Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pictured Tutorial For "Field Of Tulips" Wool Table Runner

Hey!  I'm back!  It's been a while since I've blogged and I miss it!
I'm back to do another step-by-step pictured tutorial of my new design called "Field Of Tulips"
"Field Of Tulips" Wool Applique Table Runner Pattern     Finished size: 11 1/2" x 36"

The pattern for this can be purchased from my website, by CLICKING HERE

Please be mindful of my copyrights.  This tutorial makes it really easy to be tempted to make it without purchasing the pattern.  I would only hope that you would respect the immense amount of time that it takes to design, draw, create and draft the pattern along with the instructions with this tutorial and purchase the pattern.
I do this tutorial simply because it's so very helpful for beginners.  I refuse to make the good apples suffer simply because a few bad apples steal. 
In other words, BUY THE PATTERN, don't steal!
Ok, here we go!

This table runner measures 11 1/2" by 36".  It's shown made with 100% felted wool ...not wool felt. To save on expense, wool felt can be used for any or all of the felted wool requirements.
The tulips are my own hand-dyed wool which were dyed just for this designs.

The wool kit, that includes all of the wool required to make this table runner, is available on my website by CLICKING HERE

We start with the black background wool.  The wool should be cut EXACTLY 11 1/2" wide by 36" long.  I must stress how important it is to cut/tear the wool exactly 11 1/2" wide.  The green stems will fit perfectly in that space if the wool is cut to the correct size.

Also...VERY IMPORTANT...the spacing for this allows for 1/2" stems with 1/2" spaces between the 12 stems.  However, the stems need to be cut to just under 1/2" wide because once the threads stitch the stems down, the stems will spread to make them 1/2".  Therefore, the stems need to be cut 3/8" wide and NOT 1/2" wide.  That's very important!

The green wool stems have been cut according to the sizes/lengths that are shown on the pattern sheet and layout guide.  Each stem is a different size, so to keep them organized, I've stacked them in order from left to right and then ran a stitch through the top. I just pull the stem wool off as I need it.  This is certainly optional to do.  I just need to do it because, I tend to lose things easily.  :) 

I've also made a 1/2" strip of paper to use for spacing between the stems.  A good ruler is also essential for this too.
I started on the left side (the picture is showing this upside down) and stitched the first stem even with the edge of the black background.  I'll leave the outside edge of the stem unstitched for now.  It will be stitched along with the backing.
For the next stem, you can see that I've used the white 1/2" strip of paper as my spacing template.  This insures that I am keeping it exactly 1/2" away from the previous stem.
I've pinned the stem in  place and I'll blanket stitch both sides of this stem.
This measurement shows how the 3/8" stem expanded to 1/2" once it was stitched down.  

For the rest of the stems, I use the white 1/2" paper template and also my ruler to make sure that the strips are spaced correctly and also vertically straight.
At some point, when about halfway across with the stems. measure the remaining wool to be sure that your stems will all fit.  It would be bad to get to the last stem only to discover that you've run out of room!  Check, double check and then, be like me...triple check, just to be sure!

 Here you see that all of the stems are now stitched.  The left and right edges are both left unstitched.  Now, I'll flip the wool over to stitch the stems onto the opposite side.

Once both sides are completed with all of the green stems stitched, I take it to my ironing board.
I iron the stems, using lots of steam, with the iron barely touching the wool.  This will make the ends lay nice and flat.  (this is my old Black & Decker iron that has been living with me for almost 10 years.  It has just a ridiculous amount of steam, and I love it. :)
Now comes the best part!......
The Tulips!

I've used three colors for my Tulips   It's up to YOU to decide what colors you'd like to use.
I think it would be glorious to have all one bright color of Tulips. I might do that at some later point in time, but for now, we're doing three colors.
For the dyed wool that I'm using, I need to choose how I want my Tulips to look.  For the pink. I think I'll make the darker pink on the top with the lighter pink at the bottom.  Pretty!
My yellow Tulips will be light on the top and darker at the bottom.  Really pretty!

My sunshine orange Tulips are so darn pretty, I'm making them darker on the top.  Gloriously pretty!

Once they're all cut, I placed them on top of their stems, measuring about 1/2" down from the top of each stem...just to make sure they all fit where they're supposed to fit.

I tried a lot of different ways to arrange the colors of the Tulips.  This one has an equal number of all the colors.  However, the pattern instructions and the pattern picture (and the wool kits) will show the design with 6 pink and 3 each of the yellow and orange.

I'm going to start with the first pink Tulip on the left side.  The left and the far right pink Tulips both extend over the edge of the black background.  Because of this, they need a backing added to the petal that extends over the edge.  The picture above shows the double layer on the left side of the Tulip.
I pinned the Tulip sections together onto the top of the stem, (1/2" down from the top of the stem).  The picture above show the extra layer for the Tulip backing.
I blanket stitched around the outside edge of the Tulip and then whip stitched the rest of the Tulip.  At this point, let me just add...I like how the whip stitch looks on the Tulips.  If you prefer to blanket stitch the entire Tulip, instead of whip stitching it, that's fine too.  It looks really pretty with a blanket stitch, it's just my own personal preference.  For the threads, I used 2 strands of embroidery floss which matched/blended with the color of wool.

The rest of the tulips will be whip stitched...until the final Tulip on the far right, which will have the added backing, just like the one on the left side.

Once all the Tulips are stitched, the front is done!  Now it's time to finish it with a backing.
The backing measurement is really important to get right because if it's cut too small or too large, the front won't lay flat.  This table runner measures 11 1/2" x 36" so my backing is cut to measure 1" larger, so it's 12 1/2" x 37".
I'm using a light weight 100% wool suiting fabric for this backing.  Cotton fabric will work just as well.   Steam press a 1/2" seam allowance around the edges of the backing fabric.

Now, with wrong sides together, I'll pin the short end, matching the edges with the black wool.

Then, I'll go over to the opposite end and pin that.  Once both ends are pinned, I can easily ease the backing down along the long edges to get the edges to lay smooth and neatly.

Once all the edges are pinned and I see that it's laying nicely, I'll flip it over and blanket stitch the edges.  For the outside blanket stitching edge, I'll use the same green thread that I used for the stems.  Black  thread would also look nice.

Pinned and ready for the blanket stitching on the edges!

Finished and oh so pretty!

I hope this is helpful for those who are stitching this. 
 I enjoy seeing your finished things so please email your picture!  I'll post it on my Facebook page, my Pinterest page and on my "Customer Art" website page .

Visit my website for more pictured tutorials along with helpful tips for stitching with beautiful 100% felted wool!  CLICK HERE for the "tips & tutorials" page.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Newsletter & Facebook

Just an update!

My Cath's Pennies Designs Facebook page is HERE.
 I used to use this blog to post my newest patterns and designs but I'm finding that Facebook is a bit quicker and easier for me to get the info out.
 So if you want to keep up with anything new, "like" the Facebook page. 

My website is HERE 
My Cath's Pennies Designs website will have the newest designs shown on the main page.  You'll also get the details of any give-aways or contests that I might have to offer at the time.

To sign up for my newsletter, click HERE
I usually send out my newsletter when I have announcements or new designs ready.  I tend to send one out monthly but there's no real schedule for it.  Every once in a while, I offer up something special just for my newsletter subscribers, so be sure to sign up.
To see the 11/13/14 newsletter, just CLICK HERE

Need to contact me?  Email me by CLICKING HERE or cathspennies@gmail.com

Here are some new designs.  Visit my website for more info ...
"White Christmas" pattern

"Doily Hearts" pattern
"Snowflake" Candle Mat with matching mug rugs pattern
"Holly & Pine" candle mat with matching mug rugs pattern

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beaver Valley Piecemakers 20th Annual Quilt Show

Gosh, I need to update this blog! 
Lots of new things coming very soon, so don't give up checking in on my postings.  :)

If you live anywhere close to the Western Pa area, the quilt show next month is a wonderful event to  visit.  This year it's back at the Brady's Run Park Lodge.  It's the perfect rustic fall setting for the quilt show.

Beaver Valley Piecemakers 20th Annual Quilt Show
Location – Brady’s Run Park
121 Brady’s Run Road
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
2014 Dates and Time - Oct. 24th and 25th 10-5
Oct. 26th 11-4
Approximately 100 quilts judged by a National Quilt Association Judge. 
The theme this year is curves. 
Also, quilt and sewing machine raffles, vendors, café with homemade food, and a boutique. Admission is $7 and children 12 and under free.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"In Their Easter Bonnets!" New Pattern!

"In your Easter bonnet, 
with all the frills upon it, 
you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade"
~Irving Berlin
It's been a while and despite customer requests that I blog more often, my time is so very limited now and other things, dyeing wool, stitching and orders are always at the top of my "to do" list.
I'm here now though and I'm very excited to show off my newest pattern design called "In Their Easter Bonnets".  Finished size is 14" across.

The entire time while creating and stitching this , I kept humming that "in your Easter bonnets" tune.  Every time I get an order for the pattern, that tune again emerges as the current tune that gets hummed.  So, I'm thinking if that tune is stuck in my brain, most likely, while you're stitching it, you'll be humming it too!
The design process for this one took quite a bit of time.
It all starts in my brain, of course.  I see the design/image in my head that I want to make and in this case, since lately I've been obsessed with HATS (look over at the Christmas "Snow Ladies" design for their hats) I visioned Easter bonnets on my "Bunnies In Spring" design.

Sometimes the most difficult part of the design process for me is to draw on paper what my brain sees.  Sometimes it comes super easy and quick.  Other times, it's pretty time consuming because I work and work at it until the drawing matches or is better than what the image is in my brain.
So here's my pencil sketch of what my brain image was at the time:
I started with the "Bunnies in Spring" basic design which looks like this:
I used the same background shape and the same nose and cheeks but I had to redesign the ears so that they would fit better with the Easter bonnets. I also had to resize the eyes and the little tooth and create a background face shape since the original design uses the brown background for the face shape.
My most useful tool is my eraser.  If that eraser could talk, it would complain of abuse.  
A LOT of erasing went into getting those bonnets to fit right onto their cute little heads.
Not only did the bonnets have to fit correctly but I also had to struggle with fitting the hat sizes onto the background shape too.  It took some time and I would draw it, then hang it up on my cork board and look at it for a day or so, then erase more, hang it, look at it again and again and again.  It took about a week to finally get the bunnies with their bonnets to look just how I wanted them to look.

I'm so very proud of this design.  It's so much fun to make. I went easy on decorating the bonnets but knowing some of my customers like I do and how much they love decorating with beads and buttons, I'm betting I'm going to be seeing some pretty fancy Easter bonnets soon!
 I used feathers in the bonnets and gave this bunny lady a yellow tulle net veil.

This Bunny lady has a rosebud with tulle netting bonnet. The underside of the bonnet is a darker shade of wool to show off the dimensional detail.  
If you love this design as much as I do, just click on the little "buy" button over there on the left sidebar to purchase it.  I'm offering it at a special price for the next week or so.
If you prefer to pay by check, just email me at cathspennies@gmail.com  and I'll send you my mailing address.
I have the wool kit available for this too.  It's all 100% wool.  I used Dorr & Woolrich wools for this and quite a bit of it is my own hand-dyed wools.  The wool will come felted and ready to stitch so all you'll need is the thread, the needle and some freezer paper.  I even include the tulle netting and the feathers.  For purchasing the wool kit with the pattern, visit my website here:

There's a lot of wool involve with making this but I promise that you'll love the finished result and it will be well worth the time and $$ that you put into finishing this.
Although this design is shown with all beautiful 100% wool, it would work well with wool felt for any or all of the wool requirements.  If cost is the issue, then wool felt is the way to make this inexpensively. Otherwise, please consider 100% wool. 
There are so many possibilities to decorate those Easter bonnets to make your bunny ladies the grandest ladies in the Easter parade!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Staying Home Instead Of Joining The Shopping Frenzy?

 Festive Snowmen Pattern as well as all of my other patterns will be on sale this weekend. Sale starts at midnight Friday (eastern standard time)

I personally believe that the whole Black Friday craziness has gotten out of control.  It used to be one day of fun.  We didn't know what would be on sale until Thanksgiving Day, when we opened the newspaper full of store ads.
Now, I don't even bother to look at the ads ... I just don't want to be part of the crazy shopping frenzy.
I remember in my teen years, our local Kmart, which was long before Walmart or Target even existed, had a midnight madness sale on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  That was long before that day was called "Black Friday" too.
So, my mom and sister would go to the Kmart and just hang out, waiting for the flashing Blue Light Specials.  A big crowd of mostly females would stand around, anxiously waiting for the Blue Light on the pole with wheels to light up and give us an amazing bargain. 
This went on, late into the night...probably until midnight. It was so much fun.  I still use a pretty Christmas tablecloth with napkins that I bought way back then during one of the Blue Light Specials. 
Kmart should bring that Blue Light Special idea back. 
So, if you're like me and prefer to stay home on Black Friday, why not join me on my website and do a little bargain shopping!
This will be my 3rd annual Black Friday/Weekend sale.   I won't tell you what the sales will be until Thanksgiving day.  I want this to be a surprise.  I will give some hints though.
Pattern sale.
And I'm going to try something new to see how sales go.
I will offer some designs that I'm calling "Sew Easy, Sew Quick, Sew Pretty".  The offerings will be already cut and ready to stitch.  I'll give more info and some sneak peak pictures in my newsletter, which hopefully will go out later this afternoon.
So come back on Thanksgiving day to find out what my Black Friday and Weekend sales will be!
The sale will start at 12 am (eastern standard time) Friday.  My website: http://www.cathspenniesdesigns.com