Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Troll Dolls

I am often messaged, via the Etsy convo system, about making custom items.  These are usually fun projects and it is always a challenge to make something new.  Recently I had a tentative enquiry about making some felt embellishments for a collection of Troll Dolls.  

Remember those?

I really have the most interesting customers.  How could I possibly resist such a request?  There was some back and forth about what my customer wanted and finally we decided it would be easiest if she sent me the Troll Doll clothes for me to embellish.  

Trolls are outdoorsy creatures so naturally the clothes needed twigs, leaves, flowers, mushrooms etc.  Here is how they came out (did I mention what a fun project this was???).

The clothes came to me completely plain and some of them were really small!

I was really happy with how they turned out but more importantly my customer was thrilled.  She sent me this great photo of some of her Troll Dolls modeling their new couture outfits.

Monday, September 26, 2016

SVQA 2016 Annual Quilt Show

This last weekend was the South Valley Quilt Association's annual quilt show.  For the last three years I have been a vendor there, selling the things I have in my Etsy shop.  The preparation is always a lot of work but I enjoy meeting and chatting with customers and this year I saw several people who I haven't seen for ages which was especially fun (even the person I completely mistook for someone else!).  There were generally fewer people around this year which was sad because I thought the quilts were more interesting than they've been in the past.  My booth looked colorful and attractive and we did pretty well.  We had great vendors next to us so it was all good.

Here are my favorite quilts from the show........

The following items were stitched by a group of Japanese ladies who live in our Sister City in Japan.

I love these little guys below!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's beginning to feel a bit like Fall

It's beginning to feel a bit like Fall and that makes me happy.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love the nip in the early morning air and the subtle change of light from the glaring bright light of Summer to the soft, golden light of the Fall months - the way the first, early morning, glowy rays of sunshine hit the grape vine leaves and the textured palm tree trunks in my garden.  As I walk Tia in the mornings, I've been noticing the leaves starting to turn.  

The quilt show, where I will have a booth, is just a few short weeks away and I am stitching every chance I get.  As always, I've been struggling to maintain a balance between making more of popular existing designs and working on the new ones that are itching to get off the pages of my sketchbook.  I've also had several custom orders to work on.  My shop is looking rather empty and a bit sad but I'm planning to put it "on vacation" in September so I can focus on the show.  I'll come back to it fresh after that.  

I've come up with a new hedgehog pincushion.  It is a Fall hedgehog pincushion, with colorful leaves and little red toadstools. 

I've made three of these but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be making a lot more.  If I have time before the quilt show I will.  

6.30am this morning and the sky was clear for the first time for weeks, no visible smoke from the big fire down near Carmel!  What a treat to see the bright stars fade and the sun rise.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Rainbow Tree

Seriously, there are not enough hours in each day!  I have been very busy sewing in preparation for my booth at a local quilt show at the end of September.  I didn't think I'd be doing it this year so when I realized I would be, I needed to get stitching!  I've also been working on some custom orders which is always fun, but takes extra time.  

In the midst of all this and nursing my daughter after she got all four wisdom teeth removed and the whole back to school thing, not to mention college applications, I looked in my box of felt scraps the other day and couldn't help myself.......

So many luscious colors!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Camel Pincushion

Some time ago, I was asked by a customer if I could make her a pincushion with a camel on it.  After looking at pictures of camels online, there being no live camels hereabouts(!!), I realized what bizarre looking creatures they are.  And drawing one was hard.  To begin with my camels looked very much like llamas!  I persevered because to make something like this I have to have sketched the animal several times.  These are my last set of sketches. 

My customer requested a full body image of a camel and my process is to draw it till I'm happy with it then make a pattern.  I had to shorten the legs and neck just a little bit to make them fit and even then my drawing overlapped the edges of the 3.5inch circle that represents the size of the pincushion top.  What I do in this situation is just go ahead and finish drawing, go over it in black pen and then reduce the size by photocopying it.  

By stitching over the edge of the felt, I'm trying to make the camel look a bit shaggy.  The feet are my favorite part!

The side band of this pincushion is fuchsia with lots of flowers and leaves because my customer had mentioned how much she liked my happy elephant pincushion.   The camel looked a bit bare so with her approval I added some flowers around his neck - much better!

The extra two camels will be coming with me to the quilt show at the end of September.  I wasn't sure if I was going to do the show again this year but I have decided to.  My shop didn't really go quiet this summer as in previous years so I have been scrambling to keep on top of things and make enough items for my booth!