesh canvas – and I was off creating!
I cut an opening in a sheet of mesh, used glue stick to cover it with batting,
and then made the cover by placing 2 rectangles of fabric, right sides together, and sewing the “opening” into the fabric rectangles, trimming it so I could turn it right side out.
I then positioned the polka dot cover on the mesh/batt theater front and fused a dark binding around the edges. To make it stand up I determined I needed to make sides for the theater while contemplating how and where to put the words “Sommer’s Finger Puppet Theater” on the project. In my stash I had a piece of chalkboard fabric leftover from a project in my second book Snuggle and Learn Quilts for Kids entitled “Rolled Up Fun”.
It’s a take-a-long toy that doesn’t require batteries 😊. I knew the chalkboard fabric would be perfect and attached it to the side fabric pieces with rick-rack. I then cut the remaining plastic mesh in half, glue sticked batting over it, and covered the sides.
In order for the theater to be folded flat for storage, I tied the sections together with pretty silk ribbon bows. And the finishing touch was to paint the words in white on the chalkboard, leaving an area open under “Now Playing” for Sommer to write in the title of her current production in chalk.
Some hearts and lacy trim were the finishing touches:
It all came together so well and, as you may have noticed, I decided the cast of characters needed to be increased. It was a great excuse to visit the Artisan’s Market one more time!
I added a fabric covered book for Sommer to compose her skits in, authored a first skit, and made a carrying tote for it all. And she loved it!
The puppets were a hit with Trey too!
Even the matching tote bag made her smile.
What a wonderful afternoon. It was a fun celebration and we felt so blessed to spend it with the kids and my parents!