Thursday, August 26, 2010

Birth of a Pattern

Birth of a Pattern

So last Christmas a customer contacted me with a sad story. Seems that she had made a felt applique Christmas wall hanging years ago and it had eventually wound up at her sister’s home. Well, I’ve made a few of those Bucilla felt ornaments over the years and it turns out that eventually they just disintegrate. I myself actually just tossed a couple of very cute little Christmas mice I had made back in 1998. Things were just falling apart. Turns out the sister felt the same way about the
wall hanging, so off to the trash it went. Not her fault really, most non-needleworkers just don’t see the value in keeping something that tattered - how was she to know it was still valuable as a template for a new pattern? So this nice lady contacted me to see if just maybe I had the pattern in my stash.

I spent a couple of days looking through all my old magazine, then a couple of weeks searching the internet, all with no luck. I did finally run across a Christmas tree skirt that looked like it might match the description and she said it was remarkably close. More hunting on the internet and darn if I can’t find the thing anywhere. The picture I found was for an item that had sold and was actually regular applique, not the felt. I finally just took a deep breath and decided to recreate the pattern from the (distorted) picture. Lots and lots of fiddling and I finally came up with line drawings for each of the 12 Days of Christmas based on that old tree skirt.

Now, 1970 was not my favorite decade at the time, and let’s face it, bell bottom hip huggers (aka low rise) jeans look good on remarkably few people. The colors for the period are all wrong for me. I do think lime and apricot go well together, just not as MY clothing! I’m still not sure about red and pink, but hey, it actually seems to work for these little birds. It’s good for me to work in a different palette though, or else I’d make everything in blue, grey, black and pastel pink. And even though the original picture was fuzzy on the details it did provide good color direction. I figured out how to cut out all the little felt pieces using the Heat n Bond after doing the first Day. Those little pears just about drove me nuts! The bonus with Heat n Bond is that you also get to do away with pinning anything and get right to the embroidery.

I’m looking forward to putting this one up on Patterns ala Carte just to see how many people tell me it reminds them of the old one. And I can almost guarantee that someone somewhere has that old magazine pattern, so maybe it’ll come to light too. I’d love to see how close I got to the original!

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