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My dear diary I can't believe 
it has been a year  since I last posted. 
 It seems as I grow older, 
weeks become days and I am going through life like
 the 'little old lady from Pasadena
 at break neck speed. 
 'Go Grannie, Go Grannie, Go Grannie Go'

It seems my dear diary I have gotten myself 
in a 'right ole mess' the last year and
 I am fine with making mistakes 'if' 
I learn from them but if not, then 
I lay the blame on me and deservingly so.

 I should have known better,
 I should have recognized the signs and 
as I will refer to them..'the trap'.
I truly believe to some of us, wool is an addiction.
 From the time we start our first wool project,
 we are 'hooked'.  
It then becomes a sequence of events very similar to us all. 
 The difference becomes how far we take the addiction. 

Many stay in a 'slightly addicted' state and
 feed on just doing rug after rug, project after project, 
with a few other types of 'needle pleasures' 
to quietly replace the hours of relaxation 
from work and family and of course retirement.
 Others, like myself and many of you,
 have the 'need' to go further and before long 
it progresses to a 'full blown addiction',  

We are not satisfied with just buying and stitching,
 we crave more, we never have enough and
 we then fall into 'the hoarding trap'. 
We need wool.. lots and lots of wool and
 as much as we find, it is never enough. 

We shop the thrift stores as we shop for groceries,
 every week, every day as you never know 
when that perfect piece of wool is going to arrive. 
We now buy wool by the bolt instead of the yard
 and then we dye. 
We learn and perfect the methods, 
buy the equipment and 
of course books upon books and 
class upon class to feed our need.

 We are not satisfied with the designs of others and we begin the creative design journey (my favourite of 'the traps'). And we hook and hook and stitch and stitch until we have more rugs than we can use or give away and so it now starts.

 The major addiction trap of ...we sell our wares to feed our need for more wool, more dyes, more classes and camps..more, more, more...

 For many of us it stays at that harmless level of selling a few finished pieces but for some of us even that is not enough.  It happens so innocently,
 just a few friends 'gushing' over your designs
 and then comes the question..'

Do you sell patterns?'
 'I would love to buy a kit'.  

We ask ourselves..why not? 

 Yes I can sell patterns and kits, after all I have all of that wool hoarded just waiting for the dye pot and away we go...not many just a few patterns and kits for those friends...and then you discover it is much easier to sell the patterns and kits than the finished rugs...and you dye more wool and create more designs because....it feeds 'the need' for more wool, more supplies, that fancy frame and the special iron not to mention the absolute must of the special light well everyone has those and you now have the funds to buy all of those 'must have' gadgets and so now we are faced with yet another 'trap'.  

 Our buying friends become 'not enough'. 
We now venture in to the show circuits and the internet.
More orders and more buyers 'gushing' over our designs and we now have perfected the art of dyeing and they absolutely love our wool and buy it.

 Somewhere between making those few patterns and kits for our friends and now exhibiting at shows and well everyone needs a website these days, life changes and it happens so slowly because we are doing what we love, aren't we?  

We don't realize or even notice the small day to day changes that become month after month and we fall head first into the worst of all the 'traps'.  

Gradually our life changes and it happens so slowly. 

The times in our days of relaxing with our wool, the pleasure and meditative state of the repetition of the stitch or the hook gets less and less because we now make patterns and dye wool in such large quantities 
to make our kits, and then it is the packing and shipping,
 and of course the internet with 
the 'dings' throughout the day, posting on groups and 
between the cutting, packing, dyeing, shipping 
well we need to work on that new design.  

More orders, more sales, more wool hoarding
 but it is no more a daily event to scrounge those stores, unless 
we can spare a few minutes after
 going to the post with your packages. 


We now find that the coffee chat with friends and
 don't even think about making a new recipe 
for supper and mixing up a few biscuits from scratch.

Our day to day life has become repetitive tasks, 
deadlines and if we do find time for the coffee chat or
 spending time with family, 
those tasks and deadlines are always 
looming in the back of our mind. 

 Even the creative process is dampened by
 'must do'..no longer do we feel that 
wonderful satisfaction of creating because it is now forced.

New designs for new patterns and kits and new rugs
 for shows we are never ready for and 
so it has begun.

We have taken our love of wool, our joy of
 creating and designing, the fun part of wool
 coming out of the dye pot in the most 
wonderful shades and colour patterns to
 'The Business Trap'.  

Between those first few patterns and kits for friends 
and we really had only wanted the money to
 feed our addiction, you now have a full time business. 

We have shows booked, inventory and more work 
in a 24 hour day than an employee of 'one' can accomplish. 

Stress becomes a daily enemy and it isn't that we are 
making money now to buy those frivolous needs,

it all goes back to keeping a business going that
 we really didn't want.  

There are many wool addicts that love the challenge and 
where would we be without those wonderful designers. 
They enjoy the business part as well as the wool addiction 

BUT...they realize when it becomes a business 
not of 'one' but it's time to hire help, be it family, friends or 
as in a regular business 'the help wanted ads'.  

I don't want a business,
I want to share my hobby, 
my love of wool and design. 

 I don't want days and weeks of production work 
consisting of dyeing, cutting, counting and
 whatever else is needed to make my kits. 

I want to design, I want to stitch. 
 I don't want to feed my addiction,
 I want to feed my soul. 
I want the thrill and challenge 
of looking at an antique rug and 
reproducing it as close as possible to the original.

 I want to create designs from my own thoughts and stories.  
I want to stop hoarding and 
know what it feels like to be 
organized in my own little space.

I so easily slipped into 'the trap'.
 I should have known better.
It happened a year ago with the 
teaching class and rug on our Facebook group 

The Ladies and Gents of the Wool Circle Club'. 

 It was my fourth online class and the others gave me 
no problems and honestly a lot of fun and good times.  
The kit became the trap for me.  
I stopped counting at 125 kits sold last summer and 
since have brought back and sold many more. 
 My absolute last 7 kits are shipped this week and no more.  

I also fell into the trap of not being able to say a firm 'NO'.  

We now have over 2000 members and for most, 
my old designs are new and 
requests came in to bring back kits. 

 I should have said NO.. 
but I brought many back in quantity.
When I am finished with a design, 
they hold no thrill or satisfaction, 
just what seems to be a continuous production line of
 dyeing, cutting, counting and packing.

It takes only a few mistakes, 
a few unforeseen health issues 
and the orders are late shipping. 
It isn't late by a dozen anymore as in the past, 
my limit for one design was at the most 12 kits at a time..
it has now become something beyond my control and 
at that point it was time to have hired help. 

 Still I struggled on and more times 
I did not say NO.. more back orders.

My last design was The David's Star Kit and 
the trim for those are being shipped this week.
Stress and guilt became my daily enemies because as long as
 I would work, and many 12 hour days, it seemed
 I could not get orders out in a reasonable length of time. 

 The David's Star was the last time I stitched a rug.. 
I have not stitched nor designed since last September.
 Guilt sent most  customers free wool 
and kits along with orders,
 I have 42 of the Maw and Paw kits to send 
free to my very patient customers 
who have stuck with me through this ordeal. 

 It seems a never ending cycle as those 42 kits 
take my time, the freebies take my time
 as do the late purchased orders they go in. 
Not only do the freebies take my time, 
it makes other orders late and so the cycle continues.

I'd rather be stitching. 

 I am doing more than 'one'.
It is time to make changes,
 it is time to find the help 
to have no orders on the books. 

 It is time to let go of the 
vintage linens, quilts and much of the wool
 I have hoarded for over 20 years. 

It is time to understand I have so many beautiful things 
I will never use and it is time to 
'take time for me' 
and be pro-active with my health issues. 

 It is time to stitch and design.

I absolutely blame myself for this mess as it  
happened with my first love.. quilting. 

 I so innocently started with the intention of just
 selling and stitching to finish our first home. 
 Lucas was only 2 years of age, 
I chose to have a business and when 
Lucas was 4 years of age, 
mommy and daddy had
 6 full time employees, 
3 retail shops 
and over 50 home-sewers plus 
the retail and wholesale show circuits. 

  It was then I developed environmental allergies 
that took me on a 10 year journey of healing. 

 I can't help but see the similarity to my life 
stressed with wool and my heath issues I have today.

I believe there comes a time when if 
you don't do what is needed, 
your body will make that happen.

I continue to struggle with the computer, 
with emails and messages. 

 As Avery says 'Nannie you are so Old School!'  

I will not use those phones and tablets 
that ding every five minutes 
nor will I ever type with my thumbs.  
I am not afraid to be different and take my own path...

I am just 'me' please take me as I am
I'm not going to change but how I live my life 
must change.

I will find a way to design and stitch my rugs, 
to share in a way that works for my life, 
be it connecting with social media and friend
or sharing a few kits (only  a few).

I will give in for the summer and
hire the help when needed to
have no orders outstanding and
to sell most of my 20 year stash of
wool and linens.
I want to go in to a room and see my
treasures I choose to keep rather than
sort through boxes and wonder where 
I put that army blanket.

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My Goodness Where Goes My Time!

It seemed only a few months since
my last blog post and not a year!!!

2016 was a year of struggles and changes,
but  in this new year I look forward to
many wonderful things,
 new rugs, new home, new challenges and new friends.

I will be teaching a new penny rug class
starting mid May and several more throughout the summer.

The first class will make the little rug in the photo above, using,
Yes, it is true, no pins needed to do the penny rugs.
This class will be an 'open border' edge and in 
other classes through the summer I will have
instructions on binding edges, pillow case edging,
colour theory, the 10 foot rule, and designing 
wool applique from antique hooked rugs.

This class will start with videos on how to cut perfect
circles, the various layouts of penny rug making and
various stitches to use on the rugs along with 
the most often miss-understood basics of  fabrics, felting and threads.
Step by step video and class instructions to finish 
the Diamond Vintage Wool Rug and finally I will 
go into detail video and instructions to
make your own onion dye and age rugs.
I just may throw in a few of my age dyeing 'secrets' as well.

The kit for the first class is optional but there is nothing
like the actual 'doing and stitching' to grasp these new techniques.

This is an 'open' kit and will be available until I start the second class.
The colours are very muted in soft greens, rusts, various browns and 
measures 9 and 1/2 inches by 15 inches.

Kit includes pre-cut pennies, age dyed cotton base, 
a generous supply of my new aged threads, plus a few surprises.

Price of the kit is 48.00  shipping included.
Kit is only available by emailing either Cee or Colleen 

The class will be on our new Facebook group

Colleen and I hope to meet you there!

Happy Stitching!
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My Goodness!!
Has it really been January since I've last blogged?

Much has happened since those Scrappy Log Cabin Kits.
My rugs have now become 'a family affair'.
Everyone is helping including my 
sweet four year old grandson

Avery has a new kit
Here Kitty Kitty
he is on commission
Avery gets 5.00 for every sale.

His Grampie cuts pennies and more pennies,
His Daddy is in charge of patterns
His Mommy is my assistant to 
whatever I need and
Nannie now has time to do what
I love, to design and stitch.
and so.. 
this is what has been happening
 since my last post.

The 'Corrie Penny Runner' is my newest kit.
I so enjoyed stitching this rug!  It is adapted from
a antique cushion recently sold on

My goal this year is to work on my stitching.
To have primitive stitches and 
this one is so very easy yet looks very prim.
It is a blanket stitch but reversed to show
the circle on the inside edge of the penny.

The construction is very similar to the
Scrappy Log Cabins.
The squares are pinned as the runner base,
basted and stitched with the 
herringbone stitch.
Pennies are then stitched 
in random sizes in the 
reverse blanket stitch.

The sawtooth border is amazingly simple.
Center the triangle to the square, pin, baste and
again do the herringbone stitch.
The triangles are finished in a blanket stitch.

The pennies could also be blanket stitched
if you choose the 
'not so messy' look to your runner.

Of course as you know..
every rug tells a story and to read the
story of 'Corrie' visit my listing in 

This year I will have several rugs to
teach a lesson on making penny rugs.

This is the first of the teaching rugs,
Flowers of Spring

The rug is constructed of only 
one inch circles with a stitch
exactly as the blanket stitch except
the needle always starts in the center 
of the circle instead of the edge 
of the penny.
Very easy and simple.

The 'Teaching Part' of this kit is 
how to choose shades of thread to
compliment the shades of wool in your rug.

Most rug use one shade and this too can be
deceiving especially light and dark thread.

I also will talk about the size of thread
how the stitch and shade changes the 
colours in your rug and ..
something I use in every rug I design.
The 10 foot rule

More information in my listing for this kit on

P.S.   I will be working on uploading videos over the weekend.

Yes I finally gave in and did it!!
I know many of you have admired this rug.
It is my Halifax Rug chosen by 
Early American Life 
to photograph in their magazine
the year I was chosen for their 
Artisans Directory.

Over 400 circles and many, many yards of 
my age dyed string, this is the 
largest rug I have stitched.

I have a few kits left but when those are gone..
this one is gone forever!!!
No going back because I only have enough
wool dyed for those pennies.
Each shade of the pennies had to be 
dyed separately and was so much work!!

The kits left are in 

Granted Kitty is taking quite a hug but 
could anyone resist that sweet face?

If Kitty could  talk..
what would she say..

Kitty is also listed in 

Yes there are now PATTERNS!

A bit different in format from the 
regular paper patterns
(would you expect normal from me?)
The patterns are full size and 
hand traced on freezer paper.
No printing, marking, enlarging..
iron to your wool
cut and start stitching your rug!

Old Favourites from years ago along with
last year's kit patterns. such as the 
Heart'n Hands
The Marriage Rug
The Colonial Basket
and more.. 

These will be available on and off throughout
this year and then retired.

Whew.. well that is about what is happening with
our family since the first of the year.

I'm so excited to be able to just 
design and stitch
well ..
it's not too bad that I am able to
 'boss everyone around'

and finally from 
Avery and Nannie

A big smile and ..


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The Scrappy Log Cabin Kits have been the most difficult and challenging kits
since I started selling the kits a year and a half ago.
My original samples were easy and quick.  I used freezer paper and cut the
 'wonky' logs, basted together and stitched.  
Easy as could be!
However, when it came to kit up the designs for orders
 a multitude of problems happened.

 My logs worked because it was one freezer pattern, cut to sew 
one log square.  To use the freezer paper and send out to cut the logs would not
work because each individual log needs to match with the original sheet of paper pattern.
Even if the cut varies one eight of an inch it would not work.
This was after cutting over 40 freezer paper blocks and finding they would not work!

Most of those logs had to be hand cut over again to save and most I did not save.
These orders were for over 200 individual log blocks of which all were hand cut 
with the rotary cutter to make sure they fit perfectly when you open your package
to stitch.  Each block was then wrapped individually and numbered.

My daughter in law took over and 'piece cut' the blocks after about 150 
blocks done by me..I taught her to put the blocks together and also to 
cut the strips...I could not have gone through the last terribly stressful weeks
without her help.  I now can do the 'big quilt' kits with her help.

These past weeks have been a struggle not to mention the stress and preperations
for the holidays but it has shown me that I just cannot keep going as I have.
It is taking a toll on my health, with each new design I receive new customers along
with my every growing faithful regular customers.

It is time for a new plan.  The next kits will have a limited number cut
BEFORE I list for sale.  Those will be offered and shipped with those who did 
not order from the mailing on a waiting list.  Those kits will be made and then
the waiting list customers will be notified and invoiced.

In this way I am always current and kitting up problems if any, will not 
have my customers waiting for shipping.

One problem with this will be postage but that is something I can deal with
and another will be customers missing out on ordering.  My next kits will 
have several designs that will only be until I have used what I have in fabric
supplies.  If you are not receiving my mailing list showing the new kits please 
message me  to be added. This is where the new diesigns and the available
kits will be offered first.. just click below and ask to be added to my 

The individual blocks (A  B C) for the Runner Kit
and (A B C D) for the Bewitched Cushion Kit are
in either plastic bags or tissue.

It is very important to not mix the logs in these packages.

Open and work on one square at a time.
More later in instructions on how to do this.

Included in your kit are the base for the log squares 
in either flannel or cotton.

The logs are numbered clockwise as to the placement 
and I have also added an arrow showing the placement

It is very important to keep all arrows pointing towards you.

Most blocks will center on the base fabric by starting the
C block (center) on the center fold of the fabric 
if not adjust as necessary to have an equal amount
of the base fabric on all sides of your square.

This is a sample of Block 'A' for the Bewitched Cushion.
Again, double check the arrows.

Assemble the logs as close together and neatly as possible.
No gaps should be seen in the log rows.

Remove placement numbers.

It is now time to pin and baste the logs.

It is important to baste and not only use pins
to keep logs in place on the base fabric while
doing the decorative stitching.

Pins tend to raise the log pieces and may go
out of place however, I have also used
long pieces of scotch tape to hold the logs 
instead of pins while basting.

I baste in large running stitches from the botton
to the top of the log keeping my basting away
from the parts where my decorative stitching  will 
hold the logs  together.

In my sample log squares of which I took these instructional photos,
I, of course, had no problems with the blocks matching in size or 
the last outside logs meeting.

Because of the rotary cutting and fitting you may find a block
that does not match when putting the four cushion blocks or the
three runner blocks together.

It is very important at this stage of the instructions to
make sure you start and stop your basting stitch on all four
outsides logs.
You may need to remove the basting and cut to fit the next to last
log in the design to have blocks match.

It is very unlikely you will need to cut to fit
but if this should happen this is the way to fix the problem.


EDGE OF THE LOG SQUARES on all four outside logs.

The stitching is finished in these areas once your blocks are put 
together.  The decorative stitching is what holds the blocks 
together.  If your blocks need to be trimmed to size or when
stitching the bindings or backings you mistakenly snip
the starting threads of your decorative stitching
the floss will unravel once your piece is finished.

Open, place and baste all four blocks in the cushion
or if you are stitching the log runner, the three blocks

It is at this point you would check to see if the blocks
on the last outside log match or will  need adjustment.

The above photo is of  the cushion, blocks are
turned to have the light part of the log squares
meet in the center.
The rows of logs should match in the center
to form straight up and down lines.
I have adjusted the layout from the 
regular log cabin to use the last dark logs
as a border.  These should line up
as one long row.

If adjustments are necessary (fingers crossed not!)
remove basting from last log and cut to adjust
the next log to fit.
If you cut the last row log in the example
of the cushion above, this will make 
the dark logs which will make the 
border to the cushion squares uneven.

This photo shows the two areas where blocks need to match.

Once your blocks are matching it is time to 
enjoy the stitching!

I have used the herringbone stitch but you may 
use your favourite stitch or many types of decorative stitches.

Once your blocks are sized and the decorative stitching
is finished, it is time to stitch the blocks together,
either four blocks for the cushion or
three blocks for the runner.

This technique is very similar to the lap quilting
 popular in the 80's and 90's.

Keep the excess base fabric on one block
usually the left block and trim
excess to 1/8 inch less than the log strip
on the right block.

Match up logs, pin and baste making 
sure the excess fabric base under the
top blocks is pinned back so as to not
catch  your decorative stitching.

Stitch block A to B for the cushions

Continue with block C and D for cushions.

If you are stitching the runner continue
as above with block C to form the runner.

Once your two row block for the cushion or
the three row blocks for the runner are together,
it is time to finish the base seams on the back.

Cut excess base fabric to have enought to 
fold under, pin and slip stitch.

The cushion blocks will be hidden and
it is your choice to finish or not.

If you are using a lining along with binding
the runner, this step also may not be necessary

Please note Options at the end of the instructions.

Stitch the base only to the edge of the log squares

Complete these steps to add the second row 
blocks C and D to the cushion.

Trim excess base fabrics on both cushion and runner

Complete stitching on logs where needed.

This step is completed before adding
linings, backing and bindings,
however please keep in mind when
stitching the seams to not trim the edge of
the logs as this will break the threads.

Complete the Bewitched Cushion with
adding a back, turn, stuff and enjoy!

Complete the Scrappy Log Cabin Table Runner with 
trimming the logs even, adding a lining and binding.

The Scrappy Log Cabin Pot Holders 
are very simple.
Complete steps as for assembling the log blocks.
Add lining and binding.

The Set of Four 
Scrappy Log Cabin Pot Holders 
are cut with freezer paper templets
attached using numbers and arrows
as placement.

Assemble, remove freezer templates
and stitch using your choice of
decorative stitching.

The oval shape of the pot holders are
pre-cut with the design.

I have included a binding of heavier weight
fabric for the old and antique look
to these pot holders however,
you may use any binding of your choice
if you find working with the heavier
strips difficult.

The binding fabric has rows which 
act as lines for the sttiching of the binding.

Trim excess base and lining fabrics,
attach bindings and your 
Scrappy Pot Holders are ready to 

Please note and be mindful of the edges
of the pot holders when stitching and
trimming for the linings and bindings

to NOT CUT the edges of the pot holders
and break the decorative stitching threads

Other Thoughts and Options

I like the look of the herringbone stitching showing on the back
of the base and I have used this on the pot holders and 
no lining materials.  
You may uses your choice of print fabrics as bases for
the log squares to emiminate lining the runner and pot holders.

Another option is to use lining and add quilting with the
same shade of threads as the decorative stitching.

This is called 'stitching in the ditch quilting'.

Adding quilting will 'puff' the logs for a
pleasing effect to the log design.

Adding the blocks together before the
decorative stitching is added is another option
however, be careful not to catch your stitching
in the fold over areas of the base.

It is possible to baste all blocks, finish
the base stitching 
(slipstitching block bases together)
however I found it much easier and quicker
to stitch one block at a time.

I'm always here to help and answer questions
I can be contacted HERE via email and
I ask your patience with replies as it seems
I'm always behind on emails.

The new kits of a Log Cabin Quilt are a 'GO"!

They willl be sold per block which allows
customers a choice of size and what to make
be it one small cushion, runner, lap quilt etc.

Thank you all for your patience, support
and understanding through my 
'growing pains'

Patterns are coming this month along
with a few other designs and 
need I say..
a big relief for me..

Happy Stitching!

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And the first kits of the wool log cabins will be ready.
This IS NOT the log cabin quilt kit.

I had such fun working up the design I thought 
I would make a few 'smalls' with the log cabin
wool technique.
So very simple, everything will be cut for you.
Open your package, follow the numbered template,
thread your needle and stitch!

I will be doing the step by step
instructions here on my blog.

Of course there will be pot holders...
I love the antique pot holders from patchwork but
at 100 dollars and up for one ..
I'm making my own!

These are not yet bound and pressed but
I am pleased with them.

I will not be listing these on Etsy
when they are ready to go.
They will go to my mailing list first
and then here on the blog.
These kits will be difficult to judge 
combined shipping which I would
need to do with an Etsy listing and so
I will do these kits with sending a 
paypal invoice.
If there are kits left,
I may add a few to my Etsy Shop and
then refund the extra postage but
I cannot do that with a large quantity of orders.
Way too complicated for my simple math skills!

It has been a very stressful three weeks!
I unfortunately came down with the nasty cold/flu
that is making the rounds.
Secondary infection and three weeks of feeling terrible
has pushed the Mamie, Matilda and Dee kits a 
week late in shipping.
Everything else is up to date and in the post.
The remaining orders will be finished in a few days
and in the post.

Recently I have had many requests to sell only patterns.

It is really something I do not want to do,
I would like at this point to just design
a limited amount of  kits 
 and then design again.

Most of my designs come with patterns attached
with freezer paper and you already have the pattern.
along with your kit.

You may make more of my design to sell the finished
item or for your own use but 
please, please I ask you give me credit as the designer
of the pattern.

And I have learned a very important lesson
from last months kits.

Of course, it did have much to do with not feeling well
but I have found bringing kits back 
a second time around is pure 'drugery' for me.
No fun, nothing exciting, just endless 
cutting, cutting and cutting
packing and packing.

Thank goodness I could play with
the new log kits!

And so this is the last time designs will come back.
Once they are sold and/or a 
new design takes their place they are 
and will be forever retired.

I  have left the listings up for last month 
in my Etsy shop but
they will be retired in a few days when 
the logs are ready to go.

So.. absolutely last chance for the
Marriage Rug
Christmas Stockings
Mamie, Matilda and Dee
Heart'n Hands and
The Salmon Rug

My thoughts..
I want to play with my log cabins now!

I will be very pleased not to cut more of those
leaves and hands.

I will wait a few days if anyone doesn't want
to miss on these kits and please remember
the two to three week shipping times.
I really want to play with my logs now!

Thank you everyone for your patience and kind words.
Next post will be the instructions for the
log cabin technique.

If you would like frist chance at the
log kits please 
with your email address 
to be added to my mailing list.

the kits will be there for a few days
however if you would like a 
break on shipping just message 
at the above email and I will
invoice you throught paypal.

Oh my.. time for more meds..
Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Happy Stitching!

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It's been a long six weeks of 
cutting hands and leaves.

I am relieved to know the 
Heart'n Hands is retired
Mamie, Matilda and Dee
have arrived in

Mamie and Dee 
are the exact 
same patterns but the colours
of pennies, the thread,
the base shade and fabric
give a totally different look.
Mamie and Dee are 
set out with a 2 inch penny.

Matilda has the same shades 
as Mamie but using a 
one and one half inch 
penny base.

I won't go into details of the kits as 
they are well described in my Etsy Shop Listings

These rugs were stitched back in 2009
and I thought it would be fun to 
bring a limited number back
as kits along with a few
of this past years
shown below as I ramble on
about my 'failures' with the 
dye pots.

I've never offered the bags of pennies
in three sizes...above is just one 
example of the type of rug that 
could be stitched with the 
Winter Blues bag of pennies.

A large rug requires the 2-inch penny
I will not be offering the aged
dyed string any time soon.

It's been many years of dyeing the string
It came out perfect.. many of you have
used my string in kits .

I just cannot seem to get a good
batch from the dye pot.
My last three times were complete
The string for the Salmon Kit
The string for a few of the Marriage Rugs
now listed in my shop 

Of course when I brought back a few 
of the 
Christmas Stocking Kits 
I needed to dye string.

I dyed as always.. spotted..
some areas dark, some the dye
completely did not take in the string.

What to do..I could not just 
discard all of those hanks of string.

I could not overdye again
as they would be almost 
dark brown and black.

The dyed needed to be 
and so..
the sink was filled with
very hot water and ...

Oxyclean crystals
an overnight soak and 
rinse, rinse, rinse, 
rinse, rinse
and back in the dye pot.

Still not a uniform dye job.. so
back in the oxy and the 
bit about the rinse again..

Back in the dye pot and 
yes, this time it worked!!!

I have not a clue what I am 
doing wrong but whatever
is wrong is very time-consuming!

The close up above is of the Dee Rug
Notice the smaller penny
bottom left.. a shade somewhat
as thousand island dressing.
This is the shading the 
oxyclean will give
why I am not sure.. it does not
remove colour to the original shade.
The amount of colour removed 
depends on how long it is
soaked in the water and crystals.
and this is the interesting part..

Oxyclean also works on wool!!!

It does not affect the strength of 
the wool .. we always think
of bleach as a test for wool.

The oxy just slightly removes
and dulls the colours of the wool. 
I have soaked ready made rugs in 
the Oxyclean.
Just be sure to rinse well and
 wash with a mild detergent.

When time permits I need to 
investigate (play)
further with the 
wool and oxyclean.

I can see many possibilities!

The photo above shows a few of the vintage cottons
I will use in the Dee Rug Kit
I know I actually 'shout to you' in the listing
but I should say again.

Please do not order this kit if you do not
enjoy working with very worn and thin textiles
and frayed pennies.

If you have a tub of the oxclean
and  scraps of dyed
wool.. give it a try..
watch the soak time by watching
the colour change and rinse
as soon as it looks good.

oh.. those pretty white dye pots..
fill with water 
heat as normal and add 
a bit of oxy..
sparkling whites!

My last kit this fall will probably be the
log cabin quilt kits.

They require a lot of dyed blanket 
wool in many shades..
but thankfully..
no string.

Thank you all for reading my ramblings
As always kits are very limited..

Wishing all a very relaxing and enjoyable fall weekend
Happy Stitching!
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Finally, the two new kits are finished!
It has been quite a struggle with the 
hands and fish rugs because
the rugs in my mind
are not how they eventually finished.

Colleen and I have a saying when
a rug gives us problems.
'The rug will tell you what it needs.'

They did but the Salmon played
tricks on me and the 
Heart'n Hands stayed silent for
two weeks!

Most designs I can actually 'see' the finished rug 
in my mind..just choosing the shades of wool
and tweaking patterns and sizes
mostly I have trouble with shades of wool.

I wanted aged red threads on antique black wool
for the Salmon.
The Salmon stayed silent until it was time
to stitch him and then of course..
The red string with salmon wool..
looked terrible!
Not to mention cutting and stitching large
tongues that also did not work!
I could have finished and completed
four rugs in the time it took to complete
this one!

The Heart'n Hands also stayed silent..
I stitched and then did the 10 foot rule
I removed and started over..
I actually stitched one hand three times!
I discovered I had the thumb pointing the wrong way.
I can't believe I removed that hand and 
stitched it on again with the thumb the wrong way!

My husband is a huge Star Trek fan.
As I was stitching the rug I really wanted
to do the fingers of one hand as Spock
had done with the Vulcan Salute.
Now that would have been an 
interesting story for the rug!

But I resisted.. and so 
the story of this rug is
dedicated to a wonderful
facebook group of early
artisans and craftspersons.

I am asked often why I do my rugs.
What makes me reproduce rugs and not
early quilts or other textiles..
I have a love of everything early in
the textile arts but the penny rugs
have my heart.
Words cannot explain but 
that feeling in my heart is 
worked with my hands.
I'm sure many feel the same way.

We collect and long for the homes of 
a hundred years.. to open the door and
step back in time surrounded by 
things our heart loves and 
possessions we cherish.

We just cannot explain to someone that 
lives with modern.  Lucky is the partner
that shares the love .. the leather recliner
and big screen tv can be a problem.

Suzanne Kizis has created a group on facebook
Many of the artisans chosen in the
Early American Life Directory 
are there as well as other very
talented artisans, collectors and 
those who understand the meaning

The love in our hearts of the old
we created with our hands.

Please check Suzanne's group
on facebook, we are almost
1000 strong with the love of
early American life and wares.

The fish rug too has a story.
This rug will go to my son, Lucas.

Growing up Lucas could not wait for fishing season.
I remember one year on opening day.. it snowed.
Lucas bundled up with his rod and reel, tackle box
snow boots and parka.. on his bicycle he goes to 
the favourite fishing hole.

Salmon fishing was a very important way of life
here on the Medway.
Most caught their yearly catch, betting who
would be first and second the weight.
Salmon planked suppers, fishermen in waders
watching the skill with the fly rods are a
part of history as our beautiful
Medway is now closed to salmon fishing.

This rug is for my son..
the only salmon he will catch from our 
Medway River and I hope
when he tells the story of the rug
it will be a few tall tales of 
growing up as a boy 
fishing on the 

Both kits are now listed 

I will not go into details of the kits as
they are in the listings.

The Heart'n Hands is a bit different for a kit
It is one 'we'.. you and I..
design together..
Change the design
Emblish with embroidery
Add your own dates and initials.. or not
Make it your own design
Your Heart to Your Hands

Quanties are very limited with these kits.
Due to the antique black backgrounds
 I can offer more than my usual number
of kits.

My mailing list went out yesterday and 
Heart'n Hands sold out over night.
I have added 6 more kits... 
after those are sold it will be a waiting list
only depending on the wool I have left for
the hearts and hands.

Thank you Everyone 
for reading my ramblings..
as always.. I wish you..

Happy Stitching!
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Would anyone but Cee
unravel the throw shown
above to use as threads?
A recent find at my local
thrift shop yesterday.
I knew it was not wool but
could not resist bringing it
home with me.
This morning I unraveled
the threads, tested and
they are absolutely
perfect for my new kit!
They stitch very 'fuzzy'
and will be a perfect
shade for the new
Heart and Hands Kit
being released in a
few days.
Just remember to not
'fluff' your fabric in
the dryer before you
This was continued from my
last blog posting and
so I thought you may like to
see an actual piece I am using
for the thread.

I have also listed in my
a few of the sample rugs
from the previous month's kits.
A few have already sold as
I write this blog post.

And a few more..
I have decided to list my original
Ned and Jake as well.
A short posting today as the new
kits await stitching.
I absolutely love when the design
is done..the wool is dyed and
the stitching and finishing
brings a rug together!
Next blog post will introduce
the new kits.
My mailing list goes out first with
new items and this past month
a special listing only
available to my mailing list.
If you are not on my mailing list
please email me
and I will add to my list.
If you are on my list you
would have received a
mailing today.
Happy Stitching to All
I know it will be an
enjoyable few days for Cee!



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I receive many questions on the making of
penny rugs and although I have stitched and
designed rugs for over 20 years.
I am not an expert, but I do know
There are no 'right' or 'wrong' ways to stitch a 
penny rug.
This rug was stitched for an upcoming video on 
'Questions and Answers'
on cutting, stitching, threads etc.

If you have questions please leave a comment
on my blog and I will 
do my best to include your answer
in the video

My original 'sample' rug above has 
many 'flaws', it is much easier to show
'what not to do' and how to correct
the problem rather than to show a 'near' 
perfect rug then explain how it will 
look if you skip steps or 

It is a very simple rug to stitch.
The stitching and techniques are the same as
the videos showing the candle mat construction
just add a few more rows of pennies in the
center for the length of the rug and then
adding rows to size the rug.

To view my Youtube Videos

Threads are my age dyed string as
 used in most of my kits.
The stitch is almost the same as the regular
blanket stitch with the exception of 
inserting your needle on an angle to
make the 'v' shape instead of the 
regular up and down of the blanket stitch.
There are many tutorials available 
if you google 
Closed Banket Stitch or 
Closed Buttonhole Stitch.

What a difference the stitch makes to 
the look of this rug!
It reminds me of lace.
It looks a bit 'elegant' although..

One doesn't really think of 'elegant'
when working with plaid woolens.
Yes, those pennies are all plaid woolens 
from the leftover scraps of the 
plaid bundles previously
 offered for sale. 

A regular blanket stitch would not give
this rug the same 'look'.
Solid colour pennies, even with the 
closed blanket stitch,
would not give this rug the same 'look'.

To stitch this rug showing predominately
the plaid fabrics in the pennies,
use a thread and stitch that 'blends' or 
softens the look of the fabrics and/or
colours in the rug.
A two strand DMC floss would
stitch a completely different style
rug using the exact same
 pennies in this kit.
Different shades of floss.. again
another look, however, I would not
recommend different shades of thin
or heavier threads because there
comes a time in a rug design
'too much' 
'too much'
Too much colour, texture etc.

Tone down fabrics and/ or colours by
making the thread and stitch the main
design focus of your rug.
Tone down the threads and stitching to
make the colours of the pennies the 
main focus in the design.

Simple right?
It definitely IS fun
to experiment with threads
 and stitches.

This very easy and simple kit
is now available in my
until the new
Applique Kits are ready.

Kits are complete with
pre cut plaid pennies
base and lining cottons and
a generous amount of my
age dyed string thread.

A large runner measuring
12 by 23 inches.

Just open your package
thread your needles and
enjoy the stitching!

thread is anything that is 
strong enough to stitch, be it
a frayed piece of fabric, yarn,
burlap, or a ball of common string.

Fabric for pennies is just that..
wool, cottons, synthetics.
The 'look' of the fabric makes
your design and not the
content label.

Most of all, have fun
think creatively.

Again, if you should have
any penny rug questions
please leave in the 
I'll do my best to help!

Happy Stitching!

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The 'best-laid plans of mice and 'cee' 
often go awry.

My website is 'on hold'
What was I thinking??
The perfectionist that I am,  would never
be content with anything but complete
control ..and so it is back to learning
about HTML and  gradually
working on the new site over
the summer months.

And so.. new kits are now listed 
in my Etsy Shop.

I have finally caught up with past work.
It has been a struggle with the 
Marriage Rug and the
Old'n Aged/Worn kits.

Kits and orders are shipped and 
on their way ..videos are 'live' for
the kit instructions.

I take pride in my work and in
delivering a quality and simple to
stitch and understand product.
One that will look as close to
the original as possible.

I thought you may enjoy seeing what
happens 'behind the scenes'
with the making of the kits.

The Making of the Old Penny Rugs - YouTube

Not all kits are this 'labour intensive' but
most involve hand cutting pennies, tongues,
bases, dyeing wool once or twice.
setting out each and every order,
packing and finally shipping.
Over the last two months I have
hand cut thousands of pennies 
and tongues, dye pots most every day
and long hours most days.
I enjoy each and every minute!
I'm ready to do it all over again
for the new 
May Kits!

I have had many requests to
bring back a beginner design
 Candle Mat Kit

I have not one.. but two
this month.
A Large Candle Mat Kit
with the same amount of stitching
as the two mats kit in
darker shades highlighted by
several shades of browns with
the top penny.
This one has something new..
Knotted in each penny center as
the old knotted quilts.

The second kit is very similar to the 
original kit a year ago.
Two little mats but with a larger
top penny design in a hit and miss
shading of muted, soft age dyed colours.

Both kits have the same amount of stitching
and are very easy to make up if you
have never made a penny rug.

My videos are there and so am I
to help you complete your first rug.

The 'main' learning kit' this month is my
Grandmother's Flower Garden Rug
A kit designed with a base of 
2 inch pennies.
Large rugs are of course the same process
as the smaller rugs but a few
tips and tricks make these larger
rugs easy and simple to stitch.

This will be the learning videos for June.
I will go through a step by step
video series dealing with these
larger rugs.
I am 'totally pennied out' and so
I am offering a simple to 
'dye, cut and pack'
for me as a 2 inch rug kit this month
so you can stitch and follow the videos.

This is an excellent rug design to 
learn the makings of a large penny rug.
It only 'looks' complicated.

I would like to thank my family
Lucas and his Dad will be 
cutting the pennies for these kits.

My family has also cut 
thousands of plaid pennies just for you.

Left over scraps from the wool bundles
became pennies of many plaids.

A lifetime of collecting plaids and
a great idea to add to your plain
pennies and woolens for
not only an amazing 
'one of a kind'
penny style rug but also
for smaller projects with
plain woolens.

If you have purchased the previous
package of cut pennies 
these will work well as they
were all dyed with the same process.

and finally...

As I have previously mentioned 
I did not want to stitch another
of the 
Marriage Rugs 
to use in the instructional videos.
Instead I dyed vintage plaid lap blankets
(what will I do with those fringes)
to stitch the Plaid Tongue Rug
as shown above.

The videos are finished and the 
Plaid Kits are ready to go.
This has two rows, less stitching
but still a beautiful and unique rug.

I have used the onion dye and
hand/water pressing technique 
to finish the rug.
It does make such a difference as
the photos show of this rug.

Next month...
definitely applique designs
I'm 'pennied out'!
I hope you enjoy!

I would also like to wish everyone a 
Safe and Happy Memorial Day

We in Canada had our long holiday
weekend last week.

Thank you also for your
patience with emails and 
long shipping wait times
plus all other ways I am 
continously behind 
day after day.

I am an organized perfectionist living
in an unperfect disorganized life.

But.. I'm trying each and every day.

Happy Stitching and
Have a wonderful weekend
with your family and


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