I fell in love when I saw a Lavender Llama at my son’s apartment (it belongs to his girlfriend). I knew I had to make one myself. And I did! I’m happy to share my Lavender Llama (hot/cold plush) tutorial with you all! This could make a great, last-minute gift for someone young or old.
These soft, plush animals are filled with rice and dried lavender that you can microwave for warm comfort in the winter or freeze for instant relaxation in the summer. And they smell so good! They are the perfect size to fit on your chest, abdomen or across your head or neck.
You could fill these llamas with rice, flax seeds, seed corn or beans. I used white jasmine rice and Starwest Botanicals Organic Dried Lavender that I ordered from Amazon (affiliate link). The lavender is optional, but I love the scent and it’s a wonderful stress reliever.
The fabric to make these llamas can be made from a Minky type fabric (I used Cuddle dimple from Shannon Fabrics for one), faux fur or flannel fabric.
EDIT: There has been some concern about putting plush fabric in the microwave. I tested the Cuddle fabric in my own microwave by putting a 6″ square of both samples in the microwave for 2 minutes at high power. The fabric samples became slightly warm, not hot, and there was no other change. Nothing melted or smelled strange. There are many different manufacturers of plush fabric. I used Cuddle by Shannon Fabrics (which is sold in most quilt shops). I would definitely test your specific brand/sample first. If you have any concerns, use 100% cotton flannel.
I found a llama printed flannel for the back of one llama and I used ivory Cuddle on the front. I think it’s super cute and still cuddly! The other body parts should be made with wool or wool felt so they can withstand the microwave.
Even though I call myself The “Crafty” Quilter, I’m definitely not an expert at making stuffed animals; but I’ll show you how I put these llamas together, and I have a pattern template that you can download and print out.
Lavender Llama tutorial
- 1/3 yard of Cuddle (minky) fabric or flannel (body)
- 10″ square (approximately) of tan or gray wool (ears and legs)
- small scrap of white wool (nose/mouth)
- small scrap of black wool (eyes)
- scraps of 100% cotton batting (ears and legs)
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups of filler (I used white rice)
- 1/2 cup of dried lavender (optional, or you could use essential oil)
- water soluble fabric glue
- black permanent marker or fabric pen
- pattern template (below)
- Print out the lavender llama pattern template at actual size.
- Cut apart the pattern pieces on the lines.
- Using the body pattern, trace (don’t cut yet) two bodies onto the wrong side of minky or flannel (make sure they are mirror images of each other).
- Cut 1/2″ OUTSIDE THE BODY LINES for the seam allowance.
- For the other body parts, you’ll be tracing and cutting on the line (no seam allowance needed). Cut one face from wool, one nose/mouth from white wool, two eyes from black wool, four legs and four ears from wool, two ears and two legs from batting.
- Make the ears and legs. I found that these body parts needed extra stability so I stuffed them with batting that I cut down about 1/8″ smaller all around than the pattern. I used Roxanne’s Glue Baste It to hold the layers together. Then I stitched 1/8″ from the edges using a walking foot. You could also use a heavy interfacing instead, which I did for the tan wool on the cream llama.
- Make the face by drawing the nose/mouth on the white oval using a permanent marker or a fabric pen. Glue this and the eyes to the face shape using the pattern as a placement guide. Stitch them in place using matching thread.
- Glue the face to the right side (of fabric) of the llama’s head using the pattern as a placement guide. Stitch in place.
- Baste the legs and ears in place so the raw edges are lined up, using the body pattern markings for placement.
- Place the body pieces right sides together and pin well. Cuddle or plush fabric has a nap to it, so it tends to shift.
- Use a walking foot and stitch on the marked body line, leaving an opening where indicated on the pattern. (Note: When sewing with Cuddle, I always use a walking foot, 1/2″ seam allowance, and a 2.5-3.0 stitch length).
- Clip inside curved edges of seam allowance and trim seam allowance to 1/4″ except at the opening.
- Turn right side out.
I had a hard time keeping the ears of the llama equal. I had to re-sew the right ear of the lavender llama to make it straight. The cream llama also has a crooked ear, but I left it as is. I suppose it adds to his charm!
- Fill the llama with the rice and dried lavender. I found that using a funnel was more efficient and less messy. If you want your llama more full, you can add another 1/2 cup of rice. Just make sure that you leave room to stitch the opening closed with your sewing machine.
- Pin the opening closed and stitch close to the edge by machine. You can hand stitch this closed, but I prefer the small stitches and strength of the sewing machine.
Enjoy your sweet Lavender Llama! He or she is ready to make you comfortable by placing it in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes or place it in the freezer for several hours. Enjoy!