As I have been trying to plan out the remainder of the year's blocks, I went back to some of the old messages from people looking for specific things. One of the most sought after patterns, second only to the Game of Thrones sigils pack, is everyone's favorite Christmas sourpuss. People apparently want the Grinch, the Grinch, THE GRINCH!
When I pulled the pattern, though, I was unhappy with it. It was an older pattern from my early designing days and definitely needed some TLC. The updated block is somewhat more simplified, contains more expressive embroidery options, and has a more appealing pattern layout. This is still a complicated block and contains a number of sections (22 compared to the original 27), but that is the nature of the beast when dealing with a detailed picture with lots of angles. In order to help make piecing a bit easier, I have sized this block at 12".
For right now, you can find the free Grinch pattern in the shop in one of two categories: Free Fandom Patterns and Holiday Freebies. But there's more in store for the 2020 holiday season! I am going back to redraft patterns for Max, Cindy Lou Who, and some funky Whoville trees, and the set will release in early November in time to stitch up a fun Christmas quilt like this one. This quilt mock-up does not include the embroidery so Max in particular looks a little off, but it should give you the general idea.
I hope people are excited to see the Grinch in his rightful home and are looking forward to the release of more Whoville characters this winter. Enjoy!
April is the national month for many things, but the first one that always comes to mind in our family is Autism Acceptance Month. We have several people on the spectrum in our immediate and extended family, and their unique perspectives have opened up our worldview. It is our hope that society will eventually adapt to reduce the number of challenges that neurodiverse people face when navigating the world.
Since there is some controversy surrounding the puzzle piece symbol for autism, I wanted to focus on a slightly more modern symbol. For those on the spectrum who find meaning in and identify with the the puzzle piece, there are a number of patterns available from different sources that I am happy to help you track down. The rainbow infinity loop represents the diverse spectrum of neurological differences, including autism. You can also piece the pattern entirely in gold to represent autism specifically. This could be used to brighten up your own space or that of someone on the spectrum, or would make a great end of year gift for SPED teachers and therapists.
The block is 10" finished and is very easy to piece. The biggest problem you will run into is lining up the sections properly. What I like to do when sections must match up is clip them together with Wonder Clips before sewing to gauge the position visually. I then sew about 7 stitches over each seam (without backstitching) where the design is supposed to match up, leaving the threads on each side a couple inches long. I open up the sections and finger-press the seam to check my positioning. If it is off, the minimal stitching is easily pulled out to try again, and if it is correct, I sew the whole length of the seam and then remove those stitches using the long tails. These methods usually mean my patterns end up matching up almost seamlessly, although it does sometimes take a time or two to get it right.
You can find this pattern in the Holiday Freebies section of the shop.
In honor of my favorite person with autism, I also designed a gentoo penguin block that will be available for purchase as soon as it is tested. Our son is the world's biggest fan of the movie Mr. Popper's Penguins (I'm pretty sure we have watched it literally more times than we can count), adores penguins in general, and loves gentoos best of all. Santa even adopted him one for Christmas and he keeps a picture of his penguin "Captain" in his room. He has named the penguin in this pattern Captain as well, and Captain is in need of a tester so she can be listed in the shop. Ultimately I hope to stitch up all the penguins: Captain, Loudy, Bitey, Stinky, Lovey and Nimrod. I will probably have them all face one direction in a quilt but reverse Nimrod just for fun. You may even see a quilt block of Mr. Popper at some point; if I do add him to the quilt he will be added to the shop as a fandom freebie.
The gentoo penguin pattern is 10" finished and is a very easy stitch-out for the most part. The only place that gets even a bit tricky section-wise is around the head, but it's not too bad. Let me know if you are interested in testing this block!
This pattern is very close to my heart because my husband and I are both Washingtonians born and bred. As much as I am enjoying our travels around the US and now around Europe thanks to the military family life, I always ache for my beloved PNW and its oceans, mountains, and green forests.
Part of the US States collection, this block stitches up at 10" and is a relatively simple block for any experienced piecer. A huge apology to all the islands that weren't represented here; they would have made the block nearly impossible to stitch!
I ultimately plan to stitch this one up so if I get to it before a tester is found, it will be up in the shop then. If you are interested in speeding up the process by testing for me, let me know. I'm also happy to take suggestions for other states that you would like to see join Washington in the lineup. I am tentatively thinking of combining the Germany block with our other duty stations to create a quilt symbolizing our military life, which would put Virginia, Texas, and South Carolina on the docket first. But if there is something special you are looking for I'm happy to draft it up!
Sweet bunny Easter freebie
I am excited to release our Easter freebie: the sweet bunny!
This 10" block can be worked in realistic bunny colors or pastels for a traditional appeal, or in bright, mod colors for a fun take on a spring bunny.
To find this fun Easter freebie, pop on over to the shop and check out the "Holiday Freebies" category. I hope you enjoy! The next scheduled freebie will arrive in the shop shortly before Mother's Day.
First, a quick blog status update. Due to an incredible number of commitments in the last year, I haven't spent any time designing or getting patterns up in the shop. Like many people, though, I find myself right now with an abundance of time and a quickly dwindling list of household projects, so I updated my patterning program and spent some of my free time drafting some new blocks.
I have laid out a master plan for previously released blocks I would like to get into the shop and new blocks I will be launching from now through December, with a potential to add more blocks in between if I'm feeling zippy. I will be adding patterns to the shop for purchase, but I know people are having to count pennies right now so I have plenty of freebies coming up. In fact, an Easter freebie will launch on Monday and a Mother's Day freebie has already been developed, so keep an eye out for those! You are always welcome to make and sell items with my patterns, so I hope this helps someone out.
For today's block, Bavaria has truly felt like a second home to us and I wanted to honor that by making Germany the first country in the International Collection. For all map blocks, I have had to balance geographical accuracy with ease of piecing, so the general map shape looks correct but it is not exact. This particular pattern was developed as a 12" block because of the complexity, and would do well as an enlarged pattern as well. This will go up in the shop as a paid pattern once it has been tested.
Though this block features the German flag colors as a fun addition, it could also be pieced in a single color and assembled in the exact same way.
If you are interested in serving as a tester for this piece or future pieces, or if you have ideas for other countries and states you would like to see designs for, leave a comment or drop me a line!
By happenstance, I recently ran into a lovely woman online who was looking for a paper pieced pattern of the Washington Monument. I was feeling inspired and took on the project.
After a few false starts due to migrating from yet another dead computer to a new one, I put together this 6x9 pattern. It is totally suitable for beginners and goes together in three easy sections.
This was originally intended to be a larger block but I shrank it down since most people are not looking for blocks of that size. Because of that, piece A3 is quite small and may get a bit lost in the seam. It will work just fine to leave A3 out and move on to A4 if you don't want to fiddle with it. The pattern blows up well to a wall hanging size of 24x36, and at that size I highly recommend constructing the pattern as designed.
My travels in Germany and the surrounding countries have renewed my interest in architecture and history and I am thinking I may add more famous buildings and monuments to the collection over time. This pattern is available for free as the introductory pattern, so enjoy it!
You can find the pattern in the pattern shop.
Scottish terrier (tester wanted)
I am very excited to introduce you to the newest member of our dog breeds collection! He is a Scottish terrier and this adorable little scamp is almost ready for testing. If you are interested in helping out with that, please leave a comment or drop me a line.
Normally I name my patterns after the family pet I modeled it after, but this one didn't have a live model so this Scotty needs a name! Suggest one below and whichever one I pick will receive a free copy of the final tested pattern.
Next up is going to be the dog breed I have wanted my entire life, but haven't had the lifestyle to accommodate yet: a Bernese mountain dog. It's time to represent some of the big dogs as part of the collection so I look forward to getting one drafted up soon.
Pattern shop is live!
I am very excited to find that I finally have time to return to my blog and to designing. Having been away for around a year, I have a lot to catch up on, but I am feeling refreshed and creative and ready to dive back in. It is almost spring, and there are changes afoot.
I returned to a number of questions via the blog about patterns that I had available on Craftsy that people were no longer able to access for purchase. Unfortunately, Craftsy shut down a large number of shops with only a week's warning this past Christmas season, and mine was one of the victims. I have been going back and forth and weighing the options, and finally decided to host my patterns here on Weebly so all Sew Much Mischief information will be in one place. I don't anticipate any problems with the the pattern library through Craftsy for previously purchased items, but if you ever run into problems with accessing them shoot me your order confirmation and I will get you squared away.
To shop my available patterns (free and purchased), you can select the "Shop Patterns" link from within the header. Right now the only available options are Freddie, Willie, and the Girl Scout trefoil, but I will work on shifting over all completed patterns to the shop over the next month or two.
As for my future plans, I recently completed a Star Trek: Voyager row and I am currently working on a Labyrinth block for Fandom in Stitches, and then I anticipate a couple of Easter blocks and more dog breeds. If you are looking for anything specific let me know. I am always happy to have some new inspirations.
Santa Cookie Plate SVG
And now for something completely different: I have a free SVG offering for you today!
We are still living out of a hotel room here in Germany while we look for housing, and now that the children are back in school, I have some very quiet time to myself. I have spent some of that time completing my organizing system for my many crafting files (graphics, embroidery files, cut files, quilting patterns, and more). While doing that, I came across the PNG I had made for a Santa cookie plate last year and tried my first conversion to a layered SVG. Much easier to use this than slice and recolor sliced sections from the PNG like I did when I first used it!
I wish I had pictures of the completed craft, but I developed this for a Christmas gift crafting session with members of my Girl Scout troop. They paid 10$ to make and wrap 5-6 gifts for family members so they could have some true surprise gifts for parents and siblings. To keep the cost so low, we did a lot of vinyl crafts on Dollar Tree blanks. This is perfect for a Dollar Tree or other inexpensive plate. Just be sure that you cover the vinyl with a doily or a piece of wax paper before putting food on it, as vinyl is not food-safe.
Since this is my first layered SVG, you may find some stray nodes here and there when you go to cut it. I checked it over carefully and I am not seeing any, but please let me know if you find any so I can fix the file.
You can download the SVG file here. The SVG will show up as an image on a blank screen; simply right click and select "Save As" to save to your computer. Enjoy!
About two weeks ago we finally made it to the (stunning!) Bavarian countryside on the first leg of our move and are waiting for our housing offer to come through. That means long days of waiting in a hotel room, so I am playing catch-up on my digital life. One of my projects has been to prepare for my next Project of Doom quilt, a Ravenclaw-themed thing of wonder that I am finally making for myself.
Since I have my fabrics collected but I won't have my sewing machine for a while yet (*sob!*), I have created a file on my computer with everything I need to get started on this project. I have my Word document where I have written exactly what I want on each block and around the outside of my bookcase, including any embroidery or embellishments I will be adding. Then each weekly file contains the block files with all the patterns I will need for each block along with coordinating machine embroidery files, pictures, links to inspirational blogs, etc. As I was pulling it together, I realized I was going to need a diadem, and the patterns I was seeing weren't sparking anything for me.
So, an hour later I had this, and it's perfect for my quilt. My only problem with it is that I have chosen a grey background for my quilt, so mine may have to sit in front of a black box to stand out from the background. It could be pretty to sew some kind of a metal clasp to my box. I may have to toy with that when the time comes. The diadem can be made as a two-tone silver, as shown, or it could all be done in a single tone.
I am opening this one up to testers since I cannot get to it until our household goods arrive. This one is still in the drafting stage but could be ready for a tester with a few hours' notice. Let me know if you are interested! I can print the pattern at any size for you.
And there's more good news for the other Doomers out there! Since I wanted the diadem to be sitting on some horizontal books, I went ahead and drafted that pattern as well. On mine, I will create the Invisible Book of Invisibility on the bottom by embroidering the name on my background fabric with invisible thread, but you can obviously put a standard book here as well. This pattern is also available for testing, and this is what it will look like:
Follow our German adventures on Flickr!