Monday, May 16, 2011

Feathering My Nest

Standing on my porch, looking in at an out-of-date display.
Why, yes, those are snowflakes* hanging in the windows of my porch door. Yes, in the middle of May. Now, I’m completely embarrassed you’ve seen that. I like to pretend my visitors don’t notice the snowflakes, but I am sure they do. They’re just too nice to mention them.

Feathers made from upcycled fabrics.

In order to prevent anyone else from having to pretend there are no snowflakes in my living room, I decided it was time to move along, change seasons, and get up-to-date. At first, I thought I might like to replace the snowflakes with spring flowers, but, then, I realized feathers are just the right motif for my life and my porch door. I am spreading my wings and making like the phoenix - emerging from a pile of ashes to begin life anew (or to continue life in a new form). 

A jumble of fabrics.

Fabric feathers, before they were tagged.

 First of all, I grabbed a bunch of fabric that pleased me. I knew I wanted to start with solid colors. I ultimately decided to work with an off-white linen skirt and a vintage pair of men’s swimming trunks in turquoise, with yellow piping down each side. I simply grabbed a piece of paper, drew and cut out a feather shape that was pleasing to me. I then positioned my pattern on the turquoise fabric and traced around it. I let the piping on the swimming trunks do the work for me. I did not have to create the feather shaft, because I placed the piping down the center of the feather each time I traced it. After I cut out my feathers, I placed the cut-outs on the off-white piece of fabric and traced and cut out a slightly larger version of each feather. Because I wanted a quick and easy project I could finish in a short amount of time, I chose to glue my layers together. I like the simplicity of the results, but I could have easily complicated the project by stitching the layers together and adding embroidered details. I could have added more than two layers or even included appliques. 

Looking out at the feathers hanging in the doorway.

I sewed hangers onto the feathers, and, voila!, they were ready to be hung. I chose to work fast and furious, and I think the results are just as cute as can be. I was pretty loose with this project; I let the fabric fray and didn’t worry about each feather being exactly the same. I think the imperfections add to the charm. Now, if this project had been intended for someone else, that would have been a different story, a much longer and more complex one. Because who doesn’t want a good ending !?

*Eek! I know. I still need a good camera.

If you make fabric feathers, please provide a link. I would love to see your projects!
Alison :)