|Duck Dynasty: me sporting some vintage '80s 'Aerobics Duck Fonda' applique made by my mom!|
My mom and her sewing partner finally struck crafty gold with a simple duck applique design idea. A request for an applique of a white duck dressed up as a cleaning lady spurred an entire franchise of profession/ personality-themed appliqued ducks. Soon my mom & her business partner were crankin' out all sorts of ducks: chef ducks, nurse ducks, teacher ducks, doctor ducks, fireman ducks, and whatever the duck you wanted. It was a bit of a 'quacker factory' at my house. My mom enlisted my dad, a talented industrial designer who could sketch anything from his head, to draw each themed duck. After my dad made the master-drawing, my mom would trace it with the lightbox and make templates to use for her applique. She'd trace the templates onto poplin fabrics fused with interfacing and cut stacks of each applique piece from the fabric. She'd apply all of her applique pieces together using UHU glue sticks. Once the applique was glued down to whatever was being duck-orated- a totebag, sweatshirt, apron, etc....my mother would stitch everything down using a satin stitch on her sewing machine. She'd stitch and stitch all day long, down in our basement, with Huey Lewis & the News or a Dire Straits cassette tape blaring out of the boombox. My journey began here: finding my 'Heart & Soul' on the 'Walk of Life' (ooo-woo-hoo!).
I wish I had more of her original pieces or pictures of her creations, but I did manage to hold on to this photo below. In lieu of ducks, my mom appliqued this creation to suit my ever-growing childhood obsession with frogs.
|Frogger in Pigtails: Me at age 6, sportin' a crafty creation drawn by my dad & stitched by my mom!|
Lucky me, I had the opportunity to quit that job and move across the country to gain a better perspective on life. Plenty of nurturing, fresh mountain air, healthy salmon dinners, fresh veggies, cleansing misty rain, long bike rides, salty-scented ocean air, and the best damn coffee in the U.S.of A helped me recover my creative inner child. What better place to move, but Seattle! I was so burned out from corporate America that I decided to take a job in a small, boutique-style fabric shop that had just opened a month after I landed in town.
Being surrounded by beautiful fabrics & a like-minded crafty crew of folks nurtured my damaged artist child & brought me back to my crafty roots! I'd be working in the shop, inspired by the fabrics, and would go home that night to create something spiffy with my sewing machine. Excitement, ideas, & dreams filled my heart, mind, and soul. The sewing machine became an extension of my hands and arms, bringing these ideas to life! I made some clothing, but most of the time, I created appliques. I realized that I was blessed with both my mom's seamstress abilities and my dad's artistic talent and could combine these skills into my own craft- conceptualizing, drawing, and appliqueing. And then I cranked out as many ideas that came into my brain:
|Just a smattering of my appliqued pieces that have come into my brain and then off of my sewing machine!|
|See the resemblance? The maker meets her inspiration.....Me in my applique 'Pug U Want' dress with my idol, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo.|
|Clearance Fabric from JoAnn's, My Applique Sketch, and the actual Applique pieces|
|Clockwise from bottom left: Applique placement, Appliques, Garment pattern selection and layout- McCalls M4835, and me posing in my creation!|
Another applique project that I recently finished up with was a totebag for my former co-worker, Lyndsi. I worked with her at the giant corporate girls clothing headquarters back in the Midwest. Lyndsi is an amazing artist and loves her puppies! She saw some of my work that I posted on my instagram site and asked if I could make her a Sheltie applique on a totebag. I said...Certainly! I asked Lyndsi what her favorite colors were and when she said orange, purple, and turquoise, immediately I thought, 1980s!!! And sew it goes:
|Jazzy fabric selection, plotting out my applique sketch, stitching the applique with my mom's trusty sewing machine (which I stole)|
|Sheltie Applique Creation reminds me of a Duran Duran album cover.....me posing with the final creation- a totebag!|
My roots may be steeped in crafty applique creative goodness...but you can tell from my designs, I've never quite shaken my crazy love of the New Wave '80s. It makes me go Bow-Wow-Wow-Oh-Chi-Wow-Wow!!