Saturday, October 10, 2015

Plaid Tongue Rug Tutorial

I'm so pleased to be able to share
my tutorial for the Plaid Tongue Rug.
Affectionately known between Cee and me as the Tom Rug.
It was Tom Pryor's snippet of a penny rug photo that inspired me.
The lesson can make any rug.
See it, be inspired, imagine it, and make your own version.

Cut a piece of lightweight wool or flannel to about 26 inches square.
Remember to use up and make do,
that's what penny rugs are about.
 Fold in half twice to find the center lines.
Make a long running stitch both ways to mark your center.
(By this photo you'd think I didn't own an iron)

Lay out 2 inch mixed plaid pennies into 10 rows of 10.
Yes, that's 100 2 inch pennies.
I use scotch tape to hold my rows
and I mark each row with a number. 
It really helps if this becomes a UFO
and you don't get back to it for months.
  Remember to remove some of the stick of the tape. 
Press it to your jeans or other fabric before laying it on the pennies. 

Blanket stitch each penny, start from the center row and work outwards.
Create a star at each center. 
 Hide your back stitches inside,
between the penny and the backing.
I never make knots.

Check your rows often to be sure they are even.

Enjoy the work, take your time.
This was my summer project.
(explains why some photos are so bright)

Almost done

Check your inventory and lay out forty 4 inch x 2 inch rectangles

Start to work on the bias trim
Trim each 4 x 2 rectangle, using a 2" circle temple, at one end only.

Cut lots and lots of 1 1/2" bias strips. Did I say lots?
 Use a variety of plaids.  I used approximately 15 yards.
You need about 9 inches per tongue and about 3.5 yards for the backside trim.

Joining a bias strip

This is a 3/4" bias fold tip. Iron your strips into folds.

If you're lucky enough, use the Simplicity bias maker to do the ironing.
Pin right side of bias to tongue and machine stitch.
Stitching in the fold, ease around the corner. 

Hand stitch the back side of the bias trim.
Lay out all your finished tongues. 

Stack them up and set aside.

Masking tape the edges of your rug with 1" masking tape.
I learned this great trick from my friend
 Cee at Early Style Penny Rugs!
Carefully trim away the excess
Now pin those tongues back in place. Right sides together.

Carefully machine stitch, following the corner tongue,
pivot at each edge to turn the corner.
That was easy.
Trim away the excess base (red) fabric at each corner.

Now you've pinned the right side of your bias tape to the tongues,
 run around the edge with your sewing machine. 
Stitching the bias tape, following the fold line.
Do a happy dance, you are almost done!

Can you see the folded beginning end, underneath the presser foot,
as I finish and meet up with the beginning of the bias tape.
Overlapping for a neat ending. 

Turn out to show the beautiful right side

Fold and pin the bias tape over at the back.

Blind stitch the bias tape in place to finish.

The back of the Plaid Tongue Rug

Ta da!
Now challenge yourself, make your own version.
It doesn't have to have bound tongues, blanket stitch them instead.
The pennies don't have to be in straight rows,
alternate them.
Dream it, stitch it!
Check my YouTube Channel for the video version.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Long time no see

Long time no see!
Comment ca va!
Hello friend.

I hope you are enjoying your summer and are safe. 
We are having a drought here in beautiful British Columbia. 
 I can't remember when it rained last. 
Well, I can, it was a couple weeks ago, I think. 
I spent some serious time stitching pennies that day, it was a weekend. It's been mostly dry since....lemme think....since I can't remember, 
all year?
I live where it's known as the Wet Coast.
Funny eh, wet coast, west coast, ha ha,
 real funny.
(we also get bugged about saying eh)

Seriously though, we are in Stage 3 water restrictions. 
We've been asked to conserve water, no car washing, no sprinkling, hand watering only with a container or hose with a trigger nozzle.
Stage 4 is no watering, we don't want Stage 4.
I pray for other towns and cities,
 in all countries, 
that are dry or drier than we are.
  I can't remember seeing this much brown in all my life. 
Except for the wool stacks in my studio.

 The wool is falling to the floor,
 I really must stitch more rugs 
and offer more kits!
YES! I've listed 5" pentagon kits in my Etsy shop.
5" Pentagon Sewing Box Kit
I've been working on my plaid tongue rug.
 Some would refer to tongues as pen wipers, or lamb's ears.  
Lots of names for the long scallops
 that can trim a rug, or form a whole rug.
The Plaid Tongue Rug
It was a's done! 
Check out the bias trim on each tongue.

A great project for a seasoned stitcher.
 I am working on a tutorial to share.
I can't wait to hear your comments.

I've been sharing the process this summer on my Facebook page. 
I know, I know, you don't want to be a member of Facebook
(neither do I, I have other friends like you)
But again seriously, it's okay to visit.
Just like dropping in here to see me, 
pop over to my
 Facebook Page called Penny Rugs and More.
You can look at all my public posts there.
So click on over, and have fun visiting.

Before I leave you today,
I'd like to show you
my never ending penny rug.
I always have these "littles" on the go.
 I like working on small pieces.
One day this gorgeous pile will be a large rug, or many mug rugs.
I will be adding more little pennies in my Etsy shop.
Contact me anytime if you're interested.
Woolie Jems

See you later!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Working on a new rug

It's been a busy life lately
I've been over on Facebook building my new page

  I'm working on a new rug in my spare time away from work,
 which seems like never (!)

Here is my inspiration and you'll see my progress so far.

The inspiration:
 I call it "the Tom rug".
As found in Country Living about Tom Pryor's interior design. 
If you haven't already seen it, 

"Colleen's rug" I will make from Tom's photo.

The lesson is, if you see a rug you want to recreate, you can.
Study any photo and make it up as you go.

I found out that I don't like to make bias tape.
So I bought one of those bias tape machines.

I tried using the bias fold metal tips that you feed bias strips through,
I was lousy at it.
 Then I found this bias tape tutorial on the web at
 Creative Little Daisy using a straight pin.
If you are really frugal and patient, give it a go.
 It turns out I can't make tape this way either.
Well I can, but it's lousy bias tape.
I was hopeless.
Cee says I like gadgets, she's right. 
I bought the Simplicity machine.
It's working for me, 
I had to make some adjustments to the roller right out of the box. 
I'm not saying I recommend it yet.
Hoping that it will speed up the process 
so that you'll see this rug completed in the very near future.

I will use all plaid wools on a red wool base,  
the bias tape will be mixed cottons and flannel plaids on the tongues.
The base had many trials, it was first going to be a canvas,
then it was going to be red velvet.
Now I'm back to wool, I found the perfect piece.

I have a friend that says I'm out of control,
my studio is a mess from pulling out plaids for this rug.
I think she's worried about me.

Too much wool, not enough room.

Here is a sneak peek at the progress.

The off white linen bias tape lost out, it is not going to happen.

 Here's the layout using scotch tape to hold my rows after I lift them away.
I number the rows with a sharpie.
I like to keep the numbered piece on the last penny,
so that I remember what row it was.
The tongues will be as varied and mixed as the pennies.
 Two inch pennies, two by  four inch tongues.
10 rows of 10 pennies.


It only happens on sunny weekends at the lake.

 One stitch at a time 
 what's the hurry?


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Deconstructing Thrift Store Finds

Deconstructing thrift store finds. 
It's the time of year to find wool clothing marked down. 
 I found 6 lovely black, wool and cashmere blended coats 
and several skirts.
Choose wisely, check labels carefully.

When I have a large batch like this I want to get the cleaning and fulling done quickly.
(remember not to bring used wool clothing into your home, keep it in your car trunk or garage until you are ready to clean it) 

For coats, I snip into the lining and rip it out as quickly as possible.
Removing the shoulder pads and any other inside constructive pieces.
I do not do this work inside my home or garage.
 I choose a nice day, or find shelter and get outside.

I've found that if I take the time to open every seam and remove interfacing I will have small pieces that bunch up in the wash. Ultimately with permanent scrunches or folds 
that I can't steam iron out.
My quick method is to leave the garment in one piece,
 interfacing intact.
And the bonus is you can store the garment 
on a hanger until ready to use!
I like to save the wool mark and designer labels, is that just me?

Remove the buttons and cut out the zippers.

Skirts are much easier.  I quickly cut out the zipper first. 
Then cut off the waistband and remove the lining.

Toss all parts in for a warm wash, cold rinse.
Keep like colours together.  
If you get a "bleeder" you don't want to accidentally over-dye the other fabrics.
Afterwards, I painstakingly remove the fabric from the zippers,
but easily trim and open the waistbands.
These smaller wool pieces will be cut into small pennies.  No waste.
The zippers go into my zipper stash for other projects.

If you think the fabric needs more felting,
 try a hot wash, cold rinse for a second wash.
Always use just a tiny bit of soap or you'll have a washer full of suds.

Remember to clean your lint traps after every load.
Most importantly, remember to have fun!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

5" Pentagon Box Listed!

I've listed 5" Pentagon Box Kits
There are only 6 in my Etsy Shop
check in and order while they last
 If you miss out request a custom order.

Like my new Facebook page