Sunday, October 12, 2008

Punched Pumpkin Mat

I can't believe I finished something in time for the season. Usually, I would be done at the beginning of the next season and have to wait a year to use it. When deciding to make this particular mat, I discovered the secret of designing and getting the picture on the rug backing material. I know everyone who hooks probably knows this, but this is for the me, who has so many "duh" moments.

You start out with a pencil, eraser, and paper...preferably printer paper. It's nice and white. Draw the design you want tweaking as you go. That's what the eraser is for. :-) When you are totally satisfied with your picture, trace your pencil lines with a thin magic marker. I have been told the name 'magic marker' went the way of the dinosaur. I actually used a Bic Mark It ultra fine point. Erase any visible pencil marks. You may not see them too clearly now, but trust me, they will show on the computer when you blow it (the picture) up.

Now scan or take a photo of your drawing and get it in the computer. Your rug or mat will probably want to be larger than the actual size of the picture. Rather than spending money at an office supply store having them blow it up, you can do it yourself and it will only cost you a little time and paper.

For the rug above, I simply cropped the picture into thirds saving the original and each third separately. I then printed out each third to full size on the 8.5x11 paper and then folded the edges and lined up the design and taped them together. My original hand drawn picture of 5x9" turned into a rug of 9 x 22". If you wanted a larger rug, you could grid out the picture into 6, 9, 12 sections. OOOOh! I think I'll make a matching floor rug! I digress.

Tape red dot or quilters transfer paper (located in the interfacing section of most fabric stores) on the enlarged picture and go over it with a larger size magic marker. Now your design is ready to be transferred to your backing in the same method.

Nothing is written in stone. Even after your picture is on your backing, you can still tweak. I added the crow at the last minute. The only thing to remember if you are PUNCHING the rug, is that your image will be reversed. I realized that in the beginning and the rug turned out as it should have...only since working from the back all the time, I've come to like the rug better from the back side. Will I ever be satisfied with how a project turns out? Probably not.

p.s. The yarn used for the pumpkins was hand dyed on cream wool using Landscape's "Dingo". Each skein was around 200 yards. The lightest pumpkin used 1/4 teaspoon of dye and I increased the dye in increments of 1/4 teaspoon to get the deeper colours.

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