Monday, December 3, 2012

Quiltlet #4: Pledge Allegiance to Steampunk Nation

Presenting Quiltlet #4!  [What's a quiltlet? Explanation here.]
Before I show you the whole thing, here's a detail:
Are you up on Steampunk? It's a Jules Verne dark-visionary-retro-futuristic look, involving gadgets, gears, and rust. At first Steampunk didn't do much for me, but then - as with millennium quilts and even  Sunbonnet Sue  - it started to intrigue, and finally, obsess me.

Unfortunately, the fever coincided with a visit to a bead show, where I passed by innumerable shiny brand-new beads, to hand over ten bucks (!) for the rusty watch innard above.

I combined it with a bunch of other elements, old and faux old, to make this cuff:
See how it vaguely resembles an American flag?

Can you guess what's new and what's not? In the closeup below: the round buttons in the upper right, lower right, and lower left corner are vintage. The "gear" in the upper left corner of the brown square is a new scrapbooking tchotchke. The bronze arrowheads are new, iron-on embellishments, from my LQS (local quilt shop).  The brass chain and the jump rings are new, and the hanging metal key is old.

They're stitched and glued to a  2 1/2" brown leather square, cut from an old men's jacket (acquired from the thrift shop).

Also on the front of this quiltlet, there's a large oversized brass eye,  new from the sewing store notions department. It's about 3/4" square.

Corresponding to an oversized hook on the back of the bracelet, sewn on thusly with brown embroidery thread: 
The two pieces of homespun fabric, in coordinated colors, came in a fat quarter pack from a quilt shop, quite a while ago. The colors are way more rustic than I'm used to working with, but perfect for the gloomy Steampunk atmosphere.

Homespun also frequently has stable fringed selvages, and I placed those edges for maximum effect, to create a fringe along the bottom and one short end. Here's the back:
This thing is a bit heavy, so I think I like it better as a horizontal wallhanging than a cuff. In a pinch, if there's no American flag in sight, I can pledge allegiance to it.

It's constructed in such a quirky way that I don't even think I can or should repeat the directions. If anyone wants directions badly, please email me, and I'll make up a more efficient route.

The cuff isn't my only Steampunk creation. Several months ago, as part of a Fiber Arts Trader swap, with a 'Steampunk Ice Queen' theme, I made these three things: (Brooches/Pendants/Wallhangings!):

Here's the third one closeup:
Clockwise from the top: Broken bobbin, perforated rusty street find (maybe the top of an old salt shaker?), metal snap half, tree-branch shaped silver plate bead, gear from the same source as above, vintage metal button, dead sewing machine bulb. The 'Grow' message, admittedly, is excessively cheerful for the dark and broken Steampunk mood.

Steampunk brooches or quiltlets make unique holiday gifts. But beware: you  and/or your giftee may become addicted, and find yourselves pledging allegiance to Steampunk Nation.

Have you made a Steampunk quilt/wallhanging/anything else?

P.S. I was delighted to be able to share this project on Nina-Marie Sayre's weekly creativity compendium, Off the Wall Fridays. Check it out! 


  1. I love this idea! I have been gathering interesting bits and pieces for a while.

    1. Sylvia, I predict you'll have a ton of fun! Please show me the results when you're done!

  2. Wow, how unusual, I really like your ideas:)I've never made anything like this before, it looks a lot of fun.

    1. Dianna, it is SO much fun. Google "steampunk" and you'll get lots more inspiration!

  3. I love your steampunk quilt! I love steampunk. I don't have any of the bits and pieces that Sylvia and you do but I may have to start collecting them. ;)

  4. They're all too easy to collect. Just never throw anything away.

  5. ohhh file this under crazy cool!! love love the texture and interest steampunk adds to the fabric and the idea of mixing the soft texture of the fiber with the steel - love it!

    1. Nina-Marie, I can't wait to see what you come up with! Thanks for everything!

  6. I've been intrigued by steampunk, collected some "stuff", but have never used any of it. Now I may have to give it a try.

  7. Linda, you won't regret it! Thanks for stopping by!