So the April challenge was to take a project you didn’t like and deconstruct it and create something new. Since I never throw any old projects out, I knew I had something that I could chop up into something new.
This was a project I created for a class assignment probably about 7 years ago (see I never throw anything out). The assignment was to create something that made use of line and shape. I used a brown flannel background with wool shapes (which were leftover from another project) and used my very mediocre quilting skills at the time to make this project. Needless to say, I didn’t quite understand the assignment and was pretty disappointed with the end product. But you notice it is backed and binded and quilted, even though I didn’t like it. And then promptly stuck in a drawer so nobody would see it.
Now it is going to be given new life! First order of business, just to chop it all up.
So I laid it on my cutting mat and cut into strips! It is a bit invigorating to just slice up a finished project like that. I like it better already! But I wasn’t done yet. More slicing to come!
Now I have lots of little bits and pieces. Since the original piece had batting and backing, there are lots of little bits of batting showing now. I will pick out the bits of loose batting, but those that are sewn through all the layers will stay. I guess it is lucky my quilting was so minimal on the original project. So some pieces will be extra thick due to the layering. It is already more interesting.
So now I have randomly laid out all those little bits and pieces on some fusible and new backing. Next I ironed the pieces to the fusible, hoping that most of them would stay. But since there are some very thick pieces and some overlapping pieces, not everything was fused.
I added some netting (although it is difficult to see in the photos) to hold all those little bits and pieces down better. The first time I tried to pick it up to move it, a bunch of the bits all moved and created a mess. Ack! I had to remove the netting and reposition all those little pieces and try to iron them down again, but of course they weren’t really staying. I decided to just pin it all over really well, so that the combination of pins and fusible would hopefully hold those bits and pieces in place while I did the quilting part.
Ta Da! I like it much better than the original piece! Maybe it won’t get stuck back in a drawer.
I did free-motion stitching over the entire piece with a nice brown and gold variegated thread. I tried to circle around various parts of the piece and then straight or curvy stitching elsewhere. It was a good opportunity to practice my free-motion quilting on something that didn’t matter. I think it turned out pretty good. I like the dimensional aspect of it with some of the bits being several layers thick with some batting peeking out. It is definitely much more interesting that it originally was.
I hope you all tried out some deconstructing this month. It is very freeing to just tear something apart and redo it. Because you can’t really do any harm. You already didn’t even like the project, so anything you do to it can’t hurt it. Either you still don’t like it, and back in the drawer it goes, or you make something better from it that you do like.
It is a lesson in playing. As adults we don’t often let ourselves just play. We think we need a purpose or an end product. But really, just playing is good for us! I give you permission to play.