Posts Tagged ‘wool’

Christmas, Homespun

Monday, November 14th, 2011

At Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, we would like to share with you a collection of holiday items that when combined, offer a heartwarming theme of a Homespun Christmas. Decorating your home with a homespun feel evokes memories of Christmas as a child and reminds us of a simpler time. It is the material used that helps create the handcrafted or handmade look. For a festive setting, consider any of these Sturbridge products featured below to present your Christmas Tree and home with country charm and character.

Many of our products display a felt applique technique that forms a layered look, such as in our Poinsettia Tree Skirt, seen here to the left. A black base is delightfully decorated with felt appliquéd, red poinsettias and holly berries, green leaves and light brown swirling twigs. A unique detail to the poinsettias is their button center that adds that magic Christmas touch. Exposed hand embroidery is highlighted on all leaves and petals. Matching ribbon is attached to the tree skirt so you can adjust to your tree’s perfect fit. If your like this look, consider our Poinsettia Felt Runner and our Poinsettia Stocking for a cohesive environment.

Moving up from the base of the tree, we have a variety of wool felt ornaments that will suit your Homespun Christmas just right. To start let’s discuss some of our newest, web only ornaments that are handcrafted by women entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan. First, is our Ho Ho Santa Ornament dressed in his traditional red coat with white fur trim. He comes complete with his green wool mittens and boots to stay warm and a mustard colored sack upon his back. Next is our Tip Toe Angel Ornament, as seen here to the right. Dressed in an ivory wool dress with white bead accents, the hand stitched details are seen on the edges of her sleeves. Her yellow boots with red beads, rosy pink cheeks and red curly hair are the little things we appreciate this time of year. Rounding out these 100% natural wool ornaments is our Peace Angel Ornament. Here to help instill a joyous feeling and a message of peace this holiday season, you’ll find this ornament reminds you of the snow angels you used to make as a kid. Choosing one of these ornaments means you are supporting families and farms in the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains; now that’s homespun! Other great wool felt ornaments include our:

Red Santa Ornament

Snowman Wool Ornament

Felt Bird Ornaments

Continuing the homespun feel throughout the rest of your house is easy with Sturbridge. For your walls, consider our Red Santa Portrait which features an old-fashioned looking Belsnickle style St. Nick. If you like, we also have this available with Santa dressed in a green coat. Crafted of cotton and wool, this portrait is bordered in a beautiful, black and textured frame. Shown here to the left, is our Mittens Applique. Inside a black distressed wood frame, a muslin tea-stained fabric is the background for three hand appliquéd wool mittens. Grey, brown and burgundy mittens are individually detailed with exposed stitching, check and stripe patterns and additional appliquéd details that will feel like the mittens your grandmother made you. This soon to be treasured family heirloom also has corner accents of holly berries and an intricate string linking the mittens together.

Moving on to your table spaces, you might choose to use our exclusive for SYW Felt Placemat and/or our Felt Table Runner (seen below). Display traditionally on a table or get a bit more creative and use on a side table or mantle as a base for your other decoratives. An interesting arrangement of rustic red, blue, green and yellow folk art penny designs are placed on a sharp black background. These whimsical place settings will coordinate perfectly with your homespun decor. Made from wool fabric and wool felt, is our last featured homespun item, the Dog Bone Pillow. Shaped like our dog’s favorite treat, the exposed stitching around the border, stitched dog leashes and glass red beads add fun touches. The holly berry marks each corner for extra holiday sparkle. The string attached allows for display on a doorknob, cupboard or use as a large ornament for your tree!

Other ideas to have a true Homespun Christmas this year:

1. Knit a hat or scarf and give to friends and family as gifts.

2. Design your own handmade greeting cards with extra wrapping paper scraps, felt, buttons and anything else you can find around the house.

3. Use your own long stockings or vintage long socks for your Christmas stockings and don’t worry if they are mismatched, this will add to the appeal.

4. Fill a mason jar with the dry ingredients of your favorite cookies or sweet treat. Write out the recipe and attach to jar with ribbon; makes a great hostess gift.

5. Have an evening filled with cookie making and singing Christmas carols :)

Happy Decorating from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop.

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Hooked – The Story of A Craft

Friday, August 19th, 2011

In the textile and weaving factories of the early 19th century, there were flickers of creativity that sprouted crafting ideas– a way of using the waste from the mills. The workers of these factories were allowed to take some of the leftover textile materials home.  They then would use them to pull the various fibers though a backing; creating what is now called “hooked fabric.” Details of exactly where the technique of hooking fabric truly originated are a little vague but there is also evidence in early Scotland and parts of France. In these countries, instead of cotton materials,  rags were actually used and ‘pulled though’ in the same manner.

From the shores of New England to Newfoundland, there heaved a movement that at first, was only popular amongst peasants and lower class individuals; being a craft associated with poverty. Though eventually the hooking revolution  took on a  new understanding and transitioned into a craft that created unique, tough and long lasting pieces. Nowadays, we see two forms of hooking styles that typically utilize wool. Fine hooking, which uses a thinner strip of wool will produce more intricate details. Primitive hooking, using wider strips of wool, accomplishes shading and highlights that are seen in the more visible textures of the wool. Most of the hooking today is done with a solid backing, in order to keep it from pulling or losing its strength in years to come.

In honor of the fine art that is wool hooking, Sturbridge Yankee Workshop has plenty to offer when it comes to wool hooked items. Need a rug to accent a space, give it some color or create a seasonal area in your home? A hooked rug, like our Pumpkin Hooked Rug, works perfect for welcoming guests into your home. We also carry many wool hook pillows, like our  Harvest Crow & Pumpkin Pillow(as seen above), that is a great way to transition your decor towards the harvest season. Continuing with our fall themed hooked products, Sturbridge also has the Wool Hook Harvest Pumpkin Chair Pad to accompany the pillow for a cohesive setting. Wool hook can also brighten your home, like with our  Sunflower Pillow. Its bright colors and wonderful detail will put a smile on your face each time you see it, and isn’t that what life is all about?

When you pick up anything wool hooked from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, you’ll see and feel the tradition of creating these beautiful crafts. Check out another great autumn pillow, our Butterfly Brand Pumpkin Pillow and other wool hook items at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop today!

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