When Hobbies Collide

Rissa Root 2007

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It is fairly obvious from my work here that I enjoy crazy quilting, but unless you read my blog, you may not know that I also enjoy belly dancing. Despite my size, I have performed publicly with my teacher and classmates.  Ironically, crazy quilting and belly dancing are also two things that Nora loves.  Nora might look sweet, quiet and grandmotherly, but she was once a professional belly dancer.  I suppose it makes a certain sense, because beads, baubles, and sparkling things are common to both hobbies.

Anyway, I have been sort of stuck, trying to come up with a design for a hip belt. I should have started with a bra top, since I have already made an art bra that is functional, but I am hard headed.  I pieced this hip belt a few months ago, after wearing one of my teacher's homemade hip belts during class.  I realized the basic construction was simple and could be easily adapted to crazy quilting.  I started with a couple of scraps of cotton flannel and sewed them together to get a base that was wide enough to work for my hips.  Next, I picked a focal point print for the center back and used random scraps to complete the piecing.  Sew and flip worked perfectly for this project.

Finally, I am ready to begin working on this project again.  I decided to get my camera to document the process as I started to collect trims, threads, ribbon, beads, sequins, lace, and other odds-and-ends. It is time for me to start the embellishment phase of this piece, but I am still a little tentative.  To be honest, this is outside of my CQ style comfort zone.  It is also more important for it to look good while I am dancing; which is a different concept for me.  I tend to focus on the small details, instead of the overall composition and effect, which will be especially difficult for a wearable that will be seen in the round. I am ashamed to admit that it is a little daunting to create a piece where the ultimate goal is to emphasize feminine form and movement.

There are some blister pearls in the mix, because not only do they add visual interest when you move, they make noise!  As a lifetime member of the Loud Girls Club, the noise factor is an added bonus in belly dance costuming.  So now that I have shared this project with all of you, I will be forced to move forward with the project and document my progress along the way.

Wish me luck!

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