Meet Kali Patton

February 16, 2011 in News

Kali Patton

Kali Patton

Kali Patton is on a mission to solve life’s unexplained mysteries. Missing socks from the dryer? Bumps in the night? Unexplained spills and messes? Kali is on the case, and she loves recording her findings through her website and online store, Kalidarling.

The answer to the mysteries? Adorable creatures known as Beasties. Those bumps in the night are from a hyper creature known as Trux. Fuzzy camera photos? A self-absorbed (and gorgeous) one-eyed beastie named Sora. Kali brings each of these Beasties to life by creating plush stuffed animals, pillows, t-shirts, washable coffee cozies and more for Kalidarling.

“The shape of each Beastie is designed by its mystery,” Kali explains. “I like to have in my mind an action that they’ll do. For instance, one of them hides keys … there are things in my life that, um, I like to not blame on myself,” she laughs, “so if I lose my keys, then of course it’s a small creature that’s hiding them.” Kali adds that she’s a “huge lister” and loves creating lists of mysteries that need to be solved.

“I’ve always made little plush toys,” says Kali, who got her first sewing machine in the 6th grade and spent a few years working for Calico Country, a sewing machine dealer. “I loved working there. I learned a huge amount from [store owner] Chuck – it caused me to purchase an extra room in my apartment just for my fabric collection.”

“I was sitting with a friend of mine in college, just drawing, when I had the idea,” Kali says about Beasties. “It was actually one of his characters that I turned into a Beastie and since then, I keep coming up with new ones.” Kali enjoyed drawing and sewing Beasties so much that, while studying Communications Design at Southern Illinois University, she decided to base her thesis around Beasties.

“It was really fun; I really enjoyed my show,” says Kali. “It was hectic to come up with the design work and the plush at the same time, but in the end it was worth it.” That show led to a post-graduation internship with an independent toy designer in Chicago. While there, the company’s owner encouraged Kali to develop her Beastie line and join Chicago’s crafting circuit.

With Kali’s experience and expertise in graphic design, design, and sewing – not to mention her whimsical, imaginative approach Рshe quickly began to make a name for herself in the Chicago and St. Louis craft circles. Her work was displayed in the first Crammed Organisms show in St. Louis and published in a subsequent book.

These days, Kali is stockpiling projects for upcoming craft shows while adding plenty of projects to Kalidarling’s online shop. She hopes to soon expand her line to include fabric, stationary and note cards. When Kali is not solving life‚Äôs unexplained mysteries, she works as a graphic designer and loves cooking, crocheting and skating in a St. Louis roller derby league with a group of ‚Äúreally crafty girls.‚Äù

Kali encourages sewers to find their inner Beastie when trying something new. “People tend to get hung up that they’re going make mistakes, or say they can’t do something without having tried,” she says. “I have made so many mistakes that it’s not a fear anymore. Fabric is such a forgiving medium, so you can always can take stitches out and try again. Don’t be afraid take chances!”

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