Patterns Re-worked: Yarn Sewing & Wool Applique
Welcome back to Patterns Re-worked! Previously Rebekah & I have covered transforming patterns using punch needle with floss, punch needle with yarn, and yarn sewing. But we are not done yet! More techniques are coming your way, but many of you were intrigued by the yarn sewing, so for this post, I used two wool techniques. Combining wool appliqué and yarn sewing was a fun endeavor, and it is not as hard as you think! Today I am going to give you some tips for combining these two techniques, and for yarn sewing in general, using two different patterns as examples. The Table Bouquet Runner was inspiration for the little purse, and the Cozy Heart Coasters pattern is the base for the little hanging heart.
Let's start with supplies! I used hand-dyed wool (by Rebekah, of course) for all of the wool appliqué parts. You can find the background fabric and needle types in our book, Exploring Folk Art with Wool Appliqué Folk Art.
Cozy Heart: I used the wool requirement as listed for one of the colors. For the yarn, I chose a heavy tan hand-dyed wool yarn from Prairie Moon Primitives and a thinner antique red Appleton Tapestry Yarn. I like using different thicknesses to add some variation to the look.
Table Bouquet Runner: I followed the wool requirements for the inner hearts and the leaves, I just chose different colors. For the yarn sewing part, I used a blue and a brown hand-dyed wool yarn from Prairie Moon Primitives. I used wool for the back of the bag, and added some rickrack at the top along with a wide twill ribbon for the strap.
Tip: When choosing yarn for yarn sewing, you can get something that is too thick. Make sure you can thread a large tapestry needle with it, and it should stitch through the monk's cloth. Also think about your design. If you need to fill in a large area, I highly recommend something with a variegated color to it, so that it does not look flat next to any hand-dyed wool. Local yarn shops are a great place to look for wool for yarn sewing! You can also use tapestry weight wool thread for smaller areas or a finer look.
PREPPING & STITCHING THE PROJECT
Cozy Heart: Begin by making the freezer paper pattern of the heart border and the small heart. Cut out the heart border in wool, and stitch it to your monk's cloth (as you would a cotton used for reverse appliqué, leaving some sticking out from under the appliqué border, see photo). Use the small heart to trace an outline in the center. Then begin yarn sewing. I started with the antique red heart in the middle. Next I sewed along the wool
applique part to make a nice border with the tan, and moved in from there. Finish by steam-pressing it from the back, then trimming the monk's cloth so it sits under the wool heart. Sometimes the cloth pulls a little bit (you can see it in the in-process photo), but once you trim it and iron it, the heart will lay flat. Cut out a felt backing as explained in the original instructions, and stitch around the outside. Then you can add any trimmings you like to finish it off!
Tip: When you sew along your appliqué, try not to come up underneath the appliqué, but as close to it as possible.