What am I working on? (4.2.2007)

This will be just an update on a couple of projects I've mentioned in previous entries.
At last, I'm finished with the wedding favor bags -- I just need to get them packed up, invoiced and shipped out! I'm happy with the way they turned out, and hope my "client" will enjoy them.

Now I'm working on building up an inventory of "minkee pals" so I can fill a couple of requests and have some on hand when I need them. Last fall, I made up several batches of suns, moons, stars, bugs, butterflies, hearts, and teddies, but it seems I've used up most of that supply. So I'm adding more to that stash along with some other shapes -- circles, fun shapes, flowers, fish and an astronaut (though he looks more like a gingerbread man). Maybe by the summer I'll have enough of a stash to sell some on ebay.

What are "minkee pals"? They are small stuffed toys made from minkee fabric (made by Benartex), machine-embroidered and stitched entirely in the hoop. I purchased the Minkee Pals 2 design collection from EmbroideryOnline.com (OESD) about a year ago, bought most of my minkee fabrics through suppliers on ebay and have been creating these little critters every few months since then. They are great for crib toys. I've managed to find some small squeakers (the kind you put in dog toys) which fit nicely inside some of the rounder shapes. I haven't found a satisfactory method for adding a rattle yet, but am still looking for ideas.

Another minkee project I need to get back to is a pair of "hankie blankies" -- these are small blankets, about 18" square, made from minkee fabric in dotted and smooth, with stuffed animal heads and paws attached in one corner. I purchased a kit last year called Hankie Blankie Pets (designed by Judy Reynolds/Black Cat Creations) which provided the material and instructions for 3 blankies, each with a different animal attached - a puppy, a teddy and a kitty. I made all 3 in the kit last summer, and want to make 2 more. But first, I need to try to digitize the faces using my 3D Embroidery Software.

I did manage to digitize faces last summer, but I didn't really know what I was doing or why, and I wasn't very happy with the results. Fortunately, minkee has a soft, thick nap to it, so most of the stitches I didn't like were hidden. I've been taking software classes with Miss Monica, The Embroidery Professor, to learn how to properly digitize embroidery designs; now I want to start over and create brand new faces and put what I've learned to good use. The most recent digitizing class was last week and I finally feel ready to get started. All I need is a little time to focus on this without interruptions . . .

I really should try to digitize something else before the next class, just to become better acquainted with the process, but what? I could use some suggestions . . .

If time permits this week, I'm going to try to make a pair of pants based on the alterations I made in class a few weeks ago.

I have requests for 2 backpacks/book bags, but the deadlines on those are a few weeks away. I'm gathering my supplies and patterns for those projects this week, but will probably start working on them next week. As part of the re-organization of my sewing room, I have acquired clear plastic bins where I can sort out my supplies by project, so when I'm ready to work on one of them, all I have to do is grab the right bin and start sewing (or cutting or whatever). And it helps me keep track of how many projects I have in process at once so I can prioritize my time.


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