It is still one of my most favorite things I've ever sewn, and I have to say "one of" now because it is tied with the growth chart I stitched up for Parker! When my sister-in-law (Allie) decided to go with dinosaurs as the theme for Parker's nursery, I immediately imagined a long-necked dinosaur growth chart. The inspiration fully hit at work one day, so I sketched the idea on a post-it.
When the time came to cut out the fabric, I was so nervous. It wasn't until after I cut out the dinosaur template that I realized this thing is going to have to hang on the wall somehow. After a dramatic flop on the couch (this happens more often then I care to admit), my hubby asked me what was wrong and I told him that this growth chart wasn't going to work because there's no way to hang it up. He looked at me like I was crazy (don't worry- I'm used to it), and said something along the lines of, "Can't you just put some sort of fabric strip or hook on one of the spikes on top of his head and another one on his back for it to hang on?" Yeah, total DUH moment. When in doubt, ask your significant other. If you don't mind being embarrassed about your lack of common sense. Moving on!
Back when I picked out the fabric, I knew the stripes would be the body, and the dots would be the spikes. My process was: create dino template, cut striped fabric, create spike template, cut polka dot fabric & batting for spikes, stitch spikes, stitch on a button eyeball, cut out & stitch on Parker's name and the measuring ticks to the front of the dinosaur, cut large piece of batting, pin everything (except the spikes) together to see how it looked:
Please ignore the wine rack turned plate rack turned stitching rack that makes Parkersaurus look like he has fancy spikes... oh, yes! At this point, Parker's growth chart was dubbed Parkersaurus! My next step was to create a pocket for the back (I'm planning to give Allie some tags she can pin to the front to track Parker's growth). I didn't get any pictures of it, though. (That was the day we found out Patches' kittens were murdered and I was little upset.) Last Tuesday night, I finished up all of the stitching and Parkersaurus was COMPLETE! I immediately hung him up in the kitchen to see how he looked.
I laid on the floor to take that photo and Copper thought I'd make a cozy bed and Penny thought I wanted her to give me lots of wet willies. It took five minutes just to get one photo (and I need to spend less time stitching and more time playing with my Pups so they don't attack me as soon as I'm away from my stitching space!).
A lot of love went into Parker's room. My brother spackled, sanded and smoothed out lots of spots on the wall where mirrors used to hang, Allie's mom and sisters painted, my Pa installed the gorgeous chair rail and molding, and Allie created the precious dinosaur border! And now Parkersaurus, made with love by Aunt Chels, is hanging on the closet. :)
My next personal project: stitching up a giraffe growth chart for little Henry!