Monday, March 1, 2021

 

I woke up with a start at half past midnight and thought, Kuki. Not as in cookies and milk for a midnight snack. And I knew just where to find it.

Seven years ago, I put down a tray of unfinished teddy bears for a few minutes. Where did the time go? I must not have had it back then either, because the teddies in the tray need only small things still to be finished. When I woke up in the night with thoughts of Kuki, I immediately realized that I must find that tray. Not that I could have told you about one thing that was in there. When I unpacked it, I rediscovered many teddies that I would never have recalled if they didn't whisper to my subconscious mind while I slept. 


I designed the Kuki Needle Keeper teddy bear in 2007 in honour of a bear maker and quilter, Kitty, who is a friend. At a time when I needed an extra pair of hands, she was a tremendous help in my studio. Kitty is practical and organized, serene and funny, and I think Kuki portrays those qualities beautifully.

During the next three years, I used the Kuki pattern to teach teddy bear making at a craft fair and over 600 students became the proud owners of their own teddy needle keepers. Kuki was so popular that I decided to publish the pattern so that bear makers all over the world could make their own.

As you can imagine, my original pattern sample soon started looking a bit worse for wear with all the passing from hand to hand in workshops. I started making a new one but like most things, once the novelty of figuring out the process is over, I become bored with it and I'm ready to move on to a new challenge. Kuki was consigned to 'The Tray' in this condition.

She only needed a pair of eyes and her insides. Once I dusted her off and took out my pattern templates to cut the missing pieces, I felt inspired to create and I made her a collar, not part of the original design.


Soon she was assembled and ready to lead a long, useful life.

Magnets in her hands can hold your scissors, and keep the needle book closed when not in use.

She opens up to reveal that at heart, she's a sharp cookie, ha ha.


 Here's the new Kuki, together with the original.

While I was at it, I revamped the pattern sheets, rewrote the instructions, and added some fresh images. The pattern is available to download in my Etsy store, and on my new website.

Now that I've rediscovered The Tray, I might dive in there and finish a few more teddies.




20 comments:

  1. Oh Megan, what lovely story, you, thinking in the middle of the night about your tray filled with unfinished bears. But I also thought: what a pity they stayed unfinished! Your Kuki is such an adorable sweetheart, as she is so dedicated to her scissors ;)! Nice that your revamped the pattern sheets and rewrote the instructions, all done for those who would love to create a Kuki of their own.
    Cheers, to Kuki, may she have a long, brand new and good useful life :)!
    Hugs, Ilona

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    1. Thank you, Ilona! I will work my way through the teddies now that I have discovered them. This lengthy lockdown has led me to rediscover all kinds of things in my stash, as I'm sure you have experienced too ;-)

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  2. I love midnight-bright-ideas! Kuki is quite possibly the cutest needle and scissor minder I have seen in a very long time and she looks pretty happy to have made her way out of The Tray.
    Anna X

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    1. Thank you so much, Anna! I'm in the midst of a bout of extreme sleep disruption and often staring at the ceiling in the dark. It's a relief when my mind comes up with something I can act on.

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  3. Kuki is looking pretty pleased to be out of the tray, finished and united with the original Kuki. The other animals look quite comfortable in the tray, but it will be fun to see them come out and take on their personalities.

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    1. Thank you, Sherrill. They're going to emerge from there in twos and threes. I'm working through unfinished projects.

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  4. Isn't it fascinating what wakes us up in a panic, and the timing of such emergencies? But what an inspired solution, to repair Kuki and to make him a new and improved little sister! They are absolutely adorable, and made more so by their clever and useful purpose! A whole new generation of crafters will now get to enjoy the pattern!
    The basket looks full of interesting characters, the possibilities for each personality just waiting it's turn to be all they were meant to be. I bet it's hard now to resist seeing each of these ideas come to life!

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    1. Ha Jodi, midnight emergencies indeed! I must say I'm pleased when my subconscious spurs me on to finish something instead of waking me up to start something new. We all know about brilliant ideas that peter out at the halfway mark ;-)

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  5. ¡Que maravilla de bandeja te espera para terminar esa maravilla como kuki!
    La nueva transformación y con el lazo lo hace adorable. Buena semana y cuídate

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  6. What a sweet teddy Megan! I love teddies and occasionally make them. And isn’t it weird how our brains work?? I often have such thoughts in the middle of the night, something that I haven’t thought about in a long time or decide I need to finish. Anyway, I am happy to hear you are creating, and maybe we will see some more posts soon on your finished teddies??

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    1. Thank you, Shannon! I'm supposed to be a professional bear maker, but lately I fell down a 1/12 scale hole... miniature bears have always been my first love so I guess I will be combining the two in futre. Yes, you will see some more finished bears from the tray for sure.

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  7. Kuki is adorable. Usually, when I get carried away with crafting the same items, I get bored and put away the unfinished work in a box and forget about them. Now, thanks to this post of yours, I'll go searching for my unfinished jewelry facade, before I start a new project.
    I bought your suggestion, dear Meagan for turning some the extra mini shoes into pincushions. Nice gifts for my non-miniaturists friends. Thank you.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thank you for liking Kuki, Drora! Ha, you can tell me nothing about unfinished projects in boxes. I can work my way through them for several more pandemic lockdowns. I also have the bad habit of putting scissors and other tools away in the box with my unfinished projects. When I finish a few things, I suddenly have a whole pile of tools again as a bonus!
      Did you revisit the jewelry facade? I will be checking your blog.

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  8. Kuki is for sure a bear with inner values... and will have no problems at all gaining many, many good points in the Golden Book of Santa (unlike some other beary I happen to know...). It's so good that she finally came back into your mind after a much too long time on the waiting tray. Let's hope all the other lovely creatures have learnt their lesson how and even more WHEN to bring themselves into your mind... ;O)

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Dear Birgit, thank you for the 'inner values' pun, you had me grinning there!
      You are so hard on your poor bearies sometimes, they can't help being a bit mischievous and I love reading about it on your blog. When this Santa Aunt visits Germany next, she's going to send them some gifts just to prove that they are loved!

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  9. Además de adorable, es un osito muy práctico.
    Me encanta !!!!!

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  10. Hola Megan , me preguntas en mi blog que hago con la jeringuilla; inyectando formol ,es muy efectivo para matar la carcoma. El caballo es una pieza preciosa alemana , fue una suerte encontrarla por EBay Alemania. Feliz domingo. Besos

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    1. Thank you, Rosa! The formaldehyde is news to me and I'm going to remember it in case I have a woodworm problem in future. I'm going to keep an eye open on Ebay for that kind of horse, it is just the right creepy cute thing to display in my studio.

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