The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Papa Bears

Papa Bears - Amy's Family
Shortly after my father (we call him Papa) passed away in August 2015, my daughter Emma asked if she could have a teddy bear to hug and think of Papa. Her comments triggered this immediate idea and I asked my Mom if I could have my Papa's shirts so I could make all 27 of us a Papa Bear.

Papa and Amy (me) - Bryce Canyon National Park - June 2015 - windy day
Once I had the shirts I needed to find the perfect bear pattern to use. I had an image in my head and I searched patterns online to see if I could find what I could see in my mind. I kept finding my perfect pattern and kept finding that it was discontinued years and years ago. And the replacement pattern was also discontinued without another replacement. 

In the middle of my frustration, I remembered that about 25 years ago I worked for a fabric store and when patterns were discontinued we could purchase them for really cheap or we could get them for free (without their envelopes). So, I went to my basement and pulled out the bin that I knew contained all my patterns. And I found it - the perfect pattern - I had actually bought it decades before! I was so relieved to realize that I owned the pattern for which I had been searching.

Papa Bears - Jenny's Family
I chose the large sized bear (22"). I taped the pattern pieces (all 9 of them) to copy paper and I made 10 sets of copies so that I could pin and cut them in large batches; remember I made 27 of them.

I ordered a custom label from Wunderlabel to identify these bears as "Papa Bears". Here is a picture of the label:

Papa Bears - Gabe's Family
I ordered plastic safety eyes and noses from GlassEyesOnline so the little kids can't pull them out and choke on them.

Papa Bears - Seth's Family
I stuffed them with Poly-Fil from Fairfield. I ordered the Poly-Fil from Amazon because I found after shopping around that they have the best price and the shipping was free with my Prime account. I needed 1.5 pounds per bear so I ordered four 10-lb boxes.

Papa Bears - Sarah's Family
I also made pillows from two of the shirts for my Mom. Here is a picture of her with her bear and her two pillows.

Mom with her Papa Bear and Two Pillows
I estimate that it took about 4-5 hours to make each bear. I gave each family member their bear for Christmas.

We all now have our own “Papa Bear” to hug, love, and think of Papa.


  1. What a great way to remember a loved family member.

  2. Oh my goodness. Cutest idea ever!! What treasures for your family.

  3. Why are you not my sister? I need your talents in my life on a more regular basis. These are genius and you are the BEST ever for making them for everyone.

  4. What an amazing gift to receive. I didn't realize how huge they were until I saw the picture with your mom holding one. I couldn't help but think though that you dad sure had a lot of shirts. It looks like an amazing variety of colors too. It's like he was a cloths horse for the purpose of blessing his posterity. I'm sure he is very pleased with your efforts.

    1. I asked everyone to give me their top 3 favorite colors. Then I tried to match a shirt to each person. He had a lot of sport shirts and t-shirts from pitching horseshoes competitively (Utah Summer Games, World Senior Games, etc) for over 30 years. Also work and dress shirts.

  5. This is so touching, it makes me cry. I'm sure they will be loved and cherished for many, many years. I believe you will be so blessed, that you received the most satisfaction from this endeavor of love, and I KNOW your sweet dad was there with you all those hours. What an awesome, blessed gift!!!

  6. I love our bears and I also love the two-toned one (Mom's). Amy, this was such a thoughtful gift. Thank you! I love you!

  7. This is so wonderful Amy! Love it!

  8. Amy,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Wow - what a wonderful and huge project you took on!

  10. Hi Amy -

    What a lovely idea and a beautiful way to remember your Papa.

    Take care,


  11. What a wonderful idea and to take it so much further than your daughter's request. Lovely gifts and an heirloom for future generations with a great story.

  12. Amy,

    I'm going to share your post to the CRAFTY Genealogists group on FB.

  13. Just stopping in from Geneabloggers to say HI, and I enjoyed your interview. I love your logo and your explanation for it. That kind of creativity always excites me and makes me wish I could think that way.