Big fat post full of fun swappy stuffs.
First up, the patches:
These are for the CQ September patch swap. The only requirements for at are a min and max size range. This fits the range so it's all good.
Details. I used some glow in the dark thread on the top cassette and some sparkly floss on the bottom one. Machine quilting between the tapes and a row of fake pearls along the middle.
And the back.
It's all lumpy looking because I made it using the exact Teesha Moore tutorial (on youtube). I'm in a second swap that specifies to make your patches in the "real" TM way, so I decided to practice it on the CQ September patch swap.
Nice lead in to the two patches I made for the "use the tutorial" swap (I can't remember what the official title is for that swap).
The requirements were pretty specific. You had to follow the tutorial, had to include stitching on the patch (either machine or hand--not including the edging) and have an embellishment of some type (button, beads, etc). And there were size requirements, too (min and max). OH, and you had to use bright fabrics.
This one is very random. I just focused on "bright" and having stitching and an embellishment. I was also trying to make sure I didn't travel too much with my stitches since it all shows on the back and you don't want a great big line of floss along the back because it could catch on stuff.
I have to say, making patches the "real" TM way was a challenge for my uptight self. I really like making them the "little quilt" way I do (with mitered--or as close as I can get) corners and all that. But I also liked doing these because it was fun to try out a different way and not get so crazed about how neat and perfect they were.
I did find it harder to set up my theme with these, though. I think that was more to do with all the limitations set by the swap then with the technique being used. These had to both be rather small so I had less of a canvas to work with.
But I did manage to get a bit of my style (if you will) on this patch.
I don't think the fabric was manufactured to make it look like this fish and seahorse were kissing but dang it all if they don't look like they are, huh?
I do really like the puffy-ness of the "real" style TM patches but I'm still not a huge fan of having to leave my work all exposed on the back. I know that's the whole point (for them to really look homemade and scrappy) but coming from a stuffed toy making background, you don't let all that mess show on a finished project.
I think I'll start doing a few more patches in the "real" way just for fun. I liked it and it definitely sparked my creativity (I've been in a bit of a "meh" mood lately regarding crafty stuff and this swap really did get the juices flowing).
Next up are the dotee dolls.
First is the mermaid for the mermaid dotee swap.
Full body shot there to show she does indeed have a hanger and tail (two requirement for dotee dolls).
I really like how the tail worked out on this one. A lot of times I get irked that I have to put a tail onto a dotee. It kind of feels like an afterthought. But not in this one. It's truly part of the doll which made me so happy.
I used the Wee Wonderfuls mermaid pattern as a jumping off point for this doll. I did the body in the same way that pattern does, where you have the body and then pull the tail up over the bottom and put them together that way. Also the generic shape is very similar even though I free hand drew this (didn't just shrink down the original). So I have to give a shout out to that great book.
I changed the pattern up a TON in that I didn't make a multi layer tail. The original pattern has you cut four total tail pieces and then you make two tails (sewn, turn, embellish) and then join the two double sided tails together around the body to make a finished tail. I just cut two tail pieces and stitched them together (turned and stuffed the end) then pulled it up over the body. I didn't need to do the extra layers since I wasn't going to add a ton of stitching to the tail. Using the camo print fabric made that unnecessary.
I completely scrapped the wig in the original pattern. I wanted actual string/strand hair not a fabric wig style hair. At first I was going to use yarn (done in a row of little frizzy knots around the head) but then I spied this trim in my craft bag (the one I keep at my sewing machine and it's full of fun stuff for dotees and patches). I got it as an extra in a swap and wasn't sure when it would ever get used (how many times have I said that?) and BOOM, it became a wig.
It's a basic pigtail wig which are the easiest to do. You just sew strips together (two rows of stitching just off center to make the part) and then stitch it to the head and pull into tails. I did add a bit of bangs. I just trimmed the edge of one little strip of trim (with the pinking shears). It gives a little something extra to her face.
She has a very adult face (versus the cutesy faces on the original mermaid pattern). In fact, she has a very Mimi Kirchner style face. I love Mimi's dolls so I'm not surprised I made a "Mimi" face without really thinking about it. I really like the nose and how neutral the mouth is. She's not smiling, she doesn't have to smile. She's a mermaid. If she wants she'll just swim away and leave you wondering what the hell just happened.
I like how the hair is kind of wild and all over the place. More like how a real mermaid would be (if there were such a thing) then perfectly coiffed hair.
Next up is my Halloween Dotee.
Eee, eee! It's a bat!
Again, the tail actually kind of works with this one. It's spider web print ribbon (three pieces). That's it. Nothing more.
Hand embroidered face. And it's an original face. And it turned out just about exactly like I drew it on the pattern (the eyes are a bit different--the original drawing had more sad/cute eyes--these are a little more devilish).
The whole doll is felt, machine sewn. The body is lightly stuffed.
The wings are two layers of felt with a piece of pipe cleaner along the top. So this cute little fella can give you a little hug (and scratch you with his wee claws).
The claws and ears are just scraps from cutting out the pattern pieces. The pattern is original (but not that tricky, you can see it's just a little peanut shape for the body and then some basic wing shapes).
One more peek at that face. I'm really pleased with how nice the stitching turned out. Some of my best, if I do say so myself. The pic doesn't show it very well but the eyes are bright yellow and the teeth are white. The rest is a light gray to just barely contrast against the black felt. French knots for the eyes and nostril dots, stem stitch for the nose arches, tied down stitches for the eyes and mouth curls (not sure the exact name for them but you make a stitch and leave it a tiny bit loose and then scootch it up or down with the needle then tack it down with a tiny stitch to make a little curve--works well for mouthes or eye curves--but best for small stitches not big long curves), back stitch for the mouth and teeth.
All of these (but one) were mailed today. The pair of patches hasn't been assigned yet so they'll just wait until that happens.
I have one more open swap to finish (it's a purple dotee--so PATCHWORK!!) and I still need to finish up those Fluff items. Maybe now that my crafty spark is flared back up I'll get on those Fluff items. I just have to do faces for the four smallest ghosts and assemble them. Then I need to do the reindeer (and stuff and close everyone). It's just a matter of starting on them, then I'll get in the groove. But the ghosts just feel so BORING to do so I'm avoiding them and I won't let myself move on to the reindeer before the ghosts are done so. . .yeah, I'm just being lazy.
I also want to make that whale and I want to make a quilt from a jelly roll I won (I won a random prize from the Pets on Quilts show and I want to make a quilt from it).
Ok, time to stop rambling and get some stuff done.