Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dog Silhouette Paper Piecing Patterns

I have three dog paper piecing patterns now available through my etsy shop. My favorite is my Rebel Doxie.  Based on my miniature dachshund, who thinks she is large and in charge and doesn't like listening to any authority. Hence the mohawk, lol.  I was inspired to make this pattern because I already had a dachshund pattern from thetartankiwi but my dachshund is a miniature and isn't quite as long as other doxies and she has a super long tail.

My rainbow mohawk Doxie
 Next is my Miniature Pinscher named Diesel.  I couldn't find any patterns for min pins but after searching for days, I finally found one but it actually looked like a doberman, which mine clearly doesn't.  P.S. Many people think the miniature pinscher is just a miniature doberman but it's not.  Min pins came first actually.  Anywho, I actually made the min pin pattern first and just made the silhouette only.  Then I made the Rebel Doxie and thought the min pin pattern was a little plain so I added a spiky collar, which my son preferred because it was more fun. The pattern includes both the plain version as well as the collar.

And last, what actually started this dog pattern making journey, my Harley Dog. I had gotten the pattern from thetartankiwi for the dachshund and put it in my drawer for a later time.  Then Harley got sick and died rather suddenly; she was only 12.  I then pulled out the dachshund pattern to make a mini quilt of my dogs (the other ones are also seniors, 9 and 10) and then couldn't find what I was looking for, for the min pin and especially not my Harley, as she was a Pointer/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix.

Patterns can be found HERE in my etsy store.  If you don't see them, just let me know.  They may have sold out.  I don't really know how many to list at this point.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Paper Piecing Pattern

I started making paper piecing patterns.  I was actually inspired to start making patterns by tartankiwi's dachshund pattern, which I purchased and made and realized I wanted to make a mini quilt of all my dogs, especially since my first dog as a grownup had just recently died. I could not find anything that resembled my other dogs (dachshund's are so easy; they all look basically the same). So I finally figured out the programs to make the patterns and made some of my dogs, which I'll be releasing at some point when I finished testing them out (so be on the lookout for those soon).
Sneak Peek
But since I can never work on only one project at a time, I also started my pattern at the same time as I was imagining it as a Bible cover.  And it ended up being super tiny.  It wasn't hard, just tedious.  I turned the blue one into a cover for my son with paper airplanes and yellow, two of his favorite things.

I also made a cover for my daughter but didn't make the .org part (because it's so tedious) but now I think it feels like it is missing; but she loves it since it is pinks and purples and has butterflies.

 Now the good part.  You can download the pattern for free here.  It originally was only a 6.5" square pattern but I've also added a 9 inch option, just print which one you'd prefer to make. The pattern is for the block only and does not include the Bible cover.  You will need some paper piecing experience; I don't recommend this for beginners because the pieces are so tiny and many are held by only a few stitches.  But those with experience should have no trouble. The pattern can also be enlarged to be bigger, just remember to adjust seam allowances.

I'd love to see anything you make with it so don't forget to tag me on instagram (or send it to me if you don't do all that stuff).

Friday, August 5, 2016

Unknown Inspiration

I don't really like to "blog" or talk about myself much but that's the sort of thing people do, right? So here's a little bit about a series I had no idea I was working on.

Most of the time, I just make what pops into my head. I do very boring traditional quilts for friends and family.  Traditional basically holds no interest for me because they are so plain, no thought is really required, plain fabric is usually used, etc. Traditional does have its place with me; sometimes it's nice to work on something that doesn't require as much thought.  When I create for myself or whatever pops into my head, it's almost always improv of some sort.  They require a lot of "making it work", which is when I feel the most creative.

So here it goes: I made three quilts that were inspired by me, what I was into, at certain ages.
This is my mermaid quilt.  I had never sewn curves before and decided to improv cut all the curves in stacks of five.  This is one that I wish I had added sashing because all of the lovely curves that I spent so much time working on kind of get lost and jumbled together.  I wanted to add sashing but didn't have enough of any one fabric to do so and instead decided to make it work.  I may at some point take it apart and add sashing.  Crazy, I know but it really bothers me.  Anyway, this represents my 8-12 yr old self in that I loved mermaids and bright colors (Lisa Frank, anyone?).

I call this "Neon Geek"  I was inspired by the Robert Kaufman Sarah Johnston fabric that has glasses and math equations (it's really hard to see in the photos but this fabric started it all).  But I hated the green so I cut it out and had these irregular panels which I cut into strips and interspersed neon colors.  Then I used the leftovers and kept pulling color related fabric until it was big enough.  The x, + and - are obviously math inspired but I basically just sewed the leftovers up with them.  It was definitely a make it work quilt since nothing fit in the center and I hate wasting cutting parts.  This was inspired by my 12-15 years.  I was still into neon big time and loved math.
This The Cure t-shirt quilt.  This represents 15-18 (to now, really, still my favorite band).  I had an extensive collection that I never wore, and was never going to wear, so I cut them up.  It would have made sense to cut them the same size in order to sew them together easily but that didn't even occur to me until after I had cut every shirt based on it's picture and then had to piece them together somehow.  But it would have boring otherwise so it all worked out.  The back references one of their songs, Lovecats (I realized I forgot to add the triangles to the bottom of the cat faces too late.) It's very big and heavy and I don't really use it.  My house is always shorts/t-shirt temperature year round per my husband.

It wasn't until I finished the third one that I realized what I had done (that they were all me, but different aged me). All of these quilts were made with what I had, before I had any real collection of fabric and I had to make it work. So these are some of my favorites.

(The photos totally need updating too because they were from before we had our white garage as the perfect backdrop.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Art and Stuff

I sew.  I sew a lot, probably more than I should. There's the kids, the house, the husband, so, so many things I probably should spend more time on but I don't.  I'm an artist.  I've tried many different mediums.  I was an abstract painter.  People didn't get it so I tried realism but it just wasn't for me.  (Just take a photo if you want it to look real! haha) I did printmaking in high school, which I did love but is a little hard to translate to real life without all the tools (acid baths). I even tried designing frames with decoupage.  I've tried sewing clothes but I hate following patterns and tried designing my own so my clothes never fit correctly.  I also worked as a graphic designer but the competition is fierce, especially when competing with the whole word through the internet. And not to mention, I don't actually like people telling me how to be creative!
Quilt I made for my brother and his wife when they got married, not my worst but certainly not the best either.
 And then somehow I landed on quilting.  My first quilts were horrible.  I didn't know anything about squaring up or even cutting accurately (don't rip the fabric like you can when designing clothes).  But we still use many of these quilts because I got some things right and they are soft and comfy and have been washed a million times and have held up surprisingly well.  
Sunset on the Water
I can be abstract with quilting and if you don't get it, it's just a bunch of blocks sewn together to create a blanket.  (My husband says he just sees a bunch of circles) Or maybe you see what I see, a sunset on the water. Either way, it doesn't matter.  I've made functional art and that's what I like.