Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nejman Experiment

Besides completing the knitting needles cases for the Middle School Knitting Club, I spent some time during all the rain playing with some of the techniques I picked up at the Christoper Nejman class. Here's the 22" squarish pillow I just finished stuffing:
I started out with a piece of cotton canvas that I had used as a drip cloth with the Arts & Crafts Cub. It was slightly stained with paints and dyes but stll in good condition. I then went to the scrap bag and pulled out all sorts of fabrics to see which ones worked best when run through the embellisher. I soon found out that the softer, thinner fabrics worked very well and that fabric content really didn't matter if the fabric was flimsy enough.

After I had covered the canvas with tons of different fabrics I had a pretty messy piece of canvas.... ugly colors but some nice textures.... it really looked like the dog's breakfast. I decided I needed a way to meld the colors together and found a piece of grey chiffon with scribbly black flowers drawn on it that I cut into chunks and put through the embellisher machine. The original colors show through a little but I think the overlay gives it an interesting look.
I then played with some black wool and couched it down with a multi-step zig zag stitch. The beaded middle of the flower was a little less successful. I couched down bits of an old neckace and glued down some of the beads as well. There are black beads everywhere on the floor and, for some reason, Alex is not interested in eating them. I guess I will need to do some vaccuuming!

The stuffing was some that was left from the Anti-ouch pouch project and the back is a bit of fabric that I keep thinking I have a lot of only to find I only have an usuable half yard of it. There is zipper closure about a third of the way down the back done with a lapped insertion so that the zipper is invisible.

I had fun playing with the front of the pillow but I don't think I would make another pillow this way... at least not for my house. With three puppies and a veteran couch napper (me!) something as purely decorative as this has a high probability of being destroyed by either the dogs playing with it or by me tossing it off the couch everytime I want to nap.
I will definitely try this again but next time I will end up with fewer layers, a lighter base fabric and a better bead attaching method. With those changes, and, some thinking about the design before I start, I may avoid some of the issues I have with this effort like beads falling off and the front having a final feel like luan mahogany. Also, I would make this as a gift for someone else to deal with or in a different project like a purse or tote bag.

This does sound pretty negative but I really did enjoy the whole process and look forward to trying again.

No comments: