Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dough Boy

Happy New Year!  I hit the ground running with ornaments in January and I'm making good progress.  I wanted to do some that I hadn't done or, in some cases, hadn't seen anyone else do, either.  Dough Boy was first in the list in the latter category.

I'm also trying some different techniques with how I put ornaments together.  When I made Woody, I experimented with stitching and stuffing the hands and boots before attaching them to the body.  Here's a pic to refresh your memory:

WHAT ... A ... PAIN!

I like the look of the outcome, but it was time-consuming and tedious trying to stitch through stuffing.  

When I started Dough Boy, I knew I wanted the legs to be separate from the apron.  In other words, I didn't want to stitch apron front to leg fronts, apron back to leg backs, and then put it all front-to-back and stitch all the way around.  The reason is because you wind up with this effect:

See how the skirt creeps down on the legs and then back up between them instead of having a nice, smooth, continuous curve?  Yeah . . . don't want that.  (Side note:  ever notice that Sofia looks like she's on steroids or something?)

I knew I wanted to have the legs inserted into the apron, but I didn't want to stitch through pre-stuffed legs.  What's a girl to do?  Leave the legs open at the bottom and insert them UNstuffed!  Let's give it a try, shall we??

I stitched the sides of the pants and across the top.  Then I stuck them between the two apron pieces and stitched the apron together.  Left the black stitching along the bottom of the shoes.  Then I stuffed the pants and feet and THEN stitched the shoes shut.  Worked like a charm!  If it worked for the legs, it'll surely work for the hat -- right?

How come it only took me about 5 years to figure this out???

And here's the finished product:

I added some icing to the cake just to make it more fancy and I added some stitching to the apron to make it less boring.  The pattern calls for his pants and shirt to be one piece, but I thought he was a bit old for a onesie, so I dressed him in separates.  He's really cute and colorful and I can't wait to hang him up.

Next up technique-wise is how to handle heads.  I hate how the head sometimes creeps down and creates a neck like this one did.  I changed how I did that on the next ornament and it looks great!  I'm going to try to post every other Sunday, so you'll only have to wait two weeks to see my next one.  I hope you're already busy stitching your 2015 collection!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ornaments From Other Bloggers

Traffic on the blog really picked up this year.  I mean, we're hardly viral . . . but we've grown to a nice small community of people who really enjoy making these ornaments.  Nothing makes me more excited than to check the blog email address and find a message from someone new waiting for me.  Most of the time, the message says something along the lines of, "My family had Carolyn DeAngelis ornaments on our tree when I was a child and they were made by my mother/grandmother/aunt.  Now I'd like to make them for my own children."  Some of you were just randomly searching for felt ornaments and stumbled here.  And not once, but TWICE, I heard from ladies who had lots of patterns and ornaments and lost them all in house fires.  I can't tell you how happy I was to inform them that I'd share my patterns with them.

I really love it when people make the ornaments and then send me photos.  I love seeing ones that I haven't made before.  I really love seeing the different twist people put on them.  Every ornament looks completely different depending on who stitches it.  The tiniest changes can make the biggest difference!  I've been hoarding all the pictures so I could do one big "ornaments from other people" post and here it is!

These ornaments are from Janet and her story is one of my favorites.  She first wrote to me back in 2012, which seems hard to believe.  She and a group of friends have been stitching ornaments -- many of them Carolyn DeAngelis patterns -- for their church bazaar for about 40 years!  These are some they stitched this year, including the Fisher Price Little People I designed.







Jennifer just contacted me in December.  Her mom used to make the ornaments and they had dozens of them on their tree growing up.  Now Jennifer & her sister make them for their own children.  She still has all her mother's patterns and we're comparing lists to see if there are ones we can share.  In addition to making ornaments, her mother used Carolyn's patterns to make these fantastic stockings.  Aren't they beautiful?





I always love to see Kathy's ornaments because her stitching it absolutely perfect!  And she's fast, too!  She always does a bunch and her 2014 ornaments were beautiful.




 Katy initially emailed me about a year ago.  She had a bunch of her mother's patterns and was looking for more.  Katy's mother literally made HUNDREDS of ornaments over the years for her five children.  Here's just a sampling of what she still has.  Get ready to drool!

Like lots of us, Katy's mom had fun personalizing ornaments as the kids got older.  This "drummer dude," hockey player, and skier were for Katy's brother.

Katy and her sisters hiked a mountain once and their mom made these hiker girl ornaments for them.

 These are wedding party ornaments done for Katy's sister and her brother.  What a fantastic keepsake!

These ornaments were made for Katy's sister to commemorate when she dressed as Xena: Warrior Princess for Halloween . . . and later for when she became a park ranger.

Sarah just sent me this picture today of four ornaments she made with the Katrina pattern.  You can't go wrong with this pattern.  It turns out great every time!  I love the different color combinations and I particularly like the decorative trim Sarah used on the coats and bonnets.

And last, but not least, my pal, Ouida, stitched up a bunch of ornaments this year.  You can thank Ouida for this blog.  If she'd never made me an ornament and never shared her mother's patterns with me, none of us would be reading this right now!

I'm not sure which pattern this is . . . . but it's cute nonetheless!


I'm not sure about this one, either.  This looks like a hybrid of Hiccups and Koko . . . unless Ouida has a pattern that I don't!



These are wedding couples Ouida made for both her son and daughter, who were both married recently.  When you customize these to look like the wedding party, there's no better gift!

And there you have it!  Possibly the longest post in the history of this blog.  I hope you enjoyed seeing everyone's work as much as I did.  Remember . . . . if you make an ornament, SEND ME THE PHOTO!!