Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fun Stuff!

I promised a picture of my Now & Later quilt after I got it all washed up, so here you go. I love the way the cotton batting really puckered up the surface of the quilt - makes it very cozy to snuggle under and gives it great texture.

I'm so lucky to five grandchildren - four boys and one girl. I have lots of toys for them to play with when they come to my house, but most of them are cars & trains & blocks & Legos & puzzles. I decided it was time for them to have a dolly too, and of course she needed a bed to sleep on and of COURSE she needed a quilt to sleep under! Last weekend I stitched up this little doll quilt and it was so much fun to pull fabrics from my stash and make the whole thing in one day. The blocks measure 1-1/2" and the entire thing finished is 12" x 13". My only mistake was putting batting in it - should have used a thin layer of flannel cuz it's hard to wrap the baby up in the quilt - it keeps popping open cuz it's kinda stiff. Oh well.

I hope some of the boys will enjoy playing with this too! They have to learn how to be good daddies some day, right?

It's been two weeks since I met with my First Tuesday group so I have a few pictures of the projects they were working on that day. Kim finished her Garden Lady and it's awesome!

Tonia hooked this sweet angel rug and had just barely started a new one that day.

Sharon was whipping the edge of this subdued floral - she took the design from the line drawing in a prayer book that is 100+ years old - wonderful! (sorry for the crummy picture Sharon)

This is her peacock rug - I love the flowers hanging down from the top edge - and the background is a great rosy beige color.

She uses this rug on the floor and to keep it from slipping, she tacked some of this rubber gripper stuff here and there so it's firmly attached, but not permanent. Brilliant idea! I guess Sandy did the same thing with some chair pads she made recently for her new dining room table. I have the smartest friends ever!

Last week I met with the Salt Lake group. Myra is just beginning a new rug and her sky is looking fantastic already - so realistic with many shades of blue!

Nancy had been working on a wool applique kit that her sister gave her - so fun to see that it was designed by my friend Leisa of Black Sheep Woolens.

I love the purple mountain in Nancy's landscape - once she gets that sky hooked it'll be finished!

For Susan's very first hooked rug, she was inspired by a piece of floral fabric she used to decorate her home with - I'm thinking she's a natural!

The other Nancy was working on a little chicken rug - those chicks look washed out in my photo, but they're a soft yellow color in real life. The long legs give this one a whimsical look.

Yesterday I went to the annual quilt show in Springville and these were my three favorite quilts - all on the small size. The first one was inspired by the design on a Kleenex box!

This one is a classic Trip Around the World.

And I loved the applique added to this Courthouse Steps quilt.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Quilting Up a Storm

It's too hot outside to go anywhere, so I've been holed up in my studio for the last couple of weeks doing a lot of quilting - and I'm accomplishing quite a bit! I've had this small Kim Diehl quilt pieced and layered for a couple of years and I finally quilted it and got the binding on. Measures about 36" square.

Not sure why the edges turned out kinda ruffly - especially since I basted the perimeter before adding the binding. I usually like to wash my quilts when they're all finished, but I'm hesitant to do that with this one because of the wool applique - I'm afraid the colors might bleed out and ruin the whole quilt. Does any have any suggestions or experience doing this? Help would be appreciated!

I worked more on my Now & Later quilt - when I start sewing the blocks together I usually do it this way - I think it's called spider webbing? Anyway, makes it so the rows don't get out of order - easy peasy.

I had extra blocks left over so pieced them together and added them to the back which makes it interesting and more fun.

I love this Jan Patek print I found for the back - it was on clearance at my LQS for $4.99 yd. Yay!

When I work on a quilt this big (60" x 80") I like to take it over to the church and lay it out on the carpeted floor in a classroom to do the pin basting since I don't have that much free space in my house. Sure makes it easier!

Years ago I bought some grapefruit spoons at the dollar store that work perfectly for this job. I know there are special quilt tools designed to do the same thing, but they cost a lot more than $1!

I quilted it with a cinnamon roll swirl that is kinda fun to do - and used a variegated thread.

I'll share one more picture of this quilt when I finish stitching down the binding in a few days - that's a nighttime TV watching job -  and put it through the wash. Sure do love that cozy crinkly look it gets afterwards. Meanwhile, a few Delectable Mountain quilts caught my eye one day on Pinterest, so I pulled out a bunch of blue and tan fabrics from my stash and started making one. It's kinda strange to make quilt blocks that aren't square - doesn't happen too often!

Sure wish I was brave enough to quilt feathers in a zig zag pattern, but will probably settle for something much, much easier. Anyway, I'm really liking this color combo! I'd like to think of a clever name for this quilt that pertains to the Wasatch Mountains that I live near.

Sure feels good to be spending some quality time in my studio!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Quilty Stuff & Books

I recently tried Bonnie Sullivan's technique of sewing Leaders & Enders to make a quilt. I got all the blocks made, but wasn't really thrilled with the process so doubt I'll do it that way again. But here's my start at assembling the quilt top.

It's a really simple quilt made from a free pattern designed by Kathie Holland that I received from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine several years ago. This will be about 60"x 80" when it's finished - just right to snuggle under while watching TV - not that snuggling under a quilt sounds good right now in the 100* heat we've been having. UGH!

Most of you who are quilters have heard of Jenny Doan and the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I was fortunate to attend one of her trunk shows in May when she was in SLC for the Home Machine Quilting Show and I discovered that she's an adorable, down home, sweet lady. Today I stumbled upon this TV segment filmed by a BYU production company that shows a behind-the-scenes look at her business & family & operation. I thought it was SO informative - and actually very touching in parts. Perhaps some of you have a few minutes to watch it too! Enjoy! I tried to embed the video here, but can't get it to work, so you'll have to copy and paste the link below.

A couple years ago I discovered the author Louise Penny and the series of novels she has written about a small town in Canada called Three Pines. The characters are delightful & it's been amazing how many murders have been committed in this place! LOL I love to listen to the stories on audio while I'm sewing or hooking - the narrator has a wonderful voice that adds a lot to the experience. I haven't read them all in order, but that would probably be best if you're just starting. This is the most recent one I've finished - we also 'read' one on our vacation - a wonderful pastime while spending hours driving in a truck.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I'm back! I've been SO busy the past few weeks - first with out of state company - then a vacation - then a holiday weekend - and then childcare. It's probably been close to a month since I even held a hook in my hand, so today when I attended my monthly rug hooking meeting in SLC I was very happy.  Nancy's home was dressed for the holiday with this flag rug on her coffee table - perfect to display at this time of year.

Since I always forget to share my own project, I'll begin with it this time. I am hooking a geometric design from Barb Carroll's book called Hannah's Star. It's usually made as a runner, but I reduced the block size a bit and set them 2x3. I hooked the block in the lower right corner today, and when I pulled it off the frame realized that I had made a mistake, so I'll have to pull out that first ring of orange wool and replace it with a teal like I used in all the others. Other than that, I was happy with my progress. Each block will have similar colors in it, but the wools I use in each one will be totally different pieces.

Myra is making some 6" wool applique blocks that will be pockets for a cute basket - and each one reflects her own interests in watercolor painting, gardening, beehives, sewing and nature. She'll also be doing a sheep and one other square.

Yvonne was also doing some wool applique in anticipation of cooler fall weather that will soon be here (hopefully!)

We meet at Nancy's house and she has been working on a landscape rug loosely based on an original painting her daughter owns. I love the wonky little houses.

The other Nancy who meets with us showed us her recently finished rug. She did a great job whipping the edges on this one. I love the beading around the edge.

A couple years ago she visited Heather Richie in Reeth England and made these two small mats - about 6" square. The landscape represents the scene she saw outside the window of Heather's home.

Our newest member, Susan, had done some shopping at a local quilt store and is well on her way to accumulating a stash. She recently traveled to Pendleton Oregon and was able to stop in the factory outlet there for some shopping therapy too!

While on vacation we rented kayaks for a day and spent a lot of time on the water at Swan Lake in Montana - pretty close to heaven on earth!

I think tomorrow I will be able to spend more time working on my rug and listening to a book that has been waiting for me. Sounds perfect!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Back to Back!

This is one of those times when my two monthly rug groups met on consecutive days, so I got a BIG dose of rug hooking eye candy last week! Love it when that happens!

Marliss is SO close to finishing this colorful rug that she started in a class with Sharon Smith. I love how freeform and organic it looks!

 Kim's son drew this design for her of a woman with a watering can and she started it in a recent class with Anne Marie Littenberg. It's wonderful and she's making great progress!

Sharon is done with the hooking on this piece and was finishing the edges to make it into a pillow. The colors she used make it look instantly old, and since she lives in a 100+ year old house, it is right at home in it's surroundings!

Yvonne finished a runner that is a design from a Pat Cross book. It has a lot of energy and movement.

Fun to see it side-by-side with Nancy's version of the same rug that she hooked a few years ago.

Yvonne was stitching down the binding on this darling baby quilt for her second great grandchild who will arrive very soon. I don't usually get excited about quilts made from panels, but she did a great job of combining the printed border with some pieced log cabin blocks in the center.

Here's a picture of a recent finish that Nancy made for her telephone table. The other end is a mirror image of this side and I like how it hangs over the edge so you can really see the design.

Last month I didn't have my camera with me, but now I can share this photo of a Maggie B. rug she hooked with a vibrant pink background - SO much different than Maggie's color choice. Very fun!

She's currently working on a quirky rug inspired by an original painting that her daughter owns. Not quite her normal style so I'm looking forward to seeing it as it progresses.

Myra finished stitching these twelve beautiful wool applique quilt blocks. Her work is incredible and the colors just pop on the black background.

She also showed us this adorable tiny button that she made with fancy embroidery stitches. It will be attached to a retractable lanyard and be used to hold scissors. The design is from a local gal named Kerry Green who blogs HERE. Her style is very reminiscent of Sue Spargo to me.

I began a new rug and I'm hooking it in a 8.5 cut which seems to be my new favorite size of strip. Sure does hook up fast! This is Hannah's Star by Barb Carroll. I think each square will have the same colors in them, but I will use different wools to mix them up a little.

I received the new book from Rug Hooking Magazine about story rugs and it was SO fun to see a local friend's rugs included in it! My husband did the photography on these and they look great. She has been asked to enter them in the big rug show at Sauder Village this summer. So excited for her!