Friday, April 20, 2012

Shoe Envy and Quilts....

Shoe Envy 1:  Red polka-dot pump
I'm working on satisfying a bit of shoe envy with a bit of quilting....

The shoe envy comes, at least partially from having "herring-boxes without topses" feet:  size 12-12.5.

Throughout my life, I've always been just a step behind (pun intended) the shoe industry.  When my feet were a size 10, the size 10's were few and far between;  when 10's appeared on the scene, I was an 11.  Now you can find 11's and even 12's, but most are medium width and --- you got it --- I'm a narrow!

And then again, I'm 5'10" tall.  My husband is 5'6".  I wear heels, but they're only modestly high -- 2 inches or so at most.  Let's face it, a 4 or 5 inch heel, makes it look look as though I've married the guy on the wedding cake topper (hubby and I both enjoy a good laugh over that).

And of course, there's lifestyle.  Truly, how much wear am I going to get out of a pair of chartreuse  polka-dot stilettos with 5 inch heels, gold platforms and a big purple flower on the toe?  And let's not even talk budget.

So I'm satisfying my shoe envy in a 2 dimensional way. 

The inspiration came from a recent visit by Sandra Smith to the Charlotte Quilter's Guild.  Her "Commission for Sylvia" is a wonderfully whimsical collection of colorful, quirky and fabulous shoes.

Ah finally --- a way to scratch my shoe envy itch.  I can play with fabrics, have a little fun, and not worry about shoe width. 

I'm using the same basic techniques I described for the little "Have A Heart" pieces I blogged about a while back.  I'm making them small...about 4" by 4" and placing them in a frame.

One of the original ads

For the shoes, I start with magazines and catalogs - looking for likely candidates to sketch and trace (usually a combination of both).

Initial sketch/tracing

The sketches are scanned into the computer so I can resize them to be compatible with my small format.

 Then, resized image in hand, I trace the various shoe parts (heel and sole, inner lining, and so forth) onto lightweight "Wonder-Under"....

Preparing the "Wonder-Under"

...and follow up with the usual steps:  cutting out raw edge applique pieces, ironing them onto the background, adding batting (I actually use Timtex for extra thickness and stability) and backing, and stitching away.

Here's a close-up of the red polka-dot pumps...get a load of the silver lame!

In addition to the red polka-dot shoes, there's a pair of black polka-dotted ones with some couched perl cotton between the upper and lower portions of the shoe:

Shoe Envy 2:  black polka-dot shoe

shoe close-up

and also a yellow/orange and raspberry pump (with some purple bling):

Unframed Shoe Envy 3:  yellow/orange and raspberry pump

Close-up of yellow/orange pump

What will I do with my "closet full" of new shoes?  I'm hoping they'll make nice little Mother's Day gifts to sell at an upcoming (May 12) Charlotte Art Collective show (stay tuned, more on that in another post).

The good news is that they're one-size-fits-all.

Have a great weekend,