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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Anne

Working with wool is my favorite thing to do. It's such a tactile thing.

Gwendie

Thanks for the nice lesson. I love these designs!

Patty

informative tutoria!Makes me want to pull out the wool kit I got as a gift and give it a try.

Tara

Thanks for the wool info.

Marty Bradbury

What a great tutorial. Makes me want to try it!

Laila

Hi. Thanks for showing- I haven't playyed with wool, but it will be fun to try.. Hugs.

Susan

thank you so much for the easy steps in using wool I have done a few projects now I am ready to start again.

Bari

Beautiful! Thank you so much for the project!

Julie

Thanks for the information--the wool projects look wonderful

Karen

I may just have to branch out into wool after reading your blog. Thanks for being part of the blog hop!

Joy

That's fabulous information, thank you ... I'll bookmark this page so I can refer to it when I stitch my penny rug :o).
Hugs,
Joy :o)

Sally in St. Paul

perhaps a good project to do in the fall -when it is not so hot, especially for those of us who do not live in an air-conditioned home.

Vivian L

Thanks for so much information about wool. Makes me want to jump in and try some projects for myself. Another great day on the blog hop.

Michelle Kupreisis

I've never used wool before but now I'd like to give it a try! I love flowers and what a cute strawberry!

Betty Sazama

thanks for all the good ideas! this blog hop is so much fun!

Michelle S.

This blog hop is a great idea. Thanks for all of the tips on working with wool. Someday I'll have to give it a try!

Patty

Your work is beautiful

Sarah

I'm a huge wool fan. I make pincushions and decorative pins and have a wall quilt with wonderful wool flowers. thanks for your tips.
Sarah in Houston

Connie Haack

I too love to work with wool but until today I wasn't able to find any really good websites! I am so thankful for the BlogHop! I have found so many interesting websites. Thanks!

Kathy Howard

FAbulous informative post -- one day I will try wool :)

Kimberly Mason

Yeah! This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for! Thank you so much for the post.

I used to be a spinner and a knitter (as well as being a quilter) and it always seemed that I got MORE excited about wool when summer came around. I wonder why that is?

Mary

One of these days, I'm going to try a wool project. They are soooo pretty.

Cory

I have never worked with wool and it looks like a lot of fun to work with. Thank you for offering us this great prize. I am glad to have found you through the Minnesota Blog Hop. Take care and God bless, Cory

DonnaC

I've just started trying projects with wool....so I appreciate your tips today! And, what a cute strawberry! Thanks for the giveaway!!

Laurie

Wool is so easy to use. I've been working with it for over 40 years,(did I really say that out loud?) and still get a kick out of seeing it work together so quickly. And I use floss as well, partly because that is how I learned, but I enjoy the "finer" look of the piece.
Oh, and I love the drawer or box full of flowers!!
Thanks!

Christine Thomas

Your post is very encouraging. My Mom has worked with wool and really likes it. So now maybe I will, too. Thanks for this tutorial.

SarahB

I've never made anything with wool, but am determined that one day I will! I really do love the look of it!

Regina

I've found a kindred soul!!! I have recently fallen in love with wool and can't seem to get enough of it!! I am used to seeing drab colors of wool but now that I have discovered lush yellows and bright oranges, I can't get enough. I bought a monthly sampler pattern to get my feet wet but now I don't want to cut my wool!!!! Is there any help for me? :)

Amy Roth

Roseann, thanks for the tips on wool applique. I found that I really like hand work, like needle-turn applique, which I shied away from for a long time, thinking it would be too hard. So if I can do that, I know I can do wool! The pictures here are simply gorgeous! Beautiful work!

Mary jo Larson

I love this blog hop. I had no idea there are so many great designers in MN, my home. Thanks for the wool inspiration. Its on my to do list. MJ

Rhonda

oooo, I've been trying so hard not to start any new projects and then you go and put those gorgeous pictures up. I surrender . . . gotta go pet my wool now. Thanks!!!! :-)

Deana

Just wanted to say I enjoy your blog. This blog crawl is a great idea. Also enjoyed the craft crawl last Friday. Hope to be able to go again! Thanks for the info on wool. I haven't ventured into wool yet, but may be some day! :o)

ida lively

What a cute idea for a 'pineapple' quilt. =-) Thanks for sharing!

Linda A

Such amazing detailed photos that make all of the steps appear so easy! It would be fun to use those techniques to add appliques to clothing. Thank you for such a colorful project!

Laura Flynn

Hi Roseann,
It's 95 degress here in Florida today and I'm thinking how great it would be to make something with wool - you're a bad influence! I've been enjoying your designer blog-hop, so happy for the success it is having. I've given the blog-hop a mention in my weekly email. Keep up the great designing!

Nancy Anne

I haven't done much wool applique, but I think you might have inspired me to do a piece. Rats...one more thing to add to my to-do list!

Tammy

Thanks for posting your link to your blog on P & R forum! I enjoyed my visit. Been thinking about making some penny rugs.

Tammy

Evelyne

I look forward to each new day to see what' new in the blog hop. Wonderful projects, lessons and inspiration. Thanks so much

Cynthia

I love wool appliqué. Your wool colors are wonderful!

Melissa

I am loving this blog hop! Thanks for all the great "wooly" tips!

Amy

I've always wanted to try working with wool!

MJ

I have always loved the look of the felted wool but have never tried making anything with it. I would love to make the basket of flowers like you made and I do adore the strawberry needlekeeper you have set as a prize. I would love to win that!
Love this blog hop!
Smiles

Judy

Thanks so much for the info. I am always looking for projects that I can take along.

Jean Burke

Thank you for the lovely ideas and great tips for working with wool. You make it seem like so much fun! Thanks for your generosity! Piece....

Christy

I've never worked with wool before but I'm intrigued now and will have to give it a try. Thanks for the visual examples!

Sharlene Klegstad

I'm starting to love working with wool too. I purchased the cute apple candle pad that is sold in your store & it turned out so cute. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jana

I need to get into wool! I can just see my husbands face now...

Kay Derner

Beautiful wool. Great patterns. Kay

Judy in Michigan

I love working with wool - thank you for giving me some ideas-I hadn't thought of using wool to do patchwork - what a great idea! Thanks.

Jeannie

Such beautiful things! Thank you for this introduction to working with wool!

Winona

I just may have to try working with wool. I have never done it before, but you have peaked my interest. (grin) Winona

Marcy

Wish my allergies would let me work with wools. Great tutorial.

cindy hagen

of course i meant wool!!

cindy hagen

What alot of good info you gave us. Of course it's hard to think about qool when our heat index in 110!!

Kersten

I love wool applique!

Deb

I have not played with wool, but I may have to give it a try. Thanks for the tips!

Kay

Glad to find your blog and webstore. Just starting to work with wool and your tutorial is very helpful.

Pam

Wonderful tutorial. the pictures really help!

Brenda Funaro

Okay - I am totally in LOVE! I love felting and have tinkered in it. I am in an ornament exchange and last year for Christmas I learned to felt for my ornaments -whew that was work but fun! I have felt a few table toppers but LOVE the use of it with a quilt! OmYGosH, I am sooo in love with your creation!

Nancy Bird

Great post today!

Bonnie Tucker

Thanks for the helpful hints. I have just started cutting up wool clothes to try my hand at felting.

Mary

I love wool, and glad to have "discovered" your blog and web site. I'll be back!

KIM ARTH

I have worked a little bit with with wool. All these tips are fantastic and will help with future projects. THANKS.

Kathy

Thank you so much for doing this blog hop! It is the coolest thing I've seen in blogdom in a while!!
I would never have thought of mixing wool aplique with a cotton quilt but you can be asured that I will try it at some point in my quilting life. Thank You!!!!!!

Carol Ann

I just cant think "in wool" on this beautiful summer day, but thanks for the lovely lesson.

Gwendie

I can't get over how cute these things are! I love wool appliques, simply love them.

mary shoop

I also Love wool always have a project with me for hand work its relaxing and so easy

pam

Even though I am about a hundred miles away from you, I have been to your shop. It is on my short list of favorites. I love working with wool also.

Kristy Z

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am always afraid to work with different materials on the same project. This makes me a little less scared, I just gotta let my creativity get the best of me instead of my fear. heehee.

Can't wait to work with wool, I love the cute, soft look you get from it.

Thanks again and Happy Blog Hopping!

Sandra

I have never done any projects with wool...I bellieve that will cahnge...thanks

Jessica

I love the look of all the wool projects but have never done one myself. Time to branch out? Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

Elaine Markofski

I've just started to work with
wool this past year-it's such a
nice easy project to carry with
me. Thanks for all the information.

Katie :)

I always love your wool projects! And the strawberry needle keeper is no exception. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful tips on working with wool!

Marcy

I was just at the Duluth quilt show and purchased pattern/wool to make a pin cushion. Thought it would be a good project to learn from. Thanks for your inspirational work as well.
Marcy

Michelle F.

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial on all things wool! I have made a few small projects with wool and it is yummy.

Patti M

I love being a "blog hopper". Applique is my all-time favorite.....but, I've never tried it with wool. You've made it sound sooooo easy in your tutorial that I'm anxious to give it a try. I simply love your bin full of strawberry flowers.....e-gads....thats a lot of little flowers! Thanks Roseann :-)

Colette Rowberry

Something new to me. Looking forward to try working with wool.

Maureen

Oh, I want to jump into your blog and "steal" all of that wool!

Jo Anne

Thanks for the interesting article about working with wool. I have done some, and am looking forward to doing more wool projects. Your blog is always very interesting.

Jackie Hicks

Thanks for sharing - you make it look so easy I might be tempted to try somthing small.

Lana H.

Oh how I love to work with wool. Yes, it is so much fun to work with and so easy too. Thank you for sharing all of this wonderful information. Lana H.

Diane

Cute project. I have some lovely felted wool at my house - it's time to pull it out and do a project or two. Thanks.

Kathie L.

I've never worked in wool, except for clothes that I made ages ago in high school. You may tempt me to add this as a new project.

Jane

I'm a quilter and a freezer cook----I understand all kinds of uses for freezer paper, including wrapping those yummy breakfast burritos. But I love to use it for wool too.

Sheila Kelly

Now I know where to get some great wool pieces. Thanks for instructions on how to use it in your projects. Thanks for taking part in the blog hop!! Sheila K

Mary

Thank you for your great pictures and tips on working with wool. I have been saving some wool garments to use for just such projects. You are a good inspiration for me.

Betty C

Your work is beautiful. I have been doing some projects with wool applique. I would like to know what seam allowance you use when you do wool piecing?

Norma Bourgeois

Gudrun referred me to your blog - it's so colorful and makes me want to begin doing wool applique today!

quilter going bananas

Love all the pics of the lucsious wool! This blog hop is so much fun :^)

Carol R

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on wool. To be perfectly honest, I have never worked with wool. I thought it would be too hard to work with. After reading this article, I am itching to try it. Thank you for sponsoring a lovely giveaway.

Pam Matttingley

Thanks so much for your wool tute. I've wondered several times about using wool and think I'll have to give it a try. Love your new 2 me site. Pam

Kelly Wenhold

I'm addicted to wool also! Our local quilt shops apparently aren't because of the lack of wool! I love to go to quilt shows to gather all the supplies - but now I'm going to check out your website.

Carol M

thanks for all you have shared. I've been wanting to give wool projects a try and ou shared a lot of info that will help me. Love your work!

Chris@catsonmyquilts

Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. I have never worked with wool and always wanted to. I have a wool kit for an applique table topper but have been afraid to start it but you've given me that courage to get to it. As God as my witenss, I will never be afraid of wool again (I'm chaneling Scarlett O'Hara here)!!

Diane

Thank You so much! At our monthly quilt group meeting yesterday, here in Idaho, we exchanged wool and learned how to make a Penny Rug! Thanks for the giveaway!

Jill S.

Beautiful! I love the wool! Thank you for sharing!

Pat Sloan

such a great blog.. but I want FULL PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!! I'm NO demanding!!!!

And I want that needlecase pattern too..

Smooches!!!

Annette

You make it look sew easy!!! The strawberry needlekeeper might be the perfect way to start. BTW - lovely blog and THANKS for sharing. I'll be back :)

Linda Austin

Thank you!!! I've just begun my love affair with wool projects and the tutorial came at a great time...I'm looking at patterns trying to make a choice on which one to start...the strawberry wool looks perfect!! I'll definitely have to order one, if I don't win!!

Sara

Thanks for sharing you passion with us! The blog hop is an awesome idea, and I hope more people get together to do this. It's been so fun learning new things from really talented ladies! Thanks!!

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