Monday, May 18, 2015

Lotsa Quilts

I have several quilt projects to share today. First up is this small quilt the I made using English Paper Piecing and elongated hexagons. It measures about 16"x20" and I'm delighted with the way it turned out. Below is a picture of the completed quilt before it was washed - - -

- - - and this is how it looked after a spin through the washer and dryer - love that crinkly look that I get from using cotton batting.

A wee bit of a close-up. I just did straight line stitching using a monofilament thread about a 1/4" from each seam.

I have also finished piecing the top of this small churn dash quilt that I made by choosing the border fabric first and then finding prints to coordinate with that - very different from my normal procedure. These blocks measure 4-1/2" finished.

I've been following Cheri's SAL and am enjoying making all these 6" blocks - quite a variety so far - and I've added in a couple of my own as I stumble across them. Thinking of how I want to sew these all together.

On Saturday I attended a meeting of our rug hooking guild. One of our members works in a quilt shop and she's taken several classes from Sue Spargo. She provided us with a kit to make a book cover for a composition book, and taught us some basic stitches to embellish our work with - similar to what Sue does. It was great fun - I really enjoyed it and finished putting mine together this morning.

This bit in the center is my favorite part with the beads and the boullion stitches. I'm trying to figure out how I can do more of this type of project, but use my favorite color palette - which is much more subdued than hers. We'll see what I come up with.

Hubby & I are headed out of town later this week to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary with a trip to Seattle. Should be fun!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rugs & Quilts

Last Tuesday I attended the monthly meeting of one of my rug groups and there was some great show & tell. Jeanette was finished with the hooking on the rug below and started finished the edge while we were all there together. Her rows are all perfectly spaced and the squares have sharp corners - I love the scrappy colors she used - the red center of each block ties everything together!

Leisa finished her Tree of Life rug and is planning to put it in a frame on a gallery wall in her home.

Sandy is working on this lovely pattern from Vintage Heart Primitives and it's so lovely! The tiny flowers really look like roses!

Shelly arrived a bit late and showed us this great rug - it's made from a kit she bought from Deanne Fitzpatrick and it's her very first project - she's a natural I think! If you look closely you can see the alpacas she added beneath the trees - she raises them so wanted to include them in this project.

Tonia traced her design onto linen at the beginning of our meeting and got this much hooked before leaving for the day. Since this picture was taken a week ago, I'm sure she has it finished by now.
(edited to add: you can see Tonia's finished pillow here)

I got one more motif hooked on this old-fashioned looking geometric I've been working on for months. Soon I'll have to make a decision on how to hook the alternate blocks - hard to choose!

A couple weeks ago I saw this cute little rug for sale in a consignment shop - wonder who hooked it?

On Friday I attended the HMQS show in SLC and was surprised to see this hooked rug in a display of teacher's projects - nice!

There was a special display of quilts at the show that had creative labels exposed and I snapped several pictures to give me inspiration for when I make labels for my own quilts. Some of them were SO clever!

The quilts below were part of a special exhibit too - they were all the same size - and each quilter had been given parameters on how much of the quilt was to be sky, how much was to be water and how much was to be beach. They were free to do anything else they wanted, and when the quilts were lined up side by side they made for a very interesting shoreline image when viewed from a distance.

Usually when I make a quilt, I will make scrappy blocks using whatever colors I think work well together, and then find something that will do for the border. However, I've started a quilt that I seem to be making backwards. I found a wonderful paisley floral print that I loved and wanted to use for the border. So I chose fabrics to coordinate with the colors in that print and made my blocks using those. In the picture below you can see the border print on top of the stack, and the block fabrics are below that. We'll see how it turns out.

My two daughters showered me with fabric gifts for Mother's Day - they know me well! On the left are some assorted FQs to add to my stash - and on the right is fabric that's a kit to make a small Kim Diehl wall hanging - I can hardly wait to start cutting! My 4-year-old grandson was very puzzled about why I would get excited about fabric - until I explained to him that those are Grandma's toys and then it made better sense to him! Too funny.....

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lot's to Share!

I haven't posted for awhile, but I've been busy with several projects that I can share with you now. First off, I totally finished the rug I started in Diane Stoffel's class in March. I have named it Bluebirds of Happiness and here is is in all it's 'glory'. The finished size is 30" x 43".

I used yarn to whip the edges and did a spot dye to help it blend more with the dappled green shade color behind the lattice in the border.

I think it turned out pretty well!

I decided to replace the bird's beaks with a darker wool....

....after I did a Google image search for bluebirds and discovered that they actually are darker.

Another bird project I worked on was this cute little garland made of wool. I attended the Open House at Black Sheep Woolens and this kit was a free gift to all those who came. It's hand stitched and I love the felted wool balls and beads that add to it's charm. Thanks Leisa!

A few posts back I shared photos of furniture my friend Kathy was making for her little Haunted House. I thought she might like a little area rug in one of the rooms, so suggested that she find a design that would work and she asked for a spider web. Here is is drawn on paper, and then transferred to the weaver's cloth.

This is the finished rug - done with needle punch - that finishes 3" in diameter. She hasn't seen it yet - I will deliver it to her next week - sure hope she likes it! I'll share more photos of her Halloween project as it progresses.

I finally got all the blocks made for the Woolen Willow sewalong - even got the blocks sewn together and the borders attached! Now it's all ready to be quilted, but who knows how long that will take! LOL The finished size of this quilt is 48" x 54" and most of the applique is done with scraps of wool.

I've also been stitching up the blocks that Cheri Payne is sharing on her blog - each 6" block is quick to make and the quilt is guaranteed to be a winner because that's all Cheri knows how to do!

I recently won a giveaway from my LQS and received a huge package of elongated hexagons for English Paper Piecing. I have begun working on a small quilt using some of these -  they're great to do while watching TV in the evenings.

As you can see, I've been quite busy with a variety of projects - which is my favorite kind of busy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rug Update

I've been spending all my free time hooking and I'm making good progress on this rug, so thought I'd share an updated picture of it with three of the four borders hooked. I used a #9 cut to do this part so it went rather quickly.

I had planned to use this marbleized green wool behind the white garden lattice (top of photo below) because it looked like dappled shade, but I didn't have enough for the whole thing. I tried to duplicate it by cooking up some camel with jade green - two different times - but neither of them turned out right, so I ended up just mixing in some textures and solids that blended okay with it. I'll save the failed attempts for use in a future project. (I had forgotten how fun it is to marbleize!)

I can hardly wait to get this finished!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Just a Short Post - - -

I've been feeling under the weather all this week because I caught the crud from my hubby - ugh! I missed a rug group meeting yesterday and another one today, but I hooked at home and imagined that I was visiting with all the nice gals I look forward to seeing each month. I have finished the center of the rug I began in Diane Stoffel's class last month - now on to the border - which will look like a garden lattice.

Do you think I need to change the beaks on the birds? Seems like they don't show up very well from a distance.

Last weekend hubby & I went south for a few days, and while visiting a quilt store there I saw this cute little sign made of license plates - now I'm on the hunt for all the right letters so I can do one for quilting and another for rug hooking. Fun, huh?

I recently stumbled upon a YouTube video that I thought I'd tell you about. A gal named Annette who lives in Connecticut started filming herself hooking rugs in her basement studio about six months ago. She calls her program The Rug Hooking Talk Show.  I guess she has always been a solitary hooker and uses this as a way to connect with others in the same situation. You can view her most recent video HERE and she also blogs HERE.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I've Been Hooking!

I attended a three day rug hooking workshop last weekend, and I haven't been able to stop hooking since then! I started a brand new project and it's been so fun to work on it! Diane Stoffel was the national teacher that our rug guild brought in for this event and she was so knowledgeable and helpful. Everyone was working on totally different projects and she capably steered us all in the direction of success. I started an old floral pattern that my friend Nancy gave to me when she was cleaning out her supplies. This is supposed to be a wedding rug with love birds - - -

- - - but I changed them to bluebirds and I was able to get this much done in class - - -

- - - and have done a bit more since then. I love the swirly background that's happening in it.

Diane suggested drawing shapes like a jigsaw puzzle piece in the background and so that's what I did - it gives the rug some movement and interest.

I wrote a post for the Guild's blog that you can read HERE. I hope to get some rug pictures added to it soon. If you can't wait for that, my friend Leisa attended the class too, and has added some photos to her blog - she's a much better photographer than me so you'll enjoy seeing them HERE. And while you're there, be sure to visit THIS PAGE to enjoy a tour of her wonderful studio.

(edited to add: rug photos from the class can now be seen HERE)

I was able to meet up with Janet of Rogue Quilter one day while I was there, and we enjoyed a nice lunch together - I love spending time with her - I've met the nicest people through blogging!

I was especially taken with Diane's dye technique using a Presto electric pot and can't wait to give it a try myself (before I forget what she did)

This week has been a bit stressful for me because my wallet has gone missing. I looked for it for three days and finally gave up - have been cancelling credit cards and notifying business of the problem. Today I got a new drivers license and a new wallet. Luckily no activity was detected on any of my accounts, but there was $200+ in cash inside that I'll probably never see again - sigh! Not fun!

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Productive Week

I've had a chance to work on several projects this week and made a lot of progress. I hooked two more sections on this rug I've been working on.

And one day I got the urge to stitch up a little quilt with 4-1/2" squares. Didn't like the first sashing I cut for it.... I cut some lighter fabric to use and I think it works much better.

I have appliqued a few circles for the medallion quilt I've been working on - these will be incorporated into one of the borders. I work on them while watching TV at night. The light in our family room isn't the greatest and so the curves aren't smooth and perfect, but I can live with it.

Wednesday night I met with my little quilt group and there was some great show & tell. I have amazingly talented friends! Kathy is enamored with Halloween. A few months ago she found a doll house and has slowly been turning it in to a haunted house filled with custom made furniture and other goodies. She shared these two pieces with us and my mind was boggled! The cupboard stands about 8" high and the shelves are filled with little knick knacks that she made and gathered. The upholstered chair looks cushy enough to sit in! These are both made with mat board & foam core board.

Jackie is an avid knitter (as well as a quilter). She has knitted innumerable sweaters through the years, and I know she's knitted a couple hundred pair of socks. She said this teddy bear is the hardest thing she's tackled to-date. It looks old, and weathered, and well-loved, doesn't it? But it is fresh off the needles. Amazing!

And Janet shared these two dolls she made that have a distinct Steam Punk vibe going on. Her workmanship is incredible and these were fun to examine up close.

She also had just finished this quilt made of beautiful batik fabrics. I'm afraid I missed hearing the information about who this is for and if it is for a special occasion or not.

Next weekend I will be taking a three day rug hooking workshop with Diane Stoffel when our Guild brings her in. I have decided on my pattern and needed to dye some wool for the background.

I used some of my natural wool and just did a spot dye using some black walnut liquid that I had in my supplies. I'd never dyed in my oven before, but it worked pretty well. The end result is much more subtle than this pictures shows at the beginning of the process.