Friday, October 5, 2012

Felt Thingy and Something Much Nicer

One of my favorite design blogs is How About Orange.  Jessica has a great variety of content and a wonderful eye for form and color.  About a million years ago I pinned this cute project she blogged about intending to make it.  Then several months ago, I finally got around to doing it.

Right from the start though, I was a bit doomed.  In the first place, instead of using lovely soothing high quality felt, I just decided I'd use what I had which is that weird polyestery-feeling cheapo craft felt.  Don't get me wrong, it's useful for tons of things, but not when you're going for a lush wooly feeling.

My next error was deciding that instead of using one color (like she did) to make the pattern stand out, I'd use ALL THE COLORS.  Very bright neony ones too.  Then, instead of just trying a few squares to see if I liked the way it went together, I cut up about seventy five little squares of felt. Just jumped in with both feet; cliched, I know.  When I finally started assembling the squares I realized that my cuts weren't perfect.  They were ok, but in order for the whole thing to assemble nicely, the cuts need to be exactly right and the materials high quality.  I assembled some of it, but it was rumpled, felt icky, and looked like skittle vomit (sorry).

Alas; I was so frustrated by my lack of success that I shoved it, and all the extra pieces, back into my felt/embroidery bin, there to remain ignored and forgotten until the studio cleanup last night.  Then, in the interest of crossing things off my list, I decided I would either throw it away (thanks Leah for encouraging us to have the strength to do this when necessary) or "finish" it.  I looked at it for a while and was strongly leaning towards tossing it in the "tiny fabric scraps to use for stuffing things bin" when I flipped it over and realized the errors weren't so obvious from the back and the pattern was more soothing since there were fewer corners.  Of course due to the imperfect cuts, it didn't really hold together terribly well and there were all these floppy corners so I just "quilted" over the whole thing in a grid.

So here is the finished front:  terrible, no?  It looks like something I might have made in the third grade (with my apologies to the third graders out there).  Definitely a far cry from this.

But here's the back.  Not so bad I think.  I'm going to use it as a mug rug next to my hand sewing chair.  I think it will actually look cute sitting on my happy pink side table.

Finally, some redeeming beautiful art;  I was lucky enough to be the winner of Nina Lise Moen's generous giveaway.  She sent me two of her beautiful art quilts- they're each about 8 x 10 ish and perfectly designed to hang as a diptych.  I find them to be very soothing, and I love looking closely at them to see all the wonderful different fibers and surface design techniques she incorporated.  Just feast your eyes!

Thanks again Nina Lise!