Usually, I find inspiration in nature or another artists work. But recently I saw an ad in a department store flyer for a bedspread that caught my eye. I kept going back to it until I finally I cut the picture out and laid it on my work table.
It stayed there for a while and I kept asking myself what about it that kept drawing me back to it. I didn’t need a bedspread, but there was something about the colors and design I found intriguing. The design looked as if the colors were painted with a brush and there were uneven lines like paint dripping down the wall.
I was in the process of trying to come up with a design for a book cover and thought I’d use the design elements I liked in the ad for that.
I measured meticulously for the the book cover allowing for fold over sides, shrinkage, straps, etc. With my template finished, I laid out my design. I really wanted to emulate that brush feel, so I even used a comb to separate the fibers. For the paint squiggles, I used mohair yarn I had dyed.
However, once it was done I realized I couldn’t use it for the cover. I would distort the design to cut the straps. So, plan B — a pillow. I had a pillow form that would work just fine. The felted piece was a little too large so I wet it and threw it in the dryer. Perfect. But now I needed a back.
The white wool I used was more of a light cream color, so I didn’t want to make a white back. I had enough dark blue. Again, I wanted to try to recreate that brush stroke. I made a smaller template and proceeded to lay out the second side.
Since the finished piece was the right size, I didn’t have to put it in the dryer. Consequently, it is smoother than the white side which is fine. I sewed the pieces together and now I have a reversible pillow with two different textures and looks!
The brush stroke design wasn’t exactly what I wanted. The felting process tightened up all my careful combing, but I learned a lot and will try again.
I really liked the dark blue color and wanted to dye some new thick and thin yarn I purchased to use on another project.
Of course, even though I have a variety of thick and thin yarns this dark blue wasn’t one of them. I found this new Ashland Bay yarn and just love the texture and novelty of the twist.
The Midnight Blue acid dye on my shelf was just what I wanted. I thought. Next to the dark blue it looks purple. The silk cocoons I threw into the dye pot turned a light purple and the wool batting is a medium purple. It’s a good thing I like purple as well.
Now back to the drawing board!