Monday, March 18, 2019

Plush Pears

I just made a bunch of super cute pear plush toys for Marlena Compton's Let's Pair kickstarter.

The design process started with Marlena sending me a sketch of what she wanted. I used that as reference to make my own scale sketch which would be the basis of starting to build the pear pattern.

 I made the face an Illustrator file to easily turn it into a machine embroidery file. I still use SewArt to convert images to embroidery files for my Brother PE-770 embroidery machine.

Once I got the shape of the pear right, I sent Marlena several minky plush fabric swatches to pick the right color for the body. I made the stem out of the cotton flannel to still be soft but a have different feel than just another minky piece.

Once the final sample was approved, I made a bunch of pears!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Plotzo the Rat plush toy

I made a plush toy version of another Meow Wolf mascot, Plotzo the rat. You can find Plotzo hanging out at Wiggy's Plasma Plex with the rest of the juviegangers. This toy version is the only one you would dare touch, as the real Plotzo would rather stab you than hug you.

Plotzo cut out
I used Benji Geary's painted cut out as the main reference for the toy version of Plotzo. Then I did my own sketch simplifying details that wouldn't show up well in a plush toy roughly 14 inches tall.

Plotzo is a rude dude with attitude and that is represented in his attire. His jacket has real studs on the shoulders, and anti symbol patch on the back. He's been in a couple of scrapes so he's got a notch taken out of his ear, but he doesn't care. Who knew that acid wash denim would make a come back?... Plotzo did.

I handmade a limited edition of twenty pieces for the Santa Fe Meow Wolf store, so by now they are all sold out. But they should be getting more made soon, keep checking the Meow Wolf online store.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Cool Cat patches

Just in time for summer, I made a couple of cool cat patches. I took the cat design from the animal icons added some sunglasses and turned it into a plush patch.  I made a couple of color variations but since my daughter, Suzanne's current favorite color is pink, she picked the pink one for her shirt.

I used a combinations of fabrics to give the patches some texture, they have a base of plush, the sunglasses are corduroy with the lenses made out of satin for some shine. Then the cat features are machine embroidered on top.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grandma Projects: part 2, knit baby blanket

This past summer, my step-Grandma passed away. She was a prolific knitter and amazing weaver.  From her, I inherited a lot of yarn and a partially finished baby blanket. This was a more recent project than my Grandma's Jiffy Afghan with the pattern being from the Plymouth Yarn Studio 8-hour Baby Blanket booklet.
It was about a quarter started and I began my part working on it a bit before my baby was born. It also got pushed aside for awhile. Once she was born, much like the afghan, it was an easy project to work on whenever I could find a couple of minutes.

Baby Wendy has her fair share of baby blankets now, so I'll  likely gift this one to the next baby. I can't say it took me exactly 8 hours, but the booklet has a ton of cool variations on baby blankets and it was fun and easy to make.

Finished dimensions: 26" wide by 32 " long

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Grandma projects: part 1, knit afghan

When my grandma passed away a couple of years ago (at age 100!) she left some unfinished projects behind. She was a prolific knitter and crocheter during her day. I still have the Christmas stocking she knitted for me when I was a kid.  Jammed in a bag was the beginning of a "Jiffy Knitted Afghan" in classic late '70s colors.
Afghan version 1
I completed it last year at stated but the stitches were really loose so it got stretched out easily. Plus I didn't like how I attached the panels together and I had run out of the light gold color and had to add a section of eggshell at the end. Overall I wasn't happy with it so I crammed it in my shed and didn't think about it until my second baby was born. Knitting is a good start/stop project to work on when you just have little spurts of time between childcare.

I took it all apart and doubled up the yarn which muted the colors a bit, but also unified them by having the light gold color run throughout the afghan. I alternated blocks of knit and purl so it was more interesting and wouldn't curl up. The doubled yarn is much more stable even using giant size 19 knitting needles. I tried to keep a feeling of the original with the color stripes. I made two panels and sewed them together.

Afghan version 2
The new size is much smaller, about 52 inches wide by 42 inches tall. It makes a good small lap or baby blanket, or in my house, a good cat blanket.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pink Knit Baby Blanket

I've had a little bit of extra time lately, so I've been able to do some knitting which is both relaxing and fun for me.

  My local library has a magazine exchange and my mom picked up the Winter 2007/2008 issue of Vogue Knitting. Most of the projects were much more involved than I was ready to commit to, but there was a section on lace knitting.  From the article by Shirley Paden, I used the Fan and Feather lace pattern to make a baby blanket.

Blanket dimensions: 28 in. wide by 32 in. long

I continue to have yarn donated to me, so I went through my stash for this project. I had a bunch of skeins of pink wool from my mother-in-law so that formed the base, then I found a yellow and blue wool with a similar weight to mix it up a little bit. I like how the color change really emphasizes the scallop shape.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Garden Baby Quilt

In anticipation of my second baby, I wanted to make her a quilt. The baby quilt I made for my first daughter Suzanne was based on Alec's animal alphabet paintings. I wanted to make another fun quilt, but didn't want to make the same alphabet quilt. Tucked away I've had a quilt project that seemed like it would never get finished so I pulled it out to see if I could turn it into a baby quilt.

When I moved from Oakland, CA to Vermont in 2010, I had a lot of scrap fabric that I didn't know what to do with. Instead of throwing it out, I cut out a ton of hexagons with the plan to make the Grandma's Flower Garden quilt from the 1979 edition of Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework.

It was a great background project, whenever I had time would I would piece some of the flowers together. After I had a bunch I started connecting them, but I still didn't have a finished size in mind.

I pulled out what I had of the quilt and decided it would be crib size (45"x60"), but I also wanted to add some other element to make it more baby/kid friendly. So I made 24 different animal icons, based on these illustrations, and machine embroidered them into the "flowers"

In the spirit of using up existing materials, I grabbed some solid fabrics that I already had for the back.

Traditionally this quilt is pieced by hand to make sure all the seams line up and are very flat. I figured out how to work it by machine, it's not perfect, but it went a lot faster than hand piecing, regardless it still took me years to pull it all together.

The neat thing about giving this to my daughter is that it's made of fabric patches from all sorts of projects I've completed over the years. Included are fabrics from Alec's dragon shirt, Color swatch dress, Dia Des Los Muertos dress, Sea Life dress and many more.