Penny Rugs

>> Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've been obsessing on wool and penny rugs lately. Here are my results:

The first one is from a kit from Primitive Gatherings  Their wool was just delicious! The strawberries were super fun to make. I find wool so relaxing.

The last penny rug is one I designed myself. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I used a backstitch on each petal and stitched a swirly design. Then around each petal I backstitched in the contrasting lime green floss. The dots are french knots. The back of the rug is lined with black flannel.

It continues to be as hot as all get out here in Florida. I sure wish it would cool off! That won't be until the very end of October. Luckily we just booked a 7 day cruise up the east coast in mid October. Hopefully there will still be some fall colors to admire!

Take care of yourselves!


Playing with Dolls

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hi folks,

Hope all is well in your world.

I'm taking a break from quilting and playing with dolls! It's a lot of fun and I am enjoying the process as much as the product. I'm calling my dolls "Fiddlestix".

It all started when I read Salley Mavor's fabulous book "Felt Wee Folks". She has so much creativity and talent!

Let me first introduce you to my sweet Grandson Alex:

Now let me introduce you to the Fiddlestix Alex:

He has on overalls and a hoodie (check out the hood in the side view!) and he's holding a train.

What do you think?

Take care,


Embroidered Wool Applique

>> Sunday, August 22, 2010

Home Again!

There's no place like home. Although it's as hot as, well, let's just say my glasses fog up every time I go out and I feel like I need to shower after five minutes in the shade. Florida is the pits this time of year.

We loved North Carolina. I think I'm a mountain person. The fog in the valleys, the smell of pines and the wind blowing through the trees. Just lovely. It was in the 60's while we were there with a few highs in the low 70's. Just marvelous. It rained every day which just forced me to nap. (LOL). We did the tourist things like seeing Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock and taking the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everything was breathtaking.

This is a photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This is the view from my bedroom window early one morning.

We also did the Hawk's Nest zipline which was a blast. There were ten runs, the longest 1800 feet. I just loved it. Screamed the whole way!

On the drive to NC and during free moments I worked on my embroidered wool applique. I really loved the work. It felt very creative and relaxing as I didn't have to worry about needle turning. I sewed and ripped and repeated. I'm very pleased with the results. I've finished two of six 5x5" squares. The background is linen.

I plan on piecing the six pieces together to make a wall hanging. We'll have to see how that works.

Hope you are doing well! Take care!


Wool Applique

>> Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hi folks.

Sorry for the delay in posting. I have been "computer challenged" and having difficulty downloading photos from my camera. Finally got lucky and it worked.

I've been dabbling in wool applique. I needed a break from needle-turn applique and wanted to experiment and play.

Here are my latest creations. They are 5"x5" and taken from patterns by Piece of Cake designs. I am using white wool for background and regular sewing thread for the embroidery. I used a running stitch around the petals, blanket stitch around the leaves and a backstitch on the stems.

This second one is only partially completed. I used variegated #8 Finca thread in a straight stitch to accentuate the green points and sewing thread as a blanket stitch around the petals and the backstitch on the leaves.  I have played around with all types of threads and stitches. Wool, fortunately, is very forgiving. I've just had a blast experimenting. Perhaps I should call my sewing room "Lab"!

We are escaping the miserable heat here in Florida by driving to North Carolina with the three dogs. Should be an interesting trip. Our beagle damaged her left knee this last weekend (did you know dogs have knees?!) and will need surgery when we return. Meanwhile she is getting along fine on three legs and pain meds. The vet wasn't concerned about delaying the surgery while we're gone. So, she will get the front seat, next to my husband and I will sit in the back seat with the two goldens. What a sight! LOL!

We are borrowing a friend's condo in Sugar Mountain NC. I'm really looking forward to spending time outdoors in cool weather. There is no TV or computer connection so we will be "back to basics". I have packed lots of applique kits to keep me out of trouble. Here they are, more wool applique with threads and buttons.

I am also packing some supplies:

Needles (I prefer threading them through small plastic canvas squares and stapling them on an index card with identification. I also have a stitch chart of possible stitches to try on the applique (in black)

I would be lost without my trusty light. This is a great item to have. You can get it here for $12.95. I wear it around my neck and it has a strong light you can angle towards your work.

Now for some eye candy. I'm also packing some extras:

Aren't these beautiful?

I won't be blogging for about two weeks, until I return to Florida. Take care of yourself!


Fioriani Stitch and Wash Applique

>> Saturday, July 24, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention? How about desperation?

Lately I've been frustrated with my applique. When I've worked on more challenging patterns (with very small pieces or tight curves) I haven't been satisfied with the results. So I've tried different methods, combined methods and made up methods! I hate to think of all the fabric I've wasted!

But I've finally come up with a system that works for me and thought I'd share it with you in case it might be helpful.

First I start with Floriani Stitch N Wash Fusible. You can get it at Red Rock Threads and other places. This is a wonder product.

I first learned of it through Kelly at Don't Look Now. She used Floriani with a glue stick to make orange peel blocks. She ironed shapes cut from the Floriani on the back of fabric and then used a glue stick to turn the seam allowance. I found my orange peel blocks looked best if I finger pressed the pieces before applying the glue. While I enjoyed having the pieces already "turned", I didn't like the mess of the glue. I also didn't like the inaccuracy and time consuming process of tracing patterns on the Floriani.

After brainstorming I discovered a solution to both issues.

First I start with an 8.5x11 inch piece of Floriani. I like to use my rotary cutter and the template Soft Expressions sells to cut out my pieces . I found I can cut as many as three at time.

I iron an 8.5x11 inch piece of freezer paper on the non-glue side of the Floriani. The glue side is somewhat shiny as the photo shows. Iron on a hard surface that will not absorb the glue. I use a piece of tile. Only iron the freezer paper  a few seconds, long enough to stick to the paper lightly.

Now I can run the Floriani through my printer with the ink printing on the glue side.  I know this sounds backwards, but stick with me. (If you need to reverse your pattern, do so before printing)

Then I carefully peel the freezer paper off the Floriani. It should easily peel off. This freezer paper can be reused several times. You should now have your pattern printed on the glue side of the Floriani.

Cut out your pieces and iron the Floriani to the back of your fabric. That means the printed side/glue side will be in contact the back of your fabric. Be careful,  it's not easy removing the Floriani from your hot iron (ask me how I know).  Now you can cut out the pieces adding your seam allowance.

At this point I attach the pieces to my background and needle turn the seam allowances over the Floriani edges. Works like a charm. The Floriani is light weight and most of it washes out with hot water and soap. When I compare pieces that used Floriani and those that didn't I really can't tell a difference. And that's before washing. There is no stiffness and when the piece is held to a light there is no difference. I really love this product.

I have a confession to make that may sound loony. Instead of using little applique pins to secure a piece to the background I use a staple! It holds the piece tightly, there is no shifting and they are easily removed. They also don't catch your thread. A stapler obviously wouldn't work with a fabric like silk but it's worked well with my cottons.

Have fun trying something new!


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