Fanciful Felties: Sew People to Meet, Places to Go & Things to Do
By Samantha Cotterill · Reviewed by Katy McRae
In a world awash with ‘cutesy’ felt animals, Samantha Cotterill’s felt people are a breath of fresh air. In fact they are quite possibly the coolest ‘felties’ on the planet. This woman has a style all her own and man, can she sew!
Sam’s a Brit living in Upstate New York with her husband and two young boys. She took a five year break from her painting career to have kids and came back as a self-taught fibre artist . . . as if having two kids wasn’t challenge enough. She’s one of ‘those sellers’ on Etsy – you know, the ones that have been singled out as something special. She’s also well-known in blogosphere. Her blog, sammisofties.blogspot.com, is a showcase of her fibre art and DIY projects and also provides a glimpse of what it’s like raising two boys, one of whom has Aspergers.
Oh, and she also has her own range of fabric. Yes, she is quite possibly superhuman.
I like a book that doesn’t short-change you on patterns and Fanciful Felties doesn’t disappoint. There are 14 patterns for a range of felt ‘people’, as well as a couple of inanimate objects such as a telephone booth and a cottage. She also includes a scone recipe – author’s prerogative and all that.
The book starts with a comprehensive run-down on all that you will need. Samantha also has some handy hints for machine embroidering and instructions for a range of embroidery stitches. In theory, the patterns are ‘beginner-friendly’ and her step-by-step instructions are very clear. However, if you’re wanting your creations to turn out anywhere close to what you see in the pictures, you’re going to have to be more than a complete novice.
I think the key to avoiding the bitter disappointment of having your scheme turn to pus is to make the patterns your own. As the introduction says, “these projects are designed to encourage experimentation.” The idea is that you can mix and match elements. Turn your mistakes into design features. And when you’re done, there’s a Flickr group to show off your work.