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Mary A. Blythe's Wool Appliqué Heirlooms

Posted by Mary A. Blythe on Oct 8th 2019

Life can take you in so many crazy directions. I never in a million years thought I would be a wool appliqué designer let alone an author. This journey started over 2 years ago when I had designed enough projects to submit to C & T. Working at home since selling my reproduction cotton and wool shop,The Woolen Needle, was one thing but writing was another. Just because you love the design process, color planning and wool doesnʼt mean you love the daunting task of pattern writing. Although not my favorite, I have learned a lot about pattern writing and what is helpful to the reader.

I never know what will inspire me or when it will happen. Counting the Days Advent Calendar, which I had been stumped on how to put together, came about one day while I was recovering from the flu. I love everything old and worn, some of my inspiration has come from those beloved pieces. While not copying them exactly, I often times use them as a jumping off point. It can sometimes take me in really fun directions.

I have been designing, decorating and crafting since I was a child. My Barbie house and bedroom were constantly being redecorated and rearranged. Luckily, there was a Ben Franklin dime store within blocks of my home, needless to say I was there often perusing the craft isle. Once we began having children, I was blessed with the ability to stay home and raise our four sons. Busy with school, church and sports activities, I was lucky to carve out time here and there to work on reproduction samplers, rug hooking and decorating our home for the holidays.

Once the boys got older and needed me less I got the creative itch and opened The Woolen Needle in 2006 with a group of girlfriends. While there, I designed over 30 patterns and dyed the wool and yarn for the shop. The boys once again needed me more and their activities required more travel so I sold the shop to my co-workers in 2011. Since selling the shop, I have missed the sense of community you get with teaching and working with others.

Writing Wool Appliqué Heirlooms was important because I want to not only pass down my pieces but I wanted to inspire others to make their own. We spend so much time on the projects we make with the hope that someone will appreciate them. The projects within the book revolve around times spent together and those that make them special. My hope is that you enjoy every project or at least let them inspire you to treasure your own. 

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