One of Pearl's absolute favorite books is My Chincoteague Pony by Susan Jeffers. Mostly because it's all about horses, but I think she sees a little of herself in the girl, which is based on a true story.You see, each year there are ponies auctioned off in Chincoteague, Virginia. One little girl, whose heart yearns to have a pony of her own, spends all year earning money by doing chores and babysitting.
Where do the ponies come from? Many years ago a Spanish galleon shipwrecked off Assateague Island and the cargo of ponies swam to the island where they lived, and multiplied. But soon there was not enough room or food for all the wild ponies, so the volunteer fire department, known as "saltwater cowboys" would swim some across the channel to be auctioned off.
After being outbid time after time, the last pony is being auctioned off. Slowly, strangers in the crowd begin passing a few dollars to the little girl, seeing how she is so set on buying her very own pony. Finally, she wins the auction. She goes home with all the joy of having a pony, but then spends another year earning money so she can go to the auction to give it to someone else who has the same desire.
We would love to take Pearl one year, even if it is just to experience the auction and those wild ponies. Until then, we made our own herd of ponies, one for each of the kids. They all chose the fur and yarn they wanted to use.
Pearl, our resident horse expert, drew up the template that we used to cut out our ponies. We kept it simple and everyone did what they could to help. For the mane and tail we wrapped yarn around another's hands, cutting on one side, tying a knot on the other.Then we tucked the knots just inside the seam allowance with fabrics wrong sides together. This makes it super simple for young ones to help because you don't need to turn it right side out. They're wild, you know.
Stitch around perimeter of the pony, using a zipper foot so you don't need to pass over the knots within the seam, leaving the back open to easily stuff the legs. If your sewing machine has a hard time moving the fabric under the presser foot, pull the fabric with your left hand, while guiding it with your right. We used a pencil to get the stuffing down in the legs. Stitch back shut.
We started with one strapping stallion who met a mighty fine mare. They had a pretty cute foal in no time.
And before we knew it, there was a whole stampede going on.
And off they galloped.
One more day of Once Upon a Thread! Although, I just ordered a whole bunch of books from the library, so I don't know that I'll be able to contain myself until the next chapter. They might come sprinkling through my other posts until then. Now if there were just a few more hours in the day. Or I could do chores like the Jetsons did. I'd prefer the Jetsons.