Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fall's Stage

Ah, Fall! It is that time to enjoy the respite from the summer's heat, and just soak in the moments, colors, and smells of my favorite season.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ideas for August

          Here we are in August already with Summer waning and Fall close on its heels. I have had one bustling season! Packed full of teaching, stitching, writing, & travel, it has been an exciting time that I have fully enjoyed. It was not the best summer for dyeing wool, though. We experienced excessive heat and humidity for prolonged periods which really does not help when you are standing over a steaming pot of water. Now we are seeing the temperatures moderate and the evenings are cooler so I am looking forward to natural dyeing that for me comes at this time. The black walnuts are beginning to fall, goldenrod is beginning to bloom, and all of the other plants are ready for the dye pot. This is the season to stock up on wonderfully dyed wools, linens, and other textiles.
It has been a while since I have shared a Reshaped Project from the book. This month I have created a simple Thread Caddy with a wonderful idea for floss storage that I gleaned from a student in one of my workshops. I will also share another wonderful idea for the book from a student. I will be offering other Student Tips in future posts. It seems that I learn something myself from a student in every class.
 Thank you as always for taking a class, sharing what you have made from the book, saying “Hi” at a show, and just being so encouraging. I appreciate all of it!

     This Student Tip comes from Sue in Arizona. While in a class in Ohio , we were talking floss and Sue showed me how she keeps her DMC colors at hand. She simply cuts multiple strands of floss to sewing length and  separates them into the two strands needed for stitching. Then Sue puts the separated two strands onto a thread minder according to color where they are at the ready for use. I found this idea especially helpful for stitching while on the road. Instead of fumbling with skeins of floss while on the move, this tip helps keep things organized and convenient. Also, the two strands are easy to remove each time you need to begin a new needle. Thank you, Sue for sharing this idea with me and letting me share it with others.

House Thread Caddy : Reshaped project from 
Wool Applique Folk Art 
by Rebekah L. Smith

Pattern from “Housing for 
Papers”  page 74

1) Make a larger pattern of the house (including the chimney)  by adding 1/4’’ all the way around. This will be what you stitch the house parts to.
2) Once you make a freezer paper pattern of the larger house background, cut two of these out of wool. One will be for the background and one for the backing.
3) Once you have stitched your house parts you will now layer together the top house wooly, a piece of cardstock or lightweight chip board cut slightly smaller than the whole house  and the backing house wool together and stitch around the outside.
4) Add thread rings to the bottom of the house by just stitching them to the wool.


                              Thread Caddy Cover

This cover is simply to keep your threads from tangling while you travel.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric 14’’h x 6.5’’w. Add a 12’’ length of twill tape to each end. Pin the right sides of the fabrics together inserting the twill tape in each end about 1/2’’. Be sure that your twill tape is in between the layers of fabric. Sew all the way around leaving a 1/4'' seam allowance. Turn the cover right side out and iron flat being sure to turn the raw edges of the opening under.  Blanket Stitch all the way around the outside of the cover.

       My second Student Tip comes from Kathy in Texas. She not only had her Wool Applique Folk Art book spiral bound at the local copy center, but she had them add a pocket in the back to keep pattern pieces organized. I think this is a fantastic idea! Thank you, Kathy for letting me share this very useful tip.

      I will continue to share what I learn in workshops. It is exciting to see what everyone brings, and I have really learned so much from students. Thank you all who have had the opportunity to be in one of my classes. I so enjoy meeting all of you!

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Season for Writing

   We are finally experiencing spring here on Northeast Ohio. The lilacs are blooming and the viburnum small so sweet. Our yard is covered in a tiny ground cover just bursting with miniature blue flowers. There is a freshness to the breeze that really says "Winter has passed".

Here are all of the essentials for writing a book. Yes, that is the Piano Guys performing music from Kung Fu Panda.
Now is the season of book writing. It is time to take a moment and reflect on the amazing response to the first book, and really begin to refine where this next publishing endeavor is going. All I need to do is look around me to see inspiration that stretches as far as the eye can see. We are blessed to live in an old house with a vibrant history, and surround ourselves with those stories of the past. There is also the cherished traditions of sharing what we know and enjoy with others who feel the same. So, I have collected, drawn, cut, stitched, & refined a whole new collection of wool applique projects to share.

For me, the writing part of this journey brings an excitement as you see the joining of all of the parts of the book and it begins to take on a shape and sprout into something solid. Thank you for joining me on this trek.

April & May Wool Applique Folk Art Reshaped Project

I did not have time to stitch this together, but I designed this pillow based on the following projects:

Tulip Harmony p.82
Wooly Window p. 54
Her Lady's Pocket p.28

I am giving this kit away to be stitched by one of you! To be entered into the drawing just leave a comment on this post. The drawing will take place Monday morning at 8am.
You will receive the pieces I have cut out and the fabric for the pillow. The embellishing stitches are up to you. Make it your own!

Thank you!

Monday, March 7, 2016

A March to Spring!

  We are finally thawing out here in Northeast Ohio! Our snowdrops are blooming, there is only a few piles of snow left, and the birds are singing. I am also busier than ever with workshop preparations & book writing.

  So, this month's Reshaped Project is a simple alternative way to use the bunny from "Creatures of Habit". I made him into an ornament to be hung on a door, cupboard, pegboard, or what have you.
He was fun to make and took very little time. I just used the pattern full size and added some heayweight, double-sided, fusible interfacing. This was the first time I used any kind of product like this and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to trim and work with. As the bunny's head and neck would have been too floppy with just wool, I felt I needed to add something between the top applique piece and the backing wool to keep him stiff. I decided that cutting cardboard or chipboard would be too hard for this project.

Mach Reshaped
Wool Applique Folk Art by Rebekah L. Smith
"Creatures of Habit" p34

1) Cut 2 bunnies from wool. The first one you will applique for the front and the second is for the back.
2) Cut the bunny pattern out of the fusible interfacing and then trim about 1/4" off all the way around.
3) Follow the fusible interfacing instructions.
4) Stitch away!

 This fast2fuse is available in a 15" x 18" sheet from ctpub.com.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


     Another Statehood Day is here again in the great state of Ohio! I have made it a tradition each year to offer a wool applique project that commemorates the day. This year I am sharing my diminutive version of the Ohio Flag. Although, not technically a flag, it is an iconic symbol of our state and I enjoy seeing it wave in the wind or hanging like a banner. According to 50states.com the design is called a swallowtail (which appeals to the bird lover in me) and the topography of the state is represented by the triangles & stripes. Although there are supposed to be 17 stars (Ohio is the 17th State) I was only able to fit a few.

So, all of you Ohioans (or those of you who share a love of our state) enjoy this project! Maybe I will see you here sometime this year!!!

Copy & Paste this address to get to the pattern.


This larger version of the Ohio flag is simply two pieces of cotton sewn together and the edges fringed. The wool applique is added before sewing the two background pieces together. I do not have a pattern for this one, but these are simple shapes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Oh, February!

   February is my birth month and also home to one of my favorite motifs: the heart.

   This month's Reshaped project is full of hearts. I just never tire of them.  I don't know the history of the shape we use to illustrate a heart, but I do know that I was very disappointed as a child when I saw for the first time a picture of a real heart.
 It looked nothing like what I was led to believe a heart was shaped like.
 This simple project was so easy to stitch. There is still plenty of time to complete it as a special gift or display for Valentine's Day. The base is a hand towel that I purchased at Homegoods ( Yes, it is sooo good!) and since it was already hemmed, I simply appliqued motifs and called it a day.
 Just keep your stitching neat & tidy if you are not going to put some kind of backing on it.
Seeing that the towels were a pair, I have decided to offer a Give Away of the other unfinished towel and a kit of the wool to make this table mat. (or hang it as a decorative towel) Also, I am including a copy of my book as you will need the pattern pieces from it. If you already have a copy, feel free to share this one with a friend.

To enter the Give Away just comment on this blog post. I will draw the winner on Friday at noon.

February Reshaped Hearts Wool Applique

2 Larger Hearts- "For Needles and Thread" p.48
Smaller Hearts & Leaves- Creatures of Habit/ Cat Pillow


Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Projects for a New Year!

"Hello & Happy New Year to all of you!

   There is a lot happening in the Workroom this year, and I'll be on the road quite a bit hoping to meet some of you!

   One of the tasks I have given myself for this year, is to come up with an alternative project each month using the patterns from the book. These I will share with you monthly in this blog . It has turned out to be a great exercise for me as I continue to learn and develop my style.

   There will be more announcements throughout the year, and I will soon have my workshop schedule posted on my website.

January Wool Applique Reshaped Project:

Book: Wool Applique Folk Art
Project Pattern Pieces: "Shades of Earth"
                                 " Housing for Papers"

    These hurricane candle holders are wrapped in a wooly that is a reshaping of 2 of the projects in the book. By cutting the 2 different sized stars from "Shades of Earth" in half, it creates a snowflake effect. I also built the trees out of the leaves in "Housing for Papers". By placing the leaves downward it gives a coniferous look.

   The length of your wooly will depend upon the size of your candle holder. I purchased mine from Michaels and is approx. 19" around. To finish off the top, I simply trimmed the wool with heavy-duty pinking shears.

To attach the wooly to the glass holder, I just did a simple cross stitch down the back.