Lavender Llama, hot/cold plush tutorial

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.

Lavender Llama tutorial from The Crafty Quilter.  This llama is filled with rice and dried lavender that you can microwave for warm comfort or freeze for cool relaxation.

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.

Lavender Llama tutorial by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.

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.

Lavender Llama tutorial from The Crafty Quilter.  This llama is filled with rice and dried lavender that you can microwave for warm comfort or freeze for cool relaxation.
Lavender Llama tutorial from The Crafty Quilter.  This llama is filled with rice and dried lavender that you can microwave for warm comfort or freeze for cool relaxation.

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

Supplies:
  • 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)
Lavender Llama pattern
  • 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!

Lavender Llama tutorial by Julie @ The Crafty Quilter.
Lavender Llama tutorial from The Crafty Quilter.  This llama is filled with rice and dried lavender that you can microwave for warm comfort or freeze for cool relaxation.

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About Julie Cefalu

Hello! I'm Julie and I love to quilt, craft, read, garden, hike and spend time with my family.

45 thoughts on “Lavender Llama, hot/cold plush tutorial

  1. Thank you so much for this, I made one for myself and end up using almost everyday! The shape works really well for neck and shoulder area. I have made a few others too with a tag for use. THANKS!

  2. would be a good baby or pet gift with crinkly stuff inside (washed and dried potato chip bag) since babies and pets love soft things that make that noise.

  3. Hi Julie,
    I’m a quilter, and I love your site. I recently came across some information about plush fabrics that I thought I would share. You know how the tiny fibers that make plush fabrics so soft shed just a little bit at a time? Those are ending up in our watershed, and eventually in our oceans. They’re beginning to cause problems, just like microbeads in face washes and toothpaste used to. Just thought I’d pass the information along and let people decide for themselves.

  4. I just made one of these with a flannel front and minky back for my 6 month old grandson for Christmas. It is adorable! I stuffed it with fiberfill. Thanks for a great tutorial!!

  5. Thank you for sharing the tutorial and tips for Llavendar Llama. So practical, useful and so super cute as well! Are you going to be selling one or so after the first of the year? I’d like to maybe purchase one, I will have to see how things are going but I’d definitely love to adopt one! Happy Holidays. Thanks again.

  6. If you use batting to stiffen the ears, make sure it is 100% cotton if you plan to put it in the microwave. I don’t know if cuddle is microwaveable, but I think I would test a piece before using it for the outside. It is very cute.

  7. LOVE this tutorial. Can’t wait to sew a few. Thanks for sharing! Personally, I love the look of the wonky ear! It reminds me of life, with all it’s many ups and downs.

  8. I have a lavender Minky tube given to me as a gift years ago, and I use it often. It was purchased commercially and is microwavable. I love sleeping with it, the lavender is very soothing to me. I will try this pattern for gift giving. Thank you!

  9. These are so sweet, will be making at least one, but will end up making one for my two daughters. Love the lavender color as well as the dried lavender. Those would be my first choice.

  10. This is SO darn cute, but isn’t cuddle/minky fabric- synthetic? I always thought you could only put 100% cotton in a microwave.
    Thanks for sharing- I may make one in 100% cotton, although not near as cuddly! OR maybe I could somehow alter the pattern a little- to make a rice pack insert???? Have to work on it.

      1. Thank you so much for this information. I’ll get it tested now and get one made. I don’t have wool, so she’ll have cotton ears.

  11. This so cute and purposeful! I have three bed buddies I use on my neck. This will be much better and I ove lavender. Thanks for sharing.
    Ruth Lowe
    P.S. what about a fussy baby?

  12. These are so sew cute! I am going to have to try making one. Thanks for your pattern. I really love looking at your weekly inspiration.

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