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Easter Bunny Reveal!!!
Submitted by Pam on Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:06
I have been so eager to share my Easter Bunny! Currently under construction, of course, but still - exciting!!
Before I share one more word or picture about bunny goodness however, I need first and foremost to give credit to three fabulous designers who are collectively and totally responsible for inspiring my Easter Bunny! Without the inspiration and the skills learned from each of them, I would not be having all this fun!
While images of embroidered stuffed creatures appear everywhere - flicker, blogs, google - the original inspiration for an embroidered bunny came directly from MarmaladeRose, a brilliantly skilled artist who uses fiber of all kinds to create masterpieces! Although I am in complete awe of her felting skills, I fell head over heels when I first was introduced to how beautifully she is re-purposing damaged vintage embroidered linen. Her pillows are simply the prettiest pillows ever. And her birds and bunnies transport me to a state of enchantment!
Believing that her creatures and pillows were the best possible way to preserve and enjoy vintage linens that had been discarded because of staining or rough use, I began collecting damaged vintage embroidered linen whenever I ran across it - which isn't often - and to date I have a grand total of three pieces in my collection!
But, I really do not want to exactly copy her work - be inspired by - yes - but not make a bunny (or pillow for that matter) exactly like hers. This is after all her idea and she does make a living selling her creations. It didn't seem right to duplicate it. But once the idea of an embroidered bunny wiggled it's way into my heart, I didn't want to give up the idea of making one of my own to share in my Easter celebrations!
OK so the bunny idea has been percolating a few years and then last year I had the opportunity to review books written by two remarkable designers:
"Stitched Blooms" by Carina Envoldsen-Harris (review here) ... and ...
"Stuffed Animals" by Abigail Patner Glassenberg (review here)
I have learned so much of value about embroidery technique and about making stuffed creatures from these two women. I started with my own basic sewing and embroidery skills, but through tutorials on their blogs and e-books, I have expanded my knowledge in both floss embroidery and making stuffed animals. And then …….. their books were published! And the learning and inspiration continue!
One day not too long ago, while sitting quietly mulling over my '2014 list of top ten projects I really want to make' - "KaBoom!" "Pop!" "Crash!" - the idea of creating an Easter Bunny using… "Bunny" pattern from "Stuffed Animals" and…
Mexican Motif folk blouse embroidery patterns from "Stitched Blooms" … was born!
So, here I am! Sharing the adventure with you! Because, one of the things I think is most valuable about both of these books is that they can be used as a launch pad to create your very own projects.
Abby teaches the skills needed to literally create and sew and stuff animals only YOU can bring to life!
And Carina provides her embroidery motifs on a disc so that they can be made smaller, larger, rearranged, modified to create fanciful designs of your own!
For my Easter Bunny project however, I am taking advantage of patterns provided in both books and putting together the skills and inspiration of each individual designer into one gorgeous Easter Bunny! I am remaining faithful to the original designs - making no alterations to Abby's "Bunny" pattern and only small alterations to Carina's Mexican Motifs - only those needed so that the design fits within the bunny pattern pieces and a few color changes so that I can use stash floss.
I am not providing a tutorial here - but I do want to point out a couple things that will help you should you decide to try your hand at an embroidered creature!
The first steps toward making a creature (in this case "Bunny") involve carefully following Abby's instructions for making (or transferring) a pattern! However, it is important to note that the pattern pieces will be embroidered before being assembled into "Bunny", and therefore it is necessary to go a step further and actually make mirror image patterns of every single bunny pattern piece. (And when the pattern piece call for "cut four" - make four - two sets of mirrored pattern pieces.)
Before ironing the pattern pieces onto the "Bunny" fabric, place an embroidery hoop on the fabric and arrange pattern pieces within the hoop as shown making sure to leave room between the pattern pieces for seam allowances and room within the frame of the hoop for comfortably embroidering the motifs.
Remove the hoop and iron the pattern pieces in place. Move the hoop to a new position allowing enough room between the new hoop placement and the previously placed pattern pieces so that the hoop will not need to be locked down on top of your beautiful embroidery stitches.
Once the pattern pieces have been ironed onto the fabric, trace around them, transferring all marks that appear on the pattern using a water soluable marking pen. (I place my marks in the seam allowance area). Also be sure to identify every single body part!!! IE: outer left leg, inner left leg, right ear, left ear, right inner arm, right outer arm……..
Once all markings have been transferred and pieces identified, remove the paper patterns.
To create my embroidery pattern, I popped the disc into my computer and printed out two copies - no re-sizing necessary.
Carina offers several alternative techniques for transferring an embroidery motif onto fabric, I use a light box because I have one! Photographer!!!
This is the point at which identifying each and every "Bunny" pattern piece becomes crucial because the embroidery motif selected for each body part needs to mirror it's counter part and work nicely into the whole scheme of things.
As you can see above, I printed off two copies of the full Mexican folk motif, reversed one of them, and taped them into place on the light table. While the motif lines on the "reversed side" will not show while the light is off, they are perfectly visible when the light is on.
Placing the full pattern on the light box allows me to move the bunny body parts around on top of the embroidery motifs until I find one that pleases me. Once I trace the chosen motif section onto the fabric, I can move the mirror bunny pattern piece to the corresponding mirror image of the motif and trace.
The tummy/back embroidery transfer was especially challenging as to save fabric, I turned my 'back' pattern piece upside down which made it a pain to try to build a design that would continue from front to back. I have yet to see if I failed or succeeded!!! Next time, I would place them side by side.
Bunny Ears! Tracing completed and ready for embroidery! Notice the mirror image of the embroidery pattern.
Note: I only traced two ears for embroidery because I am planning to use a pretty pink fuzzy fabric for the inside of the ears.)
Bunny ear embroidery done!!
Bunny tummy and back embroidery done! Dangling floss will be used to connect the front and back design elements - I hope!!! If nothing else, I can embroider a nice big leaf at the seam!!
Working on head, arm and leg bits now! And then I start assembly!
"Bunny" and I'll be back!