Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Bit of Christmas

I did my large tree with creamy white ornaments this year - angels & birds & stars, plus a bit of glass. I made a garland but cutting six yards of tulle netting into 3" strips - then ran it through my sewing machine to gather it into fluffy, feather, lightness.

My kids helped me make small white paper Moravian stars one year and I always enjoy pulling them out.

DD#1 brought me home a dozen soldered glass stars from a trip to Mexico.

And I bought a crystal chandelier several years at a yard sale. Harvested the crystals and hung a few on the tree to reflect the light.

I've enjoyed watching and listening to this Christmas video several times already - and each time it gives me goosebumps. Hope you like it too. It is a local production with some well known Utah talent like the Piano Guys, David Archuletta and Alex Boye.

I've heard about the scrap bags that are available from Heavens to Betsy on occasion, and I was finally able to purchase one. I expected true scraps - pieces of wool in funny shapes & sizes, but was pleasantly surprised to find 19 eighth yard pieces. They're all washed up now and ready to hook with. YUM!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Salt Lake Rug Group

Last Wednesday I met with the Salt Lake Rug Group and we had a nice turnout - I think everyone enjoys visiting during the holidays! Lots of goodies were exchanged - especially chocolate - YUM! Here are the projects that were being worked on that day. I started this bee skep that I found in my studio - don't even remember where I got it! It's going to work up quickly I think - trying to decide on what to do to make the background more interesting.

Yvonne was appliqueing some small quilt blocks - I think she said this was a Kim Diehl design.

Vicky was binding this gorgeous king-sized quilt - the black setting makes all those colors just pop. She said it was ten months in the making.

Myra was making another set of wool pinecones - she shared photos of a set that her daughter used to decorate the bannister in her home - just lovely.

The rich colors in Arline's rug were just gorgeous.

And Nancy is making progress on the quilt patterned rug she bought from Sharon Smith.

We meet at Nancy's house each month. She's been hooking for over 25 years and is very prolific. She has given away lots of rugs to family and friends, and she has a lot of them displayed in her home too. However, some are rolled and stored in this large basket on the floor - think I'll look for one this size because I think it's a great idea.

A lovely day with friends.....

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Last month our rug group decided to exchange socks at our December meeting, so Tuesday was the day - and this was the haul - such a fun variety! I think we were all hoping to get a pair of Sharon's wonderful hand knit socks, but she wasn't able to make it so we were disappointed!

I don't think there was any show & tell except the rugs that were being worked on - so here we go.... Victoria pulled out an old project to do some more on it - I think it's very old fashioned looking.

Sandy is hoping to get this anchor rug done for a granddaughter by Christmas. She has begun hooking the background stripes in the lower right corner of the picture.

Marliss is still working on the rug she started in class with Sharon Smith - love the colors.

This floral is Tonia's design - has her name written all over it.

I missed Angela's little tree skirt for a wool feather tree, and forgot to snap a picture of Cora Lee's Purple Rain rug from Sharon Smith. Sorry gals!

Jeanette was sick and couldn't attend, but she sent me this picture of her dancing elephant rug - all finished! I adore the tulle netting she added to the ballerina's skirt - proddy I'm guessing?

I was a slacker and didn't take a rug at all - instead I was working on two different quilt projects. I recently found three more fabrics that would work great for my English Paper Pieced stars so I fussy cut the diamonds and got one of them stitched together while I was there. Some of the gals didn't know how this worked so they got to see the whole process.

And I brought a stack of 3" 9-patches to square up - I'm really just removing slivers of threads - not large pieces of fabric at all - but I think it helps a lot in accuracy.

I've now got probably 200 of these ready to go - might be time to start assembling the quilt top, but I need to cut a few other pieces of fabric - triangles & large hexies.

When making 4-patches I've often 'spun' the seam intersections, but the pattern I'm using suggested doing that with these 9-patches too - works great to reduce the bulk!

I haven't gotten any decorating done yet for Christmas, but I HAVE almost finished with my shopping, so that's progress, right? LOL

Friday, November 28, 2014

Catching Up

I've been home for a couple weeks now - had a good time on our getaway to Southern Utah where the weather was lovely - then we came home to the first cold snap of the winter. Hubby & I found out there was a shooting range nearby so we took shotguns with us - he loved it - me, not so much. Ended up with a huge bruise on my shoulder that is just now fading away. But we also did some hiking, and rode our bikes - I got a lot of fun shopping in while he was in meetings - and I didn't have to cook any meals for nearly a week - WooHoo!

I finished sewing all my little hexies together and now this quilt is ready to be quilted. Can't decide whether to add a border or call it good. The finished size is 19" x 22".

Without even realizing it, I won a giveaway on Janet's blog last week and my prize arrived in the mail. A mini charm pack from French General, and two bars of her yummy homemade soap - I wish you could smell it through your computer screens!

When I was looking through the pictures on my camera recently, I realized that I had never shared this one. Early in the spring while on vacation, I saw a cool garden 'sculpture' in a shop but it was way too expensive for me to buy, so. I showed a picture to my son who is good at welding metal and he recreated it for me. I found the large metal ring at a yard sale during the summer for only $15 - it used to be the rim of a wooden wagon wheel and was exactly what we needed.  It looks great in my yard and is titled "Rolling Stone".

I had a great Thanksgiving on Thursday (except for the Roto-Rooter episode) and have a good start on my Christmas shopping. Now I need to get the tree up try to make the house feel festive. My mother-in-law recently went to Israel and brought us home this 8" Nativity hand carved from olive wood - the grain is so beautiful and it's the perfect beginning to the holiday season.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This & That

I recently found a nice recipe box at the thrift store for $1. I don't know what used to be in the lid, but there was a large open area that I thought would be perfect for a punch needle insert. I traced the opening onto weavers cloth and drew on my design - thinking that I was making a crazy quilt. My friends quickly corrected me and told me it was stained glass instead - so that's what I'm going with!

The finished design turned out to be a bit bigger than it started, so I had to add some padding underneath it to take up the slack.  This happens to me often and it drives me crazy - anyone have suggestions on how to prevent this from happening? Maybe I should add some fusible interfacing to the back before I begin punching and that would stabilize it? Hmmm......

My Margaret Shaw crow hooked rug is finished - just need to steam it one more time to get those edges to lie nice & flat after being whipped with yarn.

Show & tell at my rug group on Tuesday was wonderful. Jeanette brought two little pincushions and they were adorable. The star was a free pattern we received at our recent hook-in - I love how she added colored pins to add to the design. It's stuffed with wool snippets leftover from her rug hooking projects. She found a quilty mug at a yard sale during the summer and made it into a pincushion that was embellished with some standing wool circles made into cute little flowers.

Jeanette also showed us her finished poppy rug - a Sharon Smith design. For some reason my favorite part is the single line border that changes color around the edge. Gorgeous rug!

She's now working on a dancing elephant rug for a granddaughter's Christmas gift. This design combines the girl's two favorite things - so clever - what a happy rug!

Victoria finished her Daniel rug that was designed by Tonia - she liked the original so much that she made it exactly the same. You can purchase the pattern on Tonia's website here.

And this is Tonia's newest design - a great floral. She has the knack of choosing colors that give a real old feel to her finished rugs.

I've been doing a little stitching on two projects with English paper piecing - hubby & I are taking a little trip next week while he attends a conference for work - so these will be perfect to take with me. I'll share a picture when I get home......

Friday, October 31, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Just got home from a week long visit to see my family in California - the weather was perfect. I had a great time with everyone and we did some fun things together -  lots of antiquing, shopping, eating, visiting and game playing. But it's always good to come home again.

One day while I was there, we had nothing planned for the afternoon. I had fallen in love with the micro mini 9-patch that Janet made recently, so I rummaged through my mom's small fabric stash and found stuff that would work to make my own version - on the right in the picture below. After my mom tried to steal it from me, I decided she needed one of her own, so I stitched up another using different colors. The 9-patches measure 7/8" - teeny tiny - and the finished size is 7" square. Neither of them got quilted before I left - we'll each have to do that on our own.

I cut the strips 5/8" wide and used the narrow edge of presser foot on my mom's old machine for a seam allowance - probably 1/8". Fun and challenging at the same time!

Looking around my mom's house I decided to snap pictures of the little quilts I've made for her through the years - I'd forgotten about some of them. This bear's paw quilt in her bedroom is probably 12" square. I also made the bear on the shelf and the little pieced heart he is holding.

This Double Wedding Ring is displayed in an 8" x 10" wood frame under glass.  It was made by appliquing bias strips onto a muslin backing - then fussy cutting the floral hearts in the center of each ring and fusing them into place.

This twister quilt is probably 5" square.

And this tumbler quilt is 10" x 15" or so - boring using only two fabrics.

This scrappy zig zag quilt is about 6" square - not sure why I gave it to her since red is NOT her color! Displayed on a small wood easel with a piece of cardboard behind it so it won't flop around.

Another project we worked on while I was there was this cute little rocking chair my sister bought at the thrift store for her grand daughter - only $4.99! I forgot to take a before picture, but it was just natural wood with a light stain. A can of red spray paint and a new cushion made with lady bugs made it look brand new. We had planned to add some details on the back spindles using black & pink paint, but ran out of time before I left.

Below is a small 21" quilt I made before I left home - it's a Kim Diehl pattern - a variation on a bear's paw block. I have a grundle of 1-1/2" HSTs all ready to use when the need arises, so it worked up pretty quickly for me. Quilted with a 1" grid over the entire surface.

I'm anxious to get back to some of the things I was working on - and maybe start something new too! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Color & Miscellaneous

During the summer I snagged a small wooden workbench that had been abandoned at an old house, so I have plopped it in the middle of my front lawn and attached an old metal headboard to it for a focal point in my fall display. All the pumpkins & cornstalks came from our garden - I love the orange combined with the blue door on my house. Hubby & I are hoping to go riding in the mountains on our ATVs on Saturday - hope to see some pretty colors up there.

Back in May I won a giveaway from Jean who blogs at JLT Studios.  It was a kit for a small 6" square mat that came with a huge assortment of wool and other fibers - like yarn & sari silk & roving. It worked up quickly and it was fun using items that I don't have in my own supply closet.

I've been working on a design by Margaret Shaw that I bought on clearance at a local quilt shop - it was designed for using the Oxford Punch, but I'm hooking it the traditional way with my Hartman hook. Using some narrow cuts to get details on the monks cloth backing.

I have all the blocks for the Marcus Sew-Along up on my design wall. What a horrible time I had making those alternate black & cream blocks! I have never had so much difficulty EVER! Not sure if it was me or the instructions, but I cut wrong, sewed wrong, and wasted SO much fabric - argh! Glad that part is done - now I need to stitch them all together and add the borders. I'll be glad to finish this up...

I attended the annual Utah Hook-In on Saturday and have posted pictures of the day's events on the Guild's blog - go here if you'd like to see!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Family Rug Finished!

There were times that I never thought this day would actually arrive, but I have finally finished the family rug that I started over five years ago - what a good feeling! It's a large rug that measures 48" x 60".

It will never win any awards but I love it because it tells our story. Hubby & I married in 1980 and moved into our home as newlyweds. We've been here ever since and raised three children and a dog.

The Union Pacific Railroad runs right behind the house - the diesel trains aren't very picturesque so I hooked an old fashioned steam engine instead. We live near Hill AFB and F-16 fighter jets fly overhead often - to represent that I hooked a simple little airplane.

We are LDS (Mormon) so I hooked the Salt Lake Temple as a symbol of our religion - there are flowers to depict the beautiful gardens that are to be seen in every season at Temple Square. The blue below represents the Great Salt Lake.

Our home is surrounded by wonderful shade trees that provided great climbing opportunities for the children and their friends as they grew - thankfully no one ever fell out and broke an arm or leg! The trees keep our home nice and cool. We also grow a garden each summer so I hooked corn & pumpkins to represent that.

When I whipped the edge of the rug I wanted to use two different colors of yarn, and amazingly I had exactly what I needed in my stash!

I think the two borders add a lot to the rug - they were fun to work on and used up a lot of my worms.

I drew all of the motifs for this rug freehand, which captures the folk art feel I wanted for it. I might tweak a few things still, but for all intents and purposes it's DONE! What a journey it's been!