Thursday, April 28, 2011

All Caught Up

Dawn Heese, of Linen Closet Quilts, started a free monthly quilt project quite awhile ago she calls Folk Art Tribute. I stitched up the first block very quickly when she posted it on her blog. After that, I printed out the pattern each month and cut out the applique pieces, but rarely had time to stitch things together. That changed this week because I made the time to get things done. There is one remaining block that she will be sharing, and when that's finished I'll get the blocks all sewn together and quilted. It's a fun project using some classic motifs.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Project and Exciting News!

I started a new rug hooking project last week. I'm making it for a specific reason so wait till you see what I do with it!

I'm sure you've all heard about the wonderful new primitve magazine that's out? I subscribed as soon as I heard about it last October.

On their blog, they asked folks to send them pictures of some of the favorite projects that they had made so I sent them photos of my stair rugs. I received my copy of the magazine in the mail on Saturday and they included my rugs! Now I'm doing the happy dance!

Hubby recovered from his surgery well enough to go ahead with a hiking trip he planned for the weekend with some of our kids and two of his brothers - they went into the red rock country of So. Utah and were going to explore Dark Canyon. I was invited, but they took tents to sleep in because the terrain is too rough for our 5th wheel to navigate, so I politely declined and have been home alone all weekend - they'll return Tuesday night. I've enjoyed every minute of my solitude and have gotten a lot done.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Woe Is Me!

This weekend a bunch of my rug hooking friends are attending the Utah Rug & Fiber Guild's retreat and I'm sure they're all having a wonderful time. I had planned on attending also - I helped with the planning of the event and was going to organize the rug show. Unfortunately, things turned out quite differently for me. Hubby had his gall bladder removed unexpectedly on Thursday and it just wasn't a good idea to leave him home alone yet - so I've been tending to his needs.

To console myself, I started a small hooked mat and got it all finished up. Ages ago I bought a bunch of wooden fur stretchers on ebay and finally used one for this project. Attached the mat to it and that's why it's an unusual shape.

I made the name tags for the retreat using my Cricut and a great cartridge I borrowed from a neighbor for the sheep.

and put together some little sheep-themed refrigerator magnets for the goody bags.

Here they are in the little packages I made for them - sometimes the presentation makes a small simple gift more fun to receive!

Can't wait to see pictures from the event. I was excited a couple days ago when the library called to tell me that my name had come up on the waiting list for a new book by my favorite author - I look forward to reading it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Week's Highlights

We had a great turnout for our First Tuesday rug hooking meeting this week. Tonia was whipping the edges of this small mat that she made - I like the squiggles - they add a lot of interest to a simple design.

Jennifer came to our group for the first time - I hope she can attend regularly now that her schooling is finished and her work schedule might permit it. She was working on a round mat with cute flowers on it.

Jeanette is making the cutest chickens from a Minick & Simpson design. I wish I had gotten a close-up of the middle chicken - she used a black & white fabric and it hooked up to look exactly like real feathers - perfect! That fabric was a little too thin for hooking so she cut the strips extra wide and folded them in half to beef it up more - I never would have thought of doing that! Good to know for future projects of my own!

Marliss has started an antique floral with a few animals in it. She decided she didn't like the light background, so will be pulling it out and redoing it with an antique black.

Marilyn is closing in on finishing the border of her sheep rug.

Angela is hooking this great floral - got her inspiration for the design & color from a quilt block.

Sandy is hooking a large rug that will be a reproduction of a stained glass window made by a local guy - she got permission from the artist to do this and it's going to be totally awesome! So far she has hooked a lot of the leading (outlines) and is using marbelized wool for the glass. After she cuts the wool, she keeps it in the exact same order so that when it's hooked, the marbelized effect is left intact. I look forward to watching this one progress.

Here's a close-up so you can see the marbelizing.

Kim is a brand new hooker who we all met for the first time - she's only actually pulled a couple dozen loops so far. But she had a hollyhocks design all drawn on linen - and borrowed a strip cutter while there so she could get her wool ready to work with. I love the colors she chose - it will have a dark background. She mentioned that she won top awards in high school (just a couple years ago - wink - wink!) for sewing a wool coat, so she's excited to be working with - and fondling - wool again.

On Wednesday at quilting, we got to visit with a friend we haven't seen for awhile - she showed us her newly remodeled kitchen that featured this great custom mosaic centered in the tile work above her stove. A lot of the broken dishes that she used have sentimental value for her and it was so fun to hear the stories behind each piece. I like the way the slivers of mirror really added sparkle to the piece.

She & her daughter started this mosaic on a birdhouse and incorporated some fun stuff into it also.

Janet's daughter is tyeing the knot next month so she's been making goodies for the wedding. These bride & groom dolls will be displayed next to the cake - their faces and other details were done with threadwork on her sewing machine - lots of detail! She said the groom doll actually ended up looking a bit like her future son-in-law!

And she's made all these darling wool flowers. The ruffley ones will have lots of company and be incorporated into the brides' bouquet. The turquoise zipper flowers will be the bridesmaid corsages, and the mustard ones will be boutineers for the groomsmen. (how the heck do you spell boutineers?)

I have the most talented group of friends - it's always so inspiring to see their new projects and learn new techniques from them!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fiber & Art

My friend Kaye is a member of the Utah Surface Design Group. They recently had an exhibit hung at an art gallery in SLC that I was able to attend. Some of the items were quite interesting, and some of them made me scratch my head  I'll start with my favorites - the wooly ones.

This piece was needle felted roving onto a black background - the colors were bright and vibrant to look at - I snapped a couple close-ups too.....

These felted bowls were so soft and pliable -  they were knitted and felted, then embellished with needle felted polka dots and other shapes.

These little heads were a hoot - such funny expressions on their faces...... each was about the size of a softball.

This piece was tiny - probably 2" x 3" in a gilded frame to lend it an air of importance.

Painted and embellished shoes.

A piece of handwoven fabric that was manipulated and augmented with pieces of cut & painted wood.

Vintage white gloves - stuffed and climbing a pole......

And a dress - of sorts - displayed on a dress form - visitors were asked to add strips of fabric after writing a message on them.

Strips & bits of fabric that were dyed and coiled.

A very interesting visit.