Thursday, December 22, 2011

Little by Little

I only meet with one quilting group anymore - back in the day I think I belonged to three different very organized guilds. But this group is different - we meet in each other's homes once a month. At one time there were probably 14 of us, but the numbers have dwindled in recent years and now there are only five of us. At our last meeting we met at a restaurant for dinner and exchanged small gifts. I tried my had at using the metal letter stamps I've owned for years an never used. The name of our group is Little by Little cuz 15+ years ago when we started, our focus was on making miniature quilts. Anyway, I stamped our group name on flattened spoons from the thrift store and glued on a few embellishments, plus added a hanging ribbon.

I tucked each of them into a small woolen mitten that I bought at a local gift shop.

And then slid them into a little package that I stitched up on my sewing machine.

I think they will be a fun little addition to the sewing rooms of my friends!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Last week I met with the hooking group in Salt Lake City and we had a nice time - shared treats and goodies and enjoyed each others company.

Myra brought two of the five pillows that she has made as gifts for her daughters - I can't remember who the designer is - but she especially like the pattern because it wasn't 'just' for Christmas, but could be displayed all winter long.

Nancy showed us her finished rug and told us about some sticky stuff she puts under her rugs so they won't slip on the carpet - I'm going to try and look for some of this and use it for my rugs too.

She also showed us some ornaments that she hooked using a pattern in the most recent Rug Hooking Magazine. Just needs to get the back finished and they'll be ready to hang on the tree. She wanted to add some metallic touches, but instead found some irridescent beads that added a bit of sparkle to them. Cute!

And I actually started a new rug so I had a project to work on too! Scrappy - it'll be for my dining room table.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

All over blogland, talented people are sharing photos of their beautiful homes all decked out with Christmas finery - but not me! For some dumb reason, we decided to get new carpet about a week ago and the house is in terrible disaray. We're making a bit of progress at getting things put back together, but it's slow going since we're thinning collections and weeding out old clothes and other stuff - what a huge job! Anyway, I've had emails from a couple of concerned folks who were worried about me since I hadn't posted lately, so I'm sharing these disgraceful pictures to show you what I've been doing. Hope to be back to normal soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Walking Trail

About 2-1/2 years ago I started taking better care of myself, and I started walking 2, 3, or 4 miles a day. In the winter I get on my treadmill, but I love the warmer months when I can go outside and enjoy the fresh air. I walk down the street about a half mile and then hook up with a paved walking trail that goes for miles and miles - it's an old railroad bed that has been paved over. Once in awhile I'll ride my bicycle and go quite far!  This morning I brought my camera with me and snapped a picture of the trail - I can't believe there are still some leaves clinging to the trees - in the summer it's like walking through a green tunnel - nice and shady and cool.

I also walk by a spring-fed pond where there are usually lots of ducks and sometimes swans, but not today. Not even the fishermen were there!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little Things & Authors

I still haven't  done any hooking lately, but I have been making a couple little projects with wool. I've made these three items: A Heart & Hand pinkeep from a Maggie B pattern that I stuffed with worm tails leftover from previous rug hooking projects, a daisy pinkeep from a Lisa Bongean pattern that I stuffed with ground walnut shells, and a darling little snippet bowl from a tutorial that Linda shared on her blog recently. They all worked up really quickly so I was able to feel a sense of accomplishment. FUN!

Last night I attended an event at my local library to see and hear the New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini. Utah was the last stop of her current book signing tour of the country, and she said we had the biggest and friendliest crowd that she'd ever encountered. I've read nearly all of her books and enjoyed them. She spoke for about 30 minutes and then answered questions from the audience for about 10 minutes. After that people stood in line for who-knows-how-long to get their books autographed and visit with her, but I didn't stick around for that part since I don't own any of her books - I always get them at the library.

On another subject, I was at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday and was totally shocked to see my new favorite magazine on their stands - Primitive Quilts & Projects! I've subscribed to this since it's first issue and because it's what I call a 'grass roots publication', I didn't expect to see it at the mainstream retailers. Good for them! If you haven't seen this magazine yet, you might want to stop by and take a look!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monthly Meeting

Last week was rug hooking on the day after Halloween and we had a great turnout of eleven people - it's always so much fun to visit and see what everyone is working on each month.

Marilyn brought these hooked cobs of Indian corn all finished up - so cute - and perfect to display during the harvest season. She got the pattern out of a recent issue of Create & Decorate.

Last month Tonia was working on a 3D sheep project, and this time she brought it and it's friend - both completely finished. The swirls give the illusion of curly sheeps wool - and she used twigs from her yard for their little legs. They have little rusty bells tied around their necks.

Jeanette found a wooden star with an opening that was just screaming for a hooked insert.

This is the project I've been working on - a penny rug that I started during the long drive to and from California last month. I'm using coat wool that felted up too heavy to use for hooking. It's pitiful, but I really haven't pulled a single loop all summer long - I need to get back to it.....and SOON!

Marliss had a lovely table set for our refreshments. Such a nice time!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Giveaway Winner Is -

Rainbows in Wool! Congratulations! My son was in the same room as me ironing his shirt, so I asked him to pick a number between one and twenty-seven (that's how many entries there were) and he picked number 22. I don't know this blogger's name, but she has some nice quilts and rugs to share - I especially like the rug shown in her header picture - go check it out here.  I'd like to thank each of you who visit often and make blogging such a great experience for me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Time for a Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed, and the winner has been announced above.

I've been fortunate enough to win a fair amount of giveaways lately, so I decided it was time to give back to the blogging community by having my own giveaway. I think mostly rug hookers will be interested in entering because all these goodies are related to that. Here's a picture of all the treasures.

And some close-ups of the various items. A pincushion made from an extra hexagon block that was leftover from a little quilt I recently made. It's stuffed with sand and polyfil.

A pattern that I have already made for a hit & miss star rug - no sense having this just sit around when someone else can get some use out of it.

Here's a candle mat that I made when I taught a penny rug class to our guild a couple of months ago.

A little sheep to add to your collection - he has a tiny rusty bell tied around his neck and has clothes pin legs.

This is a cover for an iPod that's made of wool that will protect your screen from scratches.

A little tiny tote bag that is filled with a few pieces of yummy colored wool all rolled up.

Also included is a worm bed made of ticking where you can store your cut strips of wool and keep them organized by color and they won't get tangled before you need to use them.

Please leave a comment here on my blog and be sure there is a way for me to contact you. I will draw the winner on Saturday night or sometime on Sunday. Thanks to all of you for visiting and being part of the this blogging rug hooking community I enjoy so much!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some Nice Rugs To Share

I drove to SLC for a rug hooking meeting today - I missed it last month because of our trip to Santa Fe, so it was nice to visit with the ladies and catch up on all their news.

Yvonne has finished hooking her Halloween rug and she was busy stitching the binding down. It's pretty big - about 36" x 40" or so - and she says she won't ever make one this big for a holiday that will only have it displayed for a few weeks of the year - way too much work for that! There's so many fun details in this rug - the spider web - the checkerboard - the bright red fingernails - and all those fun pumpkin faces!

Myra is working on a long runner - I think it'll be about 48" when it's done. She's planned the colors to go in her front living room - very pretty! I love that there a little squiggles of color in each diamond that are slightly different to make it more interesting to look at.

Nancy is working on a geometric that I really like.

This is the last rug Nancy made after taking her inspiration from a woven Indian tapestry.

And here it is displayed in front of the couch in her sitting room - the colors are so perfect

I'm headed to CA for a few days of visiting family. I plan on hosting a giveaway here on my blog when I get back so you rug hookers will have that to look forward to. (There will be  WOOL involved!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quilt Meeting

We met at Janet's house last week for our monthly get-together. She had all the supplies on hand and taught us how to make these fun wet felted acorns. I have seen them all over blogland so I was tickled to try my hand at doing it.

She showed us this beautiful vintage dresden plate quilt she recently purchased at the thrift store for $9 - can you believe that?

She showed us this cute necklace she had made from a thrift store t-shirt. It was v-neck to start with and she just cut off the ribbing around the top. Then she cut up the t-shirt itself to make the rosette flowers, and stitched them onto the ribbing all the way around. Finishing touch was the embellishment dangling in the center.

 She's gotten into paper crafts a lot lately and shared these little books she made using manilla folders that had been folded and stitched and embellished - very cute!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A New Quilt and a New Quilting Friend

Dawn Heese - of Linen Closet Quilts - posted a free quilt pattern called Folk Art Tribute on her blog awhile ago. I  made all the blocks as she shared them month by month.  I've finally gotten them all sewn together and now I need to get a border on it to finish it - then the quilting. I did all the applique using an invisible machine applique technique that I learned in a Kim Diehl class a few years ago. (BTW - I just visited Kim's website and learned that she has cancelled all her classes because of health issues - so sad!)

My good friend Clydene became friends with a quilter who lives in Holland named Yvonne. Yvonne and her husband  Alex were here in Utah for an extended stay recently and the two of them made plans to meet face-to-face for the first time. I was really pleased when Clydene invited me to tag along with her for the meeting - we spent about an hour having lunch all together in Park City and it was so much fun. Yvonne has been blogging all about her vacation so her quilting friends back home could see what she's been doing. It's been fun to read her blog posts and see Utah through the eyes of a visitor from out of the country. Here's a picture of the three of us that Yvonne's hubby snapped just before we parted ways. You can read Yvonne's blog here.

She loves the mountains of Utah because in Holland everything is very flat - much of it built below sea level so there are dikes built to hold back the waters. Holland is also very small - she said they could fit three of their country inside of Utah's borders. It makes me appreciate the natural beauty of my everyday surroundings more when I realize that other people don't have that! It was really nice meeting her.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First Tuesday Group

Yesterday we held our monthly meeting at Tonia's house. She showed us one of her newly finished rug projects that was hanging on one of the bedroom walls. This patriotic fish is a pattern in one of Polly Minick's books.

And this will be a three dimensional sheep when she finishes the hooking and sews the two parts together.

Appropriately enough there were two pumpkin rugs being worked on. Marliss is doing this one...

.....and this is Sharon's. Both are very cute, and even though they both have crows and pumpkins, they have a very different feel to them.

Michelle is making some big loopy flowers that she will eventually attach to sticks from her yard so she can arrange a bouquet of them in a vase.

A couple months ago I received an email from a gal who knew she would be visiting Utah in October, and she asked if there were any rug hooking meetings she could attend. Turns out her timing was perfect, so this is a picture of our special visitor Jane from Michigan who was able to spend the day with us.

She brought a very small  project to work on and had a collapsible frame to make it easier to fit in her suitcase - such cute sheep!

And everyone LOVED the purse she was carrying that was made with a geometric design and fun bright colors. She bought the pattern from Perennial Blessings, and it's called Flapjacks - because of the round shapes used in it.

She crocheted the seams together with some green yarn she dyed to match - so I  got a close-up picture of that, but I forgot to show the fun lining fabric that she used.

We had a delicious homemade minestrone soup for lunch and I think everyone really enjoyed the day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vacation Project

When I found out we were going to Santa Fe for a week, I had to scramble to find a hand sewing project to take with me because I knew I'd have a lot of time to work on it while on the plane, and in my hotel room. I took a quick look through some of my quilting books and decided to make a small doll sized quilt from Kathleen Tracey's book The Civil War Sewing CircleI chopped off a few pieces of fabric and stuffed them in a ziploc bag. Then I cut some hexagons from my junk mail to act as the foundation papers for the English paper piecing. I know most people cut their hexagons by hand - or buy die-cut papers, but I found a paper punch at a yard sale years ago that I knew would be perfect for a project like this. Yay for yard sales!

I got the hexagons all prepped, sewn together, and stitched to the background fabric during the week I was gone.

As soon as I got home I sewed the blocks together and added the border - then I machine quilted it and attached the binding.

Turns out I made two extra flowers, so I turned them into little pinkeeps for fun.