Monday, February 28, 2011

Sincerely Jane Update

My progress so far is a little slow but then I'm not doing a humongous rug like some of the others are in this challenge so figure I've plenty of time to hook the rest in the next year.  Yes, the next year. 

Since some of the challenge participants are doing full size quilt size rugs of 225 segments, it would definitely take a year to do.  I didn't want that kind of commitment but yet I knew that this was a challenge too interesting to refuse.  I think that JoAnne had a lot to do with that.  She is one positive, creative group gatherer.

I still do need to decide what kind of border I want before going any further.  Otherwise it will not only be difficult to draw because the hooking will distort the linen, but the border will ultimately have an effect (is it affect or effect??? hmmmm) on my rug.  So before I go any further I need to play with a couple ideas. 

But, that is no problem because I'm working on a Karen Kahle pattern Home Tweet Home and still have my Magdalena Eagle which needs to be bound.  Heck, I still haven't even prepared the backing of that one for binding yet.  Uh, not to mention that my house needs a completely good cleaning from wool dust ....sigh. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sincerely Jane Challenge

I am participating in a Sincerely Jane rug challenge which is beginning on a Yahoo rug hooking group.  The challenge was borne out of the gorgeous 1863 Jane A. Stickle quilt which had 225 pattern designs in it. 

There is now a book entitled Dear Jane by Brenda Papadakis who researched and developed the same designs as Jane Stickle had in her original quilt; it is that book where I pulled the designs that went into my rug.  Since "Dear Jane" is copyrighted the challenge name has been changed to Sincerely Jane.

Some people who are participating in this challenge are taking on the huge endeavor of the entire size of the quilt.  Since I did not want a room size rug mine is quite a bit smaller.  And, since I wanted to hook my rug with #8 wool strips chose designs which I believe will accommodate a #8 cut.

As of right now I don't know what kind of border I want around my piece but do know that to do a border such as is on the original quilt would over power the size rug I'm making.  So I've allowed room to draw a border once I decide what I want.  I just might do a hit and miss with some of the colors which will be in the hooked designs...or maybe I'll do zig zag shape to give an illusion of the original quilt border.  But I'm sure something will just seem right after I start hooking on this challenge rug.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dyeing without Dye Part Two

Yesterday I posted pictures of the wool I would use in the 'marriage' pot which were sandwiched together.  Here is a look inside the dye pot as it was beginning to bleed.

I was surprised that the red wasn't as good a bleeder as I'd thought it might be but it will still produce results to give otherwise flat colors a face lift.

As soon as that had been started I decided to grab 3 different wools to marbleize ~ a tan texture, a wine color and dark green.  I sandwiched the wine between the tan texture and green and rolled just as I'd shown you yesterday.

Here is a peek inside that dye pot and boy was that green a bleeder, look at how the tan texture has changed already with lots of green dye left in the pot and I haven't put in that glug of white vinegar yet either.

So you let the pot of water and detergent simmer, I'm guessing I let mine simmer for over an hour.... do not boil because it will come out too stiff to use for hooking. 
Once you think the water has a suitable color you the pour a glug of white vinegar in the pot as a mordant, about 1/3 cup, so the dye will grab the wool.  I simmer maybe another 15 minutes after putting the vinegar in and then let the pot cool on the burner. 

Since there was so much green dye left in the pot during the final simmering I threw in a couple extra smaller pieces to take advantage of the 'free' dye available.

After the pot has cooled down I untied the wool and rinsed well and tossed it all together in the dryer with two fluffy towels and dried it on low temperature.

Below are the results of the wool I showed you yesterday.  The first picture is one side, and you will see there is a little variance from side to side so when the wool strip is cut I could pick which side best suits the hooking project.

And now is the reserve side of the wool.  Sorry I could not get the pictures to rotate. 

Next picture shows the results of the wool chosen for the second marbelizing job. And great choices of colors I chose this time.  I love what happened to the tan textured wool and have plans for it.  Either side is great to use.  Here is side one:


And then here is the other side.


And below are those small random pieces I selected to soak up the remaining dye in the pot.  After I simmered the pieces in the pot I put just a bit more white vinegar in the pot so it would absorb as much of the dye as possible. 

The first piece was a small piece of natural, next was a very light tan herringbone strip, then was a tan texture but different than the one used above, with the last one being part of a pocket from the skirt panel used in the picture above.

So you can see how easy this is to dye without the expense of buying dye and to add a little variety to your beginning stash.  Have fun experimenting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dyeing without Dye

I recently acquired more thrift shop wool and thought that I'd like to pull out the dye pots but didn't feel like dragging out all the paraphernalia of the dye spoons, the dyes, cups, etc.  So decided that I'd like to have some suitable colors for primitive flowers and pulled out a tan slacks panel, a coral and red skirt panel.

Then I sandwich the tan slacks between the coral and red wool; since the slacks are a tad longer than the skirt I just folded it up.

After that I roll it like a sausage which puts the coral rolled over on the red.

Then I found an old shoestring and tied up the ends....

...and twisted the roll until it rolled over on itself like a pretzel and tied it all together.

So now into a pot of water with a little liquid detergent  that has NO bleach.  I will post the results later as it should take a while for the colors to bleed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Brave Hunter finished

Brave Hunter is all bound and giving it's hooker and owner pleasure.  As much as I dread the task of binding, there is something very satisfying when that task is finished and you can see the fruits of your labor of love. 

For the present time the rug is gracing the table in my kitchen where I will see it each time I walk thru there to the rest of the house.  I think it looks rather nice on my harvest table.

Now I have to bind the Magdalena Eagle but think I'll hook another lighthouse purse so I can get those assembled and lined.  Yes, putting off the inevitable and I know that the rug can't truly be enjoyed until it is completely finished.... which means being bound. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wool Room in Calm

Oh boy did I work my butt off today.  I have not pulled one loop all day and probably won't.   Finally around 6 pm. the room became in better shape enough for me to take a picture.  It was a very frustrating day because as I'd dig out the piles of wool I'd find 'like' wool under which had already been put on shelves.  SOoo, I'd pull out the wool, stick the like wool where it should be and continue.  This happened so many times that I finally gave up.

Here is the left side of the room, which really wasn't all that bad, but it does look better.

Below is the right side of the room.  And, yes, that is a glass of cabernet wine to the left of the cutter and in front of my serger..... that is a treat to me for being such a good girl today.

I can see that the one shelf is leaning to the right.... so I'm not done as I'll have to take some parachute cord and tie it up at the top to keep it straight.  Oh, but where is that glass of cab??

Wool Room in Turmoil

This room once was so organized and I was so proud to show it off to my hooker friends as they looked with envy.  But not now.  It is in such disarray that I cannot move on to my next projects until I organize it.  This is the left side of the room and you can see I have the nicest antique ice cream parlor table and chairs there but even they are covered with patterns to be shipped, wool for yet another project that I haven't worked on for months.  But this is the cleaner side of the room.

This past September before Cape May rug camp the room was in pristine condition.  Well, except for the woolens sitting on the table behind the stool which held the yardage I was using for the Eagle rug.  That basket and worms you see were what I was also pulling from for the Eagle rug. 

So in September I pulled wool to take to camp for my selected project, came home and finished the rug but the returned totes with wool stayed on the floor because I was too busy finishing up the rug since in November I'd be going to Woolley Fox to hook Brave Hunter.

Well that project did get finished but I immediately went back to working on my Magdalena Eagle but that didn't get finished before going to Barb Carroll's in November so the wool stayed on the table.

And then the Brave Hunter wool is that which is on the floor as I wanted to keep the wools separated for the various projects.  Needless to say, the room is in total chaos and I cannot even draw out my Sincerely Jane rug until I clear off the table which has all those worms and wool on it.  Sigh....... guess I won't be pulling loops today as I have a huge project on my hands to clean up that room.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Waste Not Want Not

Here is what I have drawn on half of the larger of the two pieces of salvaged linen.  Since I live on the eastern shore and do craft shows at the beach area in the summer and fall, I thought that a local lighthouse might make a good subject for a small bag.  People tend to travel lightly when visiting the beach and this will be big enough for a cell phone, cash/credit card, glasses and car keys. 

Since I'm not sure if I'll do two lighthouses or another motif, thought I'd leave the bottom part open for now.  But I have a feeling that the subject will be another light house.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Waste Not Want Not

Some people might call this being cheap but I like to consider it being thrifty.  I hate wasting perfectly good size pieces of backing (some call it foundation) after it is cut away from the rug before binding.  Or, for that matter smallish pieces of backing left over from a design you've drawn out with adequate margin.  So this is what I do:

The first picture has excess cut away margin from a rug that I trimmed to bind.  Those two wide pieces were sewn together with strips of cotton around the perimeter so that it would fit on my hooking frame.  Those two center pieces will be plenty for me to hook a couple small ornaments on or a mug mat.  Waste not Saundra.....

This next picture is backing which wasn't needed for the design I'd drawn out to hook and so why just add more waste to the piece?  So I trimmed it off, serged the edges and this will make a couple nice small phone purses, eye glass cases or maybe even a candle mat.  So I've some hooking projects in the wings using something that might otherwise have ended up in the trash can..... but NOT in THIS house.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Magdalena Rug Label

I've had several people inquire about the label on the Magdalena rug so thought that might be a good subject for posting on the blog.  I made the labels myself and you can too.  I'm sure there are many different ways to do labels and perhaps mine isn't the easiest, but will share how I did mine.

Since I was hooking or had hooked a few of Magdalena's rugs there was certain information which would be the same for all rugs so I typed that information in but allowed for spaces where statistics about the individual rug could be written in with permanent pen.

I used a Print Shop program to make the four labels on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.  That program also allowed me to select a border of my choosing.  I then printed that piece of paper out and can use it again or if not a Magdalena rug can do a generic label. 

In anticipation of this project I had previously soaked a piece of muslin cotton in a solution made using Bubble Jet and used the directions on the side of the bottle.  I let the fabric dry and now have a sizable piece of fabric for me to make other labels at a later date. 

Then I ripped a piece of prepared muslin (so it would be on the straight of grain) to the size of an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper and ironed that onto the shiny side of freezer paper.  Then cut the freezer paper to the exact measurements of the piece of muslin and printed the labels thru my copier. 

You will need to check your printer instructions to see which side up you put that combo of freezer paper/muslin into your printer for it to print onto the fabric and not the freezer paper as that may vary from printer to printer. 

I must admit that I held my breath until the paper/muslin came out and didn't jam up my printer.  Then gave a huge sigh of relief and of accomplishment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Bound Rug

I bound this rug for someone else who does not like to bind at all.  She provided me with the various colors of wool strips chosen to hook the antique adaptation.  She requested that I use the same color along the edges as that section was hooked with.  So the colors would change as I bound her rug.  I believe you can see the difference between the hooked sections and the whipped edge. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rug Binding part three

I have cut some wool strips with my #8.5 cartridge.  These are the needles which should be available at most craft or fabric stores.  The blue plastic ones are made for kids but they work just fine for adults to use as well.  It doesn't really matter which width wool strip you choose to bind your rug with as the process will be the same.  However, with a more narrow cut you use it may take a wee bit longer and you would place them closer together.  And it doesn't make any difference as to the length of your strip, but the longer the better as you will have fewer ends to tuck in that way.  These happen to be about 31" long.

As with hooking, where you gauge your loops every two or every three holes away, it is the same with whipping your edge.  Yet, the previously pulled loops just might provide the rhythm you need.

As you can see from the photo below, I have tucked the first end entering under the black thread, and now I will double back, covering that edge with my whipping.  You could also tuck it inside the rolled up backing (foundation).
I usually enter my needle in thru the back of the rug, that way I can be sure that the strips are entering in the same row all the way down the line.  You could enter thru the front but to me it takes a little more effort to see if I am keeping in a straight line by having to push the roll of backing to view it when it is so easily seen from the back.  But I also check the front to be sure my needle hasn't caught a loop.  So in reality I am looking at both the front and back as I go along.

And then when I come to the end of that strip, you can either tuck it under the previously whipped stitches or tuck it under the rolled backing.

This is only one way to bind a rug.  As I do other projects I will show you other ways of binding.  Good luck on your project and feel free to write me with questions or ask us on Rughookers group. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rug Binding part two

Yesterday I showed you a properly prepared backing edge with the straight stitches about 1/4" from the last row of hooking as well as the protected edge with a row of straight stitching and two rows of zig zag ~~ and then trim away the excess.  I cannot stress enough the importance of that. 

And this is how I go about prepping my rug to be whipped with either wool strips or yarn.  At first I tried to roll and whip in one process but found my rolled up edge got distorted and my whipping lumpy.  So while it seems like double work, I find it much easier to roll the backing forward and use T-pins to secure small sections at a time and then whip that with cotton crochet yarn. 

Notice that I have rounded my edges vs. sharp corners.  This makes it easier for me to roll those sections and there is less bulk at the corners when I roll forward.  I use the cotton crochet yarn because it is readily accessible at Wal-Mart and is inexpensive.

I start in the middle of a side rather than starting at the corner; I find that easiest for me.  I take my T-pins and pin a section and then I whip stitch that together, pin a little further along the edge and then whip stitch that together. 
This is to be continued tomorrow.  Hope this has been helpful.