PlanetJune Craft Blog

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PlanetJune Stories: Maureen’s Armadillo

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Maureen Carter, a crochet enthusiast from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. Last year, Maureen tagged me on Facebook with this picture of an incredibly colourful armadillo she had crocheted using my pattern and based on a child’s drawing:

Maureen's crocheted armadillo with Isabella's armadillo drawing

…and I just had to reach out to her to find out more about the story behind this incredible project!

Over to Maureen:


I learned how to crochet when I was 12 years old but have only been doing amigurumi in the last 4 years. I used to make mostly slippers, hats, mittens, blankets, scarves, sweaters, ponchos. Now I do a lot of amigurumi as well. It is a lot of fun seeing all the little parts come to life as a stuffed animal. My crochet teacher always said, “Make joy with your crochet.” Amigurumi always brings joy to those that receive the finished projects.

I have relatives in California who were involved with helping support and promote an online fundraiser by the Dominican Sisters Vision of Hope, a non-profit organization that raises funds to support several Catholic schools in the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco-Oakland California area. One of my sisters invited me to participate in the online auction.

One of the features of the auction was artwork made and donated by students in the schools supported by the auction. I was very taken with a colorful drawing called “Oaxacan Armadillo” by a first grade student, Isabella. I placed a bid for her drawing in the auction and was so happy to be the successful bidder.

“Oaxacan Armadillo” by Isabella

When the framed artwork arrived at my home I came up with the idea that this artwork could be transformed into an amigurumi replica that I could send as a surprise to Isabella. I looked for armadillo crochet patterns and decided that I could work with June’s pattern as the base, but incorporate the colors and designs from Isabella’s drawing.

I have followed June’s work and often watched her tutorials and lessons on how to do certain stitches and techniques. I was happy to find her pattern which was a great help to bring this drawing to life. June’s armadillo design was the perfect one to use as my base, especially since the armor shell is made as a separate piece that attaches after it’s all done.

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune The PlanetJune Armadillo crochet pattern

I made each leg a different color with 3 toes, and made the ears and eyes and facial expression to match Isabella’s drawing as closely as possible. The color I added to the armor was achieved partly by crocheting in stripes, then I made small appliques and sewed them on and did some surface crochet to get the shapes and colors that were used in the drawing.

Maureen's crocheted armadillo

It took me 2-3 weeks working intermittently to recreate the armadillo. I also had a color copy of the drawing made up to send with the crocheted armadillo. I mailed it to Isabella in the care of her school principal. It was presented to her at school.

Isabella with her armadillo drawing and Maureen's crocheted armadillo

I sent a note thanking her for making the beautiful colorful drawing and sharing it with the fundraiser for her school. I encouraged her to continue to have fun making beautiful things using her imagination and talent. I told her that when I see it on my fireplace mantle every day, it brings me joy.

I recently received a note back from Isabella and her mother. Isabella’s handwritten note says:

Dear Ms. Maureen,
Thank you for my armadillo. I really like it. I like how it looks exactly like my drawing and it turned out very colorful. It is very special to me.
Love, Isabella

Isabella's note

Her mom also sent a beautiful note thanking me for making the armadillo for Isabella, which she named “Alice.”

Isabella's mom's note

I loved Isabella’s artwork right away the first moment I saw it. I felt compelled to do something to express how much I admired her work and that I hope she continues to enjoy drawing and making things. I thought I could do it justice as a crocheted stuffed animal that she might like, so I gave it a try. It was a happy and moving experience for both of us.


(Back to me, June, again!)

I love everything about this story – it’s such a fun project, and isn’t the story behind it fantastic?! Both Maureen and Isabella are wonderfully creative, and I’m so happy my armadillo pattern contributed to their collaboration.

Part of the joy I find in having a clean and simple design style is seeing how people choose to adapt, embellish and modify my PlanetJune patterns – and I’m sure you’ll agree that Maureen’s armadillo is a prime example of that creativity.

Thank you so much, Maureen, for sharing your story with us today 🙂
Please leave Maureen a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!


Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!

8 Comments »

  1. Karen Hoyer said

    We saw this story via knithacker.com/ and found it absolutely charming. I added a link to this page of your blog to our monthly newsletter. I think it’s a great idea for a project for all of us with kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friends who love to draw… Love reading your blog and I hope our knitting guild members will visit and read. Karen Hoyer www.windycityknittingguild.com/

  2. MagicalAmigurumi(Monica) said

    AMAZING! that is one awesome armadillo! and such a wonderful story to go with it! Beautiful work!

  3. Jana Hunter said

    The squirrels are adorable! I can’t wait to make one!
    The armadillo story was wonderful! What a treasure for Isabella and kudos for Maureen’s brilliant crochet adaptations!
    I just had cataract surgery in both eyes, and though my distance vision has gone from 20/400+ to 20/40, my close up vision is gone! I used to crochet, bead, etc. Without glasses. Can’t do it now. I have some cheap “cheaters” that help some, but it will be at least three months before things settle (I also have to get a retina surgery in my left eye) then I can get a proper pair of prescription glasses so I can resume doing the things I love!
    In the meantime, though beading is definitely on hold, I’m going to see if I can still see enough to make one of these cute squirrels!
    Thanks, June, for all you do to help us with our craft and for your inspiring blog posts!
    I LOVE technology! This makes me want a 3D printer! Lol!

  4. Chris Webster said

    Dear June,
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. It has inspired me to ask my grandchildren to draw something I can make. I have severe arthritis in my hands now and can’t knit but can still do short spells of easy crochet and can still do a bit of sewing, so I would love to do this.
    Thank you. Chris

  5. Ruth Lister said

    Wow! What a beautiful and touching story behind the making of Alice the Armadillo, Maureen.
    Firstly, I loved Isabella’s colourful artwork, and secondly, I am so impressed with your ability to recreate Isabella’s drawing. Such an awesome thing to attempt, and such an amazing recreation.
    And thirdly, what a beautiful gesture to post the finished article to Isabella. She will treasure Alice for the rest of her life I’m sure, and I’m guessing that both she and her Mother, will continue to be inspired by your generosity of spirit.
    It is most definitely the little acts of generosity and human kindness that make this world a better place, and the world really needs that right now.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story Maureen & June. ❤️

  6. Maureen G Carter said

    Thank you June for sharing this story and for all the work you put into your patterns and tutorials. I have learned a lot from you over the past few years. I had so much fun figuring out how I was going to transform the drawing into an amigurumi keepsake for Isabella. I love that she loves it, and she gave it a name, Alice. When I make amigurumi I sometimes actually get giddy to see the parts come together and turn out so fun. I’m glad
    the story of Alice the Armadillo continues to bring joy and maybe inspired others to give this sort of thing a try. Peace and crochet joy to all!
    -XO from Maureen

  7. Susan said

    Oh My Gosh! I Absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this heart warming story! This is the “Good News” we ALL Pray to hear! My day has been brightened immensely hearing Maureen and Isabella’s story! I Love Armadillos! They live all around our home, foraging for insects all summer long. We don’t mind when they forage and route in the garden soil, they till it up nicely BUT the little critters are naughty when they forage and route through the grass leaving torn up areas in the yard. 🙂
    Maureen, your crochet armadillo turned out absolutely fun and delightful! Isabell, you’re a precious creative girl to design such fun and fabulous artwork!
    Thank You, June, for sharing this story, as well as ALL your crochet inspiration, patterns and tutorials!
    Warm and Kind Regards from Texas

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      I couldn’t say it better – I had “love, love, love” ringing in my head while I was reading the story.
      Apart from having armadillos around or being in Texas, Susan’s comment could be mine 😉

      And I also LOVE adapting your patterns, June 🙂

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