WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 50

Holy smokes! Fifty?! Where has the year gone, eh?

I have no TAST photos, but I have the next pennant nearly laid out and ready to stitch. Yes, it will be another collection of stitches rather than fully exploring each type. My progress might be sluggish – still finishing up a project with Daniel Boone National Forest (fingers crossed that is done tomorrow!) and Boy has me working every day but Sunday (short hours, usually, so I can’t complain;)

The only other Work-In-Progress to report is my needlepoint. After several failed attempts to get it stretched back to square, I ironed my needlepoint to some interfacing and bravely cut the shape out I needed to attach it to the wood plaque. Crooked or no, I need to see it through! After my angry frustration bubbled to the surface, Boy stepped in to help and we discovered that the hand-me-down stretcher bars did not make a square themselves and were the cause of making it irreparably worse… Curse you, old things!

Of course, because it was so crooked by then, it isn’t perfectly vertical, but I think there is enough play room when I bind it (with fabric? with copper? with ??) that it will be lined up straight in the end. I also need to paint the wood still. Alas, I feel this project might sit aside for a while as the binding idea perculates in my subconscious a bit longer.

In other news, I sent my world traveling brother on a side mission to collect some sewing items for me. He sometimes ships me a package of things for family members, so this isn’t the first box I’ve gotten, but I wanted to show you these cool things I hope to use in a crazy quilt! The lovely black lace, black and white ribbon, and blue and gold strip came from Uzbekistan, though the blue and gold one was actually crafted in India. The beaded item at the bottom was made in a village in Tajikistan. 

I came up with this idea to make a crazy quilt based on all the places I’ve been (not that I’ve been to the above mentioned countries, but I would still use them for worldly effect;). Each block would represent the country or event or region, made with items picked up whilst there. Kind of like what I do when I scrapbook, but instead with sewing. Of course, it would be an ongoing project without an end date, and I’ll need to think long and hard about how to tie it all together, but I think it would be a fascinating and meaningful art journey. Can’t you imagine it? I did a solo roadtrip I could represent with reds, whites, and blues for America. And then add a block for Peru with browns (for the deserts) and greens (for the jungles) with a river of blue (for the Amazon) and embroidery designs of the Incas. A block of Mexico with their fiesta colors, and patterns of the Aztecs (so sorry I never posted photos from that adventure yet! Oi!). France, with wedding symbols (because we eloped there) and medieval motifs (for the castles). And soon enough, since I haven’t mentioned it here: Africa. I don’t know just yet the specific countries I will be visiting, but you can read more about it as I post on my anthropology blog. This quilt idea really excites me, and I would be curious to see if I can pull it off. But I need to finish my second course with Shawkl still, so let’s not but the cart before the horse…

mini felt cacti

I made a little potted garden of mini felt cacti! I set out to make them for Boy’s office, but then people caught wind and wanted some;) You might remember from last week’s WIP post that I was using Delilah Iris’s Cactus Plush pattern. I added bead melon’s to some of the cacti, and tiny gravel to fill in the pots. Now also, one of these cacti is not like that others! The one on the left is from another generous blogger – Wool Felt by Benzie has a free Felt Cactus DIY pattern. I simply shrank it, adding embroidery to match the others.

mini felt cacti

I first made this tall cactus. Then I made a second, and decorated the pot. Actually, I had to make two cacti, because I cut the felt out and then stitched two fronts (rather than flipping one around to stitch the back). That is why two are identical, but one is reversed! Ha! And then I had a request for them both, so I made a third and added a bead melon. I don’t know anything about cacti, growing up at the edge of the Eastern woodlands and now living in the Great Lakes region. Maybe this kind of cactus doesn’t grow melons. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And should the kawaii faces ever fall out of favor, any of these mini felt cacti can be turned around for a more “realistic” look. I chose not to decorate other pots – I like the idea (I only used a sharpie) but Boy wanted his plain, so after my experiment, plain I did. 

mini felt cacti

I made one of these prickly pear types, and stuck some french knots on top of my first go, but then changed that to a bead for the second. Maybe this kind actually has a melon, or pear, hence its name? I know; I could google these questions, but haven’t yet.

mini felt cacti

And then this cactus… I knew it would be Boy’s favorite, and I was right! I printed the pattern at 50%. Rather than using glue dots as the pattern suggests, I made colonial knots from a specialty thread I picked up during my last work trip to Daniel Boone National Forest. Boy hated that thread when I first showed it to him, but he is eating his words now;) 

mini felt cactus mini felt cactus

I think adding the gravel really makes these mini felt cacti fun. What do you think? And I also noted that while I made all the cacti bodies out of my Wool Felt Central felts, I made the last set of the three’s flowers out of felt I got from Sue Spargo (remember my butterfly pillow?). I liked that felt much better for the flowers – maybe because the texture is slightly different and therefore stands out.

mini felt cactus mini felt cactusmini felt cactus

Now, these mini felt cacti are exactly that – quite small! Here, you can see me holding Boy’s favorite:

mini felt cactus

And here is a serendipitous shot of my cat for scale – she didn’t want to cooperate for a cuter photo, but she sat there on her own just long enough for a snap before trying to knock them onto the ground. Cats.

mini felt cacti

Little Lark ornaments

For my embroidery guild ornament exchange, I decided to make a Little LarkGingermelon Dolls makes the cutest little plushies, and she is so generous to offer some patterns for free!

To test out my skills and the pattern, I started with a fabric I really liked and then chose coordinating felt colors – you saw that in a previous WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday post. Though I ordered doll eyes, I knew they would not arrive in time for the holiday party, so I dug around and tested out a pair of buttons. They are quite larger than I had hoped, but I think the little lark turned out just fine! I sewed the year on the back with a tiny patch of fabric just to liven it up a bit.

Happy with the results, I embarked on a journey with a little bird for the holiday exchange. I am not traditional, so I knew it wouldn’t be made from reds and greens or de facto Christmas patterns. I searched online for other color theme ideas and found this image:

However, I was left without exactly matching felt choices. And then also, the other two buttons I found for the eyes were actually even larger than the ones on the first little bird, so they looked silly. The best I could come up with was the two buttons you see. In the end, I feel like this little birdie looks more “primitive” than “holiday”, but that’s quite okay because the lady who won it absolutely adored it. Yay!

At this point in the game, I wanted to make a little bird for so many people. So, once again, I began with a fabric I liked and matched felt. I was still frustrated not having the ability to use doll eyes or good buttons, and then WHAM! It occurred to me to check my bead box. These little gems turned out to be my favorite kind of eyes – and the good news is that I have more! 

The bad news is … I got bored making them so I am not sure anyone else will receive one (this one is pegged for my nephew’s significant other). I do this with everything and I have a love/hate relationship with that part of myself! I could never craft for money because of it, but it keeps me exploring and challenging myself and learning new techniques!