Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pattern Play

Since I emerged this spring from my self-imposed hibernation* from bear making, I have discovered that I love creating new patterns. It is so satisfying to start with a piece of paper and an idea, then take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into a three-dimensional little "soul" that looks at you so lovingly.

When I dug out my bear-making materials earlier this year, I found four bears waiting to be finished, three of whom had faces that looked up at me so trustingly. So sorry I made you wait, little ones! The biggest one, my very patient big brown batik bear, needed a smaller body and some limbs, so I set to work. A sketch here, a test body out of paper towels there, and I had what I thought would be a good size to go with his head. Same thing with the limbs, though I didn't make paper towel tests for them. (It all sounds so easy and breezy, but there's a lot of drawing, erasing, testing for fit, and so on in pattern making.) The batik bear is now jointed and mostly stuffed. I think I haven't completely finished him yet because I love him and would like to keep him around a little while longer.

Because I like the batik bear so much, I decided I needed to make a smaller size version of his pattern. Once that was finished, I cut the pieces out of beautiful wavy distressed pink mohair. Now I need to trim the fur from the seams and sew her up!

And then I got a wild hare of an idea and decided to design something completely out of the norm for me. Two somethings, in fact.

The first is a first for me: a rabbit. Can you believe that in 14 years of bear making I haven't made a rabbit before? I've designed and made three cats and even a pig, but not a rabbit. So I gathered photos of rabbits--so cute--and designed the rabbit's head. But I haven't gone farther than that with the pattern design. If you look closely at the two photos of my desk in the post that shows where I create, you can see it. It's only a sewn furry "envelope" in the pictures, but now it's stuffed and has test eyes in position. Nothing else. So funny but endearing at the same time.

And the second is what I'm calling my grand experiment. Why is he my grand experiment? Because he is such a departure from my usual designs. He has...drumroll, please...a two-piece head. Yes, you read that right. There's no middle gusset piece. He also has a different body and limb style than my usual bears. Right now, he is waiting for me to tighten his limb joints, just lounging here on my desk looking cute. I can't show him to you just yet, but when he's finished, he will appear here on the New Avenue Crew blog. I like him. I hope you will, too.

*By the way, I plan to stay OUT of hibernation. I am enjoying playing with the fur and fluff far too much to give it up, and I plan to create my Crew members for a long time to come. I've found that I really do have a need to create, whether it's sketching, writing, or making a teddy bear "come to life" with my hands. I believe that's the way God wired me!


  1. My dear friend,

    I love that you are "God wired". You are a sweet, dear friend, and I am blessed to have you as my friend.

    HOH (heaps of hugs)

  2. Hurry up and finish already, we're waiting ;o)

  3. I'm super excited to see them both. Hurry hurry!! ;o)

  4. Can't wait to see what you have been working on!

  5. Hi Deborah, i love your bears and i m happy to hear that you are no longer in hiberation. That's such a great news, i would love to see your new designs.

  6. Can't wait to see that bunny once he (she?) is finished!

    Lori Ann

  7. Your new creations sound great! I will be watching to see the finished product :)


  8. Creativity is food for the soul, I believe. And not so "easy breezy" but worth all the steps. Hugs, Vicki

  9. I am so glad you are back in the groove Debora ... I have loved your bears ever since I first saw Juniper way back when I first met you on TT.
    I would love to join you for a walk Dianne, I could do with some warmth right's been so cold all week, icy winds BRRR!
    Never seen a Hummingbird Moth before, didn't even know there was such a thing...thanks for sharing, I learn something new everyday.
    Mmm what delights me today? The sun has finally come out!
    Have a fun weekend.
    Warmest Hugs,
    Sandi @ Bearly Sane
    P.S. Please stop by when you get a chance, I have a great giveaway on offer.

  10. I would love to buy a bear for my goshild, how can i do that? you are very good at that bear making, i just love Borelis

  11. Thank you for your lovely comments, everyone! I can't wait to share my new creations with you! My "grand experiment" is almost all stuffed now, so I'm in the home stretch with him. I hope to work on the rabbit again soon, and the pink bear has been patiently waiting for me to pay her some attention. :o)

    I will write a post about how to adopt a bear, but I thought I should address your question here, sexyjavabelle. (So glad you like Borealis!) The best way to hear about new Crew members is to join the mailing list (enter your e-mail address in the box in the sidebar). You'll receive an e-mail when a new bear is available, before I introduce the bear here on my blog. Please note that because of the small parts they contain, my bears are not intended for children under the age of 12 or so.

    Bear hugs to you all!


We love getting comments here in the Crew studio. Thank you for taking a peek at New Avenue Crew and leaving us your calling card. Blessings and bear hugs to you!