Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Peek Into My Studio

Strangely enough, I caught a very rare bug recently, and spent two whole days tidying a small corner of my studio. Now it looks presentable enough to share with the world, so I snapped a few pictures.  

I had started work a bit before I remembered to document my process, so this picture has a few empty spots on the fabric shelf that I had already cleared off.

I weeded out a LOT of fabrics - some were poor quality - and some were terribly sun faded because I'd had them for years and years. This is the pile of discards that I sent to the thrift store. I know I could have found a better place to donate them to, but I was on a roll and just wanted them out of the house.

Here is the shelf unit AFTER I had sorted and refolded every single piece there. Now I have room to buy lots more new fabric - smart, huh? LOL Actually - on the back side of these shelves there is another unit exactly the same that is already pretty full too - I need to do the same thing there and refold & organize all of those.

Some of the pieces I kept were quite small, so I cut them into strips and now they are sorted into labeled baskets  - will be very handy for finding just what I need. And since scrap quilts are my favorite kind, I can just reach in and grab a piece.

Above the bookshelf with the baskets I have a quilt hanging on the wall that I made years and years ago - it's even hand quilted and it's been a long, long time since I've done that to any of my quilts!

And just to the left of these baskets I arranged a fun little vignette with a small quilt and some other goodies I like to display.

It sure feels good to have this done - don't know when I'll ever get to the rest of the room. There are stacks of wool for my rug hooking that could use the same treatment - but I'll just take baby steps and call it good! Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mourning Rug

I went to visit my friend Kay a few weeks ago - it's always fun to see her small historic home that is filled to the brim with primitive goodies. This time she wanted to show me a rug that she had just finished. Her firstborn son died in 1960 when he was just a few days old - he never even made the trip home from the hospital. In spite of that, she still thinks of him often - and her four sons know that they have an older brother they'll get to meet someday. Because of this experience, she has always been drawn to antique mourning samplers done in cross stitch or needlepoint that commemorate the loss of a loved one.  Her husband is a wonderful artist - so she showed him pictures of what she had in mind - and he drew this rug design for her.  I think it turned out really nice - and her rugs are always special because they have meaning and significance to her life. I just wanted to share this special project.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gifts, Rugs & Quilts

My Mom's birthday is next week, so on Saturday I stitched up a really small quilt to send to her using the smallest Twister template - the finished quilt measures just under 9" square. I figured with a quilt this small she could find a place to display it without too much trouble. 

I've had fun with wrapping gifts a little differently lately - here is the quilt wrapped in brown paper with a doily to embellish it - along with a necklace I bought her at an antique show over the weekend that I wrapped in some old book pages. Makes receiving it more fun I think!

My son gave his girlfriend a gift certificate for Valentine's Day, so I made a spiffy envelope for him to put it in - it's all about the presentation when you're dating! LOL

Last Thursday I attended my monthly rug hooking meeting in SLC and these are some of the rugs that I saw there. Kathryn had just finished this darling Edyth O'Neill design with two hearts - I absolutely LOVE the way she added interest to the background by hooking in some small heart shapes using slightly different colored wool.

Nancy has made a LOT of progress on this rug she's making - next month I'll try to remember to snap a picture of the cross stitch design that inspired it. It seems she often adds a little saying or verse to her rugs and I think it makes them very special.

Yvonne started the last border on this beautiful floral rug - it's a big one and the colors are so rich and yummy!

Here is another peek at my row rug.

I finally got all my scrappy Trip Around the World blocks made - now I have to decide how to set them. Remember, these are half size blocks so they each measure 6" square.

I hemmed two pair of jeans for my son-in-law - not my favorite kind of sewing - but it was the very least I could do after he worked on my rug hooking frame last week!

So that's a little bit of what I've been up to lately!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thrift Store Marriage

When I first started rug hooking I bought a Puritan frame and it served me well for a long time. Then I started seeing frames that you could sit on - and they swiveled and tilted so I thought that would be a good feature to have so it would be easier to hook in every direction. I bought a new frame from a seller on ebay - The Purple Crow - and I've been happy with it for years.  Two years ago at the thrift store I found a nice floor model needlework frame for $15 and bought it - hoping it could be adapted to work with my rug hooking frame. Over the weekend my son-in-law took it home and made it happen for me -  I think it's going to be great! I can adjust the angle of the surface, and it can collapse it down to be a more compact size for traveling. I look forward to giving this a try and seeing how it works - and it will be easy to move the frame back to the old base whenever I want/need to. 

And now I have a quick question for all you bloggers. I try really hard to respond to comments left on my blog posts. I usually receive an email that contains the comment so it's easy to just hit reply and answer back. But just lately I've realized that I don't get an email for EVERY SINGLE comment that is left  - for instance - a quilting friend in Holland often leaves a comment and I don't know about it unless I actually pull up all the comments on my blog. I think it happens to a few other gals too - and I'm sure they think I'm rude if I don't acknowledge their interest. Do any of you know if I need to change my settings to a certain way? Or is it something about the other blogger that causes this glitch? Just thought I'd ask....... TIA!

And last, but certainly not least, I was the lucky winner of another blog giveaway! I received this adorable angel in the mail from Jean, who blogs at Prim Crafts. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, cuz she gave twelve of these cuties away to the first twelve gals who left comments on her blog last week. Yay! Thanks so much Jean - I love this sweetie!

Monday, February 11, 2013

First Tuesday Rug Group

Sandy came to our meeting last week with a full arsenal of wonderful show & tell and won the 'prize' for being the most productive since our last get together. She hooked this Maggie B. design - - - -

 - - - - and attached it to the top of a stool that is part of a bedroom set that belonged to her husband's grandparents - awesome!

She finished a Valentine mystery quilt that she got from her LQS - - - -

- - - -  and did some coordinating applique on a small hand towel. So cute!

While watching the Super Bowl over the weekend, she pulled loops for these flowers through some hookable wool - and then framed them to hang on the wall. The flowers have a lot of dimension and the colors are the same as in the stool she did above.

Tonia and her five year old grandson have a favorite book that they like to read together called The Robot and the Bluebird. He also likes to 'help' her with her hooking projects - so she decided it would be fun to hook him a rug of his own using the story for inspiration. She had all the hooking done when she arrived and was crocheting the edge with wool strips during our meeting. What a lucky little boy he is!

Tonia brought us each a treat bag and attached these darling Valentine tags personalized with our initials using a Scrabble tile - that was a lot of work 'just because' -  thanks Tonia!

And Marliss made some Red Velvet cupcakes for refreshments - her presentation was so pretty on this platter she inherited from her mom. YUM!

It was a fun day spent hooking and visiting with good friends.

I've been doing a pitiful job of rug hooking for months now. I started a large rug last May when I attended the Denver Hook-In and it's not even half way done yet. In an effort to motivate myself to finish it, I've decided that I will share it here on my blog in bits and pieces. That's easy to do because of the nature of the design. I'm making a row rug - each row measures 4" x 28" or so - and each row has a totally different pattern in it.  Now that I've learned how to crop pictures, I can reveal each row separately - I'll show some that are already finished, and then each new row that I hook - until the big reveal at the end. Hopefully some of you remind me about it if you don't see a new section every once in awhile! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Few Things

I got a little quilt all finished yesterday. Pam Buda suggested sewing all four blocks together in a straight line - but that didn't really appeal to me. So this is how I decided to do it. The finished size is 10" x 14" so some of those pieces are pretty small and the side sections turned out a little wonky and crooked, but I can live with it. I found this setting idea while visiting a blog I'd never seen before - Busy Hands Busy Mind - Britta blogs from Germany and makes some of the most amazing things - the fabric sewing machine shown in her blog header is absolutely amazing! 

I also got a good start on my Scrappy Trip Around the World - got one block made and stitched together and pressed several more sets - easy mindless sewing.

I got all caught up on the project that Temecula Quilt Co. is sharing on their blog.

And last night my quilt group met at Jackie's house - she had four vintage featherweights - in pristine condition - set up on her dining room table for us to use - I sure wish I had snapped a picture of them. We made these cute little zippered pouches using fabric that her aunt brought home from a visit to Switzerland back in the 1970's - perfect for a Valentine themed gathering. The top layer of the pouch is clear vinyl so you can see what's stored inside - perfect for a small sewing project - applique - or wool pennies? We'll see - - - -

Monday, February 4, 2013


It was a good mail day today! Last week Lauren, who blogs at Rugs and Pugs, drew my name as the lucky winner of her giveaway. I pulled a fat squishy envelope out of my mailbox today and squealed when I saw this lovely little heart mat. Her loops are so nice and even - and her finishing on the back is perfect. I love that the heart isn't red - this way I can display this rug year round!

I like it sitting on my coffee table with these little additions. I think she must have hooked it in an 8.5 or a 9 - I need to use wider cuts more often because the few times I've done so, I really, really liked it! Thank you SO much for your generosity Lauren!

Last night I finished hooking this little 12" tree skirt. I decided it would also work well for a chair mat because the tiny hole in the middle is hardly noticeable, and if I did that it might be easier to find when Christmas rolls around again.

I've also been doing a bit of sewing. I made these five blocks for the sew along that Temecula Quilt Co. is sharing right now. The next set of instructions have been posted so I need to get busy and stitch them up too.

I've finished the forth 4" block that Pam Buda posted for her sew along - I found a really fun way to sew these together on a new blog I just visited, so I'll try and get this done soon. My friend Janet also sewed hers together differently than what Pam suggested - go here to see how cute they are!

I cut strips to make the Scrappy Trip Around the World that's been taking blogland by storm. Mine will be half the size suggested by Bonnie Hunter so my strips measure 1-1/2" x 10" . I also cut squares to make the snowball blocks for the quilt center that Darlene is sharing. Haven't done any sewing on these two projects yet......

So much to do!