Where does the inspiration for our creations come from?

Recently, I opened my brick-and-mortar store. I had been running my longarm business out of my basement for years and now I am located at 128 West 2nd St in Chadron, Nebraska. After spending three weeks painting the walls from apple grren and brick red to cream, I opened with a quick Facebook post showing my art quilts, hand knitted items and homespun yarn.

Display of original art quilts, homespun yarn, and knitted items

One of the first people to visit the store was interested in a warm knitted hat. She tried on my “Rose of the North” Fair Isle hat and was not really interested in my “Baa-able” (flock of sheep) hat.

She wanted to know what else I was going to do in the shop. Of course, I showed her samples from classes I taught for the Happy Hustlers 4H Club and in the Tada! Quilt Shop. I showed her my double knitting samples, painting with wool samples, and my needle felted animals.

She was entranced by the needle felted paintings. The quintessential question was then asked – can you make me a hat out of that?

My first instinct was to say no, as I had never done it before, but then I said yes with no plan at all. I did make one stipulation, “let me make a mock hat out of quilt fabric for you to try on before I work with the wool.” With that statement the adventure began.

On the third pattern and mock hat, I had one that had the desired head circumference. I realized that if I had done a little math, I would have nailed the pattern on the first try.

Mock hat made from 100% cotton quilt fabric

After the fitting and a few more minor adjustments, it was time to make the hat out of wool. At this point, I looked for the sweater we agreed for this project. I placed the sweater in a safe place and of course it is so safe, that I have no idea where it is. Off to the Thrift store for an XL boiled wool coat.

During sew day, I cut four panels for the hat from one sleeve and added a band and two buttons to make the hat adjustable.

Stage 1: hat constructed of black boiled wool.

I then prepared my wool by deconstructing the burly yarn from Brown Sheep Company. The creative streak took hold and the hat painted itself through needle felting.

While making the hat, I had to try the hat on a few times to make adjustments. Out of all the hats I have made in the past few years, this one is the most comfortable, beautiful, and original hat I have ever made.

The most intriguing aspect of this hat is the inspiration for this creation came from a simple question. Could I make a hat like the wool painting my daughter made using needle felting.

Now, I just need to make one for myself and a few for the shop.

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