Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine Creations

Here are some things I made this year in the Valentine theme:

First I made a bunch of stacked heart lapel pins. They are all reclaimed wool from thrift store sweaters, boiled wool jackets and sport coats. I felted them at home in the washing machine and dryer and I even overdyed some of the tweed wool. I used Cherry and Fruit Punch Kool-aid that time instead of the Wilton dyes.

I cut out the hearts in 3 graduated sizes and sewed them together. Some are stacked in penny rug fashion with blanket stitching. Others feature vintage buttons cut from wool jackets or sweaters. After adding a pin back, I had a basket full of Valentine pins. I sold most of them at school. I wore them on my coat, my hat, my sweaters, etc. and put up two posters in the teacher's workrooms.

I made a penny rug for myself with lots of hearts. The penny rug is not really a rug, it is a decorative mat made with wool. I tea-stained the wool background to make it look older. The hearts are stacked and stitched with perle cotton using a blanket stitch. The edge of this penny rug is finished with blanket stitching. Click on the picture to see more detail.

Here is the penny rug I made for Stacey, my sister. I used a black wool background and a color palette leaning more towards lavendars, purples and pinks. I cut out the letters "LOVE" from a felted sweater and attached them with blanket stitching. The project is finished off with narrow twill binding tape. I almost lost my cool stitching the binding on. At one point I threw it on the floor and resolved to not give it to my sister since it looked "terrible." But them I got ahold of myself and finished it for her.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My New Blog is Born!

I have just created a new blog to showcase my crafting. I will post photos of items I have created using wool and other materials.

I am a shameless pet-lover and will also post photos and funny stories about my furry children.
Here is a picture of my sister, Stacey, teaching my dog and one of my cats to knit.

I am also going to try linking this blog to my etsy store. Etsy lists and sells handmade items, vintage items and craft supplies.

Making the Colors I Want

One interesting thing has been to overdye wool from tweed jackets. You get a more dimensional color that way.

People who do rug hooking, like my sister, love to use these overdyed tweeds in their projects because they give subtle changes in shading. I use them in my projects to add a pattern to my solid colors. The sunflowers I made using some orange over-dyed tweed looks just fabulous!

Here are some examples of the colors of hand dyed wool I have been making in my kitchen. Using Wilton cake dyes and Vinegar, these strips of cream colored wool have been transformed into a rainbow of colors. I have found that the longer you keep the wool in the dye pot, the more vibrant the colors are.

The Flowers Are In Bloom

I am making flowers like crazy. I am using flower pieces cut from

hand-dyed wool in a variety of colors. The wool has been felted or

fulled before cutting to ensure that it does not fray.

Then I stack the pieces to create colorful wool blossoms. The parts

are stitched together using the penny rug style. Blanket stitching

is the most common way to join the layers securely.

As you can see from some of my other posts I can use the blossoms to create wall art. I am also planning to take some of the flowers and turn them into pins to decorate hats, purses, jackets, etc. These are kind of like potato chips-- I cannot make just one. The colors are so vibrant and the combinations are seemingly endless. I have even figured out how to make some blooms that look like they belong on a lily pad.

Hare Leaps Toward Spring!!

Here are 2 pictures of the rabbit project I completed last night. I created the flowers using hand dyed felted wool. I cut out the shapes and stacked them to form flowers in shades of green and yellow. These colors really pop off the black wool background.
Originally I cut the rabbit out of a felted fuzzy pale gray sweater. I just did not like the look of it, so I cut it out again using gray flannel wool from a pair of slacks. That rabbit (in the second picture) looks so much better than the first. I also added a sun made of circles stacked on each other in the penny rug style.
All the elements of the picture are blanket stitched using either persian wool floss or perle cotton floss.

Daffodils Wool Applique Art

Here is a project that I recently completed. It is a wool applique wall hanging made from felted wool and felt balls. The background is felted wool from an old winter coat in a soft cream color. The stems, leaves and grass are made with felted wool from a pair of slacks obtained at a local thrift store. The wool in the daffodil blossoms is hand dyed by me. I used Wilton cake dyes to create several complementary shades of orange and yellow. I cut the pieces and hand-stitched them to look very like real daffodil blooms.

All the elements of the picture are embroidered with the blanket stitch using either persian wool floss or perle cotton floss.

This project was alot of fun to make and has inspired me to do some more similar flower pictures.