Harold and the Purple Crayon

Okay folks…here it is…the last mini quilt I think that I’ll be making for a while. And when I say Mini I mean it! This little quilt is about 13″ tall and 9″ wide. And it’s all based on the children’s book “Harold and the Purple Crayon”.

Harold and the Purple Crayon - Quilt and Book

Being a new mom, I’m not super in touch with popular children’s books. But Harold is one of them here. Considering I bought the 50th anniversary edition, I think that he’s been around for quite a while. 😉

I made this quilt for the Mini QT Swap over on Flickr. Our theme was books and this is one of the books that my partner said I could pick from. I loved the little story and Harold’s journey. So that’s what I wanted to depict in my quilt: part of Harold’s Journey.

Harold is quite a clever fellow. He creates what he needs or wants by drawing it with his purple crayon. First there is the moon…

Harold and the Purple Crayon - opening scene

Later, Harold wants to draw a forest and starts with this tree…

Harold and the Purple Crayon - tree scene

Uh oh…Harold gets stuck in the water and needs a way to get out! Clever Harold draws himself a boat!

Harold and the Purple Crayon - boat scene

At some point in his journey, Harold needs a balloon! So of course he draws one!

Harold and the Purple Crayon - balloon

But as many good stories do, in the end Harold decides that he really just wants to go to sleep. So he draws himself a window to climb into and ends up back in his bed.

Harold and the Purple Crayon - final scene

Definitely a sweet story and one that I am sure that I will be reading to my daughter many times in the future. I really liked the simple illustrations that were very powerful at the same time.

Harold and the Purple Crayon - quilt with book and illustrations

One of the biggest challenges of this quilt was obviously the small nature of it. I had to make the images even smaller than they are in the book and they are already pretty darn small. But remember I like a good challenge…and I’m good with details so I gave myself a pep talk and set about making this little quilt. Everything about the book is very simple and I didn’t want the quilt to be boring, so that’s why I chose a slightly more interesting background fabric than plain cream…plus I liked how the lines of that fabric are in keeping with the lines drawn by Harold.

Here’s a US penny on one of the scenes so that you can get a sense of the tiny scale that each scene is.

Penny perspective

I broke out the micro pen on this one. After stitching down all the pieces, I knew that there was no way that stitching would work well at this scale. It’s actually the first time that I’ve drawn on the fabric in a quilt. It was quite liberating in some ways. In other ways I feel guilty that I couldn’t make it entirely out of thread and fabric. But it’s just another way to add to a fabric piece, so I’m trying to get over it. LOL. I console myself with the fact that I freehand did all the pen work just looking at the pictures. I was really worried about that.

And on the back I used a pretty purple fabric that kind of reminded me a scribbles or doodles you might do with a crayon…just go with me people. It’s a loose interpretation 😉

Harold and the Purple Crayon - Back

I chose to make the quilt in the little house shape because I wanted to single out each scene and I have a sneaking suspicion that Harold never actually left his house while on his adventures. 😉 Oh and the shape is also crayon like…a short stubby crayon, but you can see it. right?

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out and glad to have it completed. It’s been on the to do list for far too long! I’m going to send it off with some crayons and house push pins and call it a day!

I do need to thank my husband for going above and beyond by setting up a light outdoors for me when it was pitch black so that I could do the tracing that I needed to do. I couldn’t work on it during the day because of the girlie. So here’s to him and here’s to Harold!

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20 thoughts on “Harold and the Purple Crayon

  1. FABULOUS! This was one of my fave books when I was teaching. Loved the creativity of it. And, at first I was wondering where you found Harold fabric — you did a great job tracing + creating!

  2. Oh my Goodness! I am making a quilt of my childhood places. I loved the library and remember in first grade seeing that book in the middle of the library table and hoping noone else grabbed if first. I googled and came up with your blog. I am 57 so that book must have just come out. I am trying to figure out how to make a 1 inch harold book cover for my library table.

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