Monday, January 17, 2011

So...Who's Freddie?

I am one of those people with a million nicknames.  Ing, Ingie, Inga, Schwing, Ming the Merciless, Slingblade, and the list goes on (some are too embarressing to say - just ask my sister, Liesl).  It seems like everyone I know has a different name to call me other than Ingrid.  I am also one of those people that love to shorten people's names or put a y at the end.  I just think that the way you call someone says how familiar you are with them and shows a sort of comradaree with them - does that make sense?

Well, one of my nicknames that my Dad uses is Fred - actually any form of Fred - Freddie, Fredlets, Ingafred, etc.  I decided that it was a good name to use for my pattern company.  I have always loved stuffed animals and friends.  I decided to name each of my designs after someone that is close to me.  I will do blog posts on each one of my little friends so that you can know who they are named after. 

I am working on a new fun pattern.  I am so excited because it is so cute and I just love this new little friend.  I hope you will love it too! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tips & tricks on stuffing your softie "friends"...

Many people have told me that stuffing is intimidating and people seem hesitant to attempt it.  I felt the same way and so I wanted to share some tips and my one favorite stuffing tool with you.  Hopefully this will give you more confidence.  Please let me know if you have any questions - I would love to help.  I'm not a professional but I have done my share of stuffing lately!

1.  Of course the more times you stuff the better and faster you get - "practice makes perfect."

2.  Make sure when stuffing you get every nook and cranny full of the stuffing.  You don't want your body to be nice and stuffed and your shoulders to be limp.

3.  Make sure the opening you are stuffing through is big enough for you to fit the stuffing comfortably (otherwise expect frustration) - usually between 1.5 - 3 inches is sufficient.

4.  When you are about finished stuffing and about to sew the closing shut, push the stuffing away from the opening.  When the opening is sewn shut you can smoosh around the stuffing and redistribute what you pushed away from the opening.

5.  When stuffing the appendages (arms, ears, antennas, feet, legs, etc.) of your "friend," you don't want them to flop around where they connect to a bigger piece.  Instead you want them to be stiff where they connect to the other piece. It is important that the piece of stuffing that you get to stuff the appendage is enough to stuff the appendage and then overflow into the main piece.  The stuffing that comes out into the main piece will help stabilize the appendage so that it doesn't flop around when the "friend" is finished.

6.  Similar to tip 5, it is important to stuff the neck quite stiff so that the head doesn't flop around. 

7.  Use a good quality stuffing.  I like Silky Soft by Fiberfill.  I get it from Joann Fabrics and always use a coupon.  If you don't have a Joann's coupon print a Michael's or other craft store coupon off the internet. Joann's will accept competitor coupons.

My secret weapon:
A small, round paint brush with stiff bristles - the best ones are the toll paint brushes because the bristles are quite stiff. If the bristles are too long cut them to about 3-4 mm long and smoosh them into something hard so that the flare out.  You will be amazed at how well this works.