Sunday, July 13, 2014

More on Yarn Sewing

Kathy Wright (not the same Kathy Wright who organizes Rug Week at Sauder Village) was our delightful teacher for my yarn sewing class.  Here are some examples of her work. 

Finished with binding like a hooked rug.

I lost my little note, but I believe the backing for our project was a linen burlap purchased from JoAnn Fabrics.  You can also use rug hooking linen, monks cloth or plain burlap.  The yarn used is 100% wool if possible, but you can also use a blend if it's a color you like.  She purchases much of her wool yarn from JoAnn's, too.  Does this mean that I am going to become a yarn hoarder, too?  I have many small pieces of primitive linen that are too small to fit on the hooking frame and this might be a good way to use some of them. 

You can read more about yarn sewing in the book "American Sewn Rugs: Their History with Exceptional Examples" by Jan Whitlock with Tracy Jamar.  They say, and I quote, "Yarn-sewn rugs fall into the earliest category of sewn rugs, 1790-1830, and are more closely related to needlework than floor coverings."  I believe there is also information in "American Hooked and Sewn Rugs: Folk Art Underfoot" by Joel and Kate Kopp, but for the life of me I cannot find my book :(      {These books do not give instruction, just talk about it and show examples.}
This is Kathy's sample, made in to a little pillow.

Close up.  Sorry this is sideways and I can't figure out why. 

Our kit ~

Starting out ~

And here's what little I got done.  I hooked his beak blue and will  probably go back and change it (reverse


I think yarn sewing can best be described as doing the satin stitch on a backing material.  Actually quite simple but it takes some time figuring out the length of the stitch and the tension.  I think Kathy's tension is much looser.  I'll have to work on that. 

Start from the top of the backing, insert the needle and leave a tail that will be covered. 

Come up very close to your tail.  (I moved the tail aside so you could see where I came up.)
Now you be doing a satin stitch.  Keep your stitches very close for good coverage.  This yarn is a little thicker than the blue of the bird and covers much better.

It's that simple though it will take some practice to feel confident doing it.  
If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact me or you can email Kathy.
Thanks so much for stopping by.  Since the rains have once again passed us by, I need to head outside and do a little yard work before the day totally slips away.
Pug hugs :)


  1. Thanks for sharing. I don't think I am ready to take on anything else right now. Need to get all my UFO's done first.

  2. I love how this looks and the idea of making rugs with yarn with designs like this. I have both those books and will have to relook at them, thanks for sharing.


  3. Thanks for the nice tutorial Lauren. As soon as I saw your close-up picture I knew it was a satin stitch done with yarn. At first when you mentioned this class, what I pictured in my mind was sewing on top of the yarn itself.

    Nice little projects to do between rugs.
    Have a great week. Hugs,

  4. Maybe I can do this. Do you separate the strands or not.
    Also, can you use any material and are you paying attention to the holes in the fabric or are you just using
    the embroidery satin stitch? Can't wait to try it. Thanks
    for the introduction. I will look for a book. Thanks, Julia

  5. How very interesting. I will have to get the book. Like you said, it would be a wonderful way to use up all of those bits of backing that is left, I love sewing like that and I think it would be great fun. The projects are great too. So glad you shared it. I remember in third grade, our teacher brought in burlap and we did something like this, it was my favorite thing of all of my years in school.

  6. Hi Lauren cute bird. I will need several lifetimes to get all my projects done. Hugs cheri

  7. This is very interesting. Also, I didn't know JoAnns sold linen burlap. Do you hold the backing in hand to work on it or place it in a frame ? Looks very fun.

  8. This is a cute little project! I may have to give this a try when I get some linen scraps...

  9. It is a cute project but don't need to have yet more supplies for projects I hardly work on. Besides, I think the hooking would be more fun for me. However, I'll bet it was fun to give the old timey craft a try.


  10. Hi Lauren, Kathy's class looked SO fun!! I got a few photos as well. What a whirlwind day it was least for me as I was a little nervous! :-) I wish we'd had a formal introduction! Happy stitching . . . let us see your piece when you are finished too! Lori Ann

  11. Looks like a very relaxing project to be working on.
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you, Lauren, for such a clear tutorial! I had never heard of yarn sewing. I will have to try a little project of my own!

    Hugs, Linda


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