Busy Placemat for Boo (with tutorial)

Boo loves construction trucks, rescue vehicles, trains, airplanes and tools. I used to cringe at the sight of fabric with dump trucks printed all over it. Now I welcome it with excitement for my Boo. His joy cannot be contained at the immediate recognition of the aforementioned objects of his love. I never thought I would know the difference between a backhoe, excavator and grapple skidder.
Busy Placemat for Boo
Anyhoo, one morning, Boo & I were enjoying orange juice and coffee at Peet’s Coffee. To keep Boo from squirming off his chair, I drew him a picture of a neighbourhood, so he could play with his little firetruck on the page and put out the fires I drew. I even drew him a cat in a tree, but really, don’t firemen have better things to do?? It kept him busy for a long time, so I knew I would need to make him one that’s more permanent.

I started with the drawstring bag from the oliver + s book, “little things to sew“. I wanted to make a bag that would be big enough for a placemat, all of the fun pieces and some of Boo’s favourite trucks. As always, this pattern does not disappoint!
Busy Placemat for Boo
A peek inside:
Busy Placemat for Boo
The outside fabric is organic cotton called Shipyard, by Timeless Treasure. The hubs picked it out for Boo in the clearance section, the time we went to Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz. The lining fabric is quilting cotton from Jo-Ann.

I made Boo a tool belt with the same fabric a couple of month ago, after I saw him trying to shove some of his tools down his pants. My little handyman won’t stay still for a photo:
Boo's Toolbelt
The placemat is double-sided, one for a grassy green landscape, the other, a construction site surrounded by dirt. I fused the 2 pieces of felt together with Pellon Wonder-Under, which is sort of like double-sided tape. I added an orange triple-stitch around the edges to match the stitching on the drawstring bag.
Busy Placemat for Boo
The rest of the project is made up of felt pieces. All of the pieces have at least 2 layers, fused together with the Wonder-Under. I did this to make the pieces more durable–some of the pieces from Froo’s quiet book are starting to rip and wear down. Also, the double-stick webbing makes the pieces nice and smooth, while still soft, which would not happen if I used glue. I put them in a clear Ziploc bag, making it easy to spot pieces.
Busy Placemat for Boo
Let’s build a little neighbourhood–starting with some roads:
Busy Placemat for Boo
Busy Placemat for Boo
Oh no! There’s a fire at the house! Wee-wOO-WeE-WoO.
Busy Placemat for Boo
I think I’ll need to make a mailbox for one of Boo’s favourite trucks:
Busy Placemat for Boo
Ok, time to build something. Off to the construction site!
Busy Placemat for Boo
Boo loves playing with these decorative marbles. He uses the front loader to scoop them into the dump truck.
Busy Placemat for Boo
Here’s a quick photo tutorial of how to put the felt pieces together. Uh, please learn from my mistakes–I’m not sure how I’m going to clean my iron. Also, it’s a good idea to keep your desk clean, unlike mine, since the felt pieces are small and quick to disappear.
Tutorial: Busy Placemat for Boo
I think this Christmas gift for Boo will be a hit! Nevermind that the perspective is way off, nothing is to scale and my felt pieces are lacking in detail. I think this placemat will keep him busy at a restaurant, which will make going out to eat all the better. Last night, Boo was not happy with his dinner, so he got up and walked to the door saying, “I’m going to drive daddy’s car and go to a restaurant. All. By. Myself.” My not-yet-3-year-old already sounds like a teenager. We got him to finish his dinner after threatening a lump of coal in his stocking.

Some of the presents under the tree had already been “accidentally opened”, so this one will be hidden until the 25th. I’m hoping to get one last handmade gift done before Christmas!
Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?
p.s. The amazing Lightning McStitch of Bartacks and Singletrack, is hosting a challenge to complete all 21 projects from the book! I’ve sewn up 5 projects from the book so far, this being my 6th. I love seeing all of the unique interpretations and the faces of little ones enjoying their handmade goodies. The flickr group is full of wonderful creations from the book!

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9 responses to “Busy Placemat for Boo (with tutorial)

  1. kara

    Love this idea…I think my 2 yr. Old would love it, as would his 8 and 6 yr. Old brothers! 🙂

  2. Amy

    This turned out great! I hope he loves it

  3. You are the MOST awesome mum! I love this. it’s perfectly made and so thoughtful. It will be a huge hit I’m sure. Unless of course that backhoe loader doesn’t have the right kind of attachment and is really an excavator and you got it all wrong (or is that just my over analytical son?!)
    Great blog with lovely photo sequences and titles and I love the honesty of your “felted” iron. That’s exactly the kind of thing I would do!
    And thanks for the shout out. it is so nice seeing all the projects in one place

    • Awww, thanks! You are truly an awesome mom–your projects are always inspiring! And I am sooo wrong, I think I called the pay loader a front loader??? Or am I still wrong? It’s so hard to keep track! I’m still working my way through the book… but very slowly!

  4. Beverly

    You have made my day! I have been thinking up activity pieces to make for my grandkids and this is PERFECT for my grandson! THANk YOU!!

  5. Pingback: Some sewing happened in 2013 | FROO & BOO

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