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Topic: Patchwork Fur Scrap Pillow  (Read 670 times)
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Listessa
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« on: November 11, 2013 02:03:54 AM »

This has a really sweet story. 
One of my close friends has a nephew with Autism.  His name is Andrew, and he has a really sad story right now.  Hopefully he will be moving up from Missouri to Alaska to live with his aunt and uncle this winter! 
 
At any rate, the young man really could use a pick-me-up.  He is very sensitive to sensory things due to his Autism, so I figured his very own Soft would be something amazing for him. 

 
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*Marked as mature, since it is real fur. 
I have amassed a bunch of fur scraps over the past couple of years from some of the AK Native craft fairs where the fur sewers offer bags of their small scraps for sale.  There is a good variety of different furs, but they are all odd shapes and sizes. 

This time I used a size 5 glover's needle and Silamide waxed beading thread for the stitching.  It worked really well.
The fur involved is rex rabbit, coyote, fox (arctic, blue, red), bobcat (including a little tail I ended up leaving loose in the middle as something 3d to play with and flip the tip a little for fun), wolf, beaver, and mink. 

I decided to do something totally funky, so I made it a patchwork pillow, keeping as close to the piece shapes as I could.  Sewing fur is kind of difficult, since it only goes one way and the stitcher has to be mindful of this when planning the layout. 

It's not a perfect square, but I really didn't want it to be.  It is backed with some very plush brown velour, and has a "tribal" style wolf paw print beaded piece on the back. 
 

*This one isn't getting mature marked, it's the velour back with some attached bead work.   

The beading is two-drop peyote, with size 15 delicas.  I used the back half of a necklace pouch pattern I got from a local bead artist who teaches this technique as a class down at Alaska Bead Company in Anchorage. 
The dark beads are actually a shimmery dark green, but it looks more brown or black in the photo.  Quite beautiful in person against the brown.

It's a little crooked on the back since I didn't think to use a hoop to hold it perfectly centered; however, I really liked the way it looks like the wolf stepped on the pillow. 



Andrew really likes it - he sent me a nice thank you email.  Apparently he has carried it EVERYWHERE with him since it arrived.   Grin
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013 06:40:30 AM »

What a wonderful thing, for a boy I'm sure is also wonderful!
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013 07:25:43 AM »

Wonderful work with a difficult medium.  I'm glad he likes them after all your hard work.
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SiFi Mom, aka Nancy
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013 10:32:33 AM »

mature for fur? Poopy doopy!

That is a great gift, and a wonderful "soap stone" idea...for the tactile sensation that some people {and autistic fits this one} need to have.

I am so glad he likes it! And it will comfort him. You did a great job!

Has he named it???

And "Wonky" works good. {Your unsquare thing}. It looks lovable! We put too many things in square boxes. I like my life a little crazy, don't the rest of you?

Great job. PM me with the name he picks! I am starting college for art therapy.  Grin I will be good at it.

~T
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Listessa
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013 10:35:09 PM »

Thank you so much! 
Using different kinds of fur with SO many textures was a real challenge.  Plus stitching thick tough stuff like beaver to thin and delicate fox or rabbit was a little crazy.  I just adore how it came out. 

Andrew is a really neat young man.  If you want to know the back story, here's a link to the video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov2eQAQXJHo  (It is very sad.  Tissue Warning.)

He started chatting with me on facebook right when I mailed the pillow off, then told his aunt, "Oh, I had a really good time talking to her."  My friend Kitty told me exactly what he said and we both just cracked up.  It's like having an adopted younger brother!


Yeah - I tag my fur stuff mature.  I posted a rabbit pillow here some years back and tagged it mature just in case.  Someone was very upset, since I guess they didn't realize they had the view mature pictures option on and left a comment as such in the thread. 

I do fur work.  It's a big part of life up here, and has a good deal of meaning to me.  I am not Native Alaskan or American(enough to have a card), nor was I raised in a tradition.  At any rate it has a lot of meaning to me and I get tired of the anti argument.  *shrug*   


I love the name Wonky!  I will have to ask him if he has named his pillow when I catch him online again too!  Perfect way to enjoy life in my opinion. 
Actually a good portion of my close friends have something going on with them- I have a couple of others who are Autistic or Aspergers (actually I am 99.999% sure my boyfriend is there.  It makes more sense in explaining him than he's just sort of unique.  High functioning, never been tested) a woman who recovered from a traumatic brain injury through domestic violence, a couple of different friends who have immuno-diseases (either IBD type like me or other), friends who fight depression, bipolar... 
Honestly, I have only one or two who are "normal." 


Art therapy is SO powerful, what a beautiful field to enter.  You will make such a positive difference in peoples' lives! 
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