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.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I've been exploring wool and dyeing along with needle felted appliques these past 8 months. I started with white wool fabric and dyeing it with instructions in some dyeing books. A little knowledge and a lot of experimental got me some dyed fabric that doesn't look like batik (which looks like everybody else's). I was trying to find the colors for a background that I could embellish with hand embroidery and felting as in these examples:
I was thinking these strips would become borders for the Newest Flock of Sheep...one that has more open space to quilt. However I found that they are too busy in design for that felted applique quilt.
The next quilt project is a reworking of the Alphabet quilt that I designed in 1996 in cotton.
This is the new wool version:
All the wool fabrics, rovings and pearl cotton threads have been hand dyed by me. The Quail and the Rat are still appliques, and will get needle felted tomorrow. Currently they are just felted in place (using my new Embellisher, Babylock's felting machine). I figured out this summer that fusible is not required to hold the appliques in place. I still have to figure out how to incorporate the Z, which probably will go on the next line.
The P is a Praying Mantis that I promised someone I would include on the quilt and in the pattern. Sounds simple enough, but there are so many legs. It is a complicated critter. I left a large space for him, but the background is green and so are the insects (although they get beige-y brown as they age). That is going to be the most challenging critter so far.
This Praying Mantis was hanging around my back door for a couple of weeks. He actually got inside and was on his way to the basement when I removed him from the house.
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.