I make Quilts. For a long time, quilts were the only thing I could make! That's not to say I didn't try other things, because I absolutely spent a stupid amount of money on wasted chopped up fabric, and patterns that I still have sitting in a bottom drawer in my sewing room. I will never forget the evening I made my husband a pair of shorts! He loves the Oakland Raiders, so I decided I was going to buy some cotton Raiders fabric to make him some drawstring pants to wear around the house. Notice I said pants AND shorts, well that's because I didn't get nearly enough fabric to make long pants for a grown man, so I was already off to a bad start!
I got a cheap pattern from Walmart, and I was so excited. I started to unfold this thin pattern paper and quickly realized it was huge, and it was all over the floor, and I had no idea how to read it, or what it all meant. So shorts it is! Because in my mind of logic they were smaller, and surely better. I cut, and I struggled, and I struggled some more. I re-read the pattern 50 times, and I ended up with a pair of shorts that would fit a Sumo wrestler. They were enormous! My husband modeled them in the dining room and we laughed until we cried, and then I put them in a box.
I didn't think of that pair of funny shorts again until a few years ago when I needed a little girl birthday gift, in a hurry. I went to that same bottom drawer full of patterns, and I found three super cute little girl dress patterns! Yes! I could do this! They were small, and they didn't have very many pieces, and I had grown a lot over the years. The instructions actually made sense, and before long I had a few little dresses, all different colors and sizes, and I loved them! I wrapped up one little dress, along with some other little girl things and headed to a birthday party. The dress was a big hit, and I felt good! Sure enough, someone asked me while at this birthday party if I could make a stuffed animal, an elephant I think she wanted, and I quickly said NO! This lady has no idea what I went through to get to this point, she's lost her mind asking for stuffed animals, right? Well.... you guessed it. I found my party going behind in the Hobby Lobby a few hours later digging through the pattern drawers. I got frogs, and dogs, and teddy bears, and elephants and all kinds of stuffed animals! I got the stuffing, I got some cute flannel fabric and I was pumped! I was going to have a regular farm in the sewing room! WRONG! I hated every single pattern I bought! The frog legs were so long and skinny I gave up, the teddy bear had way too many pieces and after hours of struggling his head didn't fit his body quite right. It was a complete disaster.
So I locked myself in my sewing room until I could make sense of something!
The only thing that made sense was to make a simple pattern myself that I liked, based around all of these that I didn't like. That day was the birth of my custom Teddy Bears. I started making them with quilting cotton and my very simple pattern and they looked crisp and clean, and I love making them! Each one is a little different, and they are all adorable. Sometimes I make them for kids, and sometimes I make them for adults and they almost always have a name or a quote embroidered on their belly. They make great new friends and they just make people smile. But, sometimes I make them and they are full of memories and tears, with love and meanings, because I use clothes, instead of fabric from the store. Memory Teddy Bears make a beautiful unique gift that fill a room with love. But, no matter the occasion, everyone loves a teddy bear.
Hey Y'all, I'm Gina Tell! I live on Lake Travis just North of Austin Texas. I'm a full time long arm quilter and lover of all this art and outdoors!!