Monday, September 21, 2009

A Door of Her Own

We recently celebrated Cindy McFarland's silver anniversary. Cindy has been an art director at Storey for 25 years, which means she's been with us from the very start! We squeezed in a big party with lots of food and good cheer before she jetted off to Norway, France, and Turkey.

I pondered what gift I could give a gal that already has it all, and I landed on an office door. We all need to focus on our work sometimes without interruption, especially when those deadlines reach a boiling point. My carpentry skills aren't up to building walls around her cubicle, but I thought an entrance banner with an unmistakable message might do the trick.

If you work in a cubby yourself and feel the need to close the door now and then, here's how to make this banner. Caveat: It won't stop Nosey Parker from eavesdropping on your phone conversations, and it won't dampen the noise from Laughing Sal down the hall.

I learned all I know about felting wool sweaters by reading Crispina ffrench's book The Sweater Chop Shop, so I recommend using that as your resource for the basic techniques of felting and sewing.

Felted wool
Yarn and needle
Lightweight stuffing

1. For the rope part of the banner, use the bulky seam cut from a recycled and felted sweater. If necessary, tie two or more lengths together.

2. For the banner flags, cut four diamond shapes from a felted sweater of a different color. I recommend folding the felted "fabric" in two and cutting triangles through both layers, with one edge at the fold. This guarantees that both sides of your triangles will match up evenly.

3. Cut your letters from felted wool. I freehanded it, but if you're not confident about your lettering abilities, print out the letters from your computer and pin them to the felt the way you would a sewing pattern.

4. Affix one letter to each flag, by using either fabric glue or an iron-on fusing product. You could stitch the letters on, too.

5. Fold each flag in two, with the rope in between the layers. The flags will look like triangles, and the corners should touch. If you created your rope by tying more than one length of wool together, try to position the knot so it falls inside a flag. Pin the flags to the rope.

6. Using yarn (preferably wool yarn), begin to blanket-stitch your first flag down one of the open sides. Be sure to catch the rope in your first stitch, so the flag won't be able to shift from side to side. Stop sewing when you have an opening that is just a few inches wide.

7. Before the flag is completely sewn shut, fill it with a soft, lightweight stuffing. How much stuffing you put in depends on how puffy you want your flags to look.

8. Finish sewing the second side of the flag, and catch the rope again with the last stitch. I left the top side simply folded, not sewn. Repeat on the remaining three flags.

Voila! Use the power of your new door with discretion.

Alethea Morrison, Creative Director

1 comment:

julie k said...

This is a fabulous idea! I could use one of these at home. ;)