Monday, January 14, 2013

January project completed: Love is fan art and obscene pillows (NSFW)

When I was in high school, there was a period of a few months when I had two jobs: a day job at a grocery store bakery, and an overnight job stocking shelves at WalMart. Now, having a little baby and two older kids on a daytime school schedule, I feel like I'm working two shifts again. Once the kids go to bed, then I get started on my nighttime shift, hanging out with my wakeful baby and puttering around the house. So with the many hours I get to sew, it's little surprise that I actually finished a project on time. Early, even. Granted, it's not a quilt, but it's a project.

For my January project, I decided to make a Valentine's Day gift/fan art for one of my favorite podcasters and relationship advice columnists, Dan Savage. I've heard every episode of his show "Savage Love", and have read all the columns I can get my hands on. Even as a straight, monogamous, vanilla woman, I get value from the advice he dispenses. I think if I had started listening to him much earlier, I might have been able to avoid some of the pain I took away from past relationships.

Every year, Dan gives the same advice for Valentine's Day: "Fuck First." What he means is that if you're going out with your significant other on Valentine's Day and plan to have sex, have sex before you go out to dinner. That way, you can get a later reservation. You can enjoy the sex more, not being full on food and alcohol and tired from a night out. And you can enjoy dinner more, with all the expectations out of the way.

I decided to express this thought on a lacy throw pillow in Valentine's Day colors. I started by tracing the letters on freezer paper. Then I ironed the paper in place.

Next, I sewed right over the paper using my machine's smallest stitch, which made it easy to pull the paper off. 

After the letters were in place, I used free-motion quilting to fill in the rest of the space on the front panel. To make the letters extra puffy, I used two layers of batting. I think next time I do this, I'll only use one layer, and make the quilting a little less dense. The front ended up a little too stiff for my taste.

The back panel was much softer and less stiff. I only used one layer of batting and a simple quilting pattern of horizontal lines 1/4" apart. The back also has a hot-pink zipper down the center. I finished it off with a border of eyelet lace and stuffed it with an 18" pillow form.

I tried a few new things this month - sending fan art to a celebrity is definitely a first for me. Certainly, making a project where the main thought is an obscenity is a new thing for me - not that I'm above a swear or two. I think the juxtaposition of a cuss word on a quilted good, much less a floofy pillow, is hilarious. I've never used just one fabric and let the quilting be the focus. This is my first time finishing a pillow with a zipper. I tried a new product, Aurifil thread - previously, I had just used whatever old quilting thread I'd found at JoAnn. I'd like to keep on using it - lots of quilt blogs I've read swear by it. Finally, the technique of making the letters was a new one for me. Usually, if I want to make letters on a quilt, I'd use applique. But I'm liking this so much, and I'm such a huge fan of words on quilts, this might become my signature. Definitely expect more of that in the future.

So this gift is done and ready to be mailed to Dan Savage!

No comments:

Post a Comment