Sunday, April 26, 2009

Celtic knot, tribal bear paw . . .

There are a number of things I learned while making this, on a number of levels:
  1. Design. Overall, I like the design (opposable thumb notwithstanding). I like the use of "pieces" to give the impression of the weavings of a celtic knot; had I done this with bias tape, I think the "weaving" would have been lost (besides, these "pieces" are 1.5 inches wide--I don't think I would care to deal with bias tape that wide). The viewer needs to invest a little something, too; their eyes will roll around as they "connect-the-dots," following the lines of the knots (let's hope they don't get dizzy). For the next version of this design, the toes will be more forward-facing; the second and fourth toes will be oddly-shaped, to fill in what is currently empty space.
  2. Marking. I used a heavy-duty fusible web to attach the pieces to the background material. I traced the shapes of the pieces on the web's paper backing; I fused the web (and paper backing) to the back of my fabric; then I cut out the shapes before peeling off the paper backing. Unfortunately, this means all my pieces were reversed. The alternative would be to trace through the wrong side of the fusible web, but unless I'm fusing to a light-colored fabric, the tracing cannot be seen. Also, whatever I used to trace with would be fused onto my fabric. Here's an idea: trace the design on the BACK of the design, and then trace the shapes of the pieces from that side.
  3. Materials. The fusible web has limited washing directions (cold water wash, gentle; low dry, gentle; do not dry clean). I was going to stitch around the edges of all the pieces, but the manufacturer does not recommend stitching through it. I will have to use a lighter weight fusible web.
  4. More marking. I need to mark the relative positions of the pieces on the background fabric (perhaps with dressmaker's carbon paper and a wheel). Because my pieces were reversed (see #2, above), I had to lay my drawing facedown on the background fabric, then slide the pieces to be fused between the two layers. It was certainly more trouble than it was worth, and I gave up on it after I fused the innermost knots of the "palm."
  5. Quilting. Besides stitching around the shapes (as decoration and to hold the pieces in place in case the fusible gives way), I intend to outline quilt the open areas (kinda like Hawaiian quilting). This could make the design stand out in relief (though I think I'd be the one more relieved, LOL).

(Day 2 of 31DBBB says, "write a list post." I think this qualifies.)

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