Cheri: A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to change the direction of my creative endeavors. I had read a few books about assemblage and decided that this was the art form for me. The definition of assemblage is: a) sculptural technique of organizing or composing into a unified whole a group of unrelated and often fragmentary or discarded objects. b) a work of art produced by this technique. Kind of like collage.
I love assemblage, or at least I love the idea of assemblage. I have a lot of interesting pieces of junk I have been collecting for a long time and I really was looking for a technique to pull some of these items together. After a few failed attempts at what I thought would be a no brainer for me, I learned that it was not nearly as easy as I thought it should be. My unrequited love of assemblage has resulted in several unfinished projects, some cussing and in the end some truly satisfying pieces. Actually, assemblage is basically a metaphor for life. How fitting.
Loryn: Unfinished projects are the bane of every crafter, and I have more than my share of them. The ones above are just my sewing projects. I’m not even going to bring up home improvement projects or beading!
It was really helpful to pull all of the projects out and evaluate them. Many are quite good and deserve to be finished. Others are a good technique that I should revisit. If you haven’t looked over your unfinished stuff recently, try it out. You might be surprised how inspiring it can be!
This one is a puzzler. Why on earth didn’t I finished this large tote bag? The body is a poly/silk brocade, and the base and straps are ultrasuede. The lining is cut and inside the bag, and the zipper is there, too. I think I’ll finish this one soon. I like sturdy bags that can stand on their own, so I think I’ll add another layer of canvas for structure.
You might recognize this canvas from the chair in my laundry room/entry way. This is a mid-size bag, about half the size of the one above. I absolutely love the bright lining fabric with the paisley canvas. I sewed the side seams of the body and lining before getting distracted. This one has a very heavy canvas interlining, which gives the bag great structure. I think I’ll finish this one right away, so I can use it before summer is over!
This is the oldest project in my unfinished project pile. I started this for my friend Melissa’s son. He just turned 16! All it needs is quilting perpendicular to the current quilting and binding, and it’s not even very big. She has a second son who is now 15 months old, so I need to get this done before he grows up! This will be the second project to finish up.
This is really a knitting project, but since all it needs is sewn together, I’ll lump it in with this group. This is a knitted stuffed cat that I started as a Christmas gift for someone several years ago. It’s hard to tell scale in a photo, but the body is just under 3″ tall. I knit it in lace weight alpaca at 12 stitches per inch. This one definitely needs to be finished. I did so much knitting on tiny needles that I really messed up my hands. All that effort shouldn’t go to waste! The pattern is from The Knitted Teddy Bear by Sandra Polley. It’s one of my favorite knitting books.
Aren’t these adorable? I started these more than ten years ago, and I think I set them aside because I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with them. At the time, I was doing a lot of hand beading. I’ve been wanting a hand sewing project (they’re hand beaded and hand sewn), so I think I’ll work on them in the near future and use them as Christmas ornaments, or maybe put them on a wreath.
This is a long, narrow bag with a free-hand quilted texture. I didn’t finish it because I didn’t plan the construction well enough. I should have finished the flap edges before I quilted it, and I didn’t think of that until too late. Bulky hems or binding at the flap edges would ruin the look. Still, I really like this technique, and need to try it on a different bag, or maybe a pillow. The fabric is muslin, sandwiched around flannel. The closely spaced stitching is time consuming to complete, but it gives an inexpensive cloth like muslin a rich look and great body.
Here’s another miniature. The finished patchwork squares are 1/4″. I love the beautiful colors of the linen, but this one was too fiddly, even for me. I had visions of tiny, hand-quilted miniatures, but I will never get beyond this point. I don’t have the heart to get rid of it, and it doesn’t take up much space!
Those are my current unfinished projects. Of course, this doesn’t include the hundreds I’ve gotten rid of over a lifetime of crafting, just the best of recent years. I’m going to get started finishing these, and you’ll see them in the blog soon!