Book bands

Although I keep telling myself I didn’t get the embroidery machine to do conventional embroidery, I keep finding myself doing conventional embroidery. In large part it’s learning how the thing behaves with different materials, and also yielding to the temptation to make cute stuff for my nieces.

It started when I sent my sister a link to a possible teacher gift and she sent back a link to a unicorn book band on that site, for one daughter’s school agenda.

I asked her what she wanted for her planner, and she said a heart, so I went all-in on hearts.

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The Jumping Spider pattern

In-the-hoop jumping spider plush

I wrote about the origin of these spiders on Monday, so I’m happy to say I have a finished pattern and not just another unfinished item to add to my to-do list. It’s designed as an in-the-hoop pattern for an embroidery machine but you can also sew it with a conventional machine and use safety eyes.

After the upgrade to WordPress, I moved the pattern to a permanent home in the Free Patterns section: The Jumping Spider. Look for it there now.

If you make a spider, let me know! Send me an email or tag me on Instagram (don’t forget the underscore in the middle there) or on Flickr

The distractability spider

Yesterday’s pattern development kind of encapsulates how I work.

I decided to release the in-the-hoop dragon as a pattern on Etsy, which meant I needed some pictures for the instructions. I cut some kelly-green minky squares and went through the process. I gave it orange eyes because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and I was thinking Irish flag. And the more I worked with it the less I liked that green, until I realized it was the unnatural green of a plush Cthulhu. It only took encouragement from one person to get me haring off on an in-the-hoop Cthulhu, even though there are already way too many chibi Elder Gods out there already.

I rushed things a little too much and, in the process of changing the pattern entirely between colors, managed to mis-align the eye-shines:

Dragon and failed embroider

As I went to throw away the goof, I went “ha ha looks like a cute little jumping spider instead” and, well, my heart really wasn’t in Cthulhu anyway.

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Silver dragon work in progress

My experiments with the ice dragon had come close to using up the yard of white upholstery velvet from Fabric.com, so I ordered some more. While I was at it, I picked up a yard of silver on a whim (and also two yards red, which I’m not sure what Past Karen was thinking). Despite the projects already on my plate, “I wonder what surface sewing belly scales on upholstery velvet would look like” turned into… this.

Proper nerds may recognize this dragon as the current style of silver dragon in D&D: frilled head with a “goatee” type chin section. I’ve put my own stamp on it a bit; the official art shows kind of a bloated round nose profile but I toned it down quite a bit. It came out a little more dinosaur-ish than I was shooting for, especially in the above pictures where I forgot to pin the ear on.

I also haven’t decided whether I’m going with the carved-bone horn (black, below) or the smaller icicle-trim horn (chrome, above). The problem with both of them is that they only come in one direction of spiral, so I may come up with something else entirely so they can be properly mirrored.

I can’t say how excited I am that the embroidery-machine plans I’ve had in my head for the last year-plus actually work. At least, they work after a yard of experimentation and fine-tuning on that yard of white. Now the real challenge begins: finishing a project.