Fiber Art DOTW - Week 6
We’re one month into the Fiber Art Days of the Week! To find out more about my personal challenge, start with Week 1.
I wanted to get the Little Prince cover I felted last week in my shop, so this week I focused on finishing sewing this project. I wish that the starry print fabric I had coordinated color better with the cover, but I also wanted the cover to match the color of the book. It’s nothing more than a “would’ve been nice,” and I still really love how it turned out. It’s so tempting for me to use the covers I make for the shop myself, but the only “use” I get out of them is just long enough to take a photo for the listing before they get stashed away. The Little Prince is one of my favorite books of all time - there is so much wisdom buried in that book, and is one that one can read to a child, but also keep coming back to as an adult for that little nugget of truth.
The cover is currently up in my shop, and is definitely one of a kind - even if I make other Little Prince covers in the future, they won’t be the same by any means. It’s a bit more than the other cover in my shop due to the work involved - both were wet felted, but covers that are embellished with needle felting art will be a bit more.
make it monday
In the first DOTW I professed my deepest admiration for all things Ann Wood, and one of the things she makes (and has a pattern for) are these adorable sewn mushrooms. She also has a free template for making fabric spheres. For my first mushroom, I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could figure out how to make my own without a pattern, just using the sphere template (I used the large 3-part sphere one for this). I will likely get her pattern at some point to compare with the one I have, especially if I’m in the mood to make some more and want a faster process (this one took me 2 hours, though honestly not too bad since I sewed the whole thing by hand). Looking at mine in comparison to hers, I can see a few things that are different (for one, I think she did a second sphere layer for the inside, whereas I simply made a donut from a piece of fabric, stitched the stem onto the inside, stitched the top of the stem to the top of the mushroom to try to suck the “gills” in a bit, and stuffed the whole thing with wool before sewing it shut. I do love how mine turned out. The only “issue” with mine is that the top is dimpled in from where I stitched the stem and it’s pulling down. I’m not sure if there is a way to reinforce that, but I’m curious how Ann resolved the dimpling issue.
For the fabric, I used a patchwork denim material that I picked up in the remnants bin - it’s really neat, and it’s real denim that has been serged into a patchwork pattern. A great thing to get I might add if you ever need to patch up some jeans, as the patches are all in different shades of blue, so you’re bound to find one that matches your jeans on there (unless they’re the really light ones from the 80’s/90’s… I don’t think I saw any of the faded ones on there). For the spore-part and stem I had this old cotton fabric with one of the ends that was frayed, so I used the frayed end as part of the mycelium (mushrooms don’t have roots, but the mycelium looks like roots). I did not add the little “skirt,” though I did consider it and have some lace that would’ve probably looked cute with it. Not all mushrooms have them though (not halfway up the stem and visible anyway) - now had I made an amanita mushroom I definitely would have added one. Note to self: find some red and white polka-dot fabric. I am also tempted to make a combination stitched and felted mushroom, as I feel I could better replicate a spongy spore cap with felt, but use fabric for the top of the cap and possibly the stem.
I do have a deep love of mushrooms, with the amanita tapestry hanging in my studio (week 3 DOTW post) and this little felt picture that now resides in its new home somewhere else. The plan is to make more of them in the future. For now, I’m super happy with the little fabric one.
I decided to become a patron of Spite & Sparrow on Patreon, because I really really really love her patterns. It was her bracelet (Deco) I worked on the last two weeks, and she recently shared another one that she did (and I love) in the Mildly Offensive Fiber Artists group on Facebook. Honestly I don’t find the group all that offensive. Yes, there’s the occasional what you might call “clutch your pearls” creation and swearing. I personally am not bothered by it - I just mention it in case you are considering joining but are one of those people who comment on videos “I can’t understand the message over all the swearing.” The work shared in there is amazing and inspiring, and I think it’s one of the best things to cross my feed.
She hadn’t listed the heart motif yet on Tuesday, but she did on Saturday, so I’ll be ready to go next week! (Photo above from Spite & Sparrow’s instagram)
weaving wednesday/spinning saturday
Since I didn’t do any spinning last Saturday, I didn’t do any weaving. That being said, I did do some spinning instead! I kept hearing about the Ted Bundy tapes docuseries, and my husband and I both have a fascination with serial killers. So I waited for him to get home from work, put the kids to bed, got my wheel, got my bag of dyed Icelandic locks and had the TV ready for when he was ready to sit down, eat and pass out for the evening (that’s a date night, right?). This yarn is actually split into two. The first half is lock-spun, and that’s what I did Wednesday night. Since Icelandic locks are really made of two parts - the coarser, longer bits that come to a point like a triangle, and the finer downy stuff at the base of the lock - as I was flicking the ends open a bit to do the lockspun I did end up dislodging some of the downy bits. I put the downy bits in the bag and saved them to spin up on Saturday. The lockspun half is much more chunky and textured, and I spun the downy stuff from the cloud as thin as I could get it. I am really hoping to get an updated flyer so I can spin more chunky stuff. I’m curious if I can figure out how to make my own? It can’t be too difficult… Now that I have the process of spinning yarn down, every now and then the chunky stuff gets caught on one of the flyer hooks, which I’ll notice when suddenly it stops pulling the yarn, starts overtwisting it instead, and I have to stop, reach down, unhook and wind the yarn on by hand until I get to another smooth bit.
Regarding the colors, they’re mostly orangey and yellow, though there are a few pinkish tips that you can barely see. This was an attempt to make some pink-and-yellow locks at my daughter’s request (most likely inspired by Fluttershy). I did warn her we’d end up with orange in between, but I did hope to have a little more pink than we ended up with. I may try to do this again, use less yellow and/or really separate the placement of the dyes as much as possible to see what happens. I’ve dyed more locks since then and perfected my technique, so we’ll see if I can pull it off next time.
New month, new block! This week’s TAST stitches were the herringbone stitch and the raised close herringbone. Since I started off this mini crazy quilt attempting to stick to the month’s colors/flowers/etc., I decided to continue that with this one, using the two stitches to attempt embroidering a large amethyst crystal (amethyst is one of February’s birth stones). I know the bottom doesn’t look like a herringbone but trust me, it is - it’s just that the middle stitch is very very very wide and spans the front face. The raised close herringbone is far more obvious on the top faces of the amethyst. I also have some silk floss I ordered a while back in a variegated blue, so I used that to stitch herringbone along one of the seams so I at least have a more “obvious” example of the stitch on the block.
The block itself is much fancier than the January one. Taking inspiration from the original Victorian crazy quilts, I decided to use some of the fancier fabric I own, including the teal from a used silk saree, some glittery swirly sheer fabric, some sparkly metallic material from the lot of fabric my mom gave me a while back, and some white-on-white patterned fabric left over from when I sewed my first quilt. The white patterned fabric is also under the blue swirly sheer one (can’t see it in the photo but it helps to hide the seam rather than if I’d done it on its own). The whole thing gets stitched on some old white scrap fabric - not even sure what it is, I just know it’s upcycled from something old, LOL.
Rather than felting, today I started the process of dyeing up the green wool I’ll be needing for my big-project-of-2019. I’m still not going to tell you what it is yet, but maybe you can figure it out based off the fact that it’s a face, and it’s green. Hm, what could it be?