South Jersey represent!

I made a Lots of Pockets crossbody purse awhile back, with some KAMsnaps to let me put on different flaps. I decided I needed to make one for my upcoming Disney trip. I have plenty of ways to rep Philly, but I’m actually over on the South Jersey side and, it turns out, Philadelphians are particular about whether you’re really from Philly. New Jersey is emphatically not Philly. New Jersey is, I have been informed, “what you drive through to get to NYC.” Well alrighty then.

Nobody agrees enough on what the Jersey Devil looks like to use that, so pork roll it is.

More work on the Celestial

A little light on the updates because I haven’t had much to show. I did wrap up the four little beanies that match this, but I’m holding off on the final photoshoot until I have the Celestial Dragon (a/k/a Space Noodle) done. At that point I’ll lock the cats in the bathroom for the several hours it’ll take to de-hair everything.

In any event, the alignment was off on this wing but it was enough to play around with armature wire and determine that yes, this will do nicely.

I found a remnant of charmeuse that I decided to use for the backs of the wings. Yes, that was entirely inspired by the minky dragons, but I like how it came out. And unlike the minkies, the underside of the Celestial’s wings will show quite a bit.

I will definitely have to clean my worktable, nay, my entire house to have space to photograph this critter when he’s assembled and standing up.

Busy weekend!

I thought I might take the weekend off; I spend most of my “free” time playing with the embroidery machine either for the business or for fun, and I don’t want to burn out. But Friday night I had an idea, and I knew the way my brain works there was nothing to do but get it done.

I was playing around with a little bat pattern and was trying to decide how to most easily make quilting-cotton inner wings for it when suddenly my brain yelled “DO THAT ON THE PLUSH DRAGON” and here we are.

And then Mastodon yelled (well, politely suggested) “do that on the beanie dragons” and here *those* are.

And then my computer locked up and while I was fixing it I realized I had some stuff already cued up on USB.

I bought the Hogwarts-letter pouch from String Theory awhile back and converted it into a notebook cover. Showed it to my teenager who immediately pointed out that Kids These Days preferred a different envelope.

That’s the Super Smash Brothers Ultimate invitation (and a Smash Ball dangle), in case you don’t recognize it.

And then I finally got the last couple of plush dragons in the Pern colors done today.

And then, since I had cut a bunch of white, black, and ivory vinyls for notebook covers, decided to make a companion to the Dragonquest notebook. You can make them too, via the dragon snap tabs (just drop the final, outline thread) and the notebook cover files. If you list them on Etsy, let me know and I’ll link to them since I really should stop making notebooks and get back to that Celestial.

Delivery trucks

It’s been a little while since I did an embroidery design freebie, so I started working on one I should have finalized by Friday.

This one is inspired by goofing up a USPS scheduled pickup and making my mailman make a special trip to the door. I realized I owe all my delivery folks a nice Christmas gift.

Although it seems like I live at JoAnn these days, I still get a lot of stuff from Amazon (witness all the 📦 icons next to referral links here) and [Amazon-owned] Fabric.com. On which note: if you aren’t buying enough to meet the free shipping there but have Prime, go to Amazon and find the fabric, and check the other sellers: Amazon usually lists it itself but also with Fabric.com as a secondary seller so you get Prime shipping but Fabric.com’s cheaper price. Why does it work this way? I dunno.

So my UPS person has had to lug a couple of long, skinny rolls of marine vinyl (ironically, not that brown which was a JoAnn remnant) and all four of them have brought me an endless parade of things, including the embroidery machine itself (though I forget who got saddled with that; probably UPS again).

Anyway, the first draft came out medium-okay. The Amazon Logistics van was first, okay other than the fact that I didn’t run the truck outline itself in bean stitch. With that fixed, the UPS truck came out better, but the logo definitely needs more pull correction (especially on the softer walnut non-marine). The USPS truck is fine except I decided to run the truck outline in the same blue as the logo and I don’t think it looks as nice. I went with a medium gray for FedEx, and that’s better but next time I’ll go even lighter. That logo also needs just a little more pull correction.

Now I need the UPS guy to bring me a roll of brown vinyl so I can make him a proper one, because that was the last little scrap. Once that happens, I’ll run more of these and publish the design.

Playing catch-up

I upgraded my PC (Debian jessie to stretch to buster) and had some struggles with the video card, culminating in completely breaking it yesterday. I took a break from the frustration by stitching out a bunch of the designs that I already had on a USB stick, came back to it, uninstalled all the drivers and… somehow it fixed itself on a reboot. I’m not sure what happened but I’ll take the win.

Today’s plan is to take pictures of these (other than this one on my scarred, stained cutting table) so I can list them on Etsy and then run off to JoAnn to pick up enough of the metallic mini dots fabric to make the new, larger wings for the Celestial Dragon.

Extremely Festive Dragons

That’s the phrase I keep using to describe these guys because, I mean, just look at them. Their “proper” name is crowntails, because they’re inspired by the betta fish of that type. The purple one is a little ironic because that’s the color a lot of breeders aspire to but, to my knowledge, truly purple bettas don’t exist yet.

The blue-with-red is modeled after an extant betta color, and the black-with-rainbow was sort of a “well, why not go all-in?” I probably should have gone with two blue-and-reds, so that if I screw up some parts I might still end up with one complete dragon. But hey, YOLO, right?

Tiny dragons

I honestly didn’t expect quite as many repeat buyers as I’ve gotten (I have people who want to collect every color of beanie dragon!). It’s been a bit of a race to come up with a variety of “favors” to include in orders. For smaller orders, I’ve started making tinier snap tabs.

The design went through some iterations to achieve “legibility.” This is the last pair of variations: I settled on the design, ran five bronzes, and then after struggling to neatly cut out the circle, revised it to an octagon. Ten fit in a 5×7 hoop, so I can stock up.

Of course, once I’ve gone through all five colors, I’ll need a different design, so I’ve already started on that. This is what the first draft looks like: if you squint, you can kind of tell what’s going on. What looks perfectly clear on the screen and even in the stitch preview can look a lot different when it hits the vinyl. It’ll take a few more revisions before I’m happy with this.

More composition books…

… but no more freebie designs yet, sorry. I’ve gotten kind of hung up on stitching out other people’s designs instead. There are some Urban Threads/Embroidery Library ones there, some String Theory Fabric Art ones, and that’s about it. The white sticky-outy one there is a Wichita city flag, so I guess if anybody really wants it I could put that one out there.

Not pictured is the stack of five or six goofs. I promised a Traveler’s notebook style option, but after experimenting with it I’ve decided it doesn’t quite work with the mini composition books. It would, but not in a 5×7 hoop – putting the composition book on an elastic instead of tucking it into the pockets means it wants to hang out past the edges of the cover.

If you’re sewing on a conventional machine that’s an easy fix: just make the cover about an inch wider. But that would push it about an inch outside the maximum size for my machine (at least, until I got around to figuring out how to align things in the 5×12 hoop).

In any event: I’ve sewn a bunch of them, and am putting them up in the Etsy shop as I get pictures taken. I’ve also put up the standing dragon plushie listing, though right now there’s only one brown dragon in it.