Meet Celine Perkins ... today's featured Minnesota blogger!
Just This & That on the Minnesota quilt designers blog hop!

My love affair with wool ...

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Most people who know me know that I love working with wool! This isn't a new thing in my life ... as a teenager I competed in the Make It Yourself With Wool contest regularly ... and I even raised sheep for 4-H ... even though we had no other animals at our home. My store is known as a source for hand dyed wool and unique kits. For five years, we had a club called the Muddy Sheep Wool Club! It was packed with quilters who loved wool, too. For my part in the Minnesota Quilt Designers blog hop, I thought I'd show you how easy ... and fun ... it is to work with wool.

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Many people associate wool applique with traditional penny rugs. Circles ... often the size of coins ... are stacked and stitched and then sewn to a background or along an edge of a mat. Initially made to keep the floor warm in colonial homes, as Americans became more successful, they began to take on a more decorative look as they were embellished with flowers, leaves, and animals.

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The supplies needed to begin wool applique are things that most quilters already have in their sewing kit ... a pair of small, sharp scissors, applique and fork pins, water based glue, needles ... especially #9 embroidery, #22 tapestry and straw (for stringing beads) ... and floss. Some people like to use perle cotton but I like floss because of the huge range of colors available and the texture of the thread. Freezer paper is needed too ... does anyone really use it to wrap food  anymore?

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I like the feeling of hand dyed wool for my projects. I'm really lucky to have a great group of dyers in my area ... all of the wool I use is from women owned businesses in the Midwest.

Our wool is felted in the dying process but if you come across a beautiful piece  and want to use it in a project, it's really easy to felt on your own. Toss it in the washer with the hottest water you have ... add a tablespoon of detergent and a little softener if you wish ... let it agitate and spin out ... then throw it in a hot dryer. It's that simple! I stand by the dryer for a little bit and check the lint trap. Safety precaution.

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Make freezer paper templates to cut your shapes. Trace the design on to the paper side of freezer paper then press the waxy side to the wool. Cut out the shape on the line and remove the paper. The templates can be reused several times.

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Applique pins and fork pins (Clover) are great ways to hold the shapes in place because they don't catch on your threads as you stitch. A stapler will hold larger pieces together, too. But my all time favorite is Roxanne's Glue Baste ... I have it stashed in all my cubbies!

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I prefer one strand of floss and a whip stitch to hold down most of my pieces.

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A blanket or buttonhole stitch gives a more decorative edge ... this is a loop stitch and the one thing you need to remember is that the needle needs to cross the thread to complete the stitch.

I  use the backstitch and running stitch, too. If I run them down the center of a leaf I'll tug the threads a bit to make the shape gather up a little ... gives it a 3D look. There are no rules to what kind of stitch to use ... play around and have fun!

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French knots are perfect for holding berries in place ... cross stitches add texture. Because the pieces I design are mostly decorative, I leave a lot of loose edges for dimension. (This basket is the November page in the 2010 American Patchwork and Quilting calendar!)

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There's no rule that says wool must only be used with wool. Piece a background and embellish it with wool shapes. It's washable by hand ... great for table coverings and purses and even full sized quilts. Did you know you can piece with it too? For our wool club one year we made a pieced and appliqued quilt ... its amazing what traditional blocks look like when they're pieced with wool instead of cottons!

Any applique pattern can be adapted ... you probably have some in your pattern stash that would be perfect.  Put them to a new use! If you want to try your hand at wool applique, check out some of my designs on the American Patchwork and Quilting web site. We also have precut kits you can order on our Rosebud's Cottage  site.

Ok ... so you know the rules ... there are prizes during the blog hop! Today, I'll pick two winners from those who comment on my blog. It's strawberry season in Minnesota ... the prize is our very popular strawberry needle keeper! We've been keeping busy making more kits so if you aren't lucky enough to win one, we'll have some for you to order.

Thanks for taking part in the blog hop ... we're so lucky in Minnesota to have over 30 of the best designers in the industry living practically in our backyards! I hope you get the opportunity to experience all they have to offer.

Roseann

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Comments

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Ann

I have not done much but collect wool this information is very cool.

Phyl

I love the info on quilting with wool . thanks

Janet P.

Great tutorial on wool. I have wanted to try using it, but held back. This has helped a lot!

Sharon

Your wool work is amazing! I've done a little and can't wait to try more now.

Muriel Riggs

Sweet things. Thanks for sharing.

Shannon

Beautiful wool work! Thanks for sharing.

Mrya

I haven't worked with wool as of yet in my quilting quest, but you've got some wonderful information here for me to use when I do...
Thanks! 8-)

Babette

This tutorial is so helpful! Thankyou for giving such clear visuals.I checked out your shop and there are soooo many patterns I want to make :)

Jacque

Love the tutorial. The shop I work in is getting ready to offer a BOM with wool applique - now I know what supplies we need and how to do it! Thanks so much.

Trish Metcalfe

I have never tried wool applique.
But I would like to.

Kay Talbott

Absolutely wonderful tutorial! I am inspired to try it! Next trip to town, I'll be looking for some felted wool to try my hand at it. You make it look so easy; thanks.

Miss Nancy

The tutorial is so, so good. Thank you for sharing your talents and interest. I have done wool applique in the past and look forward to doing it again.

Liz Boswell

very nice! I just may dive into the woolies pool after reading your post! (muah) Liz

dawnie

I too enjoy working with woolfelt - easy to sew and a great finished result. I too used to paint with the Folk Art - is amazing how much quilters have in common. Thanks for sharing.

ulla

Wool with embroidery.
Thanlk you for the inspiraion.
ulla

Lissa

Hi.. I love reading about wool and seeing the projects you have made.. I have two wee pin cushion kits to make here (I seem to collect pincushions???) and I might have to drag them out and not be afraid of wool anymore!


thanks!

Lissa

jan richards

Thanks for the fun info on wool. I have never tried wool applique.
Looks like fun.

Lil

wonderful, wish I would be able to find more wool overhere in Europe

Page

This is a great article - I love working with wool and cotton best. They have similar but different properties and are both very easy to sew with. (: ~Page

KarenCA

great tutorial .. something new to try! sure am enjoying this blog hop .. karen ca

Sharon

Thanks for the tutorial for felting wool. I have wool from clothing construction days that I might try felting.

Janelle

I love all the peeks of your wool projects... so inspiring!

annie

Great information....great tutorial. Thanks sew much. XXX Annie

Joni M.

Although I was in the Muddy Sheep Wool club for the last year, it was very fun. It looks like the calendar basket is one that I actually finished for the wall hanging that year in the club....very cute!! I love working with wool and wool applique..and combining that with cottons, velvets and embellishments. Thanks for the post and info.

Emmy

I love working with wool. Thanks for your colorful tutorial and the
suggestion to leave loose edges for
dimension.

Tango

Now more things I want to try...I can't die before I'm about 140+. there are so many things I want to do..so I'd better get back to the gym today and work on keeping myself fit! Lol

Thanks so much for your Blog Hop today. Your work is beautiful.

Karen

What lovely wool! Thank you for the tutorial.

Beth

I love working with wool - you gave some great new ideas!

Ann in NC

I was in 4-H growing up too, and was in the Make it Yourself with Wool Contest! Fun memories! Great tutorial on working with wool. Thanks for sharing!

Terri

Thank you for the info about you and wool applique...very inspirational!

Dana Doerfler

Awesome blog! I'm a wool fanatic - I absolutely love it!

judy larson

great tutorial- if I get to the cities soon I will check out your shop- i love all the cute wool things- might need to pick up a little project to work on in down time

Gail McHardy

Thanks for the info. I have done only one quilted wall hanging with wool for my MIL--she loved it.

KathyC

Loved your tutorial! I've been working with wools for a year now. It's always nice to get more tips.

thanks

Jeanne

Thank you for the information on wool. I love the look and portability of working with wool projects.

Linda F

Wow this was great. I just dragged out my hand dyed wool and have been making penny rugs and your work really inspired me...thanks!

Virginia Hendricks

This is cool. I've not tried wool yet, but I may have to give it a shot sometime!

Sandra Weimer

I love to work with wool, too! Do you ever needlefelt it? Very habit forming!

nikki moshier

Thanks for the great explanation. Another craft for me to try :)

Eileen Schmuker

You make working with wool look so easy. Will have to give it a try.


Marcia A in Evansville, IN

Thank you for sharing ... beautiful work!!

Linda O

Thank you for the tutorial on wool. Lots of helpful tips.

quiltmom( Anna)

Roseann,
Very nice tutorial- And very nice strawberry needlekeeper- there are so many interesting needle crafts to explore. Thanks for hosting such a nice giveaway.
Regards,
Anna

Delores Ingersoll

That looks so fun. I will have to keep this project in the recesses of my brain for a future project. I hope that isn't too far in the future.

Paula

I have never worked with wool, but your colours are yummy! The strawberry needlecase would be a great way to start. Thanks for the giveaway!

Lindsey

I've never worked with wool. I'm going to give it a try, thanks.

Sherry R

I am one of those with a stash of wool skirts and slacks. They are on my "one of these days" lists.

My great grandmother made quilts with like-weight fabrics; ie, corduroys and wools. I loved one specific quilt because of the different textures.

Thank you for you part in the blog hop!

Trudi

Thank you for the ideas in your blog. I am inspired!

Wendy

thank you for lessons about wool, I have a little stash but haven't really used any yet.

Olga C

Haven't tried wool yet Olga

Stacey

Can't wait to see the AP&Q 2010 calendar! Congrats!

Sue Goodin

Thanks for the great tutorial. I learned some good hints. I want to thank you also for the giveaway.

Susan Keller

Thank You for all your tips. I've
always loved working with wool and love making Penny Rugs. Love the 3D idea .
Susan

Liz Tamiso

Lovely designs - the strawberry needle holder would make a nice gift for a quilting buddy. Liz in CT

Jennifer R.

I've done a couple penny rugs - so much fun. It feels so good in your fingers.

Kelly Jackson

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen this many comments on anyone's blog before!!! Woweeeee!! Your work is beautiful.

Smiles,
Kelly

Marilyn

Thanks for the great wool tutorial! I have been collecting wool, but I just haven't worked with it yet. Now I know how and what to do with it. Thanks!

Mary Carole

Wool is hard to come by here in AZ.
but I have seen a few as Show and Tell in my guild. Lovely project and great info. I spend a lot of time in cool Strawberry, the needle keeper would be cute in my sewing basket up there!!

Randi Helling

Roseann, thanks for the tutorial on working with wool. I enjoy your blog.

dianne

i love that strawberry - our season is just about over!

sandra f

Love, Love , Love the wool.
I visited your shop several years ago when traveling in Mn and was able to buy several of your yummy kits!

Connie

What a cute pattern. I just wish the ole arthritic hands would let me hand sew.

Cindy in TN

Wool is so lovely. Thanks for the great tutorial.

Sandra

Love the look of wool, but don't have the patience for the hand-stitching that enhances it.

Gail I.

I have never taken the plunge to work with wool. Your tutorial is great and may just inspire me to give it a try!!
Gail in MA

Gayle

Roseann - Those fork pins are new to me, and they look totally awesome. They're on my shopping list now! Thanks for sharing!

eileen

Love handstitching wool.....like a hot knife thru butter. Thanks for the blog hop!

Jean Kehler

I really enjoyed the tutorial on working with felted wool.

Jennifer

Great wool tutorial..I have a couple wool projects this inspires me to start.

Deborah

What a delightful project for the BlogHop. Thanks!

Teresa

I have done a few small projects in wool...usually when I go to Bonnie's (Willowwood Market) retreats. I have enjoyed them and look forward to visiting your website. Thank you!

Cindy B

Thanks for lesson in wool. I haven't worked with wool yet but it looks very interesting, I think I will need to give it a try.

jo

Beautiful work!!

Cecilia Hosford

Another great site. It makes me want to try some wool, your pictures look so inviting and clear info. Thanks for joining in on this blog hop. I'm meeting a lot of new people with fun ideas!

Dawn

Holy Cow!! You have a lot of comments!! Thanks for the tutorial. Fun shop hop!

Lindsi

Thanks for all the tips and hints on working with wool!

Cathy

Roseann,what a great tutorial! And wonderful, wooly pictures! I can just feel the wool looking at your photos. I love the floral projects! I'm loving this Hop!

Cathy ♥

Mary Meats

Love love love your wool projects. Please add me to your drawings.
Mary

Noela

I haven't done any wool projects before but am always willing to learn and try something new. Thanks for the tutorial.

Delores

Hi from Eden Prairie, MN

I haven't done a lot with wool, but you make it look like fun.

Thanks for being part of the Blog Hop :-)!!

Loretta

A great tutorial. Now I feel I could done an easy woolen item. Your tutorial pictures were very helpful. Love the colors.

Nancy

Thanks for the wool lesson. You always come up with such great designs for your wool projects.

Lisa

I love working with wool, but my style is more modern. Thanks for the info!

Laurie

Roseann, I love working with wool. Great information in the tutorial and a great refresher. Thanks for participating in the blog hop. Laurie in Iowa.

Melissa

I just started using wool and I love it. Thanks for the tips. :-)

Susan

Roseann, your work is absolutely beautiful!

Susan

Marlys D,

Thanks for the wool information and for being a part of this fun blog hop.

Karen

The wool colors are soooooo beautiful. We don't see any wool in stores here in south Florida. I could get very interested in using it for embellishments. Thanks very much for the info.

Kaye Bartolotti

Your tutorial was very good. I love my quilting but have recently started to use the wool felt and really enjoy it. Many Thanks for a generous give-a-way.

Sue H

I've often wanted to try working with wool especially now when I see all the light and bright wool colors available. I just may give it a try. Thanks!

Linda W

Thank you for the wool applique primer. I have a few projects that include wool applique, but I have not yet gotten to the point of trying it yet, so I really appreciate the tips. I am enjoying this blog hop, thank you for being a part of it.

Lorna Wainwright

What a cute little 4 season penny rug! You are so creative...now I can't wait to embellish something with wool. Thank you! for fueling my imagination.

Diane Branish

Thank you for the great tutorial. Your wool stash looks yummy!

Joan Kniffen

I too love wool. I also enjoy recycling wool, as well as knitting with wool and then felting it. Thank you for showing your beautiful work.

Edna

Thanks for the Wool Tutorial! Your Strawberry Needle Keeper looks great! Thank you!

Ursula

I have never worked with wool. Was afraid to try but now that I have read your tutorial I will give it a try for sure.

Linda B.

Thank you for this tutorial. I'm now interested in adding this technique to my quilts! This blog hop has/is a lot of fun!! Great idea!

Lynn Osborne

I never thought about using wool in my projects. I'm intrigued! Thanks for the chance to win!

Jeannette

I love working with wool it is a great and dependable fibre.Have never made a quilt out of it as yet just small items

Doris Carbone

Great tutorial, thanks. For me it is out of the box, only been exposed to penny rugs. Love the designs and will have fun with my wool stash with this inspiration.
Doris

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