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Mad as that Hatter

March 25, 2012

So you know the most recent Alice in Wonderland movie starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter?


Well, that was the theme for February in the Pastiche Bee on Flickr, and honestly, how could I pass up the chance to create his amazing portrait in fabric?

I decided that my paper piecing brain needed a break, and visions of thread sketching over appliqué flew through my head, never mind that I’ve never really done much of either technique at all!

I’ve been systematically auditioning fabric from Spool of thread with the cool textures hiding in my stash.


But as I looked closer at the depth of the color details of this portrait, I grew increasingly paralyzed over how the heck I’m going to do this justice?! February came and went and all I had to show for it was that stack of fabric!

Well, after the teachers strike and about halfway through the never ending spring break I begged the hubby to stay home and watch the kids do I could get something done..

I finally figured out a decent tracing system,


I started by recreating the background swirl of hats and laying out the other appliqué components…


If had more time I would redo the background in silk. In fact I even had Louise on the line, but in the end I decided my moda cross weave was going to have to do!

Then I pulled out my never used Shiva paint sticks and started testing things out,



Some experiments went pretty well..


Some were downright terrifying..


And then I was stuck. I’m not a fabric painter, my blue green and purple paints weren’t enough, and clearly those t-shirt fabric markers I bought for the kids were not going to cut it!

So I turned to Smoochee’s inspiration photo for some …well inspiration..


Painting by Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen


And thought that I would take a cue from all that crosshatched shading, and embroider his facial details.


And this is where I’m at. I’m testing some orange dupioni for his hair, I’ve finessed his hat scarf a bit better, and I’m planning to embroider his eyebrows in.

Quilt goddess willing, the teachers won’t be back on strike tomorrow and the quiet house will let me get another chunk of progress done on this crazy project!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2012 2:43 pm

    Whoa, this is so cool! Great idea with the embroidery, his face is looking amazing. I look forward to the end result. You are all doing amazing work in Pastiche!

  2. March 25, 2012 3:08 pm

    I am in awe… So cool and original! Looking forward to the end result.

  3. March 25, 2012 6:07 pm

    I love where you are going with this!! Gah – why can’t you live closer so we could play?? Can’t wait to see it completed!

  4. March 25, 2012 8:20 pm

    How perfect is that hat!!! You go girl!!!

  5. March 25, 2012 10:46 pm

    I am so excited to see this! Your process is very inspiring!

  6. March 26, 2012 2:21 pm

    Yay!!! This is great Sonja! We’re doing Alice in Wonderland for a BBC side swap… Great image!!!

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