Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a needlework vulva! no, really!

ohmygoodness, it's been over a month.

time is going by so fast! i never seem to have enough time (or more accurately, energy) for all the things i want to make, and all the posts i want to write. and now xmas is coming!

so what have i been up to?

i mentioned a while ago that i was moving. that took FOREVER, i was in the process of moving for most of september and october. i can't carry heavy stuff, or much of anything, really, so i was totally dependent on others to help. that meant i moved on their schedule, not mine. and because i didn't have to be out of my old place (at my parent's) by a set date, no one wanted to move in the rain. perfectly understandable, except that it's fall in the lower mainland - it never freaking stops raining!

and of course, i've been immersed in house stuff whenever i had the energy, finding furniture, thrift store shopping, finding the perfect fabric for curtains, etc. i'm excited to put it all together, but that too is going slower than i'd like.

and i agreed to make a dress for a friend, which started out as an "easy" pattern and turned into the dress from hell, taking up all my energy for over a week. it turned out beautiful though, i'll post pics as soon as i get them.

and one thing i've discovered in my new place is that unless i get a laptop, i'm never going to get anything done! i find myself curled up on my new (to me) couch, wrapped in my leopard print fleece blanket (grey and purple spots), stitching away in front of my fireplace. i think about getting up and going to the computer in the other room, but i never seem to get there!

i've been working on lots of little cross stitch projects, and a hand embroidery piece that i was honestly starting to think was never going to end - now that i've finished the back stitch and moved onto satin stitch, it's moving much faster.

i'll post pics of the cross stitch pieces soon, but first i want to post about my project for the Phat Quarter NSFW swap i did back in october. i had a lot of ideas for this swap, and a really hard time narrowing it down (there are several i still want to do for myself). once i latched onto this idea, i knew it was perfect.


this isn't a new idea, i actually made a few vulva pillows years ago, and posted them on my very old livejournal. and i made another for a swap on craftster 3 or 4 years ago, which probably didn't get posted anywhere.

for this one, rather than a pillow, i made a wall hanging. i asked my partner what colours she liked best, how her house was decorated, etc, and she said she loved the colour green. i went to my favourite independent fabric store and searched for green fabrics. this one is a upholstery fabric, and it worked really well. i've used knits for this before, which gives them a more cartoony look, but for this one, i didn't want that. this material was sturdy and tightly woven, and has a napped texture for extra interest.

it's biologically accurate, though obviously the scale's a little off!

i actually really love how it reminds me of gardens. you know, those fancy gardens where everything is sculpted?

the clitoris is a bead, and i have once again forgotten the name of it! i went back to the Upstart Crow and we figured it out, because i forgot it once, and now i've forgotten it again. regardless, it's a very pretty bead, and the mossy green tones in it match perfectly.

the basic technique used on these is a form of trapunto quilting, though stuffed much more than trapunto is traditionally stuffed. i machine stitch a backing fabric onto the face fabric, along set lines that form the various pieces.

nsfw 1
after the stitching is done, i cut small holes in the backing fabric, and carefully stuff each section and hand stitch it shut. this is the smallest version i've ever done, and it was definitely more of a challenge to get the thin lines stuffed! (i shouldn't have taken the picture like this - i don't use a frame for the stuffing, etc)

after it's all stuffed, i put it into the frame, and baste around the outside. i trim the excess fabric, and gather the edges to the back.

and then i hand stitched a piece of felt that i'd previously embroidered, to make the back neat and tidy. (the felt isn't really wonky, my photoshop skills are! i edited out my name, and i'm better at needlework than at photoshop!)

i was really happy with how it turned out. and i really love the frame i used, it's basically a piece of rubber that fits over a hard plastic oval. you used to see them, but i don't think they're being produced anymore. i've found a few in thrift stores (one's woodgrain! so awesome!), and recently discovered that a local store is selling old stock of them (huraay for dressew!), but i'd really like more of the larger ones. i have a project planned out, and i need more size variety. so if you see any of the 8x10ish ones in thrift stores, pick it up for me! i'll trade you smaller ones (or cash, whatever ;))


TM said...

Cool! I like the look of the colour/texture. Yes, looks like a garden, which makes me think someone needs to make a garden like that.

I love seeing the amazing things you come up with. :)

dirty little pretty thing. said...

This is so awesome! I really wanna try this out myself...I can totally imagine it hanging in the bathroom of my apartment :)

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