Saturday, March 31, 2012

Watercolor to Wool

My mind has been spinning with lots of ideas. I doodle them down and sometimes I will add a little watercolor to some of them. This little whimsical couple looks like they might be on a first date. She is all googlie~eyed and doesn't he look a bit nervous!
Might make a fun little card or tag. How about a hooked rug....

Been working on a primitive little booklet of Fall and Halloween doodles just need to work up a few more samples. More on that later.

The cows are sure enjoying the beautiful green grasses that are growing and we now have 2 brand new little calves. The are always so cute out playing in the fields. I'll have to take my camera along next time I go for a walk.

Happy Trails.....Ginger

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Binding a Round Hooked Rug or Chairpad

It seems I have an endless supply of scrappy wool worms. So by just grabbing a bunch of random ones I made a hit and miss chairpad.

Once I finished hooking it and had pressed it with a lot of steam...I trimmed away the excess linen to about 1 inch all around.

Now I flipped it over and it's time to bind this one. Start by pinning on your twill tape and working it around. Fold in at an angle small little pleats and place the twill tape directly over the pleat and pin in place.

Now it's time to get your yarn and big eye needle out and start whipping it just like the post below except there won't be any corners.

Continue whipping around the entire piece and right before you reach the end fold back the twill tape just like in the previous post and place it on top of where you began and finish whipping. Notice the twill tape is a little full on top....well here is a new trick that I had never heard about until I took the class with Sally of Pine Island Primitives.

She told us about this but didn't have a rug to demo today I gave it a try and wow it works! Once you are done with whipping the yarn take the top of the twill tape and pull one of the top threads....go slow it will begin to gather the twill tape. I broke a thread before I got it all around but on the 2nd thread I made it....remember go slow!

I sort of had to work the top of the twill tape and pull a little more. I did stop and pull from the other direction, too. I did not pull the thread completely out....It gently gathered the piece of twill tape. When I had it where I wanted it I just began sewing down the top of the tape with a needle and thread.

Look how nice and flat it lays...

Another view.....I love how easily it works to make it lay flat....Thanks to Sally for such a great tip.

For binding hooked pieces my favorite yarn to use is Cascade Yarns it's 100% Peruvian Highland Merino Wool the weight is 100 grams and comes in a tremendous variety of's also wonderful to double it and use it for rug punching.

Many thanks to all who have left such wonderful comments about the rug binding tutorial. I struggled for years on binding and now can honestly say I don't dread binding a rug.

Happy Trails.....Ginger

Friday, March 23, 2012

How I Bind A Hooked Rug

Well I've been known to have a pile of hooked rugs and mats to bind. I've tried binding them every which way and this is my favorite. With this method I whittled down a pile of 40 yes 40 rugs and mats last year! So gather up your wool yarn, a big eye needle,a few pins, and a sharp pair of scissors and let's get started.

First thing I did was trim up around my mat leaving about 1 inch of backing all around. I cut the corners at an angle to reduce the bulk.

You want to turn your piece over and lay it on a want a flat surface to work on. Fold your backing over as shown in the picture above and pin your twill tape to the mat or rug. I only use about 3 or 4 pins and move them as I get each area bound. You DON'T want to start near a corner...but somewhere in the middle. I usually start in the middle on the bottom.

Since this is a small mat I went ahead and pinned just past the corner as you will see in a few photo's down. Now if you have ever bound a quilt this part will come easy....take that cut off corner and fold in as seen in the above photo. (As you can see I have farmgirl hands and could sure use a manicure)

Next you will fold in the bottom edge at an angle we are making a mitered corner.

Next fold in the side to the doesn't have to be perfect but try to get them pretty close.

Now take your twill tape and lay it right on top of the backing that is mitered.

Fold the twill tape back on itself.

Now you will slightly turn it at an angle and start going up the side of the mat with the twill tape....see photo.

You will want to pin the corner right in the center of the turn.

Pin the twill tape in one more place just after the corner to hold it in place. It takes a bit of practice so don't worry you will get it!

It's time to grab that big~eye needle and the yarn and start binding.

To hide my yarn tail I run it through the backing and hide it on the inside. My needle comes out right beside where I hooked or oxford punched the last row.

I then put my needle throught the twill tape and then down through the backing coming up right at the edge of the last hooked row. It hides all the backing.

Continue whipping the yarn through the binding and backing with the yarn touching each other but not overlapping.

I'm running out of fear just hide that tail right inside by putting the needle through the whipped area and pulling the yarn inside.

Unthread the needle and just cut that little yarn tail off close to where you whipped.

Load your needle again with yarn and hide that new beginning tail just like when we started with your needle coming up right beside the last whipped stitch. Your ready to go again :)

Oops there is a corner ahead (this use to be my worst area) but with this method it is pretty easy just take your time!

I whip right up to that folded corner then with the next stitch I catch into the folded area. Now I might put 3 stitches in that same hole at the top of the twill tape as I make my way around. Don't overdo it on the stitches...go slow and if you need to after the 3 stitches move them over by taking your needle and raking across them to fill the area. If you need another stitch to cover that corner put one in.
You want your stitches laying side by side not piled on top of each other.
With a little practice you will get it. I added a picture above and below for the corner.

Now do you feel like singing? You made it around the corner...hooray! Now let's continue up this side. Take those pins out from where you just bound your mat and continue putting them in the twill tape ahead.

We have made it around all 4 corners and are seeing the end in sight. Take the twill tape and cut it off leaving about an inch to fold back underneath itself and lay it on top of the beginning twill it down to hold it.

Continue whipping your rug through all the thickness until you reach the very first whipped stitch. Run your needle and yarn through the whipped stitches and cut off the yarn.
Congratulations you have your rug whipped and we have just a little more finish work to go.

If your backing is still sticking out and not under your twill tape....simple grab a pair of scissors and fold back the twill tape and carefully cut away a portion of the monk's cloth or linen.

Now grab a sewing needle and some thread. Your ready to put the finishing touches on your mat or rug. Begin by sewing the twill tape together where they are joined.

Continue sewing through the twill tape at the top edge and into the hooked mat or rug.

I sew the corners up and then back down and contine sewing the twill tape down until I'm all the way back around.

Sometimes I add a fabric tag and there are times I just grab my sharpie and sign it right on the twill tape.

Now it's finished! Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial....It's the easiest way I have found to bind and I know there are a LOT of great methods for binding so give a few of them a try and see what works best for you.

Happy Trails...Ginger

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Using Up Scraps and A Simple Doodle

Today the raindrops continued to fall and the air had a crisp coolness to it. It didn't stop a little boy from playing non~stop outside on the porches. While he played I drew up a little doodle on a scrap piece of monks cloth. Then I gathered up some scrap wool yarns and found my oxford punch needle and made a small little mat of "Simple Posies"....

It's a small one for sure just 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.

It was like this for hours on end a bicycle whizzing by and a puppy running back and forth. Even the cat seems to like the pup for now.

He is trying to teach the pup some manners! Coming from a little boy that at times tells me that it is really hard to be good all the time :) Yes, he does get into trouble at MoMo's house but we talk about the problem, sometimes he has to sit for awhile and think about it, and then we talk some more and after awhile all is well once again and the day goes on.

Not a day goes by that I don't pray for this little one and the new little one on the way. How the days have changed since I was a kid. I truly do believe life was simpler many changes and some not for the good.

Well the rest of the week is suppose to be warm and sunny. The sunshine will feel good and I'm sure the lawn will need another mowing as soon as it dries out.

Here is the little doodle of the "Simple Posies"....use it however you would like. Wishing you lots of sunshine this weekend and hoping you find yourself enjoying something you love to do.

Happy Trails.....Ginger

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rainy Day and Grandma's Garden

We have been enjoying a few rainy days and tomorrow has promises of more. No complaining here the ponds are filling up and the pastures are even holding water. Everything is green and the trees are putting on lots of blooms. Spring is here!

While the rains come down in the evenings I've been finishing the binding on the Give Ye Thanks and have it almost completed. To rest my fingers I have been pulling loops on "Grandma's Garden" a 2012 project by LJ Fibers. It's a two part series and I have finished the first part and will continue with the 2nd part when it arrives in October.
It was a very fast one to hook. I love the colors in this project. Laurie does a fabulous job dyeing the wools.

Sloan has been playing on the porch riding his bicycle and playing with a puppy someone dropped off and we found it hiding in a big pile of wood in the pasture. He has named him "Biscuit"....I will have to take a picture of the two as they have become great friends. Along with daily checks on the cat that has 6 kittens that has made her little family's home in Danny's tractor we have been dodging rain drops back and forth to the barn. Well I guess you could say never a dull moment around this little farm.

Time to clean up the wool dust and hit the hay! Tomorrow a little boy returns for more fun and I'll try my best to finish the binding on the Give Ye Thanks....then back to hooking on the Big Farm Scene rug....after that it will be time for something small :)

Happy Trails....Ginger

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Don't you just love this lil' rainbow of treats. Thanks to Miss Veronica for bringing it on Saturday for Sloan. He loved it and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was his favorite!

We had a lot of fun visiting and working on projects on Saturday. Once a month we meet here at the farm and enjoy the company of friends and work on projects. This month we had 3 new gals that joined us to learn oxford punch.
Sure wish I would have snapped a picture of their pieces before they left but I forgot :(

I pulled the last looops on the Give Ye Thanks rug this afternoon. So glad to have it hooked and hope to work on the binding this week.

Here are some of the gals working on various projects. Danny's mom and sister came later in the day to join in the fun.

Karen brought over a dozen yellow roses for me.....beautiful color and I've been enjoying them all day today, too.

Sandra enjoying a little cake....and Karen about to get back to her oxford punch project.

Pati Jane always with a smile!

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby

Oh somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Happy Trails......Ginger