Dueling Woolies, and a Couple of Tips

I’ve been working on these two wool hand embroidery pieces. One is for the shop, the other for home.  By the time I finish them, I will either have gotten wool completely out of my system, or I will have started a dangerously addictive habit.  I really like working with wool and have learned a couple of things.

(An acknowledgement of the patterns:  The first comes from a Moda book called Moda Mini Marvels. The second is a Wooly Lady pattern called Kaleidescope. Sadly, it no longer seems to be available.  But check out their site as they have many more patterns and kits that are similar.)




Tip Number One:

Use a long-arm stapler to attach the pieces of wool and hold them in place while you stitch.  Seriously. Skip the fusible. Skip the pins. They add bulk and distortion and take all the fun out of the smoothness of attaching wool to wool.  I  was struggling with it and our tech came over and said, “Do you want to know what the Australians do?”  Now, honestly, who doesn’t want to know what the Australians do. She suggested the stapler and I was struck by the simplicity and brilliance of the idea. Why didn’t I think of this?  Try it.

Tip Number Two:

You need this tool.  Clover Press Perfect Roll & Press. Your local quilt shop will have it and if they don’t, ask them to order it!  If you ever do piecing, this is one of the best investments you can make. I work in a quilt shop and try a lot of tools.  I like them for different things, and we all get addicted to different gadgets…it’s part of the process.

But the project I’m working on requires 1 in. half square triangles, finished size 1/2 in.  I need 84 of them.  That’s a lot of sewing, cutting and pressing of tiny pieces. But this little roller works SO WELL!  I did not need to use the iron once…it lays the seams so flat. Get it, try it, find out for yourself.

I continue to carry on, with more fun projects on the horizon.  But I find that at this time in my life, a little handwork is cathartic and soothing. I like my wool to be bright and cheerful, but who knows?  That can change at any time.  When all is said and done, we’re all evolving, aren’t we?

Participating in The Splendid Sampler

Why am I participating in this project?

Partly, I think, because I like the designers who are contributing, partly because it sounds like a great way to slowly put together a quilt and share ideas with others.

6 1/2 inch blocks sound doable to me.  Even 2 a week.  But if you were to tell me I need to create 100 blocks and do this sort of “surprise” mystery quilt, I might not have signed on.  But 2 blocks a week sounds like a doable discipline.  Care to join me?

Here are the details for anyone who wants to participate.

Also, here’s a link to the blog.

The project begins Feb 14, so you have plenty of time to get ready.  Although all you really need in order to start is a decent stash of fabric.

I am going back and forth about which color scheme to use.

black tie affair

Black Tie Affair by Basic Grey for Moda

I love the neutrals.  They would make an elegant and timeless quilt.  But another part of me wants to use more colorful fabric and go with more of a “farmgirl” theme.

morningside farm

Morningside Farm by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman

Here I would use the scenic fabric as a border with all the other fabric as the piecing in the middle.

What do you think?  They are both so different. I will probably wait til the block patterns start coming in to make a decision.

Dust off your sewing machine, and get ready to join in this creative collaboration.  The project will have a Facebook page too, The Splendid Sampler, moderated by Pat Sloan.

I’m sure you’ll have access to plenty of online show and tell, so why not be a part of it?  All the patterns will be available throughout all of 2016 for free, but then they will be put into a book in 2017.

Even if you never sew a stitch, it’s fun to watch the process.  What are you waiting for?