Along the way as I travel to teach and vend at various textile events, I have noticed a pattern among those I meet. Nearly every person works in more than one kind of medium. Very rarely do I meet someone who only does wool appliqué in their spare time—it’s nearly always coupled with a penchant for quilting, rug hooking, embroidery, punch needle, and other kinds of creative activities.
I always love to ask people how they found my designs and how they got into wool applique. Though it’s not true of everyone, so many were doing some other kind of handwork and found appliqué through friends who did the same. “You’ve got to try this!” their friends said. A pattern or a class later, and they’re hooked. This is not the end to their practice of the previous technique, however. It’s simply an addition to their repertoire of interest. Sometimes wool applique is the “gateway” technique. A person gets into wool appliqué, and soon finds themselves in a world of handwork and wool. It just takes a step to plunge into rug hooking or embroidery from there.
This was a major part of the motivation for my latest book, Exploring Folk Art with Wool Appliqué & More. I, along with my daughter Kelsey, wanted to show people how you can do a design in two different mediums, and how you mix them in together. It was meant to encourage those who do just wool appliqué to try a new technique, or to help those who already do multiple techniques to learn to combine them. Putting the book together was a wild ride involving working with friends to complete the projects. And yet, I have decided I am not done yet with this idea. In fact, the book was really just a launching point. New creative combinations await!
To begin this process, I decided to take some current patterns of mine and show you how you can either use that pattern in another medium, or how you can combine mediums in that pattern. I want to show you how my patterns don’t have to just be for wool appliqué, but can actually open a door to your own creativity.
Please note that this is something I allow with my patterns, as long as you are not photocopying them to share them with other people, or using my designs to create pieces that you sell. Even if you modify the design, I still maintains the copyright, and it is for personal, individual use only (as labeled on my patterns). Each designer has an individual preference, however, and so you should check with a designer before adjusting their designs.
This week I am sharing some snapshots of what will be coming this year on the blog. Kelsey and I will show you how to rework some of my patterns using techniques like yarn sewing, punchneedle, and rug hooking. Some of them will be reworked in one technique, and others will combine wool appliqué with another technique. Enjoy these sneak peeks, and I hope you look forward to the coming months of creativity!