Monday, September 29, 2014

What's up?

Not much.

I just realized that summer is over! And it was a beautiful one.

During one of the hottest dog days of August 
I made up one of Maggie Bonamoni's pieces,
from her Buttonwood Farm book.
 I love geraniums, they remind me of my grandma.
In the early spring she always had her kitchen windowsills filled with snips
of old geraniums, starting new ones.
 I enjoyed making this piece, I used cotton thread as is Maggie's way 
and happily whipped my stitches with no cares about straightness,
 it was a freeing happy experience to whip along. 
 It will either be framed or made into a pillow.
Then came early September and a trip to Alaska, 
I love Alaska.
Here's the Sawyer Glaciers at the end of Tracy Arm  Awesome.
And the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau below
 after an 8 kilometer bike ride, where's the beer?
Yes, lots of it afterwards, did I say I love Alaska?
I really love the Alaska White Ale!

 It was cold and damp most of the week
We did some fun things, this doesn't look like fun but the 4x4 ride was!
Do you see the bear? Step back just a bit...just kidding.
We were up a mountain in Haines.

 Has anyone been to Tracy's KING Crab Shack in Juneau?
How did we ever miss this before? Make sure you try the bisque, yum!
OMG was that ever good crab!
And I know good crab.
 My sister and I would get up at the break of dawn when we were kids 
to walk out to the tide in White Rock, about a mile to the U.S. border marker,
with our dad to scoop up the big ones, but never the size of a King Crab!
Those crab feasts are great memories.
 Oh yeah......wool...
Look what I found last weekend
for 50 cents!
It was a wool skirt someone had taken the waistband off.
Thank goodness they donated it to the thrift shop.
The clerk actually thought I was going to put the waistband back on.
It was a bit moth chewed.
I thought it was pieced but once I pulled apart the pleats 
it revealed to be yardage with four blended colours.
It washed up lovely and the wool is gorgeous!

  I was cutting petals this past weekend for the flower rug.
I counted wrong, sniff, so I only have one kit in my Etsy shop.
It is as photographed below, however two times what you see.
If anyone is interested in a kit, please let me know.
You'll receive a minimum of 25 x 12 matching 3/4" pennies, 
plus a grab bag of mixed 3/4 pennies to use for centers.
You will use 6 of one colour per flower and an alternate center.
The rest of the rug is up to you, i.e. thread and 3" pennies.
check my five part YouTube Tutorial for inspiration and instructions.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pin Cushion Passion

Who doesn't love pincushions!

I enjoy following Pinterest boards dedicated to pincushions.

 I'm always on the look out for the old tomatoe style.  

These are my current favourite pin cushions.
I really like the built in tape measure on the top tomatoe.

 And these are my absolute current favs!
I've listed a new batch of 
Penny Rug Adjustable Ring Pin Cushions 
in my Etsy shop, have a look.

 I've also added a few more Moravian Star kits.
 They won't last long!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to assemble those self backed penny stacks

Happy Easter Everyone!

  My Easter treat to you is a lesson about
assembling a rug of self backed stacks.

This is my favourite way to make rugs.  
And a very easy method for beginners.
You can make a pleasing, useful mat.

First arrange your stacks into a shape you like.
Then turn them over.
Join one stack at a time, with a whip stitch.
Joining the stacks.
Make two or three stitches in the same place 
picking up just the backing wool fabric.

Glide and pass your needle inside the stack to attach another stack.
Join all the penny stacks together forming a row.
Repeat until you have all the rows assembled.
Then take two rows and join them together in a sort of zig zag fashion.
I do this on my lap.
Again gliding the needle inside the stack to the next whip stitch position.
Join this row, then another, and so on. (Ha! sew on...)
When you're done joining the rows, your mat is assembled!
 I soaked my rug in cold water...
Warning, if your fabric bleeds be very cautious when soaking or washing.  
Always use cold water and mild detergents. 
 Here I will soak and dry the rug so that I can press it.  
I press sometimes and sometimes not, it depends on how I feel about the rug.
(What do I think it needs)

This step is entirely up to you, you do not have to soak and press. 
If you want to; follow this method,
 rinsing and squishing gently, if you need to wash your rug.

 I squished out most of the water and placed it on a fluffy towel.
(Warning again, if your rug bleeds dye, use old towels!)
  Next add another towel on top and roll it up to remove even more moisture.
Resting the rolled towels to pull out the moisture... 
press your hands along the roll to hasten this process and remove more moisture.
You may want to change the towels once or twice.
Remove the wet towels to the laundry.
 Let your roll rest while you watch the hummingbirds......
Can you count three?  
There is a fourth one, but he was too fast for the camera!
Warm up your iron.
Now press, with dry fluffy towels. 
One on top and one underneath.
Afterward I left this rug on a dry towel in a warm spot, 
overnight, to dry completely.
In the morning I gave it another press.
  It's a beauty! 

 I have been known to take a completed rug 
and toss into the dye pot!  

Who knows, this one might become another colour!
Done for now, on to the next one!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Into The Dye Pot

Into The Dye Pot

I've been cutting and listing new lots of pennies in my Etsy shop. 
Finding that I had some slow sellers inspired me to pull out the dye pot. 
 I had a jar of onion skin dye that was lingering in the back of my fridge.
First things first; 
 how I made that onion skin dye following my friend Cee's method.
Stuff a slow cooker full of collected onion skins, all colours.  
Cee recommends a slow cooker that you don't cook in.
Fill with water and cook on low overnight.
Here my finished batch of dye.

Then the fun part!

I mixed equal parts water and onion skin dye
  in my large dye pot and added these pennies,
 hundreds and them, but not the whole box....about 3/4 of it,
 notice the rogue was a good "bleeder"!  
Dyeing in my kitchen is not very scientific. But it is an experience!

After stirring on and off for about 15 minutes
 I added a couple glugs of vinegar and a couple tablespoons of salt, 
both to set the dye. 
Stirred well and let it rest for a couple hours.

It didn't take long for the water to become almost clear, the dye was absorbed.
At this point I rinsed and rinsed, squished out the water, 
spun them in my washer to remove most of the water
 and dried my new penny stash in the dryer.
But not for long, just a few minutes. 
It depends on how much moisture I had removed from the spin cycle, 
 I didn't want them to become too fluffy.  
Again...not very scientific.

I straightened and stacked them while they were damp. 
And have now packaged 1.5 inch and 1 inch in bags of 50 for you in my Etsy shop!

 Then I went back to the dye pot this morning and made a batch of
 1 part onion skin dye to 10 parts water.
Tossed in this penny batch with some uncut, yellow, green and glue wool pieces...

 See... after adding vinegar and salt, stirring well and letting the batch rest for a few hours,
 the dye is all absorbed and the water is clear!
 Rinse and squish squish...

Look what a difference a bath in onion skin dye will make!
I'll be listing these later in my shop and mixing some into my mixed bags on Etsy.
There you can find mixed bags of sizes 9/16", 3/4", 1" and 1.5"

What a fun morning!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Green Rug- another Tutorial

Well, I've done it.  The green rug is complete!

  Does anyone have a project that just seems to take too long?
I think I started this mat two years ago.  
I must admit that I have other projects that are lingering as well.

I wanted to try a different trim or edge but this rug would have nothing to do with it!
I always say that the rug will tell you what it needs, and it's so true.
So relax with your stitching, let the project lead you.

Check my YouTube channel for more pictures and a tutorial.

On to the next one!