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.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Home From Santa Fe

Hubby & I just spent a nice week in Santa Fe, NM. He was attending a conference for work there and I got to tag along. I've decided that this is a really good time of the year to travel - the temperatures are cooler and the crowds are smaller - a win/win situation!

Santa Fe has a very distinctive architecture as you can see by this home in a 'normal' neighborhood. I think home prices must be very high because we saw several homes for sale with a Sotheby's real estate sign in the front yard. 

This is a photo of one of the big hotels we walked by every day.

We stayed right downtown near the Plaza - there was a Fiesta going on when we arrived - with streets closed off for a big parade - and street vendors setting up booths everywhere you looked. When that was over, things got a little quieter. There are a gazillion specialty shops geared for the tourists, and I got quickly tired of seeing expensive turquoise jewelry and fancy art galleries. I finally took the rental car and explored the Santa Fe that the locals live in - checked out a few thrift stores and consignment shopss where I found a couple treasures. This plate is about the size of a pie pan and with the sheep in the middle I had to buy it - might use it for my snippets bowl. And I found a quilt shop with some striped Brannock & Patek fabric on clearance - most of their fabrics have a southwest flavor that didn't appeal to me at all.

I found some cool designs carved into wooden chests that I thought would lend themselves well to a hooked rug or punch needle project - they were in museums for the most part.

My favorite shop was located in one of the swanky hotels and it was called Faircloth/Adams. This gal sells antique quilts, coverlets and hooked rugs that are in pristine condition. She has been featured in both Country Living and Country Home over the years - unfortunately she didn't allow me to take any photos to share with you.

I enjoyed seeing an exhibit in the Capitol rotunda sponsored by a local group called BAG - they shared books that they had made from scratch, and some that were old books that had been repurposed in an artistic way. You can see them here - and one of my favorites is pictured below.

I checked into meeting with the local rug hooking group, but it just didn't work out with my schedule. It was a great trip, but it's always good to come home again!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Extreme Room Makeover

Awhile ago I shared some photos of a quilt I was making for DD#1. She chose the pattern and the brightly colored fabrics, and I made it just like she wanted. But after I got started on it, I decided that I wanted to do more than just give her the quilt - I gave her a new bedroom to go with it! I spent the last three months planning and buying and painting and fixing and imagining how to make this a success and I think it worked! She and her hubby went on vacation for the entire week following Labor Day, so hubby, DD#2 and I descended on her empty house and got to work. Hubby helped with the painting, removed and reinstalled the blinds, put up the curtain rod, hung the chandelier, and helped carry in furniture. Then we got busy with the fun stuff, making up the bed with new sheets, the new quilt, a bedskirt, and a bunch of new throw pillows I made. We hung stuff on the wall that included empty frames, dinner plates and professional art. It was an awesome experience!

You can read more about it and see lots more pictures on DD#2's blog HERE.
Here are just two photos to give you and idea of what we accomplished.

(edited to add: I have now corrected the mistake I made labelling the two photos - thanks to all of you for bringing it to my attention)



Friday, September 9, 2011

Two Recent Projects

Our Guild had a retreat in the spring. Turns out that I couldn't make it because of hubby's unexpected surgery, but I still finished up the project that I had planned to work on while there. I purchased this stool at the thrift store for $5 - I think it's just made of plywood, but after a coat of black paint it doesn't look too bad. I bought some baskets for the little shelves so I could store magazines (or baby toys) in them. Then I designed a geometric rug to make for the seat and dyed some wool for the border to kinda match the color of the baskets. I'm pleased with the way it turned out!

 This is the before picture.

I hooked this pillow as a gift for a friend who recently redecorated her living room. It looks really nice on her celery green sofa!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The toilet in our main bathroom has been acting persnickity lately - you'd have to jiggle the handle once in awhile to get it to shut off. Hubby & I finally got tired of dealing with it and we bought a brand new handle and chain with the hopes that replacing it would fix the problem. Last night hubby installed it - easy job, right? He was tightening the screw by hand - not much pressure at all - when suddenly the porcelain tank broke from the top clear down to the bottom. Now I'm not sure how many gallons of water it holds - maybe 5 or 6 - but all that water ended up on the bathroom floor! Can you say disaster? Sheesh! We got it all mopped up and found we had been 'lucky' because very little of it seeped over the door thresholds into the hallway or into our bedroom. We're not sure if we can just replace the tank, or if we'll have to replace the entire toilet, but you can bet this project is right at the top of the to-do list! I'm so glad we have a second bathroom downstairs!

Oh yeah - and when I got on the electronic scales to weigh myself this morning, I discovered that I had lost 15 pounds over night! (yeah right) Looks like we'll need a new one of those too cuz the water must have damaged it somehow. It's always something, huh?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summertime Hooking

Here are some rugs that I snapped pictures of this summer at our various local meetings.

But first, I must show you this darling fruit salad that Jeanette brought in July - she made a watermelon basket and the presentation was just adorable. I can't imagine how much work it was to do this! The fruit was delish too!

This is an Americana rug that Jeanette is working on right now - a design by Polly Minick.

Tonia is working on a Karen Kahle design.

Kaye is busy with a rug that has a lot of personal meaning for her - it includes a poem and information about some of her pioneer ancestors. Her husband is an artist and he always draws her designs for her.

Marilyn is a quilter as well as a rug hooker and got started on this traditional quilt block last month - I wonder if it's done yet?

And here is another of Marilyn's rugs - I love the BLUE sheep - very whimsical!

This is Sharon's crazy bird - he has such personality!

Marliss pulled her last loop on this rug at our meeting today. I love the colors she used for it. She was telling us about her recent visit to Anaheim and how she got to shop at Gene Shepherd's studio - she showed us the yummy wools that she bought while she was there. Lucky girl!

Kim is busily working on her second rug - a great vase of sunflowers.