A few more pins…the possibilities are endless!

Recent cool temperatures (we camped north of Duluth this past week and overnight temps were down to 32 degrees!), trees bursting with gorgeous yellow, orange, red, and rust leaves, and bright sunshine are all confirming that the fall season is is full swing. I even received my tulip bulbs for planting and the cucumbers, tomatoes and beans are finally winding down their production. Some days it is hard to stay inside and work. Last week I finished 4 trunk show sessions at Quilters Haven in Rosemount, Minnesota. The owner, Jean Graham, was very supportive and helpful when I first sought opinions about my wool pieces. She has a wonderful selection of wool yardage ready to be felted – many rich colors that are not always easy to find. So often felted wool is sold in small pieces, which can provide great variety, but you really need some yardage in order to make a larger project. I was so pleased to be able to present my work and samples – her customers were very receptive and expressed interest in my teaching some classes. I had brought a few pins along just to show what I did with some of my ‘leftovers’ and they seemed to be a big hit. So I have tentatively agreed to teach a class for the pins as well as one for the toppers. But first, I have to get the patterns written and produced for the pins! And here I am, still just having fun with all the possibilities!!!

Oak Leaf Pin with 3 D acorns

Oak Leaf Pin close up of acorns and colored pencil shading on leaves

Rust Ruffles with fused batik fabric

Can you guess that I was in a fall color mood?!?! I used colored pencil to add a bit of green around the stem stitching in the oak leaves pin above – it helps to press it with an iron as it kind of ‘sets’ the color (although not in the true sense of ‘setting’ as one does with mordants and dyes!). I also used covered floral wire sandwiched in the leaves so they could be bent and shaped some, but the wire also functioned as a stem. Unfortunately, I do not remember where I got this floral wire! It is cloth covered which makes it perfect for fitting in with a stitchery/embroidery project. I did google it – ‘cloth covered floral wire’ – and it seems to be fairly available in various gauges. If you are going to buy some, remember that the higher the number the thinner the wire. I have to say that making the 3 dimensional acorns called for some putzing around, but I did have fun with the results.

The rust ruffles pin just called for the visual excitement of the complimentary green batik fabric which I fused to the wool felt and then edged with a blanket stitch. Because of the layers this created, I was able to add a bit of sparkle by scattering small beads on top of the batik while hiding all stitching in the middle of the layers!

White and beige ruffled pin with 2 different beaded edgings

Black and beige batik pin with Swarovski crystals

Black and beige batik pin – close up view

The beige and white ruffled pin pictured on the left above, is a rather straightforward ruffled process, but I used two different beaded edgings – one for the beige and one for the white. While I kept the color palette fairly neutral, one could spice this idea up by using brighter or more strongly covered beads. The black and beige batik pin, shown in the next two photos, was my answer to ‘who says a flower pin has to be a flower color?!!’ I like the idea that you can use flower designs as a springboard to create any kind of pin, even one that may not resemble a flower!! Again, I fused batik fabric to the wool felt and blanket stitched around. I enjoyed trying the square ended ‘petals’ and have more ideas for them. Of course the addition of Swarovski crystals – these were faceted rondells that needed to be sewn on – gives any pin a bit more sophistication. And you can’t tell it by the photo but the center button is raised much like the small end of an egg, making for a perfect center.

I am anxious to get back to making the pins I have laid out on my work table. It’s been a bit more than two weeks since I have been able to work on them. National Non Woven contacted me and has asked me to send some of the pins and a few table toppers for their booth/display at the International Quilt Market/show in Houston this October. So I have to get busy and decide just what to send. If you happen to be attending the show, be sure to visit their booth. Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog about any that you think you’d like to see!

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