chamisa (chamisa) wrote in 2xcreative,

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A Pillow, Out of Thin Air

Or, a Finished Collaboration!

We signed up in May for the first round of participants, my partner khaybee and I. It took several months, but at last we're done.

What we created together ended up being a wedding gift to kylecassidy and trillian_stars. I mailed it last week and I'm pretty sure they've received it by now, so I'm guessing it's ok to post about it here. And if not, then I've either just ruined the surprise, or, I mailed it to the wrong address and now some complete stranger has a thing he or she has no idea what to do with. 

::stagewhisper to the above mentioned newlyweds:: So, yeah, if you got a mysterious package wrapped in brown paper recently from someone you've never heard of? You might want to open it if you haven't, because chances are, it's from me!. ::/stagewhisper::

When I signed up, before I knew who I’d be partnered with or what the end result would be, or had read anyone else’s posts about their collaborations, I decided I’d like kylecassidy and trillian_stars to have whatever we ended up creating, as they'd just gotten married, and this whole idea of “2X Creative” was Kyle's idea in the first place.

And I’d wondered: if the end result was a physical object, then which of us would keep it, me or my partner? So I thought that it, whatever it was, could be a wedding gift, and hoped my partner would agree. She did, and also agreed with me sending it to them as a surprise. (And honestly, I'm hoping the surprise was a good one, and not a, well...a "wtf is this?" kind of thing. ::g::)

So, when I found out who I was partnered with, I emailed khaybee about my various artistic talents, with their varying degrees of ability, and she did the same. She proposed this: We come up with a saying having do with the power of connecting through collaboration, which I would embroider on a piece of fabric. She’d crochet a piece of lace and send it to me. I’d use the lace and embroidered fabric to make a pillow, and send it to Kyle and Trillian. It sounded like a great idea to me, so that’s what we agreed on.

She wrote the words you see on the pillow; I added the wedding date. I’d tried writing something about collaboration but wasn’t very inspired, so I’d tried something about Kyle and Trillian's wedding instead. What she came up with really blended both ideas, collaboration in general and their own personal brand of collaboration through marriage, I thought.

Something evolves from nothing
Love grows from a chance meeting
Leading to a lifelong collaboration

Creative good deeds
Expanding one to the next
A chain that begins finely wrought

For Jennifer and Kyle, May 17, 2009

Raw materials

I got a pillow form, and dug through my stash of fabric. I already had the green fabric, the trim, the piece of muslin I embroidered on, and the embroidery thread. I designed the way it would look, and got the Art Nouveau border from deviantART online as a free stock image. I then figured out how to transfer the text and border to the fabric, and embroidered it. I'd let khaybee know that the border was Art Nouveau and that the muslin and trim were cream colored, so that perhaps she could make the lace with cream colored thread, in a style that might match and I thought she did a great job doing so.

The text, taped on top of the border and pinned to the fabric. This was when I was going to try a heat transfer (using a special pencil made for that purpose), which did not work very well. Or maybe I didn't do it right.

So, I tried something else. I taped the text underneath the border, and underneath the fabric on an embroidery hoop, and placed that over a lightbox, and used a fabric marking pen to transfer it onto the fabric.

That worked very well!

Embroidery in progress:

Meanwhile, khaybee began to crochet the lace and mailed it to me when it was finished. That was very exciting, receiving a package from the other side of the planet, and the lace inside was absolutely gorgeous.

The lace. I apologize for the terrible photo. I was going to take a better one, and never did.

I made the pillow cover with the finished embroidery piece, hand stitched the lace on, popped in the pillow and sewed it shut. Et voila, a pillow!

While I’ve done embroidery before, it’s always been from a pre-made, iron-on pattern, so this was a first for me, designing this myself and figuring out how to transfer it. I’ve also never embroidered letters or made my own pillowcase or stitched on lace—or, worked on a collaborative project like this with a stranger on the other side of the planet, organized by another someone I’ve never met—so, kylecassidy's wonderful idea and this community really encouraged me to try a lot of new things!

I made some mistakes along the way, as you might notice, but that’s part of it too, I suppose.



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