I have a really dear friend, who travels a lot and has a big love for Donkeys. In all the decade that I've known her, she's always had her donkey Tinkerbell, who was really adorable, but unfortunately passed away a while ago and my friend was very sad about that and still misses her lots.
She always thinks of me when she's on her travels, always bringing back small gifts and surprises and I really wanted to make something special for her, so I was looking for donkey patterns all over the net and then found a pattern from Paper Panache that I thought was really cute. Unfortunately it was a pattern to support the American election campaigns and featured both the signs for Democrats and Republicans, a donkey and an elephant.
To see the original look of the pattern, follow the link HERE.
I didn't like the star nor the sash on the original, so I changed the pattern around and also added some outline to the ears as Tinkerbell, the donkey of my friend, was very fair in colour, but had dark fur surrounding her ears.
It was a bit difficult at first, working the ears, since I've never changed a pattern and am still fairly new to paper-piecing, but I think it turned out well.
Since my friend really does travel a lot, I thought a small travel sized pillow might make her more comfortable on her flights, so I started working on a padded pillow case, of course it also needed a backside, since I didn't want to leave it just blank, so I used a paper-pieced hearts pattern from Quiet Play and coordinating fabrics to match the front.
Since I wanted Tinkerbell's name on it too, I printed out some fancy font and traced the letters onto the fabric with a white removable fabric pen that vanishes when you iron over it. Unfortunately my machine doesn't do embroidery and I would never manage to get this done neatly with free-motion, so I simply stitched by turning the wheel with the hand and rotating the fabric under the needle. That was a lot of work, but turned out the way I wanted :)
Then all I still needed, was a proper inlet for the pillow, so I made one with muslin fabric. Note, the zipper matches the greys of the fabric used in the paper-piecing, I just wanted a bit of contrast there.
And here's the finished pillow, that arrived in her mailbox yesterday and has already received some snuggles.
Who knows which great places this little donkey is going to see in the future!