Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Log Cabin Rug

Ahhhh, I'm finally seeing another project near the end.  Just a little of the border to hook and fill in a couple 'vacations' that I noticed when taking it off the frame.  Then steam and bind.  The sheep on the right doesn't look just as I'd like it to look so might require tweaking to get the shape right and the legs how I want them. 
Now where in the world am I going to put this rug? I'm running out of places on the floor and already have a few on the wall.  Don't particularly want to sell it but just might offer it on my web site and take to my show in July to see if I get any interest.  If not then guess I'll just swap out rugs every month or so. 

The ones I offer for sale don't get enjoyed as they need to stay up and out of the way to keep them fresh.  But for sure I will not give up rug hooking as I love it too much.  So now as I hook the remaining border it will require my thinking about my next project...... hmmmmm. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rug Show of Sorts

I'm getting sorta close to finishing up my log cabin rug but it is too early to show you as it wouldn't look like I'd really made that much progress to you.  Must admit that during the weekend while catching up on my DVR recorded movies it was difficult to pull loops and lose a visual on what was going on in the movie.  So the movie won.  I did get hooking time in but could have done more had the telly not been on.

This is a rug called Hildefern which was hooked by my friend Deb.  She did the rug at Woolley Fox and used a variety of antique paisley's for the fern's leaves.  You should see it close up and in person.

This is a purse that my dear buddie Deb gave me a few years ago.  I have used it and always received compliments from people about it.  But now it hangs on the wall like a piece of art....which of course it is.

This next rug I want to hook too (so many I want to do).  This is an antique adaptation done by my good friend Evelyn Lawrence. 

And then another rug hooked by my pal Deb.  The design is from Spruce Ridge.  These and more other rugs, but not the purse, were being shown at Cape May rug camp this past September. 

Hard to believe January is almost gone and Valentine's day is almost here, which will be halfway thru the month of February.  Whew but time flys by and I don't even have a valentine project going yet.  Guess I'd better get busy and draw out a heart.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Log Cabin Rug Back on the Frame

It seems like a decade since I worked on this rug, but it has only been a couple months.  Meanwhile there were quite a few projects I got completed while it was resting.   I'd completed a couple swap mats, hooked a snowman gift for a Christmas gift, also the E.S. Frost Sheep rug with birds and flowers, hooked and assembled the eyeglass cases and most recently was the completion of the Jane Stickle quilt rug more commonly known on Rughookers Yahoo as the Sincerely Jane Challenge rug.  (whew, gasp for breath).

When working on the log cabin rug previously I'd mentioned it was a pattern offered in a book by Barbara Carroll titled American Folk Art Rug Hooking. 

The pattern design is July Cabin but I took some creative license and tweaked it to suit me.  I changed the direction of the smoke, made my trees a little differently and made big folky leaves instead of flags and think I added more stars in different locations. 

So I'm a little anxious to finish this one up but there is something else lingering in the wings that remains unfinished, so it isn't as though I'm completely caught up.  But it sure is a good feeling to get this close.

However, the  madness will begin again starting May when I go to the wonderful Barb Carroll at Woolley Fox, then in September it will be back to beautiful Cape May, NJ, then in November will sign up for Lucille Festa once again in Ocean City, MD.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sincerely Jane Challenge Rug Finished

.... well, almost.  All the hooking is done, it has been steamed and now I'm getting ready to bind it.  But was so excited to show a picture of it I figured it was close enough to post a picture of it. 

Naturally the picture is lopsided, professional photographer I am not.  I should have tugged at the corners to get it straight and reposition myself but since I'm leaving over trying to capture a picture from the middle of the rug it would have been lopsided again I'm sure.  Plus I had to crop out the toes of my shoes.

I'm making headway thru my long list of projects; the spring swap mat has been hooked and waiting to send the first part of February, the Jane rug is done, as is the second Frost Sheep with birds and flowers ~ except it needs to be bound right after the Jane rug.  And now I'm finishing up the hooking of the log cabin rug which I started this past September at Cape May. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eyeglass Case Completed

Here is the finished project and I will describe what happened what worked and what I'd do differently.

Continuing on with the tutorial since last posting, I then folded the case/pouch in half and hand whipped the edges together.  Which meant I had to sew one side and the bottom together with a fold at the other side.  This shows the beginnings of the whipped stitching at the bottom.

This is what it looks like stitched together along the side.

In full disclosure, I had read Karen Kahle's instructions on assembly for her eye glass case pattern which was generously provided in the booklet entitled Designs for Primitive Rug Hookers.  She recommended gluing the sides together.  It wouldn't be so bad if it were for me, but I was afraid of selling something and over time with use it would come apart.  So I opted to do the sewing together.

However, what I did do to cover the foundation open areas was glue a wool strip wide enough to cover the seam.  Seems to me it was a #6 strip as I wanted complete coverage.

And what would I .... did I do differently?  If you noticed the finished piece, the strap and tassels were on the outside.  First of all, with the bulk of the cording it would not have been suitable to tuck inside between the lining and the case.  Plus, because I originally ran two lines of glue when turning under the foundation, it was difficult to put a needle thru that area.

And, what did I do differently?  The next  one I made a more narrow cording was used.  And, even before any gluing or hand stitching the ends of cording was machine sewed into the foundation's seam allowance to secure the ends.  Then I did the one row of glue just at the serged ends and folded back.  Next was the hand stitching.    And instead of using a wool strip to cover the open areas of the foundation material I glued and then pinned the cording in place.  I let it dry and did a tacking down stitch at the very top of the case/pouch to be sure it wouldn't pull apart.

For sure I'll make more of these as I now have a better idea on what works for me.  And this little thing can hold eye glasses, iPod or other MP3, credit card, cash, car keys or other small objects.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More on the Eyeglass Case

I have made numerous purses with linings plus small inside pocket but since this is a more narrow project I didn't want the bulk of seam allowances.  So this has been a learning experience for me as I try a different way to assemble yet still have a soft flannel lining for eyeglasses, an Apple iPod / other MP3 or cell phone.

Continuing on with the assembly tutorial, the next thing I did was put a line of glue along the bottom edge of foundation as well as a line at the second row of hooking.  My thinking was that it would make for a nice snug closure.

Lesson #1 learned......  that made it more difficult for me to hand stitch the backing at the side and bottom because the hardened glue made the needle difficult to penetrate.  The stitching process will be posted tomorrow.

After all sides were glued down, secure and dry, there was a bead of glue at the very top along the foundation very close to the last row of hooking.  It had to be very close to cover all the foundation linen. 
I pinned it in place and let the glue cure.  As you can see from the photo below, I used Aleen's Quick Dry Tacky glue.  That way the curing doesn't take overnight so some progress can be made in a day.  Yet, I still took my time to be sure everything was secure.

After that dried then it was gluing the other 3 sides close to the end of the backing.  Oops, I almost forgot to take a picture of that part and pulled the flannel up so I could show you.

After that had dried I trimmed away the excess flannel.  My object was to have complete flannel lining coverage but have the foundation to stitch to for the closure.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eye Glass Assembly Tutorial

Here we go....... deep breath and crossing fingers.  I am not done with the assembly yet so you will know right away if this goes in the trash.  I'm taking so many pictures that I was afraid to overload poor Blogger so thought I'd post pictures of what I've done so far.

First thing I did was steam press the piece.  Then I marked 1/2" away from the last hooked row, cut the excess away and serged the edges.  Don't have a serger?  Then you can do what is recommended for rugs and do a couple rows of straight stitch and zig zag stitches so it won't ravel.  No sewing machine?  Then do what you normally do to secure the edges.

Next step was folding the foundation inside and steamed again. 

Then folding the eye glass case in half you can see the backing where the fold is. 

So, I took a #6 strip and did a running stitch down the length so the foundation wouldn't show.  You could also hook cornrow style down that area to cover it up, whichever you prefer.

This is what it looks like folded but still not lined.  Next I cut a piece of black flannel a little larger than the opened eye glass case. 

This is to be continued....... and let's hope this process works or I'll have to resort to another method.  I've already received the woman's eye glass case in the mail and haven't touched it until I see if my experiment works okay.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hit and Miss Eyeglass Case

I didn't get a whole lot of hooking in yesterday because I spent time in the kitchen cooking.  It is great when there are leftovers that I just heat up and usually have a pot of soup, chili or some such meal available for ease. 
I love eggplant lasagna....but I HATE making it. OMG, it takes so much time and it would be so much easier to use lasagna noodles instead of using the eggplant as the noodle. But figure the eggplant is a healthy alternative.  The other positive point to cooking a large pan of this is that I can chill the remainder, cut it up and freeze in individual meals for me.
Usually the first night I just have a huge meal of just the eggplant lasagna, oh and let's not forget the red wine. With the other meals I usually have a small salad with it.   As ingredients go I use part skim milk ricotta & part no fat cottage cheese. Also, use the fat free mozzarella cheese, no salt pasta sauce, but add garlic and spices for the taste.  Put it all in layers after cooking the eggplant and then bake for an hour....voila....  and it was very tasty last night. 
So today I did pull the last few loops on the eyeglass case and took a picture for you.  I still need to steam it, trim and serge it and assemble.
If my assembly plans work well I will share that process with you. If it doesn't turn out the way I'd hoped I'll just show you a finished version and tell you what went wrong and what I did to recover.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eye Glass Case Beginnings

As I mentioned previously, someone wrote to inquire about my assembling an eye glass case for them.  I've been commissioned to assemble purses and totes before but the eye glass case is small enough as it is and I wanted to experiment on assembly of mine before I ventured and took a chance on ruining someone elses.

So I drew out an eye glass case and thought it would be a great way to use up some worms by doing a hit and miss.  Besides, I've got some nice black flannel which would be soft for the lining for glasses. 

Rather than making it boring with just the hit and miss on the back side thought I'd do different directional hooking to make it a little more interesting and get more bang for the buck with a somewhat different look on either side.

Since it has been days since my last post thought I'd better keep interest up on my blog by posting at least an 'in progress' picture of it.

Oh, and I just hate wasting expensive linen so when I hook something for me it usually has a narrow margin and I sew fabric around the sides to fit on my frame.  BUT, let me make it clear that when I SELL a pattern it has an adequate margin on it.  I only do this for me because I hate cutting off the unused inches and throwing them away.  Like my mama taught me.... waste not want not.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Project #2 on frame

With Project #1 hooked (the seasonal swap) it was time to work on the second in priority on my list of things to do to meet deadlines.  I still have the swap mat to steam and tack backing down but I'm still ahead of schedule.   This Sincerely Jane Challenge rug isn't really due until March so am doing okay time-wise on this one too, I just want it done.

So now I have to come up with colors for the last remaining triangles.  I'm trying not to use a color which would be close in proximity to the same color hooked in a square but must say it is getting more difficult now because the colors repeat themselves in either the blocks or the border triangles.  Therefore the wool strips used just might be a row or couple blocks distance anyway.

And just this afternoon was asked to assemble a hooked eyeglass case for someone.  I have assembled purses before but this is a few inches smaller than the purses.  Therefore, since that is relatively small piece thought I'd better hook one and assemble mine before experimenting on someone else's work and take a chance on ruining theirs.  I'd much rather ruin something that I'd hooked than theirs.  So later today or tomorrow I'll draw out a design and then start hooking the glass case.  Since it is rather small am hoping to have a great way to assemble for when the Priority package arrives on Monday or Tuesday.

So the SJ rug is getting close and then I'll have all that yucky binding to do.  I'd much rather hook than bind rugs but wouldn't pay someone to do it for me so will have to suck it up and do it myself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cherokee Proverb

This is a new year, new challenges ~ some we like and some we don't.  I find that my rug hooking settles my blood pressure and puts me in a comfort zone.  Some people do yoga, some meditate, there's also breathing and concentration exercises.  But what it comes down to is controlling the mind and body to relax. 

I'm not quite sure where or how I first learned about this Native American Legend originally but do know it was during a very stressful time in my life.  Years ago I this printed out and posted on my refrigerator door so that it will set me straight or try to for that day and every day I walk by the refrigerator.  I would like to share it with my friends now.

A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Photo: A gray wolf in the snow

So think about which emotion you are feeding and concentrate on what your goal is.  For positive results feed that one with good thoughts, positive ideas and look ahead with a smile.  Try to avoid the anger, hatred, jealousy as all that does it stir up anxiety and raise your blood pressure.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Project #1 Done

Wellllll, the last loop was just pulled but it still needs to be steamed.  Yet, I couldn't stand to wait and show you a picture of the finished mat.  If you scroll down to the previous posting you will see that I made some changes since the last picture. 

First was that I'd totally forgotten to hook the worm in the robin's beak...duh, what was I thinking?  I mean the early bird catches the worm, right?  And the robin is the early bird ~ the whole idea of the spring mat in my way of thinking.  Plus the fact I'd drawn a wavy line just for the worm but some how got distracted.

Second was that I pulled out the dark legs and put in something a little softer and think I like this look better.  Uh, I think.  I'll have to scroll down and check out the difference myself but these legs are staying.

I'm very glad that I did not hook the word SPRING in the top left of the mat.  Even tho it is a wide open space I'm sure the words would have been the first thing people looked at and the robin would have been lost.  And even tho the crocus type flowers are understated, for me to have put in more statuesque flowers would also have detracted from the main focus on the bird. 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So now I'll steam this piece and let it rest before doing the very easy task of turning back the foundation and tacking down. 

And now on to project #2, the Sincerely Jane challenge rug.  Oh my but I feel like I'm on a roll now ~ even tho I've now two pieces which still need to be bound; but at least they are all hooked.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First New Project

In a previous post I mentioned the projects that were needed to be worked next: the Sensational Seasonal Swap for spring, finish up the Sincerely Jane Challenge rug and then finish the log cabin rug.  Those were listed in order of priority.  So, got out a small piece of linen and drew out my 8" square pattern.

I took a picture of it because sometimes it is good to see mistakes or things you want to change if you look at the work in reverse in front of a mirror, look thru one of those peep hole thing-a-ma-jigs that I don't have, or take a picture of it and look at it on the monitor screen.  So, thought I'd do the latter and share a picture with you.  Sure hope my swap partner doesn't read my blog so she doesn't get a sneak preview.

When first drawing out the robin and seeing all that empty space to the top left, had an idea to hook the words SPRING.  But rethought that since it seemed so lame because we would know it was a spring swap and robins are known for being the first sign of spring.  So then decided that if I were to put light showings of clouds it would make the eye think something interesting was going on in that area.

I initially thought to make primitive padula like flowers but didn't want to take away from the main focus of the robin.   But decided to go for the crocus type flowers instead.  And, the reason for the bright green grass is that with the spring rains it seems to make the grass greener and richer. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

YIPPEE! It's Finally Done

Yesterday afternoon I pulled the last few loops on the E.S. Frost Sheep and steamed it.  It still needs to be bound yet but was so excited to finally post a picture of finished that I turned under the foundation to take a picture.  Looks like the lighting is a little better on the right side than the left so will take a better picture of it before I post it on my web site.

So now I can move on to other things, and just in the nick of time too.  I guess I misunderstood the deadline for the Sensational Seasonal Swap because I understand we need to send it by the end of February instead of middle of March.  So now I have drawn out the design and pulled a few loops on it.  That shouldn't take me any time to hook that because it is only an 8" square design required. 

And then can finish up the Sincerely Jane challenge rug, with only some of the border triangles left to hook.  That rug is due shortly after the Seasonal swap with an early April deadline. 

So what will I hook once my required hooking is completed?  Haven't decided yet but believe me when I say my stash of drawn patterns is huge with lots more that I have dreamt about.  Guess it will determine what is tugging at my heart strings by the time I get my other tasks finished.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gettin' Closer to Completion

The Frost Sheep rug is getting closer to completion but seems to be going too slowly for me.  The problem?  Not sure, other than life gets in the way.....running errands, walking Ben, making the occasional doll (just finished one of those this week).  Not to mention being on this here dang contraption!  If I didn't have a computer I'd get a lot more accomplished around here I'm sure. 

I only have a few more border triangles to complete and then I can steam and bind it.  I  haven't decided if I'm going to whip the edges with wool yarn, wool strips or use binding tape.  Some of my rugs were also finished with bias wool strips around cording and on the back where the binding tape would normally go. 

Sometime real soon I also have to draw out the Sensational Seasonal Swap mat and get hooking on that since it is due to my partner by the middle of March.  Of course that won't take long because it is only an 8" square mat and all we need to do to finish is steam, fold back a 1" margin and gently tack it down instead of the full binding process.  That is so the recipient, should they be getting all 4 seasonal mats, can either attach them 4 in a line, or two above and two below, or have them individually.  I think that was a great idea by JoAnne, the organizer.

Well, guess I'll put the rug back on the frame and pull a few loops.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day One 2012

Hard to believe it is 2012 ~ time flies when you're having fun, and now that I'm retired and love hooking, I am having fun.  When I worked the days didn't fly by that fast.  I take that back, the weekends flew by but Monday morning sure rolled around far too fast for my liking.... and the 8 hour work day?  It crept along at a snail's pace.

New Year's Day has some cultural and regional traditions as far as food goes.  Living on the east coast my family always cooked up black eyed peas for dinner as it was to start the new year off being frugal and was to bring good luck for the remainder of the year.  My girlfriend Shari, of Lancaster, PA cooks the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch meal of pork and sauerkraut.  I'm sure each you have traditions as well.

My plans were to have black eyed peas for dinner last night and being heated up for tonight's dinner would make them taste even better.  So, Friday I soaked the dry beans over night so the cooking time would be reduced. 

I thought I'd try a different recipe other than the one my mother made, just to try it out for a little different flavor.  And, this recipe called for the use of a crock pot and I wouldn't have to spend as much time watching and making sure the bottom didn't stick.  Hey, easy peasy ~ no muss, no fuss....right down my alley. And, since the black eyed peas had previously soaked over night the recipe called for a 4 hour cooking time in the crock pot on high, so I put the ingredients in the crock pot around 12:30 p.m. and if it took a little longer would still have them done for dinner last night.  Uh, not.

Perhaps I should have cooked them on the stove because at 6:30 p.m. they still weren't tender enough to eat.  So I made myself some steamed zucchini with pasta sauce, which is a staple of mine.  Oh, and some Cabernet wine.  Here is the recipe I used except I didn't put in jalapeno pepper.

CB's Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Ready In:
4 Hrs 25 Min

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound dry black-eyed peas
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt to taste


  1. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place the dried peas, water, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and chili powder into a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Stir in the bacon and bacon grease, and set the cooker on High. Cook until peas are tender, about 4 hours. Season to taste with salt, and serve.
But, the black eyed peas will be my dinner tonight and am sure it will be yummy.

Again, Happy New Year ! ! ! ! !