finishes…..

Hello, hello, hello!  It’s so nice to see you again!   If you’ve tried to contact me in the past 3 or 4 months and I haven’t responded, please try again!  I’ve been computer-less.

Just after my last post my laptop expired.  I’d been nursing it along for several months, trying in vain to somehow save my photos, contacts, messages, etc.   After my computer drew its last breath I found that I’d lost everything… EVERYTHING!  Oh Woe!  However, there are worse things in life than losing three years of photographs (*sob!*), etc., and I have put my despair behind me and moved on…. sort of….  *sigh*

So, here I am with a healthy (I hope) laptop and an external backup (it’s about time), ready to begin life anew.

Would you like to see some of the things I’ve finished this summer?  Yes?  So would I.  Unfortunately, I haven’t finished one single thing as far as punch needle or rug hooking goes.  What have I been doing?  I’ve been frittering away my time in the garden:  planting, watering, dividing, transplanting, watering and planting some more.  It’s been an absolutely perfect summer to work outdoors!

Though I can’t show you anything I’ve accomplished lately, I do have three FABULOUS finishes to show you from some incredibly talented needle women….

amazing!

amazing!

Betsy created this stunningly beautiful “Family Tree” for some friends of hers.  She incorporated all the family members, human and otherwise, and mounted her work on a hornbook using little tacks.  How much do I love this finish?  I love it so much that I want to come inside from the garden and finish my own family tree!

wow!

wow!

Sharon shared this, almost, finished hooked rug ~ isn’t it gorgeous ~ I just love her colors!  It’s from the Magdelana Horses design I shared with you a while back.  Did you miss that design?  Click here to view that post.

fabulous!

fabulous!

Marion punched this antique-rug-inspired mat from a design she said I’d shared.  (I can’t find it in my archives to link to, but that doesn’t mean a thing… it’s probably there somewhere…. I’m not known for my organization skills or for my adeptness at this whole blog thing.)  This is a pattern I’ve been wanting to punch and I love Marion’s finish!

As far as  Lilly, Ellis and Otis go, it’s been a successful summer…..

"not you, again!" ~lilly, ellis, otis

“not you, again! and with your camera, too.  there’s no peace in this house!” ~lilly, ellis, otis

Next up, I’ll be sharing a very, very, very simple pattern for “Ticking Horse”, which I promised a follower many moons ago.  Until then…

be well and happy!

 

rebecca

 

magdalena horses finished…

Here, at last, is Magdalena Horses.  What a fun, educational project this has been!  I finished this one just as I would a pillow without the stuffing.  First, I stitched the right side of the punch needle to the right side of the wool I chose.

stitching right sides together

Then, I cut along both short edges of the wool, close to the stitches.

cutting short sides

Next, I cut through the middle of the wool, length-wise.

cutting long through middle of wool

I’m left with two flaps, one on the top edge of the punch needle and one on the bottom edge.

two flaps

These flaps will become my lamb’s tongue edging, eventually.  Before I steam the flaps open with my iron, I add another piece of wool over the wool that I just stitched in place.  I place my stitches just inside those of the flap-wool stitches.

second piece of wool stitched in place

This second piece of wool will become the backing of the finished punch needle.  Now, I cut a slit in the middle  of the back of the wool and turn the whole piece, so that the flaps are sticking out and the right side of Magdalena Horses is facing front.

front

Front with the flaps open.

back

Back with the slit I cut for turning purposes.

Now I snip the flaps using pinking shears, fairly close to the edge of the stitching.  Then, using a sharp pair of little scissors, I snip between each pinking, cutting a bit of wool away from each pinking so that they are separate lamb’s tongues.

tiny lamb’s tongues

The back gets a weavers cloth label stitched over the slit in the wool.

back view with label

The entire piece gets a good, hard steam/press with my steam iron, and my Magdalena Horses is complete!

ta da!

I think I will be including Magdalena Horses in my Primitive Handmades Mercantile update this coming Friday.  🙂

Thank you to all of you for your kind comments and encouragement! If you have done or are planning to do Magdalena Horses, I would love to share your pictures!

Enjoy your week!

rebecca

fixing flubs and finishing…

If you are like me, punching invariably includes, for lack of a better word, flubs.  If you’ve never encountered a flub, here is a poor photo with a difficult-to-see flub:

white flub on bottom flower just above the pink ring above the dark center

Can you see it?  It’s a big one!  Here’s another not-so-great pic:

flub, again

I could just cut it off at the surface using a sharp pair of scissors.  However, I know if I do that I’ll be left with a SPOT ~ that is, a small area that will appear darker and different from the surrounding punches.  So, unless I absolutely cannot fix a flub, I don’t cut it off.  Instead, I treat a flub with gentle kindness and patience:

gentle kindness

Using the tip of my punch needle, I gently and patiently prod the flub back down, pushing it either into the weavers cloth or under the adjoining punches.

all gone!

I find fixing flubs is another advantage to using pearl cotton as opposed to 3 or 6 strand, for me at any rate.  It’s easier for me to prod two strands, but you may have no problem prodding 3 or 6 strands.

Once all my flubs are fixed, I’m ready to coffee stain.  I’m using the same method on Magdalena Horses that I used on Two Horses Six Birds.  If you missed that post and would like to see how I coffee stain you can click here to go to the post entitled, “colors and coffee…”.  I stained Magdalena Horses twice.  The first time I used more water and less coffee, and I let the piece air dry.  The second time, I used light brewed or watered-down coffee and baked Magdalena Horses in a 250* oven for a few minutes.

When I bake my pieces, I put a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet with the piece to be baked on top of the waxed paper ~ weavers cloth edges tucked under the embroidery.  I put all that in a cold oven, set to 250*, as soon as the oven reaches its temp I shut it off and leave the punched piece in the oven until its cooled.  My oven runs a bit on the cool side and doesn’t hold it’s heat like your oven may.  If you want to try this method, I’d recommend starting at a lower temp and checking your piece periodically after you’ve turned off the oven, just to make sure your punching isn’t getting crisped.

baked and ready to finish

I’ve been thinking about how to tackle the lamb’s tongue edging.  I considered punching it around the top and bottom edges, but that opened up a whole other line of questions that I didn’t have the answers to.  So, I’ve decided to try a version of lamb’s tongue using wool.  Here are the bits of wool I’m contemplating.

wool options

The top wool is a piece that I marbled.  I love marbled wool, but I think this piece may distract from the punching.  My hand dyed brown, on the right, works really well with the pearl cotton colors, but I think that may be too much brown.  So, at the moment, I think the soft grey-blue that I dyed might be just the ticket.  The question now becomes, what is the best way to attach the wool to the embroidery, and just how will I create the tiny lamb’s tongues?  Time will tell!

 

until next time, be cool and happy!

 

rebecca

 

 

magdalena horses punched…

Hurrah!  I’ve finished (nearly) the punched version of Magdalena’s Horses.  After the brown threads were punched I started on the grey.

Valdani P3

Then, completed the little corner of dark blue.   Here is Magdalena’s hooked rug.

original rug

 

The above picture is the original from which I took my inspiration.  The photo below is my attempt.

my punched magdalena horses

Although there are always things I would change about a punched piece once I’ve finished, I’m going to leave this one alone, with one exception.  The white horse, in the original, has a pink eye, and though I’m more comfortable with a horse that has a grey eye, I think I’ll change that little detail.  🙂   After I’ve fixed that, I will do the coffee staining which, I’m hoping, will soften the hard edges a bit.

One thing I’m thinking about as I’m completing magdalena’s horses, is the lamb’s tongue edging.  If you look closely at the original, you will see that the top and bottom edges of the rug have, what looks to me like, grey wool lamb’s tongues.  hmmm….  I’m not sure how I’ll be approaching that, yet, but I’ll let you know!  In the meantime, I think I’ll take a page out of Otis’s book…

cat nap, anyone?

…and perhaps I’ll dream of rug hooking!

lovely linen ~ the beginning of the imagined rug

 

until next time, be warm and happy!

 

rebecca