Friday, July 31, 2020

One Request

It all started with one request.

That's how it happens, one request.

Someone asked where they might find the wool 
for Cee's Marriage/Memory Rug 

I decided to give it a go.
I have written the pattern for Cee, and others.
I have made my own version with Cee's wool.

Remember the oval tongue rug here

Well it was time to get the dye pots out, 
start tearing through piles of wool 
and get to it.

One request turned into batches
 and batches
 and batches
(did I say batches?)
of wool 
and string 
and cotton thread 
and
 and 
and

It went on 
and on.
 Wool and more wool, 
dyeing and redyeing



 string and more string
 





And then the sun came out and I was ready to cut!
And cut I did. 
So much cutting. 
 


 One request turned into 10 beautiful kits,
with more in my 
future
 because there is a laundry basket 
full of leftovers 
waiting
for the process to start again. 
 One day 
 the lonely leftover wool will have
some string 
and other wool 
to join it,
making a complete kit,

one day.


Thank you to the Ladies and Gents of the Wool Circle Club
 who trust in me and support me.

Check my Etsy shop if you want 
to nab one of the remaining 3 kits.
Or purchase the pattern only.

Happy Stitching whatever your project is.

Colleen


Saturday, June 6, 2020

Bree's Tea Mat




Quick lesson for a quick mat.
 Once you have your colours planned and circles cut,
 this will stitch up quickly. 

If you are an Outlander fan...
 I spied a mat on Brianna's table...that was my inspiration.

With large pennies this mat finishes at a nice size of
 15.5" side to side, or 18" point to point.

 My base pennies are 37 x 2.5 inch, 
with 7 x 2 inch, 
and 30 x 1 inch
 centered on each 2.5" penny.

Review this photo for my planned use of 
colour and layout 
of the 2" and 1" pennies.

 I used approximately 65 yards of #10 crochet cotton.

Stitched on a very light fabric for the backing. 
At first I thought it was too lightweight,
but then I really enjoyed working on it 
 and will likely use this weight again. 

I did not line this mat to cover the backside hiding my stitches,
 I simply turned a 3/4" hem.
 
Bree's Tea Mat before pressing, 
"stitched in the wild"...as in...no iron at hand.
It's a bit rumply, I was away from my studio 
whilst working on this one.

 Here I folded my base fabric in half and then again, (sorry no photo) to find the center,
and began with the center stack.

Stitches completed,
 I laid 3/4" masking tape carefully around the mat, 
and cut away the excess fabric.
The tape is a quick easy way to achieve an even edge.
 The tape is 3/4" wide, which made the perfect hem when folded.
As mentioned, the base fabric is very thin.
You may like to use 1" tape. 
You can always trim it back further if need be.
(I do recommend pressing your mat on the reverse 
before you tape the edges and trim.)
Trim away excess fabric,
 remove the tape, 
then fold and press a hem to the reverse side.
 
 Here is a close up of blind stitching the folded hem, 
on the reverse of mat. 
Shown with a 3/4" applique pin.

Now to find an iron. Light pressing is in order....

and done!

Happy Stitching!
Colleen

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Brown Diamonds Mat



 Making my Brown Diamonds Mat. 

A quick run through.


 I started stitching this one on the diagonal... and then I struggled.
 I realized I much prefer to stitch in straight nested lines.

So I pulled off all my diagonal tape (not seen here)
and reset my tape from left to right. 
I like to lay out the pattern, tape my rows and number them.
If tape isn't your thing, you can baste the rows without attaching them, 
or you can string your stacks together and set aside.
I just like to avoid pinning it all down. 

You can see a few staggered
stacks that were part of my diagonal assembly.
 I lift away each row and safely set them in a bowl.
I stitch one row at a time, stitching one stack at a time.
I really enjoyed stitching this mat,
It was fun to do a reversed blanket stitch 



 As I stitch I tend to use just one or two 
small applique pins as I travel along the mat.
This keeps my thread from tangling in pins, mitigates pokes,
and allows me to adjust the stacks as I go.
I am always adjusting and checking alignment as I go.

You can also make light pencil or graphite lines.
For beginners it can be very helpful.

Wool is so nice to work with, it's so forgiving, 
you can snug and adjust it easily.

My method is to attach the small penny
 and then attach the stack to the rug.

If you prefer to do it the other way around, that's fine.
You could stitch all the large pennies down 
and then go back and do the top ones.  
It's up to you. 


Working my way row by row,
adjusting and nesting each penny.
The trick is to get that first row nice and straight.
Can you notice that I pressed and folded 
my base fabric to create a line to follow. 
Look closely at the top of the top row.

On my other tutorials 
you may see me stitching a basting line as a guide.
You can do either, or both. 


At this point I decided I really wanted the brown diamonds
to have points. These interrupt the red border.
I removed the red pennies and replaced them with brown. 


 
All stacks complete. Now to trim away the base fabric.
It's so quick to mask off the edges with 1" wide masking tape.
It's a perfect width for me to stitch on a planned border and
have not too much excess to trim away. 

Remove the tape after you cut away the fabric beyond it.  






( At this stage you could trim the mat, as I will go on to show, or.... fold in the edges to finish, 
or create a lining for the entire mat. I have shown those methods in other tutorials.)


 To trim this mat I cut strips of a lightweight brown wool blend
into two long 1.5" strips and joined them with a bias.



To create a binding strip you fold it into half and press,
then fold each long side to meet into the center, and press.

Binding can be a lesson of it's own, 
you can find it on my Plaid Tongue Rug Tutorial.
Or it might be more clear as you look at the photos that follow.

I pinned the binding strips around the mat 
close to the last row of penny stacks, 
minding that the bias joins would be on the long sides.

 I back stitched the strips all the way around the mat.
You can use a small running stitch or your machine.



Leave a few inches open, not stitched to the mat, 
and a few inches excess binding at each end.



 Fold one end on a bias, the end should meet the side.
 Creating a triangle as shown on the left strip.



Lay opposing end over the folded end, pin.




 Pin and sew on the bias to join the ends of the binding.


Trim away excess



 Press open, pin to mat and continue to finish attaching the strip.




Trim away excess backing fabric, 
use binding as guide for cutting line.
 



Fold over and pin binding to mat, easing at the corners,
use stitching lines are your guide.


Make tiny blind stitches to hold binding to mat, 
following stitching line.



Complete!






Monday, March 2, 2020

Welcome March!


Welcome March, soon it will be spring!

For now, enjoy a touch of the luck of the Irish,
some shamrocks, 
a good book about friendship,
 and a woolie shamrock pincushion. 

 Just the right amount of green
 for the month that we will raise a glass,
and soon party to celebrate St. Patrick.



During this long winter,
 I've finished a few small projects 
which I'll be sharing with you soon.



Saturday, February 1, 2020

Welcome February!

Welcome dear February!
The month of love, sweet love.

It's Valentine's and more Valentines!

We may have snow, we may not...
one thing is for certain, we will have Valentines!


Remember your dear Valentine,
won't you.