Rosa's World

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New BOM - I've Been Smitten!

Hi There!

One of the blogs that I follow happened to mention this link and after visiting and re-visiting and RE-RE-visiting it once again, I fell in love with these rabbits!

The Raspberry Rabbits....

(picture from their blog)

A couple of my internet friends mentioned that they've never, ever appliquéd with wool before, wanted to try it but were hesitant.

I'm not a complete expert on wool but I will certainly share what little knowledge that I DO have.

Here goes...

* * * * * PRE-FELTED WOOL * * * * *

Before you appliqué with wool, you need to make sure that it was "pre-felted".

"How do you "pre-felt" wool?", you ask.

Simple - it needs to be "shocked".

Wash it with a small amount of detergent and HOT water - NO BLEACH!! (I'll explain about the "no bleach" thing, later).

Rince it with COLD water.

Dry your piece of wool in a HOT dryer.

Not only does it fluff up your piece of wool, but it prepares it so that you can now appliqué your wool and know, for sure, that you'll never need to worry about it shrinking. You will be able to use and wash your quilt... just like you would a cotton quilt.

Oh.... if you buy "hand dyed" wool, it's already been pre-felted.... Although you might want to pre-felt it, anyhow.

* * * * NO BLEACH, PLEASE * * * * *

When I first started rug hooking, with this wool, our local shop owner told me the BEST way to find out if your "wool" is 100% pure is to take a glass and fill it with 1/4 inch of "bleach", only. Add a little snippet of your wool to this and let it sit overnight.

Gilbert and I did this - we're both "Doubting Thomases"....

The next morning, there was NOTHING left in the glass. The snippet of wool and COMPLETELY disappeared, just like the shop owner had told us.

Soooooo, basically, wool and bleach DO NOT MIX well.

* * * * RE-PURPOSED WOOL * * * * *

There's a "Frenchys" just up the hill from where I live. It's a "used" clothing and item store. This Frenchys put "wool" items in a bin for rug hookers. The same kind of wool can be re-used for appliquéing, as well. When you're re-purposing wool from clothing, you need to carefully read the label. This being said, you might not be too concerned if it's 80% wool and 20% polyester. Perhaps it's the EXACT color you've been looking for and your finished piece will go as a wall hanging and you're "okay" with this. You ARE the designer after all, right?

If you DO bring home a piece from a used clothing store, put in DIRECTLY in your washer and WASH IT RIGHT AWAY!!! Do not pass "GO"!

There's a very slim chance that this item might have moth eggs in it. HOT WATER and soap will kill moths and their eggs. You don't want to mix your 2nd hand wool items with your "new" wool pieces, right?

Another bit of advice?
Try to put some fresh lavender, tucked into your wool stash. Apparently, moths HATE lavender! And its a much better smelling option than "moth balls", right?

The nice thing about wool appliqué is that you don't need to worry about your 1/4" seam allowance and turn it under. Wool doesn't fray like cotton. You just do your blanket stitch or your running stitch! Saves time and energy.

To appliqué, all's you do is trace your pattern on "Heat 'n Bond" or any similar product. Iron it on your piece of wool. Cut around the ironed on piece of Heat 'n Bond, peal off your backing and re-iron it onto your quilt block....

Then appliqué. Easy.

(3 hours later....)

I went and picked up that piece of "Oatmeal" colored wool and while chit-chatting with the shop owner, she told me that she uses freezer paper to trace her design, iron it on the wool, cut out the pattern, peel OFF the freezer paper and then, she uses a LOT of pins to pin down her design. She says your needle doesn't have to go through the "glue" (AKA Heat 'n Bond or other similar product). It's easier on the hand, wrist and fingers PLUS it's more pleasing to the eyes. I've prepped my pieces for the 1st BOM with Lite Heat 'n Bond 'cept for the bunnies.

I think I'll try her technique for the bunnies and let you know what I think of this technique.

Personally, I LOVE the 3 dimensional feel to wool appliqué.
My fingers love to caress it!
What can I say - I'm nuts!


That's about it!

Hope you join in with this BOM!

If you do, write and send me an update....
I'll be heading off, in this cold, this afternoon, for my "oatmeal" wool. My local wool store has a chunk pre-cut for me!*

Have a Super Sunday!



Elly D said...

Great post Rosa :) Never would have occurred to me that there may be moth eggs in a piece of second hand wool salvage.
I'll bear that in mind next time. My mum gets her sister's (my aunt) cast off clothing... it is good stuff.... so I usually check through it (since mum rarely wears them but can't put them out) and if there's anything I suspect to be wool or cotton I will bring it home with the idea of re-purposing it into some craft. I've yet to get to use any. Most are just good for heavier use like bags.
Hugs Ellyx
statee : Scottish word for a mess... "you're in a right statee" Okay that one is bad...

tich said...

Great post! Looking forward to sewing my rabbits!

Cyn ;-) said...

Wonderful post, Rosa. Thank you for explaining how to handle the wool, etc. I have only heard of 'felting' wool in a top-loading washer; I sure hope my front-loader will do the trick. I'm so glad you mentioned about the bleach. Some of us are germ-a-fobes and bleach everything! lol
This will be such a fun BOM, and extra fun b/c so many of us are doing it all together! Can't wait to see your first pictures of the bunnies!