Category Archives: sewing

Creativity: Back to the Drawing Board

This morning I reworked my new doll pattern. It turned out much better by leaving the legs separate from the body. Now my stuffing hole is back in the bottom, instead of the head. The canvas doll shown in the first photo didn’t make it through the stuffing process. Another case of seams being to close to the edge. Another doll scrapped. Bummer.

doll pieces using new pattern

Two dolls using the new pattern

The Daisy doll on the other hand is turning out just right. I changed the leg shape, no more chicken legs! I sewed a seam for the shoulder joint since the arms are now connected to the body. It was a bit stiff before I made the joint in the shoulder.

New Daisy doll almost done!

New Daisy doll almost done!

I’m just about out of time for making stuff and blogging today. This evening, myΒ  band Sunlight is heading into the recording studio to start work on our second CD! I cannot wait to share these new songs, it’s going to be great! I’m grateful I get to live my dreams on a daily basis. If I can do it, anybody can. Never give up!

Creativity: Disappointment

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

Today I was working on a new doll pattern. This exploration has given me the opportunity to share a piece of the artist’s life with my readers. Not everything comes out the way you hope it will. I have experienced disappointment before. I’m used to it. For those young (or young at art), beginning artists out there, you are not alone! Even seasoned artists have to face disappointment from time to time. All you can do is try, and try again.

I wanted to cut some of the steps in my pattern, so today I drew up a new pattern with the arms and legs connected from the beginning. My other pattern had to be sewn piece by piece with the arms and legs connected to the body after they were sewn and stuffed. I am not thrilled with the result. The legs kinda look like chicken drumsticks!

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

One issue I hadn’t considered, is having to sew up the doll at the top of the head instead of at the bottom where the legs are connected. The head is rounded, which makes it really difficult to hand sew it shut. There is a reason the pattern was made the way it is.

The first doll I started today didn’t work out because I stitched the seams too close to the edge. I ended up with holes in the seam. The linen canvas I used was also a bit too stiff, hard to turn right side out after sewing. The red cotton fabric was easier to work with, but I still have the issue of sewing up the head. I may still be able to salvage that one, we shall see.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

Another problem I discovered was putting the body together from the beginning was not a good use of my fabric. I had to use a much bigger piece to get the whole body cut out. When the arms and legs are detached, I can use more scrap pieces and less fabric overall.

I learned my lesson today. Back to the drawing board for another idea. Next time, I think I will keep the arms connected to the body, but leave the legs detached so I can sew them to the flat bottom and then sew up the body from there.

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

I hope to have something more interesting to share with y’all on Thursday. Today? It’s a wash, I will chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.

Creativity: Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl Doll, DONE!

I worked on her for a few days, but she is finally done! My first Love doll made with my own custom art fabric. Daisy Sunshine was made using my Yellow Daisy fabric design.

She is just as I imagined her, I hope you love her too!

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Love Doll

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Love Doll πŸ™‚

My next creativity project will be another painting! I must admit, I’ve missed my daily painting sessions. I also need to make more dolls, they are much more popular than I thought they could be. I’m so grateful to all the people who have adopted my sweet babies! It’s time for some new fabric designs as well. I have so much work to do, I guess I’d better get to it! Have a fantastic rest of your day! Please subscribe to my blog up in the upper right corner. Thank you! πŸ™‚

Creativity: Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl with hand drawn eyes

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl with hand drawn eyes

Working on a new doll today. Using my custom art Daisy fabric. I’m also trying something a bit different with her face. Using fabric markers to draw her features. What do you think? My previous dolls had embroidered faces, but the fabric on this one left the center of the daisies in the perfect spot for eyes. I considered leaving them alone, after looking long and hard at her face I decided she needed eyes. Unfortunately, I had already sewn up her body which makes it more difficult to embroider the face. Solution? Use my fabric markers to draw her cute little face on! I’m calling her a hippie girl, so she will have rainbow yarn hair. She is going to be adorable when finished! Stay tuned for more pics of the finished doll in my Thursday Creativity post. πŸ™‚

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl before face, kicking back on one of my heart pillows

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl before face, kicking back on one of my heart pillows

 

Creativity: Art Pillows Galore!

Pile of art pillows made by Paula Manning-Lewis

Pile of pillows currently in my studio and available for purchase!

Do you love soft things like I do? Then I have a sweet art pillow you may LOVE! I finished up a new heart pillow yesterday. It has stripes of green, yellow and red on one side and my daisy art fabric on the other side.

I really LOVE making these sweetheart pillows! They are the perfect size to take with you when traveling by car, bus, train or airplane. They make a great neck pillow! Plus, with a neck pillow like this, you will be the envy of your fellow travelers! Just fit the crook of the heart on the back of your neck. Perfect fit.

As with ALL of my pillow designs, you can have a custom pillow made, choosing your own favorite fabrics and colors. Contact me directly at plewis11@comcast.net for more information. Don’t forget, I also make “Memorial pillows” to help you remember your lost loved ones, using a favorite shirt or any piece of clothing.

I’m working on releasing some other fabric designs very soon. If you have any thoughts on any of my images you would love to see in fabric form, please let me know! I’m open to suggestions.

Next up, more peace sign pillows! Stay tuned or better yet, subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner of this page for automatic updates. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! Have a glorious, love filled day!

 

Creativity: Custom Art Fabric

I’ve been creating pillows and dolls with my own custom fabric for a couple of months now. I promised to make these fabrics available for sale at some point, and that day has arrived! You can now purchase three of my fabric designs directly from the manufacturer! I get a commission on all sales and the satisfaction of knowing my designs have been well received. I currently have 3 designs available, but there will be more coming in the future. If you have a specific image in mind, from my art portfolio, please let me know and I will be happy to design a custom art fabric and make it available just for YOU!

Spoonflower is the website where my fabrics are available and I must highly recommend them! They have several different fabric choices available, plus they also print wall paper and wrapping paper. At this time, my designs are only available on fabric.

Creativity: Memorial Pillow

I’ve posted about my Memorial pillows before, last month actually. Today, I’m working on another one, commissioned by the same person who commissioned the first pillows I made. Let’s just say he was happy with my work! πŸ™‚ If you don’t know what Memorial pillows are, check out my previous blog post about them. πŸ™‚

photo of memorial pillow commission I'm working on

Memorial pillow commissioned by a client

Do you have items you would like me to make a memorial pillow from? Contact me via email (plewis11@comcast.net) or comment here for more information. You can also go directly to my Etsy listing for your own custom memorial pillow HERE.

If you don’t want a pillow, I can make just about anything you can come up with, a doll? a quilt or blanket? A wall hanging? You name it and we can discuss all the details, ie, price, size, etc.

I hope you are all having a lovely day! Thank you so much for reading my blog! πŸ™‚

Creativity: Daisy Art Pillow

This is the week of the special shape art pillow! I had a wild hair to make some different designs this week, so here’s number two. The spiral in the middle is hand embroidered. The custom art fabric is my own “Daisy” design. I’m really enjoying this design, it’s so bright and cheery. I plan to make the fabric available for sale very soon.

Until then, you can find this comfy, cute, Springlike art pillow in My Etsy Shop. Along with several other pillow designs.

As I’m getting back into posting regularly here on my blog, I’m looking for ideas. What would YOU like to see me blog about? So far, I’ve decided that Tuesdays and Thursdays will be “Creativity” day. In other words, on these days, I will post photos of what I’m working on during the current week.

As you can see from yesterday’s blog (and a couple of other previous posts), I’m currently working on a series of blog posts about my facebook addiction. I know I’m not the only one on the internet with this addiction! Follow my blog to see how I deal on a day to day basis. I’m using blogging as a replacement for all the time I USED to spend on facebook.

Another series I’m working on is “Living in the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico”. This is a series similar to one I wrote many years ago about different day trips about one hour outside of Albuquerque. The new series will be about many places my husband and I travel around the state. I love my state and I know many people come here to vacation, so I figured it could be helpful to people looking for something to do when they visit. I guess it could be helpful to people who live here too! Believe it or not, I’ve lived here most of my life and still have places to explore in this large land mass of a state!

Let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas you would like to see my blog about. I love getting feedback from YOU, my readers! Thank you for following my blog! πŸ™‚

Creativity: Heart Love

I LOVE making pillows! They are just so much fun! And soft! Here is the latest “Art Pillow”, made today in my studio. The fabric is my own custom designed fabric, using my “Heart Love” painting. This has always been one of my favorites. The original sold before the paint was dry, so I didn’t get to live with it for very long.

While browsing Pinterest yesterday, I found some really cool looking shaped pillows and decided I MUST make heart pillows! Next up is a flower pillow, using my Daisy art fabric.

At some point, very soon, I will work on several new fabric designs. Eventually, they will be made available for sale as yardage. Then YOU can make whatever you may want to make with it! I have a few people waiting eagerly for the release. I promise it will be soon!

heart Love art pillow backside

Back of “Heart Love” art pillow, red cotton fabric

Do you have any favorites of my art that you think would look good on fabric? Please leave me a comment below and let me know which art YOU would like to see on fabric. Thank you!

 

Memorial Pillows

memorial pillow

Memorial pillow, made from an embroidered jean jacket and a bathrobe.

I recently got a commission for a couple of “Memorial” pillows. In case you’ve never heard of this before, a memorial pillow is made using clothing items that have some sort of sentimental value to you. Usually, the items belonged to a loved one who has passed away.

raw materials for memorial pillows

Two jean jackets and a bathrobe I turned into two Memorial pillows

In this case, I used two denim jackets that were embroidered by my client’s mom. The backing was cut from her bathrobe.

cutting out the jacket back

First I cut the back panels out of each item

This is a great way to remember someone and upcycle items at the same time. You can use old concert tshirts or a favorite blanket.

Cut and ready to sew

The first pillow all cut out and ready to sew into a pillow

If you are interested in having your own Memorial pillow made, check out this custom listing in my Etsy shop.

memorial pillows before stuffing

Two Memorial pillows before being stuffed.