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.  
This step is entirely up to you. 
 But 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!

Monday, October 14, 2013

One Rug Three Ways

 I can't decide which way to stitch this one together.
Lot's of self backed pennies in shades of yummy creamy off whites.
What's your preference?

 It's been a beautiful sunny weekend here.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pinch Purse Tutorial

Here is my Pinch Purse tutorial.
It's completely and simply made by hand,
no machine stitching required.
Thank you to all the ladies that asked for it, especially Ronnie.  

I was so frustrated with the machine stitched version I made earlier from the 
Time Life book that I thought I'd never make another one. 
Well, today with some research, I turned up some different techniques.  
This is my favourite version.

  This little one took no time at all to whip up.

 I've  also learned these are known as
 a clam shell, a pipkin, a thimble holder, or a victorian sewing box.
  Someone called it a brazil nut, others call it a beechnut, and others make them for Christmas ornaments.
 Nice to tuck a tiny gift inside and hang on the tree.

You can tell how anxious I was to whip this up,
 I didn't stop to iron the fabric.
My electricity was out. Excuse my crumples.
 I prepared six petal shapes from plastic.
Use anything you have, 
plastic milk jug, 
yogurt tub lids, or cereal box cardboard. 

The larger petal should be cut about 1/2" larger than the small ones.  

The large petal will be the template for the fabric. Fabric allowance of 1/2" is ideal.

Trim 3 of the smaller petals down by scant 1/8 inch all around.
You'll see why as you move along further.

 I used a lightweight wool with interfacing attached. 
 It would be easier to work without the interfacing on this small version.
 I drew and cut lining pieces, also using the large template, from printed cotton.
Note: allow about 1/2" of fabric all around.
 Here I've  drawn the smaller shape so you can see to make a running stitch all around, 
skip over the corners.
 Layer the batting between your petal and your outer fabric .
Note: batting only necessary if you want a puffy soft outer side.
Pull up the stitches and secure. Make 3 with batting for outer pieces and 3 with no batting for inner pieces.
Note: not shown here, secure with some large zig zag lacing stitches across the back, from one side to the other.
In this photo above I've pulled up a running thread and I've gathered
the lining fabric around a trimmed smaller petal.
Remember, you've trimmed 3 of your petals by a scant 1/8 inch to use for inside of the purse (liners).
 I am securing one of the corners.  
Fold and flatten the corners and tack both in place.
I ran more stitches from one corner to get to the other corner,
this also helps tighten the fit.
 Here is the reason the lining petal should be smaller than the outer pieces.
It helps with assembly to have the liner edges away from the edges of the outer petal.
 Make a ladder stitch all around the petal to join a liner to an outer petal.
 Notice how the lining of the center petal is centered.  
The other two, left and right, are slightly off center.  This will help in assembly.  
Stitch the wider displaced edge toward the base (center) petal, 
one to each side of the base, or center petal.

 It took  a while before I realized I was using a darning needle!
(The power was out, I couldn't see well.) 
Darning needle NOT recommended,
 I switched later to one of my chenille needles
Here I am making a simple whip stitch to join the first side.
Now the second side
more of the second side
 On the third side or the opening, stitch up from each point just a bit.
Make a strong overcast tack stitch.
You're done. Squeeze both ends to open.
My thimble purse!

You can dress yours up with fancy stitches or embellishments.