For my recent birthday, Abigail gave me this beautiful McAdoo Rug design for needlepunching. Melts my heart – she’s our Merimbula mermaid for sure, reminding me of the lovely mornings Julian and I snorkel down at Bar Beach, collecting mussels for our breakfast as the morning sun splashes like champagne across the water.
Now, surprisingly enough for someone who does as much patchwork as me, I’m not the best at measuring. Trying to work out what dimensions my frame should be left me in a tizz – I just cannot visualise what’s needed! So Julian took over – thank goodness – because he understood all that I did not and quickly worked up a simple design for the tensioning frame I would need to needle punch my mermaid rug.
Of course, the fact that he got to use his newly purchased drop saw thingy was an added attraction :-) Something nice and easy to make as he got to know the ins and outs of this fabulous new tool – purchased for our upcoming house building adventure. Window sills! Adirondacks! Kitchen work benches! Courtyards! A deck by the dam! Oh yes, there will be much fun had with this little beauty!
He even had to admit to liking the laser guide which he earlier dismissed as a bit gimmicky.
Within an hour or so, we had the frame screwed securely together – Julian even countersunk the screws – such a lovely finish!
Now Julian doesn’t think there’s anything special to this – he called it a quick knockup – but given it will only be useful for rugs of this size – anything bigger or smaller will need it’s own frame – I think it’s bloody awesome! I adore that my man can take $20 worth of materials and quickly knockup a frame just to indulge my whims. Sigh!
Then it was onto the bitey tacking which provides the tension. Oy! When we caught our fingers on those little points, we sure knew about it. Now, Amy Oxford uses tacking with THREE rows which she declares to be the best – but at our local hardware store, two rows was all there was to be had. We’ll see how it goes.
Julian even knew to position the tacking with the tacks facing out – so as to provide maximum tensioning. I’d have never thought of that – he’s so useful.
Time for testing! Just as Amy Oxford says, all those little tacks don’t tear at the fabric – they just hold it nicely in place. And it’s even easy to reposition. Excellent!
The only thing I need to add now is some thick felt over the tacks so as not to shred my arms whilst needle punching. I think I have some in the felt suitcase – hopefully!
Isn’t she gorgeous! I’m so looking forward to starting. I have most of the wool I will need – I’m using the lovely Dutch woollen felt from Winterwood Toys – sliced up into 1/4 inch strips with the rotary cutter. Hopefully it will work a treat and look marvellous. I tested some out already and it makes lovely nubbly loops. If not, we’ll have lots of felt for applique and doll making :-)
I’m just not sure I’ll ever want to stand on her. Hmmmm …. after all the hours that will go into making her – not to mention the funds! – stomping our great big feet on her might be too stressful to bear! Maybe we could become a shoeless house …
Oh Julian, you are such a gem xxx