Finally--A Finish!

This wallhanging has been almost a year in the making--and it was supposed to be a fast, simple project. I wanted something for my dining room wall that would say "summer!" and would rotate with the flag wallhanging I have that goes up Memorial Day and Fourth of July, but that I didn't necessarily want hanging up the entire summer. So I thought, "I know! Primary colors! Pinwheels!"

The basic pinwheel part was done pretty quickly. Then I pondered borders. "I know! I'll use the Double Diamond Ruler by Kim Templin!" (See episode 41 for my interview with Kim.) I thought it would look like a cute garden fence around my pinwheels, thereby turning the pinwheels into flowers. My summer wallhanging was beginning to take on a theme.

Unfortunately, I didn't have quite enough of the fabrics I needed to use for the double diamonds to do a full border of them, so I did half borders and framed the center with them. I actually like the way that looks better, anyway.

And, of course, I couldn't leave it at that. With the more complex border, the pinwheels now looked just a little bit plain. And they had morphed into flowers--so how could I make them more flower-esque? "I know!" I thought, yet again. "I'll do yo-yos!" This required finding fabric in my stash that coordinated but didn't stick out like a sore thumb...which was a task unto itself. But I persevered...and I think I only ended up having to buy the yellow because that's not something that typically exists in my stash much.

Yo-yos made (using the Clover yo-yo tool, which makes it very easy), I realized I'd need something in the center. Wait for it.... "I know!" I decided to use buttons. The first buttons I bought were white, because I thought I'd like the clean, fresh look of white buttons unifying the different colors of the pinwheels and yo-yos. The only buttons I could find at Joanns with 16 that matched were on the small side, but I thought I could make it work.

I sat down one night and started sewing those dang yo-yos and buttons onto the pinwheels by hand. It took me almost half an hour to get one done--it ended up all cock-eyed and didn't have the clean affect I wanted, plus I had 16 of those stinking things in total to finish. At a half hour a pop I wasn't sure it was worth it. I threw it to the side in frustration.

You guessed it. By now I was sorry I'd ever started the stupid project.

"I know!".... and I pulled out my sewing machine manual to check a niggling memory I had that I could sew buttons on by machine. Sure 'nuff, there it was. I sat back down with my wallhanging and little white buttons and started on the first one, high hopes and dreams of having it done by the end of the afternoon.

Urgh. And more urgh. The buttons were too small for me to really easily hold them in place while I was sewing, and they were just high enough that my presser foot couldn't quite mash them down far enough for the needle to do its work. I finally got one sewn on, but when I pulled it out and looked it...all cock-eyed and nasty again. Threw is to the side in frustration again.

A couple of weeks later, I decided to go to Joanns and see if I could find bigger buttons. Standing in front of the collection of white buttons, I kept counting and recounting different designs in mounting frustration again--there weren't 16 of any one design. And none of them were interesting enough to warrant getting different designs.

I was just about to bag the whole yo-yo button thing as I turned to walk away when my eyes lighted on a set of buttons that were very different than anything I'd pictured in my head. Interesting. The more I thought about it, the more it tickled me. Suddenly I went from "simple, fresh summer wallhanging" to "funky hippy fun wallhanging."

The new buttons worked swimmingly. I wasn't able to get the four different designs I wanted so I held up for a bit while I tried to order one of the designs online--and ended up losing money when the secure site I'd purchased from suddenly disappeared with no trace buttons. But it was only $11 so I'm not sweating it. Just yet another delay in getting this supposedly simple project done. I ended up back at Joanns buying the other set of four buttons that I hadn't liked as well the first time but can live with, because done is better than perfect.

So, all that being said, introducing "Sandy's Hippy Peace Garden."