Talking about wool applique!

Radio show with Heidi

For over 20 years, working with wool has been a passion for me. Wool applique, rug hooking, stitching with wool thread ... it never gets old! You might even have read this blog post from 2009   where I talked about my 'love affair with wool' and shared some tips. To say I'm a fanatic is an understatement!

Create with Heidi

I spent part of the week at Hen and Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa with my friend Heidi. One of the fun things we did was talk about wool on her Create With Heidi radio show. We talked tools, and wool communities like my Wool Workers group on Facebook ... and I even had some wool history facts that Heidi didn't know! It was terrific to be a guest on her show and I'm glad I had the chance to do it. Here's the the list of previous guests she's had on the show. Go listen while you stitch!

Creative harvest

I'll be one of the guest instructors at the Creative Harvest Festival in September ... I'm teaching several wool classes of course ... plus an exclusive project for those who buy the event retreat package Hen and Chicks will offer. It's going to be a fantastic event ... including a special luncheon with Jo Packham from Where Women Create! I don't recall her coming to an event in the Midwest for a long time ... this will be a great time to meet her. Circle this weekend and add it to your calendar.


QAM spring pouch

(Image used by permission of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.)

Speaking of wool ... my Spring Pouch is one of four that will be appearing in Quilts and More magazine through out the year. I love this bright and cheerful project and can't wait for you to see the others!

If you're in Iowa though, stop by Hen and Chicks and pick up a few pieces of wool. Heidi has a great selection! (Minus a few pieces that made their way home to Minnesota!!)

Heidi wool

A peek at my Spring Pouch in Quilts and More!

Spring Pouch APQ final

I love projects that hang! I hang things on door knobs or drawer pulls ... even on the edge of frames or my bulletin board. It's a wonderful way to give dimension to my home.

When Jody Sanders, editor of Quilts and More magazine asked me last fall if I had an idea for a series of projects for the 2016 issues, I showed her this pouch on my phone. I was delighted that she asked me right then if she could have it for the magazine! Since then, I've made another for the Summer issue, my Autumn pouch will be going to her this week, and the one for Winter is sketched out and the wool picked.

The pouches aren't hard to make but are the kind of thing that is just fun ... for when you want to make something pretty. It's been challenge coming up with the 'perfect' word to write on the tag for each one. Well actually ... true confession ... this first one came magically as an afterthought but in true Rosebud form, I've agonized over the others. What can I say?

There's something about plant pokes that make me happy ... in my boutique selling days, I used to paint or stitch them all the time for craft shows. I still love making them. I think they each can stand alone as a fun add-on to another project. This may sound crazy but my favorite part is twirling the strip of wool along the stick to make the stem.

As many of you know, I love working with wool and the article has some tips you'll want to read. Full size pieces so you can cut your own, too.

The magazine is coming on the news stands now and I'll have kits to sell for each season. I'm precutting them on my die cut machine. Give me a call if you want one ... 651.426.1885.

Images used with permission from Quilts and More and Meredith Corporation, copyright 2016.

Spring Pouch Cover APQ final 2016


Stitch up some Snow Friends!!

Snow Friends pix

It's snowing in Minnesota and it's the kind of snow that is perfect for making some snow friends! Well ... not outside  ... inside! Get out the wool and floss and stitch away on a snowy day.

Hexxies are so popular ... I've used them for my snow friend faces. If you have a die cut, use a hexxie die that is about an inch and a quarter or an inch and a half. Or cut them by hand. Mix up different pieces of orange wool if you want so each snow friend is unique.

I prefer to cut out my wool appliques using freezer paper. If you like to use fusible, make sure you reverse some of the noses. I didn't in the pattern. You want the noses to go in different directions.

The tiny stars in the eyes and the cross hatch marks for cheeks are some tricks I learned as a decorative painter. It was easy to transfer the idea to thread!

You can down load the Snow Friends pdf here and get to work!

Download Snow Friends

We'd love to see your Snow Friends! When you get done, show us your pix on our Facebook page or at our  Wild Roses Quilt and Craft Club!

Happy stitching!!

Snow Friends closeup

Sunset on White Bear Lake ... tips and tricks for our Row By Row Experience row

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The 2015 Row By Row shop hop is in full swing and has been a ton of fun so far! We've met a lot of great quilters from all over the place already ... and it's only the first week! I was delighted when I found out the theme for this year was H2O ... a water theme. Perfect for White Bear Lake. And perfect for me, too. I knew exactly what I would do ... a fabric rendition of the poster I created for Marketfest in 2013. It was a blast sewing paper to paper to create the poster ... and just as fun to recreate it in fabric!

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The trail that runs along White Bear Lake in Downtown is iconic ... if you live here you have either walked, biked or riden alongside of it. My favorite time to walk the lake is in the Summer ... especially as the Sun is going down and the day begins to mellow. Those old oak trees take on a different look and so does the water. I wanted to capture all of that in the poster and also in my row project.

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Unlike most rows, mine is vertical instead of horizontal. I wanted it to be easy to sew the appliques so I chose to use raw-edge free-style applique. There's nothing to turn under and the appliques are stitched in a random, squiggly stitch. Nothing about it is has to be perfect ... just the way I like things!

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The background is pieced, then the appliques are laid on top of it.

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Some tips on stitching in the free-style applique include:

  • Use a clear, open-toed presser foot so you can see where you're going. A clear, round foot like you'd use for machine quilting also works.
  • If you feel more comfortable, you can drop your feeddogs to give you more of a free-motion feeling. I didn't because I wanted to feel more in control.
  • Don't have your stitch length too small ... the appliques will lay flatter with a larger stitch.
  • The 'needle down' position is your friend. Use it to help pivot.
  • The auto thread cutter on your machine is a function you want to use. It'll save so much time later when you don't have to trim threads ... plus it keeps the back neater. And you won't waste thread.
  • It's ok if your stitches run off the applique now and then.
  • Double back on the stitching lines ... sometimes I stitched two rows on the same applique but I made it a point to cross over the original stitching.
  • Use whatever color of thread you choose ... if you like to match, go for it! I like the contrast so I used light grey on this project but I've also used black or white. Just depends on the mood you're in!
  • Freezer paper is your friend! With the exception of the boat, flowers, flowers and fish ... my fabrics were all cut with freezer paper templates. It gave them more dimension, the edges frayed and ruffled, and they weren't so stiff. If you're going to use fusible I recommend Featherlite by ThermoWeb
  • There's no need to backstitch ... clip the threads even with the surface. And it's ok if a few come out.

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I made my row into a wall hanging and layered the batting and backing so I could quilt it as I sewed the appliques. Directions on how to do this are in the pattern. It can get a little bulky sometimes ... plus I was using a machine with a smaller opening. Fold your fabric and pin it to make it easier to maneuver.

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The grass along the shoreline was made by first overlapping strips of green to make a larger piece of fabric. Notice that the strips aren't cut straight ... I curvy cut them with my rotary cutter on one edge to make them look like hills. The last strip is curvy cut on both sides. It's fun ... just take your rotary cutter and let your hand move of it's own free will!

The grass fabric needed to be trimmed so I made a skinny freezer paper template. Follow the drawing that's in the pattern. I pressed the freezer paper to the front of the grass ... making sure it covered from side to side and into the seam allowance. Then I cut along the line.

Position the grass over the green portion of the pieced background so some of that shows and stitch in place. If you're making the wall hanging, follow along that stitched line again as well as the other grass strips.

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Before you stitch down the wave by the boat, make sure that the boat is tucked under the wave ... here on White Bear Lake it's common to have the water lapping at the edge of the boat. We want to be authentic!

Also ... note how the strip of the wave is tucked under the larger blue water pieces ... more is showing at one end than the other. That will create motion in your piece and it won't look so stiff.

Make sure that last wave is tucked under the grass before you stitch.

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The flowers were fun to stitch ... I accidentally made a star in the first one and then happily continued on doing that for the others. It looks cute!

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There's something about that picket fence and the pennants that just makes me happy! I backstitched the year in bright red floss ... three strands.

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Those fish ... so cute happily hopping around in the water!

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I found a branch in the backyard to hang my wall hanging. I used left over binding to make my loops. I folded it almost in half and stitched the length then cut that to fit over the stick. Hand stitched it next to the binding, making sure I didn't stitch through to the front ... that wouldn't have looked good! You can see what the back looked like after I stitched down those appliques.

It was wonderful to be able to find all of the perfect fabrics from my friends at Paintbrush Studios/Fabri-Quilt. I was able to match up perfectly with my original paper poster.

Don't forget that the Row By Row Experience Shop Hop continues through Labor Day. Almost 2700 stores in the US and Canada are taking part and they all have a FREE row pattern for you to pick up! There are license plates to purchase ... kits ... pins and totes ... and all of the stores have great displays to look at.

Because of the shop hop rules, we won't be able to take our row to the Minnesota State Fair this year. For us ... the hop ends on August 22. We'll be open our regular Thursday thru Saturday schedule but I will throw in extra days here and there. Watch my Rosebud's Cottage Facebook page to keep up.

I hope you enjoy Sunset on White Bear Lake as much as I loved making it!! Sewing should be fun!

RBC quilting budz

On the road ... again!

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There's no doubt about it ... I like to get in the car and get on the road! I don't care where I go most of the time ... just somewhere. After a few days of being sick and really not over it, we decided to go for lunch ... in Wisconsin! It's only 10 miles to the border so no big deal, right? We should have left earlier to get in all the things we wanted to see. Armed with a traveler's guide to America's Dairyland ... think places where you can buy cheese ...  we filled up the tank and took off into a picture perfect day.

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Just before you cross into Wisconsin on Hwy 8 is Interstate Park ... one of 75 parks in the Minnesota State Park system. The St Croix River separates both states and this is one of many beautiful crossings. We stopped because I have a state park passport and I'm trying to get to each of the parks. Got it stamped and dated. Yay!

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This is what you need to keep your nose to if you want to be successful.

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I have plenty of coffee cups but wanted more because these were so pretty. But which to pick? So I left them hanging in a row.

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We're big fans of the National Park Service ... we've been to many national parks and search them out because of their Passports. Each park has a stamping station where you stamp your book with the location and the date. There are photo stickers you can purchase to add to the pages. When we're traveling, we'll drive out of our way so I can get another stamp ... but in the process we have found some of the most wonderful places and have learned a ton about the US. I was shocked to find out that I could get stamped only 45 minutes from my home at the St Croix River National Scenic Waterway in St Croix Falls, Wisconsin. It's right over the bridge off of WI-87. Terrific facility built right on the river.

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Inside the hall is tiled with a photo of the St Croix River looking north from the Mississippi River. They have cards made so that you can identify where you live or other landmarks.

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The line at the horizon is where the river drops over St Croix Falls. It was so still. You could hear each bird call and the bubble of the streams that enter the river. Temps were headed to 90 degrees but you wouldn't know it here.

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I brought my own nature photographer.

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Going to lunch was our main intention. We continued up WI-87 thru Cushing and turned right at Grantsburg onto WI-70. Gorgeous countryside with farms tucked into the hills, cows cooling off in ponds, and horses in corrals.  I knew that a grilled cheese sandwich would make me feel better but not just ANY grilled cheese ... it had to be The Classic from the Burnet County Dairy Coop. I went there for the first time about a month ago when Pam was in town ... her cousin Linda was shocked that I had never been there before and so was I! The Coop is so worth the stop ... filled with so many cheeses and unusual groceries and wine ... and there's a restaurant and ice cream bar ... and free coffee! The Classic is by far the best grilled cheese you'll ever eat. We bought a loaf of bread from the bakery to see if we could replicate it at home. You have to have a side order of cheese curds ... made from white cheese, they have a light and crispy coating on them ... totally different from those at the state fair.  No room for ice cream though ... it did look delicious watching what others were getting.

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Heading east after lunch and then north on WI-35 through Siren and Webster and Danbury ... then west on WI-77/MN-48 and crossing the river again, we stopped at St Croix State Park to get the passport stamped and look around. I'd forgotten they have housekeeping cabins there! It looked pretty idyllic on a Tuesday afternoon and I could easily imagine coming back mid week sometime soon.

The best part of our trip though was when we spotted the best road sign on earth! We never make it a habit of turning back but we did for this one ... how can you resist Rosebud Lane?

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Follow along with my journeys on Instagram! I love to take pix of what I see.


When is Spring?

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In Minnesota, Spring doesn't show itself on a particular day ... it's more an attitude about which day it arrives.  The temperature is part of it but it's more about when can you go outside and feel comfortable! Translate that to mean no coat, no mittens, no scarf around your neck!

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Spring is when the bikes are the first thing you see in the garage ... and not the snow blower!

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It's finally Spring when the patio furniture moves from the shed to the deck.

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And when you can use it to lay outside and read a book!

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It's Spring when there's a clear view of the fire pit that isn't blocked by snow piles ... or vegetation.

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When the skies are bright blue with puffy clouds ... and the buds on the maple tree are starting to swell ... then it's Spring!

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The hedge sprouts leaves and they're bright green ...

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... or the peonies poke up to begin living their caged life again.

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But when the fairies begin their Spring cleaning ... and the flowers bloom around their cottage ... then YES ... for sure ... it's Spring!!

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MyBeads your ear buds!


At the Craft and Hobby show last January, I ran across the MyBeads booth and got totally caught up in this product ... and three months later ... I still love it! MyBeads are split beads designed to fit over headphone wires or ear buds ... decorative ... fun to use! My favorite feature is that you can use the beads to personalize your headset so it doesn't look like what everyone else has. Each set is unique!

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I love MyBeads because I'm sick of trying to keep my ear buds untangled. I hate when they get knotted ... then you have to unkink them before you can use them. The beads have a slit on one side. You slide them over the cords and once they're all placed, your wires aren't kinked and twisted!

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You get around 500 beads in a pack ... plenty for sorting them into color patterns.

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I've made some in White Bear Lake's school colors ... a patriotic version ... Mahtomedi colors ... the list goes on! Do whatever you want ... ten colors to choose from!

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I thought it would be fun to do one that resembles roses ... green leaves, pink and red for the petals, yellow for the center ... with a white bead to space them.

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Because the beads have a slit on one side, you can put them over the wires without having to worry about the earphones holding you back.

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One trick ... use a chop stick to open the slit up ... then you can lay the wire over the slit and slide it in place. The chop sticks from LeannChin are the perfect size ... use a fork next time you go there to eat and save the chop sticks for your project!

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The MyBeads Facebook page is constantly being updated with new combinations. Make sure you like their page so you can see what's new.

Now that the weather is nicer, I'm seeing people running along the trail next to White Bear Lake ... or in my neighborhood listening to their music while they walk ... with boring wires peeking out of their hoodies. Think how much cuter they'd be if they were covered with MyBeads to match their clothes!

Not athletic? No worries! I've seen people using headsets at the quilt retreat ... or when they're knitting and stitching ... sitting in the car ... on the bus ... plenty of places! I think it's a great idea to leave a set of headphones with your sewing machine so that the next time you're chain piecing blocks together, you can look stylish and cute while you're plugged in!

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Three ways to finish the edge of wool projects

Wool edge project

In our Muddy Sheep Wool Club, we're always looking for different edge finishes for our projects. These are three methods suggested for finishing our 2014 Fair and Square wool quilt.

Bringing the backing fabric to the front

· Trim the cotton batting and base fabric 3/8” away from the finished wool quilt top.

· Cut or piece fabric for the backing. With right side down, use basting spray to lightly cover the wrong side of the fabric.

· Lay the finished wool quilt top, right side up, over the backing fabric, smoothing to get rid of wrinkles.

· Trim the backing 1” from the edge of the wool quilt top around all four sides.

· Working with one side at a time, fold the backing toward the front of the quilt so that it touches the cotton batting. Press.

· Fold again toward the front so that it is even with the cut edge of the quilt top. Press. The cotton batting will fill the binding.

· Carefully blanket stitch the edge of the folded backing to the quilt top. You can also whip stitch it and go back later and stitch again with crazy stitches.

· Stitch opposite sides first, then top and bottom.

· Make sure the corners are square and the edges look nice.

  Wool edge turned from back

Wool binding

· Trim the cotton batting and base fabric 3/8” away from the finished wool quilt top.

· Cut or piece fabric for the backing. With right side down, use basting spray to lightly cover the wrong side of the fabric.

· Lay the finished wool quilt top, right side up, over the backing fabric, smoothing to get rid of wrinkles.

· Trim the backing even with the batting.

· Measure the top of your quilt top, including the batting, and add 2”. Cut two wool strips 1 1/4” wide by that measurement.

· Working with one side at a time, pin the wool strip even with the quilt top, with 1” extending beyond each end. No batting should show. You can overlap the strip and the top a bit if you want.

· Blanket stitch or whip stitch the wool strip to the top, stitching into the batting.

· Fold the wool strip to the back of the quilt so it covers the batting. Whip stitch to the backing, stitching into the batting but not into the front of the quilt. Trim the ends even

· Repeat for the opposite side.

· When the sides are completed, measure the top from side to side, adding 2”. Cut two wool strips 1 1/4” wide by that measurement.

· Add the top and bottom strips the same way you stitched the sides.

· Trim the ends carefully and stitch them closed so they don’t ravel.

Wool edge wool      Wool edge wool back

Blanket stitching with yarn

· Cut or piece fabric for the backing. With right side down, use basting spray to lightly cover the wrong side of the fabric.

· Lay the finished wool quilt, right side up, over the backing fabric, smoothing to get rid of wrinkles.

· Using the edge of the quilt top as a guide, use a rotary cutter to evenly trim away excess batting and backing fabric.

· As an option, use a template to round the corners.

· Use one strand of sock weight wool yarn and a sharp tapestry needle to blanket stitch around the outside edge through all layers. Be careful to keep the edges even, and make the stitches the same size on front and back.

Wool edge yarn