tulliver’s travels

Jennifer original patterns, sewing Leave a Comment


I knew I’d love him…I just didn’t know how much until I sat back and took him in and all his bits and bobs. It feels so good to feel so proud of a finished design and there’s not one bit of this little chap that doesn’t make me smile.


I called him ‘Tulliver’ in part because I love Terry Pratchett’s character ‘Tolliver Groat’ from ‘Going Postal’ and I was too chicken to steal the great man’s character name completely…and partly as a play on words in honor of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. Tulliver’s a rambler you see. Up hill and down dale.


His mum has packed him a cheese, chutney, lettuce and tomato sandwich into a brown paper bag and he has his journey plotted on his map. With his camera at the ready he’s to stroll.

So…Tulliver, this is everybody. Everybody…this is Tulliver!


From a design perspective ‘tortoise in a turtle neck’ sounded interesting…fun and something I could sink my teeth into. Then, the more I thought about him the more the turtle neck gave me pause for thought. How can you have a shell…and wear a jumper without losing either the jumper or the shell in the translation? Every toy I make has to have a story. Even if it’s just for me to know. Tulliver was going to take some writing.

Tulliver may well be a tricky one!

So in the end his shell became a working backpack. I thought it was nifty and cute and meant that at least one problem had been solved!

Next problem…why would he be wearing a backpack? What is he doing that means that he has to be able to tote things around with him? Well a tortoise is a land creature and perfectly paced to spend his days and time taking in the wonders the countryside has to offer. So he became a calm little rambler, passively picking his way around the landscape. Another problem solved!

The answer to the last problem wrote itself. What will he put in his backpack then? Binoculars were my first thought but perhaps they were a bit hard to accurately fashion to scale out of felt but a camera on the other hand lends itself beautifully to his character and hobby.

Camera it is!

Only a camera would be worn around the neck wouldn’t it?

So what goes into the backpack?


The perfect sandwich.

Everyone knows that the perfect sandwich is the one someone else (for preference your mum according to my boy Harry!) makes for you. Cheese, chutney, lettuce and tomato on white. Teamed with a plotted journey on his map Tulliver was ready to roam.


He found himself at Homespun and if you buy a little copy of this months gorgeous collectors addition you can make a Tulliver all of your own.






I do love him.

I hope you do too.

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