Friday, March 5, 2010

The Creative Process: Getting Ahead of Summer

Two things inspired this cozy: I'm always trying to get things in my shop for upcoming seasons, but it never happens. I give up for spring. So at least I have something for summer! Besides, I heard tropical was going to be a big trend this year. Also, I just love these colors together: Hot pink, turquoise, yellow, orange, fuchsia, and lime green.
I've never actually been anywhere tropical, in fact I refuse to go outdoors if the temperature's over 70 degrees! But photos of the Caribbean, Miami, and even Mexico are brimming with color- even houses can be painted these bright colors. Can you imagine a home in Ohio painted turquoise with hot pink trim? Ha!

So anyway I started this cozy just like any other- cutting out the flowers. Normally I'd have a stash of them ready to go, but not in these colors. When I'm having an uncreative day, I sit on the sofa with my stencil and a pile of felt and cut away. That way when I do feel creative, the flowers will be on hand and I can get on with the fun part!

Next I decide which buttons go with which flowers and choose contrasting thread for the embroidery:

And I do about a dozen leaves of varying sizes:

Now comes the hard part. I have to cut out the actual cozy and fiddle around with it until it fits my paper coffee cup model. I've attempted to create a stencil using cardboard sleeves from McD's and Starbucks a zillion times, but for some reason it's never that simple. I can spend a ridiculously long time pinning, fitting, re-pinning, stitching, fitting, trimming, fitting, trimming, etc. Gah!
Once I get the two layers of cozies fitted and stitched, then I can get on with the fun part:

I decide where the flowers and leaves go, pin, and stitch. I love stitching around the edges of the flowers and leaves, that's my favorite part. It's like a game or self-challenge: How even can I get my stitches? How far can I get without messing one up?

Then I decide what extra embellishment the cozy will get. I usually do swirly vines with little beads on the end, but I didn't have any seed beeds that matched this cozy, and I thought that was a bit too dainty for this style anyway. So I just added yellow stitching all around the flower arrangement:
I loooved that part, and I plan to use the outline idea a lot more.
Then I stitch the two cozy layers together at the top and bottom edge, and add the finishing touches.
I loved the running stitch outline so much that I considered adding more outlines, each in a different color. Or maybe doing a cozy or bracelet using only the running stitch in all different colors. What do you guys think?


ZaftigDelights ~ KnitzyBlonde said...

Your work is so bright and lovely!! It makes me smile. :o)


janet said...

very pretty!

Good Girls Studio said...

Love the running stitch! 'tis a very happy cozy :)

marta said...

this is a darling craft. and you can get some bloggy button help over on hilary's website: she is awesome.. look around her blog, she created mine and is amazing with coding. good luck!

SewSweetStitches said...

Thanks everyone! Thanks for the tip Marta!

Send flowers and gifts to Philippines said...

Its really pretty! Very colorful..