As featured on Cuteable - thank you very much!
And this is where they started - from the comfort of our four-poster bed, on our Devon holiday.
Well, almost. The bed had muslin drapes. One night when they were pulled round and we were sharing a bottle of wine, I noticed an interesting gap between them. Which turned into these long necked bird-like creatures.
I've been putting off tackling the business of making my own patterns for years. And I managed to put it off for a few more months. But I finally knuckled down, transferred the sketches into a photo programme, did a bit of flipping and produced a rough paper pattern.
With a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth, I cobbled together a rough dummy, which seemed to work. I was most proud of my gusset - I would never have been content to just sew together two bits of material, because I do like to make life difficult for myself.
A year ago I bought some poplin, and actually got round to tea-dying it for a nice aged effect. It has since been languishing, neatly folded, on my neglected sewing machine. I meant to make geese from it, but never did. Time to iron it out...
...and get cutting, with Andy's little nan's scissors. She's no longer with us, but I still use her sewing equipment, much of which she inherited from Andy's great-grandmother.
My old Jones machine groaned with subdued excitement (or was that me?) as I unlocked it and wiped off the dust. I breathed in that special antique sewing machine smell of old oil, cold iron and memories.
What was in the little side drawer? Nothing too interesting. Essence of haberdashery.
I had a momentary panic trying to remember how to thread up. Miraculously, I still have an original manual, which also helped me sort out the tension in minutes.
Time to bite the bullet. I got going. There is something very comforting about using an old sewing machine. They seem to stay in excellent working order despite years of non-use and my Jones clicked and clattered happily, so pleased to be working again and eager to be of use. We hummed together.
I did used to be able to sew. I learned the basics at my mother's knee, and went on to incorporate embroidery and patchwork in my illustration degree. It got put to one side, as a non-money earner, in the days before Etsy and the craft revolution. Things kept coming back. Me and the new goose got intimate.
My studio floor is littered with re-discovered fabric stash. The big bag of sheeps wool which I bought specifically for this purpose (well over a year ago) has been broached. I am exploring the gentle art of stuffing. I've gone for a primitive look, which is not a style that is common in the UK. But I like making lumpy old things, and they are not a million miles away from my artworks. Which was the whole purpose of it all.
Now we are three. I am not sticking hard and fast to the pattern, as I want each one to have a little personality of its own.
And with a shameless plug (because I could do with earning this week's grocery money) I've put two of them up for sale in my Etsy shop...this one -
SOLD - See her new home HERE
I'm keeping the other one for me, how radical is that!?
UPDATE - thank you to the two lovely people who snapped my Gooseys up! I'll be making some more next week, but for now I must return to the slower pace of needle felting and clear some orders.