dealing with frustration


This simple bowl of scraps represents hours of thinking, cutting, stitching, ripping out of stitches, re-thinking, re-cutting and re-stitching.  It can be so frustrating sometimes!  

This week I finished the little gravestone pincushions that I wrote about a couple of posts ago.  I am slightly obsessed with them.  They came out (eventually) exactly how I imagined them.  It's amazing how much depth and interest can be created simply using multiple shades of one color.  

These pincushions fought me all the way though.  The sketch I was working from had leaf scrolls on each side of the skull. This is what the inspiration gravestone had and they looked great when I laid out all the felt pieces.  However when I looked at them after stitching, the skull looked like it had weird leaves sprouting from it's ears!  I carefully ripped out all the stitches and started again.  The second attempt was better but still not right so out the stitches came again.  Finally I decided to try more of a wing shape and that turned out to be the right decision.  In my research, I learned that skulls with or without crossed bones are simply symbols of mortality but skulls with wings represent the soul traveling on its onward journey. 

A new design takes time and there are lots of details to work out.  I always start with source material (in this case photos from a trip to England) and a sketch. Then I make a paper pattern and use that to cut out the felt pieces. Every new design I work on goes through an "ugly stage" when I'm tempted to bin it all and start over or give up!  I've learned, over time though, to persevere and work through this stage although I often take a break at this point. I've also noticed that the designs I find most challenging are the ones I love the most when they are finished.  The stitched writing is also a bit of a challenge.  Writing tends to be the only time I will try and mark felt and I use a fabric pen that disappears in air, a white gel pen or a fine black pen depending on the felt color. Marking felt with a pen is tricky, it's really hard to get a fine line and sometimes the best I can do is just a few marks for the size of the letters. For this design, I just marked the first word and then continued stitching freehand with the photo and sketch to hand for reference.  The carved script on the old gravestones is just beautiful and I enjoyed trying to replicate it.  

Of course I added some french knots for moss.  French knots are my favorite stitch, but you know that! 

Because this design is a shape rather than my usual circle designs, there are additional construction challenges.  When I make a round pincushion, I don't have to worry about the top and bottom of the pincushion lining up!  With a shape like this gravestone, I have to be really careful assembling it, to make sure the top point and bottom corners all line up which takes a bit longer.  

I'll be taking these gravestones with me to the quilt show in a couple of weeks but then I'll be making some more for my webshop.  


  1. Hello my ghoulish friend, your efforts never fail to amaze me! Even your re-workings are fascinating. I'll take that bowl of scraps and put it to some kind of "Pollock" use. I'm sure there is still some "Angele Magic" left in them! I find it funny that you got your inspiration from your photo from England...a cemetery, most likely? There are a lot of haunted places & things over the Pond. Travel Channel is on all the doggone (doo-dah? doo-long? whatever) day.

    I hope to make it for your next sell and I wish I were able to get to your quiltmarkt. You are the bestest at what you do. Remember that!

  2. Hello, my ghoulish friend! I am always amazed by your creations! Even your re-workings are fascinating. I'll take that bowl of frustration and make some kind of "Pollock" use out of it. haha There's got to be some "Angele Magic" left in there! Wish I could be with you at the quilt markt to support you, but all I can do from here is try to make it for your next sale. I keep missing them somehow. Too many doc appts, if you asked me. Stay crafty! Remember you are the bestest! xoxo ~ S.


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated to filter out the irritating spammy stuff.

Popular Posts