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.