How to find hat inspiration – look nearby

Pittsburgh provided hat inspiration in 2017


Looking at what I made last year, I can see that my locale has really influenced me.


Here’s a pinwheel collage of many of the hats made during 2017. Can you spot all of the hat inspirations?



A pinwheel of Hat Inspiration from Pittsburgh


There are approximately 67* of them which is not super-productive. Ideally, I would make 3-5 hats a week…not including Christmas holiday nor the endless American summer holiday. (Yes, I’m already plotting ~not~ to repeat the endless relaxation, a.k.a endless video gaming, of the past two summers — not my video gaming, of course!).


Are you wondering why the count is approximate? Well, since January, started keeping an ongoing list in WORD for each month of the year. Also, there are my photos. Oddly, the numbers don’t agree. So, approximate it is for 2017. Hopefully, 2018 will be more organized.


Thankfully, there are more hats than there are weeks in a year. Hooray!

And certainly, more than I made in 2015, which was a measly 44. [By the by, there’s a hat-filled, Year in Review for 2015. For some reason, I didn’t do this in 2016.]

Looking back over the YiR from 2015, helps me REMEMBER what actually happened. Hence, organizing a Year in Review is worthwhile….at least it is, at this point in time.


Locale Inspiration in 2017

Yes, Pittsburgh provided much inspiration for making this past year’s hats.

The most obvious hat inspiration is expressed in my PGH Bridge Collection, which features the black and gold coloration of the City’s three sports teams (the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins).

The motif/imagery on these hats comes from the iconic engineering of some of the City’s 446 bridges.  I’m more of a bridge fan than a sports fan.


hat inspiration - Pittsburgh's Black 'n' Gold colors and all of the amazing bridges connecting the city.


Another collection inspired by my locale is my Lisianthus Collection. It was part of a collaboration with local designer, RubyDawn Designs. She organized a photoshoot, which included her beautiful clothing, a professional photographer, fun makeup, lovely ladies & my hats.  She was hesitant to give me design-direction, but when pressed, shared her color palette. Included among her colors were iridescent-white and gold. This inspired me to try felting with unfamiliar fabrics!

Hat inspiration from collaboration with RubyDawn Surgest - pink, purple, gold and white iridescent colors.


Thirdly, custom work was quite fruitful in 2017, with nine custom felted pieces. The majority of this work came from visitors to local craft fairs. Custom work tends to push me into areas and techniques that I wouldn’t have considered on my own.


Custom work provided a lot of hat inspiration in 2017.




As in 2015, there were seven collections of work made. Here are a few of them.

Superhero Collection - hats inspired by vending at ComicCon - bright, primary colors and star motifs.
Inspired by vending at ComicCon – bright, primary colors and star motifs.


Harry Potter colors and motifs inspired these hats.
Harry Potter colors and motifs inspired these hat


Hat Inspiration was using natural wool.
Hat Inspiration was using natural wool.


Mermaid Top hats inspired by yummy colors and baroque shapes.
Mermaid Top Hats inspired by a chat with Instagram pal, Mary Kollar who makes dolls. Colors – yummy. Shapes – baroque.


Not surprisingly, online education provided much hat inspiration.

Wild hats created with techniques learned via online education.
I took two classes: ‘Textures and Dimensions’ with Pam de Groot and the ‘Concertina Hat’ with Teri Berry via the FeltingandFiberStudio.



Other types of work

In addition to making, there was writing.

I wrote an article for FeltMatters, 35 newsletters and six blogposts.  Not so frequent on the latter in 2017.


Also, I participated in eight local events: EuroFest, FutureFest, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Art in the Wilds in Kane, A Fair in the Park, Pittsburgh Maker Faire, Handmade Arcade, and Steel City ComicCon.

Lastly, I began to teach locally. The high point was teaching 12 students how to felt vessels.


Thank you for traveling with me on this journey. Wishing you a very creative 2018!


Thank you for your community
Rocket Ship hat inspired by StarTrek!



2 Responses

  1. Katerina

    Wow. I think you had very productive and creative year. It is great to see the collection for the whole year together. I will try to keep a track in 2018 of my creations. All the best in 2018.

  2. FeltHappiness

    Glad that you enjoyed the recap, Katerina! Thank you for the kind wishes! Here’s to a creative and happy New Year!