If you give a mouse some felt

I started collecting random yardages of felt. No rhyme or reason, I just love felt. The colors are so saturated. And if you get a lovely thick piece it makes a crunching sound when you cut into it. Completely addictive, like bubble-wrap.

When I started searching for "wool felt" on ebay there were a few listings for Penny Rugs. I dug the concentric circles and simple design and thought I would make one for my first felt project. I also noted that some of the ebay sellers were using a an easy sewtard stitch (more commonly known as the whip stitch) instead of the motherfucker stitch (also known as the blanket stitch) and it still looked fantastic.

I'm not a Kuntry girl and when I looked for Penny Rug patterns to follow I only found traditional ones. I tend to favor that Eames meets your Grandmother Bessie look that craft leaders like Wee and Chicken do so well. So I decided I would just start cutting and sewtard stitching these lovely felt circles together and assemble the Penny Rug without a pattern once I had finished.

After much consultation with my Architect husband we figured out the exact spacing of the circles on a piece of dark gray wool felt. I had to keep revisiting Wee's Flickr set to remind myself that the reason I love her work is that it has such a cool simplicity to it. So I would look at her stuff, take a deep breath, go back to sewing and try not to make the project harder than it needed to be. But once I got all my Penny Rug circles sewed on to the backing I hated it. I hated it because if you squinted at it the rug looked like a badly crocheted 70's afghan.

I took a Xanax (seriously) and had some Sleepytime Tea and in a rare moment of calm realized that I am the button lady. There are buttons all over the walls in my home and to be true to my art I needed to add some buttons.

So I started sewing vintage buttons that I bought from an overpriced "Lot of Vintage Buttons I Stole From An Old Lady" ebay listing on to the rug. Now, I have to say my normally craptastic crafting self is feeling quite proud. I think the semi-finished product kicks ass. The stitches are wonky and the buttons are off center but I kind of like it that way. In fact I'm going to pretend I was being all Primitive and shit and say I did it on purpose.


My next bastardization of the Penny Rug format will be to put another piece of grey felt on as a backing and then add edging (as if I was joining a quilt) with one of the fabrics you see in the picture. I'm a little nervous about wrapping this project up. I might be overstepping my skills joining and binding. But I feel kind of pumped when I look at my buttons so I am persevering. If I were the amazing Black Apple this would be photographed in dappled sunlight but I only aspire. Check it out.

12 comments:

PamKittyMorning said...

I totally love it Lotta. LOVE. IT. Love how the colors are kuntry ( love all the cool new-to-me technical terms) yet it has a modern flair. The buttons give it nice interest and kick it up a notch. Very fresh. Nice work.

PamKittyMorning said...

Oh, and love how you mention the feeling the felt has. My daughter HATES that feeling, hates that feeling/sound that cotton balls make. She'd have taken a xanax as well.

Marmite Breath said...

Oooh, I love that! Actually, I can picture it as the front flap to a very hip bicycle messenger bag. I might have to try something like this myself.

You go on witcha bad self!

Monkey Butt's Mom said...

LOVE IT! ADORE IT! It is so awesome! What a wonderful job you did! You should be proud. Can't wait to see the final product. Please post for us all to admire.

Jenny said...

I am so jealous I can't even think straight...first of all...that is gorgeous and cool and YOU MADE IT?! Not fair. And secondly, I'm immune to xanax. Sigh.

Lotta said...

PamKitty - I love the look of your site and stuff so I take that as a high compliment! I understand your daughter's issues. I can't look at rice in a pan without needing to medicate and stare at a smooth wall for a half hour.

Marmite - Hey there stranger! I think this will end up as a wall hanging.

MBM - Will do!

Jenny - I think it's the Xanax Wellbutrin cocktail that works it's mojo.

Lotta said...

PS - Jenny (the woman who created an amazingly detailed haunted dollhouse) I'm just going to pretend that you are ACTUALLY jealous.

latebloomer said...

Primitive? NO WAY--throw a binding on and you've got an Art Quilt (capitalization is important here). Awesome job! But you don't have to take my word for it--I spend my days mf-stitchin' my little heart out...

wolfmom2ac said...

I love it!! I like what you did with the buttons!! Who says that things have to be centered? I can't wait to see the finished project!! I think it rocks!!

Crunchy Carpets said...

Well since I wouldn't even know where to begin...

Wow...

Lotta said...

You all PUMP ME UP! I'll take all your craft compliments - even if I imagine them to be pity compliments. I promise to post the finished product soon!

Red Rollerskate said...

I totally love it. Very beautiful. Love the buttons.
I planned to come to your site and read like 3 posts, but here I still am... excellent blog.