Sunday, 29 January 2017

More fandom patterns: Tributes

I'm not sure I'll ever get used to seeing my work being posted or sewn by others - I know I design the patterns, or stitch things up and put them out there for that express purpose, but even so it still makes me do a pleasant double-take every time it happens.

Even receiving pics of my patterns being put together by the wonderful people that volunteer to test them surprises me and makes me super happy (and I know that those pics are coming!).

With the death of John Hurt a few days ago, it was sort of inevitable that my embroidered version of the "War Doctor" made a reappearance but I still wasn't prepared for the pic to show up in my social media again.

John Hurt: The War Doctor
by Karen McGuigan
10" Embroidery

Today it's the Fandom In Stitches 2016 tribute post - remembering some of the icons that we lost last year. Originally planned to be a Carrie Fisher and George Michael tribute, it got extended to be a more general 2016 tribute. There are some amazing patterns in there paying tribute to not just Fisher and Michael, but also Prince, David Bowie, Anton Yelchin, and Alan Rickman.

In the mix are three of my patterns:

Best of George Michael
In Memory of George Michael
by Karen McGuigan and tested by Anita Lynn
15" paper pieced with embroidered details
Inspired by Album Cover "Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best Of George Michael"
Leia with Blaster
In Memory of Carrie Fisher
by Karen McGuigan tested by Sue Garcia
10" paper pieced
Inspired by a Star Wars promo pic.

Carrie Fisher's Prozac Urn
In Memory of Carrie Fisher
by Karen McGuigan
5" paper pieced & embroidered
Inspired by the antique ceramic Prozac pill that was used as an urn for her ashes -
it was one of Carrie Fisher's prized possessions in life.

All of the patterns above are available on or over on My Patterns page.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Week 4 - Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch Along

Have you ever re-watched movies from your childhood and been surprised by how little screen-time your favourite characters really got? How did they manage to stick with us and assume such prominence in our memories when they were only on screen for a matter of minutes?

This week's character was like that for me - literally only a few minutes on screen, but such a huge part of my memories of the movie.

And the character for this week in the Fandom in Stitches Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch Along is..... The Worm!

As with every week of the event there are both paper-pieced and embroidery options to choose from. The paper pieced block this week was designed by Beth Gough and the embroidery version is another of my patterns.

Both versions of the patterns have now been posted on Fandom in Stitches and can be found here.

Like last week I've done three versions of this pattern. Version 1 is just The Worm by himself with the other two patterns being smaller versions of the same image with a couple of quotes from The Worm that stuck in my head.

All of this week's patterns are designed to fit a 9' finished block size.

Week 4 - The Worm (Stitched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Karen 
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along

Week 4 - The Worm (Stitched by Kristie Hudson Cook)
Embroidery pattern by Karen 
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along

Week 4 - The Worm (Stitched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Karen 
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along
 I hope you enjoy this week's patterns.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Week 3 - Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch Along

I'm so excited to share this week's pattern with you. It's the first of several of my designs for the event and possibly my favourite.

This week it's Hoggle!

This week includes a choice between a very cool paper pieced version designed by Kylie Pecarina and the embroidery block version designed by yours truly. Both the paper pieced and embroidered patterns are designed to fit a 9 inch square finished block.

Just to make the choice even more difficult, I actually did three embroidery versions, and all all three versions are available within the single pattern HERE.

I started with designing a detailed full body design, which I stitched up in colour:

Week 3: Hoggle - detailed (Stitched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Karen
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along

I was a bit worried that he might be a bit complex and scare off anyone that is not confident in their hand stitching skills so I simplified the pattern a bit and had the wonderful Jo test it out for me.

Despite the gorgeous end result, Jo continues to claim that she and embroidery do not get along (I don't believe it - looks pretty good to me!), so if she can do this one, anyone can.

Week 3: Hoggle - simple version (Stitched by Jo Minvielle)
Embroidery pattern by Karen
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch Along
The final version is just an enlargement of the simple versions' head and shoulders. I stitched this one up with 2 strands of white embroidery floss thread on a lilac background (Prima Homespun in Orchid - if anyone is really interested).

Week 3: Hoggle - Head and Shoulders version (Stitched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Karen
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch Along
So whether embroidery or paper piecing is your thing, there's something for everyone this week.

If you do give my Hoggle embroidery designs a go I'd love to see how it turns out - Leave me a comment or send me an email with your pics.

Until next week, when I'll be back with another of my embroidery designs....


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Weeks 1 & 2 - Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along

I think I mentioned last week that over the last year I've discovered a whole heap of new crafty and creative outlets. A big part of that has been discovering Fandom in Stitches. FiS and the fandom obsessed community have really enabled my crafty nerdiness!

I found myself stitching up lots of fandom patterns using both paper piece quilting and embroidery techniques which then evolved to also designing some of my own patterns.

So although I'm a bit late announcing it here... I'm excited to share with you now that I've joined with a group of fabulous designers and pattern testers collaborating on the latest Fandom in Stitches event... the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along.

The event runs from 4 January all the way through to the end of May, with two new patterns - a paper-pieced and an embroidery one, released every Wednesday (late Wednesday nights for those of you here in Australia).

Goblin King QAL image

In that mix of Labyrinth-themed patterns will be at least six of my own embroidery designs as well as about a dozen patterns (my own and designed by others) that I have been testing over the last few months. I can't wait for you to see them all!

I'll be posting links to the weekly patterns on the FiS site here on the blog as well as adding all of the patterns I have designed to My Patterns page as they are released.

Weeks 1 and 2 are up now.... See the Week 1 patterns - Sarah, and Week 2 Goblins on the Fandom in Stitches site.

My embroidered versions of the blocks can be seen below:

Week 1: Sarah (Stiched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along

Week 1: Sarah (stitched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein 
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along
Week 2: Goblin (stitched by me)
Embroidery pattern by Mel Moore
for the Goblin King: Labyrinth Quilt and Stitch along

I hope you enjoy the event as much as I have enjoyed being involved in designing and testing for it.


Friday, 6 January 2017

2017 - let's try this again (and finish it this time)

There's a pattern here ... I keep starting posts with a comment about how bad a blogger I've been!
I looked back at my first ever post the other day and this quote jumped at me:
I have a tendency to get hyper-motivated at the start of a project and then partway through drop it because its not going quite how I planned, or its taking longer than I imagined it would, or I just get bored (lazy) and couldn't be bothered with finishing it. 
How true that continues to be! It applies to so many of my endeavours, not just to this blog. Although I will add that more recently it's also partially that I've taken on so much that other things take centre stage in my head, pushing stuff to the background. 

Reflecting and moving on

Last year instead of making a New Year's resolution I chose a word to be my theme for the year.  The idea was that choosing a single word would help to give a focus to my decisions and actions for the year, and it could be applied in all areas of my life.

2016's word was "CREATE" and despite a lack of blog posts documenting it I think I stayed reasonably true to that.

Professionally it was a huge and very busy year, including a change of roles in the second half of the year, and I feel like I managed to at least lay the foundations for the creation of a couple of really worthwhile projects. 

But more importantly (for this blog anyway) I had an absolutely massive crafty year. I don't think a single week went by when I didn't spend at least some time being crafty and creative. I became obsessed with discovered paper pieced quilts, learnt how to hand embroider, started designing and testing paper pieced quilt patterns and started drawing in order to create embroidery templates (no idea where the drawing came from - I never ever considered that I might be able to draw!). 

So all that creating during 2016 was fabulous - I've developed professionally, learnt heaps, produced lots, started exploring new things and had a great time; but I return to the original issue - hyper-motivation followed by non-completion.

Although the change of roles at work was a good move for me professionally, I feel a little disappointed that I wasn't able to see the projects I was working on through to completion and all my crafty pursuits throughout the year have resulted in a scarily large list of WiPs (Works in Progress) or UFOs (Un-Finished Objects).

So my word for 2017?


I really want to be able to say at the end of this year that I've worked hard to finish the things that I've started and maybe even made a dent in the WiP list. I'm not saying that I won't be taking on lots of new projects, just that I want to see more of them through to their conclusion.

Lets see how it goes....

Do you have a NewYears resolution or inspiration/theme word for 2017?