Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Blogger!

I was reading Libby's blog today and discovered that one of the BIG NAMES in the world of primitive quilting, has started a blog of her own! HAPPY DAY!  Cheri Payne has her own distinctive style that really appeals to me and I have made several of her projects from the many books and pamphlets that I own. She's only been blogging a few days, but I look forward to getting to know her better through her posts. And I sure hope she shares pictures of her home so we can see how she displays her wonderful creations! She is sharing a block-by-block project called soot&ashes so we can sew along with her if we want to. Boy, do I want to! This afternoon I whipped up all three blocks that she's done so far - I'm using reds instead of the blues that she chose - since I have no idea what the finished quilt will look like, I sure hope it will work! It's kinda like a mystery quilt, huh? The blocks are only 5" so they work up fast! I hope nothing gets me distracted from checking her blog every day for new instructions! Here's what I have worked up so far.......


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yay! It's Finished!

Well, the hooking part is finished - I still need to whip the edges. But I thought I'd share it with you anyway! I love the way this turned out!

Kinda hard to get a good picture of it because it's so long and skinny, so here are a couple of close ups so you can see details.

This is the first time I've used an 8-1/2 cut and I really enjoyed working with that size, but it seems SO much wider than an 8 cut! Now, I thought that the numbers used to describe the widths of the cuts were 1/32" increments, so a #8 cut was actually 8/32nds" or a 1/4", right? Well, I'm sure that an 8-1/2 cut is more than a 64th of an inch winder than an 8 - can anyone tell me if I'm right or wrong - or explain it to me? 

Edited to add: This rug was made from a free quilt pattern that I found on the internet. You can find it here http://www.ctpubblog.com/2010/03/17/bird-on-a-branch-table-runner/

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cute Little Pillow

Yesterday I found an old Kindred Spirits book on clearance for 75% off that had lots of rug hooking projects in it. I have always liked their designs, so I bought it - and today I worked up one of the pillows that was in it. I've always wanted to hook through a wool backing instead of the normal monks cloth or linen, and that's what I did with this one. The hit & miss design of the star works well with my other hit & miss projects that are in the living room.

It was actually made in two pieces. For the pillow itself I used an old army blanket. The hooked section is actually like a sleeve, or a wrap and is open on both ends where the prairie points are - it is just pulled over the green pillow. I guess I could make different covers for it and change it out for the seasons if I wanted to!

I always enjoy finding ways to use up some of my worms and a chance to dip into my button jars and find just the right ones for the project.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Child's Bench

When Tonia & I went to the Denver Hook-in a few months ago, one of the vendors had a darling little bench seat for sale. It was vintage - with peeling paint and rickety joints. Tonia bought it and has fixed it up to perfection. She designed the beach/ocean themed rugs that she hooked to cover the seat and back sections. I wish I had a before picture of it so you could see how she vastly improved this piece of furniture. And I wish I was small enough to sit on it myself and dream about playing in the sand! LOL

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Have A Seat

I meet once a month for rug hooking at a quilt store in a small town. This town usually has flower baskets decorating the sidewalks on Main Street, but because of the poor economy and budget constraints they couldn't afford them this summer. Instead, a local gal offered the use of her vintage chair collection to dress up the downtown area. I thought they were very picturesque and added a lot to the ambiance of the shopping experience in front of the participating stores. Wouldn't you just love to sit for a minute and rest in some of these while walking down the street?  Here are some pictures I snapped on Tuesday, in no particular order.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have a small collection of gameboards that are displayed in the stairwell of my home. None of them are old, or valuable, but they make a nice graphic statement on the wall. I have made several of them myself using different mediums. Of course it's a really ackward place to get a good photo, but here's my best shot. Looking UP the stairs:

And looking DOWN the stairs:

And here are some close ups so you can see them better. I hooked this parchessi board years ago and it was a fun one. Love the colors I used - if I remember right, all the wools were as-is.

This little quilt is a backgammon board and I made it just last week. I drafted out the pattern and then pieced it on foundation papers. I had a hard time choosing fabrics and colors so that the design would show up properly. It's not perfect, but it'll do.

I won this checkerboard in an online giveaway a couple years ago - the gal who made it did a great job of distressing it to make it look aged.

The Chinese checkerboard came from the thrift store. I just added some color to it to give it more interest.

This punch needle checkerboard is the smallest item on the wall. I like the stars I added in the border.

This gameboard is one from the thrift store - I think it was once available from Tenderheart Treasures, and I'm not even sure what kind of gameboard it is!

I made this checkerboard years and years ago - my kids actually played with it on occasion. The heart cutouts really make it look dated, but I still like it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New And Improved!

Early in the spring I found a chair at a thrift store for $4 that had good bones, was sturdy, and very comfortable to sit in. I purchased it and brought it home so I could revive it with a little paint and a little rug hooking. I finally got it finished and wanted to share it with you.

First I removed the existing seat and used liquid sandpaper to take the shine off the old finish so a new coat of paint would stick. I used spray paint, but after I was done I wished that I had used regular paint and a brush - oh well!  Then I had to decide on a design for the new seat. I got my inspiration from reading Joanne's blog at Snippets and Scraps of My Mind who was making some really scrappy little rugs. I love that I got to use up a lot of my worms and yet make such a nice rug at the same time.

I had planned to put this up in my studio and use it when I hook my rugs, but I think it's going to stay in the living room to be used as extra seating when we have several people over to visit. The hooking makes for a nice padded seat and I think folks will like it! Here's a picture of what the chair looked like before I started the re-do.

I saw this cool old shoe rack at the antique store yesterday - sure wish I had room for it in my studio - it would look so nice loaded full of wool!

Monday, August 9, 2010


I haven't done much garment sewing for a long, long time, but recently I remodeled some readymade knit shirts that I had purchased to make them more appealing and stylish. For one of the projects I started with two basic crew neck t-shirts that I bought at JoAnn's when they were on sale for $2 each. With one of them I removed the ribbing around the neck and cut the sleeves off. Using the second shirt, I cut new sleeves that were 3/4 length and then cut strips of fabric across the torso part of the shirt to use for a new neckline finish and some ruffles. It didn't take much time at all and I'm much happier with the shirt now. Here are a couple pictures of the finished project.

And I bought two ivory long sleeved shirts on clearance at Walmart a couple months for $1 each. I cut one up and made flowers, then handstitched them around the neckline of the second shirt to add some detail and interest. Much better, don't you think?

With the minimal cost of the shirts to start with, it wasn't much of a gamble to work on these because if they didn't turn out right it was no huge loss of my investment. Now they look more like boutique shirts that would have cost much, much more in a specialty shop. Fun projects!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Home Again

Well, I'm home from my vacation - the last of several that were scheduled for this summer. I can't remember any other time when I've been so busy, so I'm enjoying home immensely right now! Our cruise was a fun experience and a great way to admire Alaska's rugged beauty while being pampered in comfort. This isn't a travel blog, so I'll share just a few of the many pictures we took so you can see some of what we saw.

Our ship wasn't the largest that we saw while there, but even so, it totally dwarfed the small towns that we stopped to visit. Skagway has a population of about 400 people and when four ships pull into harbor there are 10,000 extra people visiting - can you imagine? I think 99% of these small towns earn their living from tourism. Juneau is the state capital, but is only accessible by air or water - you can't drive there in a car. We thought that was really interesting.

At the base of Mendenhall Glacier, people had arranged these rocks into some fun formations. It was very picturesque.

This is the view from a narrow gauge railroad that we rode on up the mountain and into Canada. It was one of the few shore expeditions we did because everything like helicopter and plane rides were prohibitively expensive.

Just as the train was passing this Cinnamon Brown Bear came up the mountain - we were glad we were in the last car so we could get a good glimpse of him. Other wildlife we saw were moose, tons of bald eagles, sea otters, whales, and the salmon were running so we saw lots of them too.

This was Glacier Bay National Park - as we entered the park, so Park Rangers came out on a small boat and climbed aboard the ship so they could act as tour guides over the loud speakers. We we able to see a couple sections of one of the large glaciers calve off into the water.

Birds resting on an iceberg. Only 20% of the ice is visible above water.

After disembarking from the ship we spent a couple days in Anchorage to to a bit of exploring on our own. We drove up to Palmer and visited a Musk Ox Farm that was really interesting. These animals are domesticated and raised so that their down underlayer of hair can be harvested by combing every spring. The fur (qiviut) is spun and knitted into various items by native Alaskans to earn money while staying in their own remote homes. I thought of my friend Eileen while I was there because she's my go-to expert for all things fiber. I'm sure she knows all about this fiber so I'll pick her brain about it more next time I see her. 

This was a wonderful trip that hubby & I had originallly planned to take to celebrate our 25th anniversary five years ago. Turns out that we took it for our 30th instead! Now we're back to the real world and happy to be here! LOL