Monday, December 28, 2009

That's Our Nancy!

I just pulled the newest issue of Rug Hooking Magazine out of my mailbox and was tickled to see the article about Nancy Raybould in it. Our local hookers have been waiting in anticipation for this issue to arrive because we knew that she would be featured. She's such a kind and generous person - it's great to see her recognized like this. Right now she's living in Toronto, so we won't be able to celebrate with her, but as soon as she gets home we'll have to throw her a party to commemorate the occasion! Be sure to check it out if you can get your hands on a copy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Rugs

This Christmas rug makes me think of cookie cutters. I can't believe it's been five years since I made it - sure doesn't seem that long!

And this Nativity rug was designed by Nancy - several in our group worked on the same design one year and it was amazing to see how differently they all turn out! I don't like the donkey on my rug, and the other animals (a cow and a sheep) have had me stumped for a couple years now. I do like the way the border looks like a gilded frame. Sure would be nice to get this one done!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

American Patchwork & Quilting

This has been my favorite magazine for as long as I can remember - I'm pretty sure I started subscribing with their very first issue. I recently sent in a Quilt Tip, and today I was notified that it has been selected for publication in a future issue. This means I will be paid $25 for my idea. You can bet I'll be watching my mailbox!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Charmed, I'm Sure!

My friend Jayna works a full time job, and has created a business on the side making two-sided soldered jewelry charms. She sells her work in a local gift shop called Just a Bed of Roses, and has a loyal following of customers always anxious to see her newest treasures. I have several of them myself and thought I'd share them today.

She also does special orders and I asked her to do one for a Christmas gift a few weeks ago. When my mom was a teenager, she made a heavy winter coat and couldn't find any buttons she liked for it. Her dad ended up making some wooden ones for her and she's cherished them for years even though the coat itself is long gone. She recently sent them to me to use on a coat I was making, but I decided to use them for something else instead. I'm going to attach one of the buttons to a charm necklace and include this wonderful piece Jayna made for me incorporating a photo of my Grandpa and a nice saying. I think my mom will really be touched by the sentiment. I can't wait till she opens it - just wish I could be there with her to see her reaction, but we live 700 miles apart and we won't be together for Christmas this year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fabric Postcards

Awhile ago I shared pictures of the "Inchies" that I had made for a quilting friend - and I mentioned that they were similar to fabric postcards, so I thought I'd share some of the postcards that were made for me by the gals in my quilt group. Each month in 2007 we all made fabric postcards for the same person in the group, and then the next month we'd move on to another person, until everyone had a small collection. It was so much fun because they were personalized to reflect both the giver and the receiver and perhaps any experiences that they had shared together.

In this photo, Diane made some my postcard around Easter and she incorporated eggs made from silk ties because I had shared instructions on how to dye Easter eggs using the ties - she had a great time with her grandchildren doing that project. And Jackie made a stocking for me after I taught her how to do needlepunch - she went on to teach classes about it at the quilt store where she worked. Brandi knew I collected sheep, so she needle-felted this darling guy for me - she even remembered that I like them with black faces the best!

I also taught Patsy how to do needlepunch, and the log cabin 'quilt' includes a punched center. The one below in the upper right was made by Janet to commemorate our grand venture of being published in a quilt book and she titled it "Our 15 Minutes of FAME". What a fun experience that was for us!

A close-up so you can admire our lovely hairstyles and see the quilts we made.

They measure 4"x6" and can actually be sent through the mail with the proper amount of postage. They need to be hand cancelled too. It's especially fun to include photos that have been printed onto the fabric. In October I sent one to my Dad for his birthday and printed out a picture of me holding a sign that said "Happy Birthday Dad". He was so tickled to receive it! I sent one to my son for Thanksgiving and he liked his too.

Here is a picture of the rest of the Inchies that Janet received from the other gals at our meeting on Thursday night - quite a variety - she was very pleased with them all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home Tour

Tonia is a relatively new rug hooker in our group, and when I found out that she'd been an antique dealer in a former life, I asked if I could come see her home - knowing that it would have beautiful things in it. She graciously agreed to let me, and I totally enjoyed my visit. Her style is clean and totally uncluttered so each piece can be seen and appreciated individually. This great rooster weather vane greets you right inside the front door.

As well as this little chair with firkins behind it,

and this Tree of Life hooked rug (I don't think she made this one)

There was a large opening above her fireplace that was designed for a TV, but she didn't like that so covered it with these mirrored windows that she & her hubby made for dirt cheap. I love that the mirrors reflect light into the room to make it seem even more spacious.

And the fireplace is flanked by two Windsor chairs and matching bookcases. I noticed that she had removed all the dust jackets from her books and they were grouped by color - how clever is THAT?

She has a 'thing' for wooden boxes and trunks - just like I do - and this is her most recent treasure. She found this trunk at the local thrift store for $5 - can you believe that? It was painted a hideous color of orange and after she stripped it and stained it, she discovered it was a six-board chest with hand cut dove tailed joints! A real find! Look at the detail on the bottom - it's just lovely! And the braided wool rug under the trunk was given to her for FREE! It's really large - I've never seen one with squared of sides like it has.

Here are a few more of her trunks and boxes. (I think that's Sharon waving to us! LOL)

I collect vintage toy sewing machines so I especially like this display.

Great gathering of her pewter on the wall in the kitchen,

And more in the step back cupboard in the dining room, along with some redware plates.

Her bedrooms are so nice - love the pencil post bed with coverlet in the master.

And the canon ball bed in the guest room,

As well as this one with the beautiful bedding and just a splash of red.

Thanks for the tour Tonia!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dyeing today

I recently acquired a ball of wool fabric that had been cut and prepared for rug braiding.

Since I don't braid I decided to use it in one of my hooked rugs, but the color was such a bright blue that I decided it need a little help. I dashed off a quick email to Gene Shepherd asking his advice on what to do with it and he kindly offered some suggestions. I followed his instructions this morning and ended up with wool that is much more interesting.

I don't know WHAT exactly I'll end up using it for, but I sure like it a lot better now! Thanks for your help Gene! One of my favorite things about the blogging world is that it makes "Rich and Famous" people accessible to everyday folks like me.

All pressed and pretty......

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fun With INCHIES And A Finished Rug

Each month when we meet, the members of my quilt group bring a project that we've been working on for one person. This month Janet asked us each to make her four 'inchies'. Are you familiar with those? They're similar to quilted postcards, and ATC's, but much smaller. Usually they are made 1" x 1", but Janet chose to have us make 'inchies-plus' instead, which measure 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" - so a tiny bit bigger than 'normal'. I had so much fun making the first four that I asked if I could do more, and she was glad to oblige. I ended up doing 11 of them and used a large variety of materials that included metal zipper teeth, lace, buttons, snaps, beads, and Scrabble tiles. Here is a link to an online photo album showing over 1,000 examples of other people's work. FLICKR
You might want to click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see the details better.

A couple years ago, Angela designed this cute sheep rug for our group to hook as a challenge. We've slowly been getting them finished - Eileen's is the most recent one to be completed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beautiful Rugs

Sharon has finished hooking her rug! I shared a picture of this one a few weeks ago when it was about half way done - it's based on a painting that her artist husband did and it's just beautiful! I wish I had taken a close up picture because the colors and textures of the wool she used are so perfect for this piece! She still needs to block it and whip the edges, but I couldn't wait any longer to show you.

And I got to see this large rug that Sandy is working on when I went to her house. She designed it, along with her hubby and it includes some family information/history on it. There will be another border beyond the vine so it really will be quite big when it's finished.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vintage Runner

Doesn't seem like I've had too much to blog about lately, but here is a runner that I bought about five years ago. I got it off of ebay from one of those businesses who will sell your stuff FOR you if you're not computer savvy, or don't want to bother. Unfortunately that means that I don't know the history of it because I didn't get it from the maker. Believe it or not no one else bid on it so I paid a whopping $10 for it! And I drove one hour south to pick it up in person so I didn't even have to pay shipping! WooHoo! It measures 18" x 72" and I have it on the floor next to my bed. I've seen this same design in one of Deanne Fitzpatrick's books, but don't know if she's the designer or not.

I'm pretty sure all the wool is as-is - probably from recycled clothing.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Here are a couple pictures from our rug hooking gathering this morning. Tonia just finished this cute squirrel rug that she made as a gift for her new DIL. It's a pattern that's in the most recent issue of RHM.

Since finishing the squirrel rug, she started this floral - she is one fast hooker!

Angela showed us her latest punch needle design for her pattern-of-the-month club available on her website. Such a cute bee skep - love the colors on this.
I just finished up this sunflower pinkeep - the free pattern and instructions are available at Mary Flanagan Woolens.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Rug and a Purse

I made this rug several years ago - it was a great way to use up some of the worms that I had been accumulating and I was very pleased with the way it turned out. It measures 24" x 46" - a good size!

A few months ago, my friend Janet came to our quilt meeting carrying this purse that was a perfect match to my rug. It's made of leather and I might have to try and make one just like it. I have a huge collection of leather & suede skirts that I've bought at the thrift stores through the years and have never used them for anything yet. Fun design, huh?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stair Rugs Finished!

I got my stair rugs all finished a couple days ago - they still need to be properly installed with carpet tack strips, but I propped them up to snap a couple pictures so I could share them here. There are a few things I wish I had done differently, but for the most part I'm really pleased with the way they turned out! This stairway leads from our living room up into my studio. Please notice that I didn't let you glimpse even a sneak peak of the studio itself - if you did, you'd run screaming and never come back to visit my blog again! LOL

Here's a close-up shot of one so you can see the variations of color I got when I dyed wool for the black background. I used Emma Lou's Hook Book Black. Love how there is some movement, but it's not distracting or overpowering to the design itself.

I almost changed the design of the rug at the top of this picture, thinking that it might look dumb to have a single motif on it when all the other rugs had multiples, but now that it's done I think it's my favorite one.

And one last shot where you can see all six of them together.

I spent some time in the dye pots today dyeing blues and oranges - YUM! Mister Sister will be glad to find out when he gets home that I used citric acid instead of vinegar - the smell isn't bad at all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Freebie Finish

Years ago I was a cross-stitching fool like lots of people who are crafty. Unfortunately, all the designs I stitched were trendy, like geese & country hearts - so needless to say, none of it is displayed in my home anymore. I recently started doing a little more stitching when I discovered designers like Stacy Nash & Primitive Betty. Betty has a wonderful blog and often shares small simple designs with her fans. Earlier this week she had a Thanksgiving turkey posted that I liked, so I just finished stitching it up, putting my own slant on it by splitting the design into two projects.