Saturday, March 13, 2010

Alabama Project - Obsessions can be kind of healthy, right?

I can't believe I've never written about this before, but I have a teeny tiny obsession that I'd like to share with you all. I obsess over the projects in Natalie Chanin's books. Her skirts, primarily. Oh, and there's this one top that I think about a lot, too, but it isn't in any of her books.

I bought the first Alabama Stitches book sometime last fall? I can't remember when, exactly, but I remember it spawned a few weeks of constant thought and preparation for my first Alabama project. I was going to make a skirt.

I was going to freehand it.

Um, shall we just say freehanding anything is possibly not the best idea when it's your first try? The technique looked ok but without a guide I lost my way and lost interest and set it aside.

Thanks to the evil nice folks at Burdastyle who've been profiling Chanin and ran a contest of Alabama projects, I've picked up the obsession where I left off (and thanks to the lovely Sonja, who made me green with envy), and I'm going to try again. Except this time I'm going to do it right.

I bought proper textile paint (Jacquard Neopaque), and I painfully traced the rose stencil from the first book. Then I got ambitious and also traced the floral design from the inside covers. Have you seen it? It's stunning and costs sixty bucks on the website. Perhaps it's a little too advanced for my current skill set, but down the road.... see how I get myself into trouble? Then I spent a half hour browsing clip art pages and getting inspiration from around my house, because I have way too many other ideas floating around my head than is healthy.

Wouldn't this motif make a great project? It's my front doormat.

I still have to cut these out with an Exacto. Yikes. Too bad my helpers aren't allowed to use sharp implements.

I painted my fabric this afternoon and I'll let it dry for a day, then I'll heat set it. Thanks to Sonja, I learned I can water the paint down a little, which helps stretch it out since the pots are relatively small. As you can see, I should have used a proper stenciling brush but I was impatient. So I used a nice paintbrush. Hopefully when it's all stitched the flaws will be less noticeable. My jersey is camel colored and the paint is a light beige, not white, but my pictures are less than stellar, again.

Tomorrow afternoon I'll be able to cut the pieces! And hopefully by tomorrow night I'll be able to sit in bed with my lovely little Alabama project, blissfully stitching away.

Or not. My best laid plans tend to get derailed fairly often. But I have good intentions. That counts, right?

Let's see if I can stick with it this time, eh?

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