Yea, that was my initial idea, but having never done this I didn't know if the strips between the feathers would stay in alignment or not - looking back they probably would have since everything is connected and not flapping in the breeze (they're only about 1/4" in width).
The centering was totally my bad - I didn't do any real measurements, just eye-balled it to make sure it was centered between the speaker openings (which were taken from the mounts in the sheet metal). I also did cut the carpet an inch or so oversized - once it was glued to the plywood did I trim it to size and cut out the speaker holes.
So some good thoughts, some half-arsed, learning experience all-around. Oh well, I guess that's why you're the professional and I'm just the intrepid DIY'er