Thursday, January 7, 2010

More Punchneedle Kits Made And Reviewed In 2009

Like everything I do I never do anything in moderation. Instead of just creating a couple of punchneedle and cross-stitch kits to give as Christmas presents I created 30 or more. As a result I had more than I needed to give as presents. Was this intentional? Maybe!

Then again, maybe not! Maybe I'm so highly organized that I knew I would need some in the future. Anticipating the future? Maybe! Then again, maybe not!

In any event I ended up with more shadowboxes than I needed. The punch needle pine tree shown above was created based upon a "Pine Tree" pattern kit by Rachael T. Pellam of Rachael's of Greenfield that I added a dark green, burgundy and white sponge painted wood shadowbox frame to. This pattern included detailed instructions and tips for punchneedle as well as an iron-on transfer sheet that you had to iron on to the foundation cloth which was included in the kit.  It also included a piece of paper with the DMC floss numbers printed on it and each of the floss strands grouped by color tied to a punched out square next to it's respective DMC floss number.  It did not include a diagram with the detailed numbers on it but included a listing on the back of the pattern indicating which DMC floss numbers were to be used and where.

I also found a wonderful punch needle pattern by Linda Coleman of Jeremiah Junction called "Folksy Sheep" that I liked.  As with my other punchneedle projects I decided to add a sponged painted wood shadowbox frame.  I wanted the frame to appear like the sky so I sponge painted it royal blue, light blue, and white.

The pattern and instructions were easy to follow and the diagram was well laid out and easy to read. The pattern included the pre-printed weavers cloth.

What I also really liked about the Jeremiah Junction pattern was that it not only included a diagram with the colored DMC floss numbers but included a picture colored with the DMC floss colors and a table that included a small square of the DMC floss color and it's respective DMC, ANC, or JPC floss number.    The kit included reverse pre-printed fabric, DMC floss, and pattern with instructions.  The design was printed on the reverse side of the fabric and you work on the reverse side when punching to create the image on the front side.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cross-Stitch and Punchneedle Kits That I Made As Gifts For Family - Christmas 2009

I just love surprising family members with handmade gifts for Christmas and did so again this year.  And, of course, almost all of the gifts were some of my cross-stitch and punchneedle shadow boxes that I've blogged about previously. I just had such a wonderful time finishing all the punchneedle  and cross-stitch kits that I had bought in the Spring. 

Several of my family members love birds and gardening and several are into primitive crafts and primitive decor. Luckily I was able to find some punchneedle kits and cross-stitch kits that fit the bill. And, of course, I enlisted the help of my younger brother and his astonishing workshop to help me build my shadowboxes.

In a previous post on my Linda's Blog I had mentioned that I had a lot of problems with the first cross-stitch I attempted to do and named it the "cross-stitch from hell!"  My sister loves cardinals and the Adirondacks and I had found the cross-stitch kit shown above which was "Christmas In The Adirondacks" from Dimensions The Gold Collection and thought she might love it.

It was the first cross-stitch I had tried in at least twenty years and probably should have started with something a little less difficult.  I have to admit I found it difficult to keep track of where I was stitching on the the blank fabric versus the chart.  The pattern includes a chart that has color coded symbols that refer back to the respective keys.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Santa Ornaments" Mary Engelbreit #85310 Plaid From Bucilla

Besides all the punchneedle and cross-stitch shadowbox presents I created for Christmas 2009 I decided to create some wool felt ornaments and bought several wool felt kits to do so.

One of the wool felt ornaments kits I bought was Mary Engelbreit Santa Ornaments Felt Appliqué Kit (6-1/4" x 5") - Set Of 6. The "Santa Ornaments kit contained pre-printed felt, cotton floss, needles, beads abd embellishments,  and instructions to make six hand felted Santa ornaments.

What I loved about the pre-printed felt pieces was that each was sequentially numbered and this number was stamped on the felt pieces where it was to be sewn. So you could easily follow from the sequentially numbered pattern piece to the stamped felt piece it was to be sewn to and to the instructions.

The instructions were multi-lingual and were easy to follow. They also contained pictorial diagrams for creating the various stitched that were to be used to create the ornaments. The ornaments were completely handsewn.

Here's my results:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Really Wanted To Try Needle Felting and Penny Rug Felting - I Loved It!

I decided last year that I wanted to try needle felting and penny rug felting  with wool felt as it seemed like everyone was having so much fun with it this year. I don't mean wet needle felting where you are actually creating a needle felted object from the wet felt. I'm just not that adventuresome!

Penny rug felting involves using pieces of wool felt hand-sewn in a decorative pattern using a blanket stitch or other embroidered stitch to create a miniature rug that is hung as a decoration or used as a tablecloth.

Needle felting is similar to penny rug felting only it also includes using roving that is punched into the wool felt to create part of the decoration. Decorative pieces created of this nature are usually primitive in design and created for a primitive decor.

Here you take a piece of wool felt and place it over a needle felt mat. Then you take a bunch of the roving and using the needle felt tool you keep punching the roving into the wool felt piece until you get the desired effect that you want.

Wool penny rugs started out as coin shaped decorations stitched together from scraps of fabric.  According to In the 1800s, starting around the time of the Civil War, thrifty homemakers would use scraps of wool or felted wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats or rugs. Using coins as templates, they created circles and each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion. (Thus, the name "penny" rug). Sometimes, the mats or rugs were backed with old burlap bags or feed sacks. Sometimes a penny was stitched inside the mat to make it lie flat.

Penny rugs and needle felted wool decorations are very popular with the "primitive" home decorating community.  They are no longer rugs for the floors but have developed into all sorts of decorations for ones home. 

I started with three wool felt kits where one was a penny rug type decoration that needed to have some sheep and tree decorations needle felted. The other two kits were more like wool felt embroidery kits to create primitive wool decorations which could be hung on a wall or placed on a table top.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Punchneedle Fun With Dimensions Holiday Friends Ornaments Kit #73244 and Dimensions Santa's Presents Kit #73410

I just love BRIGHT, COLORFUL creations like the punchneedle cubes that I made in the picture above. I made them this spring and summer with the hopes of giving them away as Christmas presents this year.

However, as with everything I make, I fell in love with them and my selfish side took over and decided not to give all of them away. Maybe I'll hold on to them for a little while and them give them away next year. Who knows?

I didn't keep all of them.  I did give the blue Santa in the left top cube and the turquoise blue Santa in the middle cube on the bottom row away.   My twin grandsons will get to enjoy them now.  Actually, it's my daughter-in-law who will really enjoy them.  She just loves handmade crafts.