Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cookie Cutter Inspired

In a recent post on my new Lancaster County inspired quilt series, (third one is being quilted now!) 
I talked briefly about inspiration, (a favorite topic of mine) and asked for commenters to let me know what inspired them, as I am always fascinated by the creative process and what sparks it. 

Today's post continues the inspiration theme in a fun way, I think!

I've been soaking up a lot of inspiration from folk art lately, specifically vintage hooked rugs, 
which have always intrigued me and are proving to be very inspiring 
with the punch needle embroidery that I've been exploring. 
Love the colors and those shapes... 

Yes, those wonderful shapes!
One of the things that I have noticed in these old hooked rugs is how so many of them feature very naive style shapes, including various animals and birds, flowers and leafs 
along with hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. 

All of which remind me of...

Cookie cutter shapes!

So, that got me to thinking about how wonderful it would be to have an assortment of vintage cookie cutters to use as design inspiration. These shapes could be used for not only punch needle, but other types of embroidery as well, along with appliqué designs for some future folk art quilts.

And that realization led to some of my local vintage shops, 
(lucky me, I live minutes away from a 5 mile stretch of them!) 
for a fun scavenger hunt to find some awesome
cookie cutters...

The photo above and the photo below show about half of what I ultimately found.
Most cost between .50 cents to $2.00, with $1.00 dollar being the average.

And while I can't be guaranteed that they are all 100% vintage, I think the vast majority of them are.
(And does it really matter for the purpose I am using them for?)

(Photos are from my rather humble phone camera, 
thus quality isn't supreme, but the layout looks lovely, don't you think?)

 Look at all those fun shapes! 
Doesn't it just make your imagination take off flying in new directions?
(One is actually a jello mold, can you spot it?)

Below are two recent pieces begun with my new found cookie cutter inspiration...

On the left is "Chicken Pox" and on the right is "Owl and Moon". 
Below them is a ruler, so you can see how small the pieces actually are,
and above them are the cookie cutters I used to begin the design process.

Here's a close up of "Owl and Moon", so you can see all the tiny punched stitches. (I tend to punch a bit more densely then some of the tutorial examples I have seen, but I like the look, it works for me.)
I began with the shapes of the cookie cutters, then used my imagination to fill in the rest. I'm working with solid 8/2 cotton yarn and changed my colors frequently to achieve the look that I wanted.

Here's a close up of "Chicken Pox", (thought long and hard to come up with that clever name!)
Again, I used 8/2 cotton yarns, 
and simply echoed the lines of the shapes, over and over, 
frequently changing colors as I went along.

Both pieces are now available in my shop.
To see more of either piece simply click on the link below them

Hope this post inspires you all as well!


Pam said...

What a beautiful series! As much as I would love to take up rug hooking, especially after seeing your work, I'm afraid I'll put down my quilt needle . . . in the meantime, I am so happy you have shared these lovely works - thank you!

Jenny M said...

Your pieces are stunning! Love the colours in 'Chicken Pox'. What a wonderful assortment of cookie cutters ~ I have never seen cookie cutters in these animal shapes.

dolores said...

Cool Beans. Love the names!:)

The photos of the cookie cutters would be great posters!!

Sandi said...

Just lovely! I'm fond of crescent moons and stars, throw in an owl and it is a HOOT! Very nicely done, love all your details. Great inspirations.

Debbie said...

Love this post so inspiring and all those vintage shops, you must be in heaven, we really have to hunt them down over here. Moon, stars and owls do it for me as well.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Wishing now I had kept the cookie cutters from my mother and both grandmothers . . . they looked almost exactly like the ones you've just purchased.

patty a. said...

What a great group of cookies cutters you found. I especially love the wavy edged heart shaped one in the first picture. Inspiration comes from so many places and you have translated it into some very sweet pieces!

cauchy09 said...

A gorgeous and educational post, as always. I'm loving all the things you're doing these days. Those patched little quilts and these punchneedle cookies are just killing me.

Uniquely Yours Creations said...

What a great idea and they're so pretty! They would be good for applique !

The Inside Stori said...

Great inspiration, great results!!!

Anna said...

Beautiful old and new work, love the colours of all this super work.

Kristin said...

What a wonderful idea! I will be teaching a folk art animal appliqué class this fall and this is anther great inspiration idea to share. Love your pieces!

beth s said...

Ooooh! so inspiring! Love the little rugs.

Nifty Quilts said...

Wow! Very inspiring post! Love your pieces as well as all those folk art rugs. Your cookie cutter idea is fantastic! I wonder if some of the old designs came from tracing cookie cutters.

Wendy said...

These are beautiful pieces! Yours is the first time I've come across punch needle on a blog! I had a go at it a couple of years ago, really enjoyed it and for some reason I haven't done it again... I think part of the problem is that I bought a little kit which came with the thread to use. Now I've used it up, I'm not sure what thread to use.

Victoria said...

Thanks to each of you for the lovely comments!

Wendy, It does seem to be a challenge to find much info on this subject. I am using 80/2 cotton yarns on cones that I have from weaving supply stash. However good old DCM embroidery floss is widely used, usually 3 strands or all 6 strands. I have used 6 strands and it worked great... just make sure you have enough of each color that you need as it runs out very quickly. Vivaldi yarns are also very popular and look beautiful. Much harder to find, (I know of only one local shop that carries them, but they are available on line.) i am planing on trying those out soon.

Victoria said...

Opps... auto correct strikes again, that is suppose to be Valdani yarn, (or thread/floss/perle cotton... whichever it is called... it's pretty stuff for sure!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your punch needles embroidery pieces. I took time to look online for more information and I was wondering which needle you use? I have lots of cookie cutters and I can't wait to try this with them. I am also a weaver, so I have lots of 8/2 cotton as well! Thank you again! Kelli

Victoria said...

Hi Kelli,

So happy that you like this idea and how great that you already have the cookie cutters and the yarn, yay!!
I have a Cameo Ultra Needle set, which comes with three size needle, small, medium and larger. For the 80/2 yarns I just use the smallest size needle. Every now and then I might hit a small slub in the yarn that doesn't go through the needle, (you will know as all of a sudden your stitches won't appear on the cloth). When that happens I just cut the yarn, and rethread, no big deal since it happens so infrequently. Let me know how it goes, and good luck!