I'm obsessed with octo-quilts, inspired by my summer reading, The Soul of an Octopus, a Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. I've shown two so far, a wallhanging and a quilted vase/aquarium, made from upcycled denim jeans. Here's the third:
Here's how it looked pre-fringe. I'm not sure which way I like it better, thoughts welcomed!
My octopus' aquatic friends (and potential lunchmeats) surround her.
Below, that's a hammerhead shark, alongside a sea star. While researching this quilt, I learned that sea stars' "eyes" are at the ends of their legs.
The eyes of the smaller creatures are glass beads. For our heroine, it took a lot of testing to come up with the perfect eyes. First I tried vintage red buttons:
Meh. Then round glass eyes:
Double meh. Next, I unintentionally sewed these glass beads down with the left eye at a slight angle, which made her look worried:
I wanted tranquility, so I removed them and rearranged the angle. Here's what I wound up with.
An intense, deeply knowing stare.
The top row of pearl buttons is stitched on with quilting thread:
The bottom fringe is made from shell necklaces, glass beads, mother-of-pearl buttons, faux pearl beads, and polished shell pieces.
And what exactly are those polka dots?
I am so glad you asked! Those are button blanks, dug up many years ago by a friend from the vicinity of an abandoned button factory in New England.
If you don't happen to have an abandoned button factory nearby, any buttons will do. I used permanent glue (Crafter's Pick: The Ultimate) to attach them. A layer of tulle on top of everything, and cross-stitching with white crochet thread in-between holds them in place.
For free step-by-step directions for a tulle-covered wallhanging (or vase), see my my last two blog posts (1, 2). Draw your own sea creatures and start cutting! Or get a head start with my 12-page booklet with 35+ ocean creature drawings (details on my pattern page and new Etsy shop.)