I've been hooked on quilting since 1987. It took me a few years to find my passion for applique. I use everything I learned about fabric design in college, to produce my line of 80+ patterns, Critter Pattern Works, applique patterns with animal themes.
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.
I am the designer of Critter Pattern Works, a company that publishes our own applique patterns for quilters. All the patterns are realistic animal designs. I started the company in 1989 when I couldn't find an applique I wanted to make. My husband and I are using everything we learned in college (Paul has a BS degree in Marketing and Management and I have a BFA in Fabric Design) to grow our niche company.