My new product line? Stay tuned and see.
Every week I begin with the intention of posting another blog entry and before I know it another week has passed. I’m not sure where the time goes, but I need to find an easier way to get my photos up and get posting. Any suggestions? The eternal struggle, I suppose, of intention versus time available.
Here are some more details on the custom knife sheath I embroidered with porcupine quills for a customer recently.
Corrine conceptualized the idea of the knife sheath. She bought the eagle head knife at a powwow last October and then moseyed over to my quillwork demonstration and inquired about a custom knife sheath to keep it safe. Corrine knew exactly what she wanted: the colors, the design, all in an effort to match her black and white regalia. I was intrigued by the new project.
Of course when I got home, the reality set in: I knew how to do porcupine quillwork, but I didn’t know the first thing about making a knife sheath. I consulted a friend who’s an ace at such things after years of trial and error. His Cliff Notes version of knife sheath construction sent me in the right direction.
The sheath has 6 layers of leather in all. Two thick pieces of leather act as stiff cores, and then I sewed a layer of deerskin onto the front and back of each core with glover’s needles and waxed nylon thread.
The frontpiece of fringe and quillworking are one solid piece of leather. First I quilled the design in the middle. Next I sandwiched the thick core leather between the design piece and a deerskin backing and stitched. Hot glue and clamps held the piece in place while I stitched the pieces together.
Now I had a complete back and a complete front, but I still had to stitch those together to make a pocket for the knife. As I stitched the front and back of the knife sheath together, I added the white quillwork edging. Talk about multi-tasking! Pushing the needle through all the layers of leather was tough on my fingers, but wearing a thimble on every finger was clumsy so I started taping my fingers with waterproof tape, which gave me some amount of protection.
Cutting the fring was my favorite part. It transformed the the project into a completed work. Or maybe it just reminded me of the fringed black suede keychain with silver roses I had in high school. I wonder where that got to. Maybe I’ll have to whip up a new one with the extra leather.
8: number of glover’s needles broken stitching knife sheath together
50 plus: number of porcupine quills used to make the designs on the sheath (eagle, zigzag, cross and white edging)
20 plus: number of times I was sure I was going to cut the leather wrong and mess up the whole project.
7.5: square feet of black deerskin leather used to make the knife sheath
6: number of times I drew blood stabbing myself with a glover’s needle while sewing on the porcupine quills
1: number of times I stabbed myself in the leg with a glover’s needle because I was watching The Matrix instead of paying attention
23: minutes of cutting fringe
40: average temperature during the powwow last weekend where I delivered the custom knife sheath
1: very ecstactic customer