Critter Pattern Works started in 1989 because I couldn't find an applique pattern I wanted to make. I am Debora Konchinsky, the owner and principle designer for Critter Pattern Works. Some of our patterns were designed by interning college students. I graduated with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1966. My major was Fabric Design.
I have always specialized in realistic animal-themed patterns of machine appliqué. These patterns can be used to make finished projects ranging from a hot pad to full sized bed quilt to clothing. My mission is to provide you with a vehicle to help you think more creatively. During those four years I spent in college, this is what I was taught in the creative thinking department: "What if...? Before you can be creative, you need to learn the basics of applique. I figured that videos are the easiest way to learn, and I made step by step free vidoes for you...seriously, I wore all the hats: the writer, producer, camera woman, editor and the star for the videos. The hardest part was finding a time to work on this project when Paul, my DH, wasn't clanging pots and pans in the kitchen. ;-) I don't cook much.
Watch over my shoulder to learn how I sew appliques in both raw edge and satin stitching and create some special effects.
Email me if you'd like to see an applique method you would like to see explained in a video.
When I started designing patterns back in 1989, people wanted to do machine appliqué because it was fast. Sure, you can make up my patterns by hand applique if you prefer, just add a seam allowance. Now with the punch needle embroidery, beading, and FELTING techniques, people find that they can use our appliques in front of the TV or riding in a car because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment. It is relaxing to do, and fun to see the design develop in a few evenings. You won’t create designs as fast as with machine appliqué, but the process is a pleasant change of pace, and the amount of detail you can achieve is amazing. Look at the detail photos of the Woolly Sheep quilt pattern page to see the kind of transformation that can be made by using different materials and techniques but the same designs. The wool quilt became the Crazy Sheep and then evolved into the Sheep Wannabees, two prize winning quilts.
With my easy to follow instructions, beginning sewers to advanced quilters are encouraged to use individuality and experimentation and learn new skills for expression. Included in every pattern is a little art lesson. For more information on being creative, click here. I give suggestions for choosing colors, fabrics, and types of prints to help you get started. When you purchase a fabric kit to use with a CPW pattern, you get the opportunity to pick and choose which fabric goes where in your quilt, be it background or applique. So this isn’t cookie cutter quilting. Your quilt will be different from everybody else's.
In every pattern, I tell you how to set up the sewing machine and how to do all the special effects that were used in the quilts pictured. I assume that you know how to sew, but maybe have never made a quilt before.
You can make your project as complicated or as easy as you want by limiting (or duplicating) the number of designs you choose to use. Learn the techniques, so when you are ready to put 20 critters together, you will know what you are doing.
The CritterNews comes out monthly, more or less. I tell you about the shows where Paul, my DH and I will be vending, new patterns coming out, tips, contests and sales. We also discuss what is on our minds...Check out the CritterNews archives button on the left of this page.
I started blogging! This is a place where I can give more detailed info about what I am working on. Maybe it will help get people excited about applique and actually get addicted to being creative. click here: