Friday, April 20, 2012

Two Blues

I entered the MOPACA show's fiber contest again this year. The show was held in Kansas Cityand encompassed 14 states. I had two entries, one of them being this skirt. I won two first places! Whoot! (tooting my own horn) The skirt is hand felted, nuno felted (which is wool on silk) and then went through 3 dye baths. I call it the Morning Glory Fairy Skirt. I received a 96 out of a 100 in it.

Why do I call it a Morning Glory Skirt? Because if you lift up the hem, it looks like a morning glory flower inside.
I left the silk tail on it on purpose. I liked the hem sort of free flowing and unsculpted. I was very pleased with how it turned out and it won in the garments category.

The other entry was this pillow. Yes, its a pillow. But it is not a tanned hide. It is felt. I used a small portion of prime fleece but mainly the 2nds and even the 3rds of the fleece to create this pillow. I wanted to show how a very attractive item could be made using the fleece that most people throw away. I have been working on this technique for almost 2 years. I used the fleece from a spotted pinto. It is not the softest alpaca you have ever touched, but I really like the way it feels. and looks.



This is the backside of the pillow. Or maybe the front. It turned out well enough that it could be reversible. I used the short neck wool for it. Again, not as soft as the prime fiber is, but suitable for a pillow. When I have an alpaca shearing 10lbs of fleece in one year and half of it is considered seconds, I need to come up with a market for the 2nds wool. This pillow is a good use! I used black cria wool for the black edging which is what gave it the sort of ruffle effect. I spent over an hour looking through my button stash when I happened across the perfect button. The dots on it echoes the texture of the ruffle. 


You see, I'm a sort of competitive person. When I submit an entry into a competition, I fully expect to get the maximum number of points. 100 out of 100. I fill the description card explaining the purpose of this item. It wasn't supposed to be super soft. I stated what kind of fiber I used and why, ie. neck fiber for the back. I joined the seams using a sewing technique from the 18c. so that the seams were flat. Not thick and bulky. I stated all this. So when I only made 94 pts on the pillow I was saying, "What? you took off points for texture? "

You took off points for the final finishing? I know I sewed the seams by hand. That what makes it rustic. And you don't like spotted alpacas? This pillow looks just like Sequoia and I can make another without having to skin him to get it. Look. It is his back leg." (and she keeps ranting on....)

That is what is darn cool about this technique. The visual appeal for all those patterned alpacas. I want those points back. Then I smack myself on the back of the head and remind myself that I did win 1st place and got the big blue ribbon! Sheesh. Sometimes I get carried away with the competition.

But don't get me started on how the free form edges and dangling unfinished silk on garments are all the rage by designers in Europe. I need those pts back, too.

                                                        Talk to you soon,  Tammy

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