Finished projects / Kid Stuff

Everybody loves an upgrade…

So my youngest goes to a preschool that has had the same Very Hungry Caterpillar activity for like 15 years. Basically, you have a caterpillar, and you make it go through all the food in the book. It’s a cute idea, but THIS was their caterpillar.


Seriously people– a dirty old gym sock with a face drawn on it. And that brown circle? That was the chocolate cake. Now, don’t get me wrong– this is a super fantastic school with great teachers, and my older daughter LOVED that sweat sock caterpillar when she was three. That said, when my youngest’s teacher asked if I would maybe make them a new one, I said YES. And it was a totally fun non-quilty project!

I upgraded to a green tube sock, and then went all felt crazy after that. (Related: I love this shop on etsy for felt in every possible color you can imagine– real felt, all wooly and not afraid to get hit with an iron. Niiice.) So here’s my caterpillar. I’m not a hand stitcher, so don’t look too closely. Just sort of squint and admire it.


The food was really super fun to make. First, the fruits. I free motioned the seeds on the strawberry and the leaves on the plum and the strawberry. I know it says this caterpillar eats like 5 oranges, but at a certain point, the three year olds can use their imagination. They get one of each, and they better like it.

IMG_4278Once the fruits are out of the way, you get to make the fun stuff, like the chocolate cake. Remember that round vaguely turd-looking original cake? Check out this upgrade!

IMG_4267Oddly, the caterpillar also eats cured meats, for those of you unfamiliar with the story. A sausage and some salami. My salami here looks particularly weird, but it looks pretty weird in the story too. I’m okay with not being the best felt salami artist out there. (Seriously, that lady is an amazing!)

IMG_4266What’s left? Pickle, cheese, cupcake, and cherry pie. The cupcake had a spiral free motioned on the top, but you can’t see it in this picture. Trust me, it’s totally there.

IMG_4271 IMG_4263Finally, the gluttonous bastard finishes off some watermelon and a leaf, before becoming a butterfly. Voila.

IMG_4251 IMG_4254Not pictured: I added a little handle to the back of the butterfly so that the teacher could make it fly around with one hand.

And then… I took this project to the land of crazy. I looked in the eye of every preschool homeroom parent ever, and said, BOO YA. I win. Go home, losers! Oh, I kid! I’m totally not like that! But I did take this project totally over the top by making a carrying bag for the entire project with an EMBROIDERED CATERPILLAR ON IT. All caps, because, C’MON. How awesome! My sewing machine came with a free embroidery machine that sat unused for the past 4 months until I had this idea. I managed to screw this up like 30 times before I finally figured out how to work that damn machine. Not pictured: me screaming profanities as the machine starts to sew a red caterpillar.

IMG_4286But wait… there’s more. The inside of the bag IS THE COCOON. I wish I had used brown bobbin thread. *sigh* But still, I love how this turned out.

This was so fun to put all together. It’s too much work, in my mind, for a casual present (because how often is the kid really going to want to feed the caterpillar?) but for something like a school, where it will get used year after year, it’s a great project. Fun, creative, doesn’t have to be perfect–can’t go wrong with a project like that!

6 thoughts on “Everybody loves an upgrade…

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