Friday, November 19, 2010


I can't figure it out.  The Wannabees was not accepted into Road.  The email said they couldn't hang every quilt that was entered. Maybe I entered too late in the process, I don't know.  Quilt shows are judges and juries of personal opinions. No worries though.  There are other shows to enter and win.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sheep Wannabees is complete!

Finally, I finished the Sheep Wannabees quilt, with a few hours to spare.  The application and photos needed to be uploaded to Road2CA by October 1, 2010.  The quilt is about 69" square and weighs a ton since it is all wool fabrics and roving, with pearl cotton embroidery threads.  
All the animals are fused appliques and felted.  On the border some of the appliques are 3-D: the coleus, the butterflies, and the dogwood flowers. Some of the animals have 3-D ears or tails. 

I started this quilt with the sheep in December 2009, and then branched out to other critters because I was trying to show people that you don't need to limit yourself to sheep when working with wool.  Any subject will work, it doesn't even need to be limited to furry critters. I am planning on exploring lizards and fish in felting and using the sewing machine to draw the scales. 

The Crazy Sheep quilt, which came before this one is a true crazy quilt.  I started this quilt to see what sheep look like in pin stripes. All of the sheep were machine appliqued on crazy quilt backgrounds. Then I learned felting and so I felted some of the sheep. It was difficult to felt through the satin stitching.  Then I tried appliquing with raw edge stitching.  Then I found that you really didn't need to stitch the appliques down at all.  The fusible and the felting held the appliques in place.When I made the Sheep Wannabees,  I sewed the seams that went up and down like regular seams, a bit wider than 1/4" because some of the wools raveled easily.  The seams that went from side to side were overlapped and raw edge stitched, and eventually felted and embroidered.  The embroidered and felted trees are a huge new addition that wasn't in the Crazy Sheep.

The Sheep Wannabees will be a downloadable pattern, albeit a very long one, as soon as I can organize it in my head, and get it down on the computer.  There are already more photos of this patten on the sheep Wannabees page showing how this quilt developed in ten months.

Meanwhile the Crazy Sheep is our best selling pattern for 2010.  It is a good place to start working with roving, appliques, and hand embroidery. If you are looking for supplies to make this quilt we have those too.  I will be teaching felting and embroidery at Road2CA, and Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA, and Denver in early 2011.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Update photos on Sheep Wannabees quilt

My Sheep Wannabees is getting more and more ornate. The more I work on it, the heavier it gets!  The wools and the fibers and the embroidery all add to the interest. 

I have been accepted to teach a class on needle felting and hand embroidery at Road to CA, January 23, 2011.  I hope to have this quilt in the show so there is a lot more work ahead.  Felting is an easy technique.  A tool holding three or more needles is used to push the wool fiber into the wool fabric to make a design.  Since I specialize in applique, I am making fused appliques on the backgrounds before I felt.  It just makes sense to me.  The edge of the appliques are easier to see than a drawn line outlining where I want to felt.  The felting in the background is done free form, with no plan.  Then the embroidery is added on top of the felted grass/ground that the animals are walking on.  The embroidery helps to hold the felting in place.  The blocks are added to the main part of the top with seams that go up and down.  The seams that go sideways are overlapped and felted and embroidered, making it all very organic.  Then I have embroidered trees over some of the seams to camoflage them.  This top is now larger than the Crazy Sheep and I haven't a clue what the border will look like.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Update: Crazy Sheep

My quilt just won a Best Workmanship blue ribbon at The Quilt Fest of New Jersey VI, in Somerset. Meanwhile, in my booth I am working on my Sheep Wannabees quilt...I am learning how to embroider trees.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sheep Wannabees

This is the current quilt top I am working on. It is made with wool suitings and felting, about six or seven embroidery stitches and animals from my patterns ( The layout is different from a traditional crazy quilt since the seams that go left and right are raw edged, they overlap. The felting reinforces these seams. The ones that go up and down are traditionally sewn seams. I have already added a camel and am planning on adding some llamas and alpacas, maybe some birds for fun.

sheep wannabees 2.6.10

sheep wannabees 2.6.10, originally uploaded by Critterpat.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And the winner is...

Crazy Sheep just won the Best in Innovative Quilts at the Road to CA show.

Already I am working on a new Crazy Sheep quilt with the addition of trees and shrubs. I am pushing the techniques even further.