Ball-een Whale

February 21, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts | 14 Comments

“Baleen” is another term for whalebone, a structure kind of like a strainer, which some whales use to scoop up food from the sea.

Meet the latest ball doll: Mario the Whale. Since Madeline gave me the idea for the whale, I named it after her cute little son! (Hi, Madeline! Hi, Mario!)

ball dolls - whale front

Do you SEE how the pinstripes matched up on his tum? I admit that I’d cut them with the hopes that they’d be close, but I didn’t for a minute entertain the thought that I might be able to pull it off. That’s the great thing about low expectations: it’s always a pleasant surprise when things do go your way.

It took a long time and a lot of figuring and rooting through my craft supplies before I came up with his “spout.” But once I had a plan, I think it only took about 3 minutes to actually make it out of teeny, tiny rickrack. The base is wrapped in perle cotton thread to make it stand up.

ball dolls - whale from above

Stay tuned for more ball dolls!



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  1. i really love these ball creatures! so cute :)

  2. Your ball softies are FAB! I want some of my very own!

  3. Unbelievable!! I was going to suggest a whale, but I couldn’t imagine it. This is perfectly perfect.

    My five-year-old has an absolute whale OBSESSION, so I am truly in love with this little guy. And the pinstripes on his tummy?? Genius.

  4. I love them, too!! I like the kitty ball in Toys to Sew, but these are much more creative!!

  5. Eek!! He is GREAT!! I am going to show Mario his namesake tomorrow. He’ll get a total kick out of that. It’s sweet of you. :) Great background fabric by the way. I am so in love with this set of toys. You need to take a picture of all of them together. :)

  6. he’s WONDERFUL!! one look at that cheery spout made me grin ear to ear. thanks!! :)

  7. and you do it again – incredible!

  8. That is great! I can never line stripes up either. And the ricrac is brilliant. Nice job.

  9. I Love It!!

  10. The spout is amazing, it carries the whole “whale” concept perfectly and every so cute-ly! MAKE SOME MORE!

  11. […] real baleen whales can be over a year (!), but I couldn’t wait that long to make another of these. They’re way too much […]

  12. Mario the Whale is so cute! I love the way the fins on the side make him look like he is happily swimming along the water :-) And the spout is a stroke of genius. Great work.

  13. I love this whale! I might have to make up a knitted variety. Close cousin. I found your blog through flickr. Love your stuff.

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