Sunday, January 31, 2010

Awesome Workshop!

What a fantastic weekend! I spent the last three days in a wonderful workshop with Jackye Hansen of 1840 House. Jackye is incredibly talented, and is an excellent teacher! I am in love with Waldoboro-style hooking. Progress is definitely slow - it could take years to finish my rug - but the results are well worth the time & effort.

Here's Jackye (on the right) helping Paula with her project. She has such a good eye for color and her wools are beautiful! She prepares well, too - each student received a "map" of their project with colors and instructions. That will come in handy when I am trying to remember what goes where a year from now!

Here's what I managed to get done in three days...yes, this represents 20+ hours of hooking. Sad, isn't it?!?

We must have been working awfully hard...Debbie fell asleep on her frame! Maybe it was a sugar crash - we had lots of great food and delicious goodies to snack on while we worked.

Nola gave us a sneak peek at her Creative Juices project for March and now I am full of ideas for yet another rug! She created a non-directional sampler with symbols representing her life and family. I'd love to do something like that - it sounds so fun! My ideas haven't fully gelled yet, but so far I am thinking gardening for Darrin (possibly a tomato and garlic), a bird, something to represent the Cardinals, a quilt block, a book for Ann, a musical note and possibly something cheer-related for Kris, Ace and the cats, a boat or other item to represent the Ozarks...the list goes on and on! I'm sure there are other things that must be included. This will require some serious thought! How fun!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vintage Postcard Rug Finished

I managed to get the Vintage Illinois Postcard rug bound over the weekend and gave it another touch of steam tonight. I'm so excited to be able to mark another UFO off the list! I started this rug in Florida a couple of years ago. I thought I would be able to finish it during the vacation, but ended up packing everything but a hook, so I wasn't able to get started until half way through the week when we got to my inlaw's house (my mother-in-law had one I could use). I worked on it a bit after we returned home, but then packed it away in favor of starting something new (probably my Toddhall camp project) and didn't get back to it until recently. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but won't be hooking another face any time soon!

I am working on a quilt block for a dear friend that is fighting cancer. I started working on it yesterday and managed to have one of the least productive sewing days ever. I had all kinds of great ideas, but some of them didn't work out so well. I decided to crazy-piece the dress using some of the fabrics my friend and I collected and used in a class we took with Judith Baker-Montano last year. That seems to have worked okay so far, but the real challenge will be needle-turning it. I found a beautiful silk fabric for the wings, but after numerous attempts to applique the, I decided that silk is not my applique friend. I tried needle-turn, stabilizer, sewing to stabilizer and turning inside out, etc. Nothing worked. I also painted some lace to use at the bottom of the dress, but I think it may be a little too bright. We'll see when I get a little farther along. I couldn't find anything remotely close to a flesh color, so I stopped by Jackman's on the way home and picked up fabric for the face and wings. I managed to get one of the wings down tonight, and hopefully can get the other one on tomorrow. Hopefully, now that I have a plan, the rest of this project will go smoothly.

I received my package of wool for this weekend's workshop from Jackye Hansen. The colors are beautiful and very interesting. I'll have to give it more thought over the next couple of days since I need to choose my backgrounds. The pattern I selected is her "Crazy Quilt". I have loved that pattern since I first saw it in Rug Hooking several years ago. Not a surprise, I guess! I'm thinking of doing browns and antique black for backgrounds, but I need to lay everything out and see what works with my motif colors.

Last, but not least, I received my "Wool Crazy" book and wool from Primitive Gatherings last week. I am waiting to receive the first mailing from the club meeting for layout ideas. Earlier this evening, I stumbled across a blog that is dedicated to making this quilt. What fun! I can't wait to get started - it's so much more fun when you can do things with a group!

Off to bed for tonight. More time to create tomorrow!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Goal Achieved!

I managed to stay on track - even be ahead of schedule - for the first month of my Applique Affair BOM "challenge". I'm hoping that working on this one along with others in the Applique_Cafe group will motivate me to keep at it. I actually have four or five of the blocks finished, but sadly just received block 18 in the mail. You could say that I'm just a little behind...

I steamed the Vintage Illinois Postcard rug yesterday and hope to get to work binding it this week. Next thing on my "to do" list today is to figure out if I have any yarn to bind it with. If so, I hope to post a picture before the end of the week. I'm on a roll!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Starting to Thaw

It's finally starting to warm up... I think we may actually see temps above freezing tomorrow! Although we didn't even come close to setting a record, it's been bitterly cold for a long time - I can't remember it being like this in the last 10+ years. It would be a good excuse to stay inside and sew or hook, but unfortunately the 'work' thing gets in the way of that.

Wool club was wonderful - lots of fun, very inspiring, and oh-so-tempting! The wool this month was gorgeous. Nola managed to sell almost everything she dyed. I missed out on a couple of pieces that I would have liked, but maybe that's a sign that I should dye some on my own. I haven't done any dyeing in ages.

I decided that my first pattern would be based on an image from "Pattern Motifs" by Graham McCallum. The design was taken from the Japanese section of the book and adapted to fill in a rectangular rug. I didn't get very far on it, but the idea is to work on this one all year, incorporating wool from each month's session. Here's a peek at what I have so far:

I'm already thinking about ideas for next month. Our theme will be "hit or miss". I started sketching out a pattern today that includes five circles - inspired by the Olympic rings, but variable in size and oriented a bit differently. I haven't completely settled on how I will hook it, but I'm thinking of hooking the circles with the Feb wools and doing the background with a straight line hit or miss.

While at Nola's, I fell in love with her sister's latest pattern, "Bird Party". I decided that it would be a perfect project for Toddhall. I need to give it more thought when I talk to Janice Johnson, the teacher, but I am leaning toward doing each bird a little differently. I'd like to represent the variety of birds at our feeders, although I certainly don't want to commit to trying to recreate red-bellied woodpeckers and black-capped chickadees in an 8-cut!

"Bird Party"

I'm continuing to make progress on the Illinois postcard rug. I finished all of the sky last night. I have a bit of the suit left, and then have to take a stab at making the face look less distorted. I don't enjoy hooking faces!

On the quilting front, I started on my Applique Affair block assignment, and purchased fabric for the Antique Rose quilt I mentioned in a previous post. I think I need to find a different gold - the one I ended up with is a little dead. I'm anxious to get started, but must finish my AA block first. Of course, I should be working on my Baltimore... So many things I want to do!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm already tired of the cold, and it's only going to get worse over the next couple of days. Good time to stay indoors and sew. Too bad I have to work!

I did manage to finish block six of My Garden Album over the weekend. Unfortunately, when I washed out my blue pen, the brown stems bled all over the background. Luckily I was able to get it out - thank goodness for Synthrapol and hot water!

I've made a fair amount of progress on the Everything But the Kitchen Sink quilt, too. I finished all of the nine patches - 150 in all. The next step is to put them into large nine patches. Perhaps I will get a little time to work on that over the weekend.

I hope to purchase a background for the McCall's quilt this afternoon, and perhaps some of the other fabric. Lots of sales at the local quilt shops this weekend! I can't really start on that project, though, until I have my Applique Affair block assignment finished. I traced the pattern last night - 26 pieces! Maybe I won't get back to piecing this weekend!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Decisions

There must be something about starting a new year that makes me forget about how many projects I already have in the works or have purchased materials for and inspires me to dive head-first into new ones. I am trying to decide on my 2010 project for my Prim Folk Art Yahoo group and rather than going with a pieced quilt I already have all the fabric for, I've stumbled across (and completely fallen head over heels in love with) a new pattern that I can't wait to get started on! I will have to wait a bit, though - the pattern is coming from Australia, so it's not here yet. It's called The Blessings Quilt by Bon Bon Designs. I found it on the Three Ducks on a a Roof blog. It sounds like there has been a lot of interest in this one - I know that everyone in the Yahoo group loved it, too. Here's a picture of the quilt from the designer's website:

The version posted on the Three Ducks blog is made from Jo Morton fabrics. It is gorgeous! Unfortunately I can't find too many of those close to home. I've been looking at them online, but really want to take a road trip so I can see them in person. I'm trying to find a free weekend - seems like there are too many things going on this month!

Another quilt that I have fallen in love with over the past couple of days is in the current issue of McCall's Quilting magazine. According to Barbara Brackman's blog, the quilt is actually a reproduction of an antique quilt that wasn't mentioned in the article. It is beautiful!

I don't think that I want to use this one for my group project. I think I prefer to do this one in crisp, clear colors. I will probably go with an off-white tone-on-tone print for the background.

I am still working on my Baltimore block - or at least I have started it. I've been trying to wrap up block six from My Garden Album before getting back to it. And then there's the Applique Affair block - I've committed to work on it with the Applique Cafe group, so I need to knock out block nine this month. I'd love to get back to my baskets, too... That one will probably have to wait.

I drew up a new rug to start at wool club next Saturday. I plan to incorporate all of the year's colors into this rug. I will likely do some of the other monthly Creative Juices projects, too, but I thought it would be fun to have the entire color palette in a single piece.

Off to work on a block...I had better pick up the pace if I am to have any hope of getting my "assignments" done on time!