Friday, January 31, 2014

Hooked Hearts Two Ways

I've finished hooking two hearts and have a third one drawn and will hook it a different color (I think) but in the style which everyone seems to like best. ... following the shape of the heart or horizontal. 
Yesterday I ordered the lavender buds from the company where Betsy buys hers and when it arrives will stuff these after stitching a wool backing on them.  Actually might wait until after the third heart is hooked then finish and stuff all at the same time.  Meanwhile I'll hook more on the background of my Santa and Deer which still isn't finished.

Would love for you to vote for your favorite over to the right side bar, or you can post a comment.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hook'n a Heart

I've started hooking a heart since I had the urge anyway, plus as luck would have it there was an inquiry about how to hook them.  The heart was just started this afternoon so not much has been accomplished.  For my first one decided to hook the traditional red heart but using various textured wools.  By the way, I'm using a #10 wool strip instead of hand torn but it still goes faster than using #8.
Perhaps the inquiries came about since my blog posting of my November class with Betsy Reed.  Among the great hooked items she brought for her trunk show these hearts were among them.
Well dang!!!!!!!!  I hadn't looked at her pieces again until tonight and see that she hooked hers across and I'm following the heart shape.  Oh well, I'll make do and decide how to proceed since I've only hooked two rows on one side and three on the other.  Hmm, guess that means a challenge.  Maybe I need to do another red one and have it hooked across after one outline row.  Sounds like a winner to me and you can vote on which version you like best.

Anyway, this heart was drawn out at Betsy's class and you can see the measurements by the rulers here.  This is the size hers were and what I'm hooking now.  Since this was for me to hook I used my scrap linen with a more narrow margin.  When I sell my patterns there is at least a 3" margin all around.  But since it is all cut away later I usually just sew on a piece of fabric to hold it to the frame and use my scraps.
Locker hooking uses a much different threader needle and TRADITIONAL rug hooking uses a hook similar to that in the first photo.  It resembles a crochet hook but I prefer the one with a ball hand.  Yet I have some friends who do use a large crochet hook. 

Traditional rug hooking should NOT to be confused with latch hook.  The way I'm hooking is the way our foremothers made their rugs.  Except their hook was usually fashioned out of a nail which had been bent or if a large nail was chiseled at the end to give it a catching hook.  It was then inserted into a hand carved piece of wood. 

This is the underside of my gripper hooking frame and you can see that the tail is now under the pattern.  So I will insert my hook (I'm right handed) and pull up the loop using my left hand to guide the wool strip.  Yup, it is a two handed job. 
In rug hooking you start with the 'tail' of the wool strip up, go over a few holes and pull up the next loop.  Be sure to lean your hook toward the previous loop so that it puts pressure on that loop so it doesn't slip down.

Hope this has helped a little for those of you who inquired and those who wondered.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Meanings of Symbols in Harriet's Quilt Piece

In a previous post I introduced you to Harriet and gave a little history of her.  Also mentioned that Betts the hog walked 500 miles from Georgia to Virginia.  There is more to the story behind this quilt piece from which I chose a few motifs.  If you look carefully in the middle just below the star bursts, you will see a pendulum clock. 
According to information provided by Harriet this is the meaning: 
  • Rich people who were taught nothing of God. Bob Johnson and Kate Bell of Virginia. They told their parents to stop the clock at one and tomorrow it would strike one and so it did. This was the signal that they had entered everlasting punishment. The independent hog which ran 500 miles from Georgia to Virginia, her name was Betts." (this information was gathered on the web site of Museum of Fine Art, Boston).  If you wish to read more about Harriet Powers and her quilts check it out.
For my adaptation I chose to draw a modern day clock closing in on the 1 o'clock hour and put a home in the center instead.  I also picked a chicken and 2 duck motifs from her other quilt to add to the farm homestead scene.

And I have indeed painted myself into a corner.  Actually, it looks better in this picture on the monitor instead of up close and personal.  At first I thought it was going to be 500 Mile Betts as my only source of color value frustration.  But nope, the light colors of the people's shirts and the woman's grey hair is also a problem to me.  Since I was considering pulling out the blue/tan texture from around Betts thought that I'd try a very light wool (like the man's shirt) on top of Betts' snout.  It is the same color as the natural linen foundation so is probably hard to notice. 
Can you imagine a pit walking 500 miles?  I wonder how long it took and .... also wonder if she was sold and then walked back to her old home.  I sure wish Harriet was still alive so I could ask those questions. 

Perhaps it is time to put 500 Mile Betts aside, take a breather from the piece and will pull loops on the background of my Santa and Deer tonight.  At least I know what I'm doing with that one and bet it will be a more speedy result for my efforts.  I was going to pull some loops on a heart but think the Santa and Deer idea is a better one for tonight.

Have a great evening everyone.  It was a rather mild day today which made the snow disappear but this nice mild temperature is short lived.  I'll take it whenever and no matter how short it happens.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

More of Harriet Powers Hooked Adaptation

This is as far as I've gotten with my adaptation of a quilt section made by Harriet Powers.  For the border I've chosen a dark row and was considering having no border but rather all background.....then changed my mind and decided to frame it .

In this piece my main focus has been on Betts, the hog who travelled 500 miles from Georgia to Virginia (according to Powers' recorded descriptions).  And I've chosen to shorten the nose on Betts from the original quilt block.
This is the original quilt block and you can see I tried to shorten the hogs nose a little but still wanted to keep it naive and primitive.
Normally I choose my background color first, which makes it easier to find suitable wool colors for the motifs.  Sadly this time I decided to hook the motifs the way I envisioned them and to heck with background.  Well now it seems I've painted myself into a corner.
My intentions are to put a row or two of different values around the motifs and ease a neutral background.  Well, to do a background sorta like the one I did in Big Dog Hollow (shown below).  You might remember that  Kathy (Briarwood Folk Art) and I traded patterns; I chose this one of hers and she picked my Frost Sheep w/Birds and Flowers rug which she is presently hooking.  Hmmmm, she called it something else.  Anyway, she is doing a magnificent job hooking it and I like her rendition better than mine.
Hope you are staying inside and warm.  It is frigid here in Delaware and it is very uncomfortable walking a dog in these temperatures.  Sure wish I could litter box train my Rottweiler Ben.
Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wee More than A Peek

Finally I was able to pull a few loops on my new project to give you a little something to view, so this is more than the peek you saw before.  As previously mentioned this is an adaptation taken from one of Harriet Powers' quilts.
I've chosen to pick and choose elements from Harriet's Pictorial Quilt which most endear me into one smallish pattern.  Should I have chosen a block and hooked it exactly as she quilted it?  Some might but not me, sorry, as I wanted to capture those elements which most endeared me.

Here is the particular quilt square I chose and you can see the difference.  So tomorrow I'll give you an update on my hooking and what things means.
In looking at my hooking and Harriet's quilt piece think I should have made the curve at the belly much different than I did.  AND, you know me as someone who will pull out loops in a heartbeat..... I might just do that.

Try and keep warm guys and gals, it's mighty frigid out there.  Right now at 7 p.m. in Seaford, DE it is 7 degrees and dropping.  But thank goodness I've heat.  Have a great evening and try to stay warm.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Project, a Harriet Powers Adaptation

First, let me introduce you to Harriet Powers.  She was born into slavery near Athens, Georgia on October 29, 1837.  This picture of her was taken in 1901.  Notice her fancy apron with applique symbols.
(Harriet Powers 1837 - 1910) 
One of her first quilts (Bible Quilt shown below) was recorded as being at a Cotton Fair in 1886. 
The only other picture of a quilt I've been able to find is this one from which I'll do my adaptation.  It has been referred to as Pictorial Quilt and was reportedly commissioned and made between 1895-98.  This quilt measures 68 7/8" x 105".  According to what I've read she did make more quilts but they may be in private collections.
 Okay kiddies.  Here is a teaser as I've not been able to hook much on it and want to keep the design a secret just a little longer until I've more to show.  Since I finally got my shipment out just after noon today when the snow started wasn't able to start my project until recently.  Then walk Ben, then get on the computer. 
 Who knows when I'll be able to post another update as I truly believe I will lose power sometime tonight or tomorrow with this blizzard.  Right now it is just snowing without the white out drifts.  Last I heard around noon was that we will get 6" - 10".  When I'm done here will listen to the weather and get the latest.  I've got my candles, batteries, water in the tub to fill up toilets ready.  So what will be will be.  Meanwhile I plan to hook til the power goes out.

Hunker down you guys, stay warm and stay safe.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Background Wool for Santa and Deer

I was asked to post a picture of uncut wool which was used for the Santa and Deer and am happy to do so.
The majority of the background was hooked using the top two wools (pictured below).  I know the one on the right came from Betsy but not sure about the other one.  Occasionally I'd add strips from the bottom two wools; the wool on the bottom left is from a recycled skirt and the herringbone on the bottom right came from Betsy.
Hopefully I'll be ready to pull some loops on my projects starting on Tuesday as my goal is to ship the commission out on Tuesday since tomorrow is a holiday.  Since I'm not totally finished with the commission I won't be ready to hook on my projects tomorrow anyway.

Have a great evening.


P.S.  OMG, I went to Betsy's web site to copy her link and noticed she has a new shipment of wool.  I've got to place my order before my favorites are all sold.   AND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   My name sake wool has been restocked!!!  I feel like a proud mama.  Thanks Betsy for naming it after my blog name.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Something Old Something New

Actually I'll start with what will be the something new project just as soon as this commission piece is hooked and shipped (hopefully Monday).   I've already designed my rug but will debut it when I get a little more hooked on it after Monday as responsibilities come first.  However, my piece is adapted from an antique rug made by Harriet Powers.  So Far I've only been able to locate 2 quilts made by her.  This one is known as the Bible Quilt and was said to be made by her in 1886.  I'll provide more information on this talented woman when I post a picture of my rug.
Another quilt made by Harriet Powers is this one below.  Hope I've piqued your interest but bear with me while I finish the commission.
Now onto the something old.  Nope, haven't accomplished much on this one either and this is what the rug looks like now. The binding part can wait but want to get the hooking finished so that I can work on the Harriet project.
As you can see from the picture above, the Santa and Deer adaptation measures 23 x 25 1/2; it is hooked mostly in #8.5 strips but for the border was using #9.  Have a great evening everyone.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another Antique Rug Show

As you might suspect, there's nothing new for me to share on my Santa and Deer rug, nor the one I just designed.  I've been occupied drawing patterns and a commission job of hooking and the moola comes before fun.  Actually, anything rug hooking related still is fun....well except for the binding part.

Cute Mother Dog and her Pup.
Interesting piece of folk art.
And this small mat sold for $1,700 and I can't even sell my rugs which are a little larger than that for $200.
Ah, the Honeymoon.
Thought this one was quite interesting and colorful too.
Speaking of color, this one took me by surprise because for some reason I sorta like it. 
This is a nifty Alphabet Rug which measures 4' 9" x 8' and was probably hooked for a child's room.
I like this log cabin rug a lot.  It looks like there may be quilts, rugs and other linens hanging on the line.
And for you cat lovers out there.

While I don't have any progress to report on my Santa and Deer, here is an old Santa rug that I discovered in my search.
Hopefully I'll have something to show you tomorrow.... I hope.  Have a great day.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Primitive Quilts and Projects

Looking for primitive?  Oh but I do look forward to my issues of Primitive Quilts and Projects and just received the Spring issue today.  You can click that link to see all the great designs offered on the home page. 
spring 2014
While I'm not a quilter (not what I consider a real quilter anyway) and for those of you who think this is only for quilting, you're wrong.  There are many quilt designs, applique and needle punch designs that can be adapted to rug hooking just by the movement of a sharpie and enlargement. 

MY list of 'rugs to hook' is increasing since there are a few in this issue beckoning if I didn't have a long list already.  I love Lori Brechlin's Blue Belle (needle punch design) and Tonya Roby's Simple Days (hooked design).  Blue Birds and Berries by Missie Carpenter is also nice and love her colors.

If you aren't a subscriber you may just want to consider it if you can't find it at your local news stand. 

Have a great Monday evening everyone.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Oldies But Goodies

As many of you may have read my blog already, the reason my journey with rug hooking started was looking at the antique rugs, and antique adaptions which were in Country Living magazine. 

Here are a few more rugs to whet your appetite.  This is clean and simple with elements that I'm attracted to..... birds, flowers, star, circle.  It has everything shouting primitive. 
Animals are a great rug to hook because everyone loves them.  So whether a gift or for your own house it is a winner.
For beginners the very basic flower rugs may be the easiest.  We hookers call these Padula flowers.
This must be a memorial for Arthur with what appears to be young deer and large padula flowers and vase.
Then there is the delightful Grenfel antique rug which I've never had the opportunity to see in person.  One day perhaps I'll have that experience.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll have something more to show you other than my Santa update....maybe.  But still stay tuned because you just never know what will happen here.  THANKS for you new followers!!!  You ROCK!!!!!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

It isn't Christmas but here's Santa

Guess it is about time for me to find another rug to hook since Christmas is long gone.  However, the last several years I've wanted to have this antique adaptation on my harvest table during the Christmas holiday but never had one hooked.  Well by golly I'll have one next year and this is what I've accomplished so far.  Now it's pretty much the boring background and narrow border to hook.
And I've been designing something else but haven't started hooking it yet.  It will be a very primitive and naive adaption of something from the 1800's and that is all I'll say for now since I've nothing to show.

Thank you new follower's for joining me.  It puts a huge smile on my face every time I see an additional follower to the fold.   And for those who take precious time from their daily life to post a comment I want to thank you ~ Comments are always appreciated. 

AND, questions are welcome too.  Sometimes when I'm explaining a technique, there might be something small that I've left out. 

Hard to believe that earlier in the week it was in single digit temperatures and today it reached 65.  Now, it did rain, but it was warm and I'll take that over snow and frigid temps any day.

Have a great rest of weekend everyone.


Friday, January 10, 2014

New Vintage Rug Finds

When I have a little time I like searching auction houses for hooked rug designs.  So guys and gals, I've some naive and primitive vintage rugs to show you.  I absolutely LOVE this design and one day would like to do an adaptation of it. 
This rug also appealed to me.  Perhaps it was the hit and miss border, the great way this hooker worked with neutral colors, main color red in center and random red in the hit and miss border makes the eye visit and pull everything together. 
And who doesn't like Sunbonnet Sue?........

Or doggies?

I don't save copies of all the rugs as some just don't appeal to me.  Am sure that there are many more rug pictures that I haven't posted on my blog and perhaps one day you'll get to see them all.  If you're like me, you never tire of looking at old rugs.

Have a great evening and for those of you who will experience a warm up for the weekend, enjoy.  It may be raining here but the temperatures are a far cry better than what we had a few days ago.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pillow Final Installment

Yippee, my pillow is beckoning me to sit, lean back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  This furniture is really old and embarrassed to say I've had it since 1997.  Would be a different story with age if it were an antique that was made to last, but it isn't.  Anyway, it's what I have.  To the left is a vintage Jack Daniels advertisement that my departed first husband electrified into a lamp.  And that hooked piece to the left was the sample that Tonya of MadHenPrims hooked for her book and I'm so proud to own a few of her original pieces. 
Betsy suggested purchasing a regular bed pillow.  The stuffing for the pillow was purchased in the linen department of my local Walmart and only cost $2.50.  I'm sure it was cheaper than buying a bag of stuffing at a fabric store.  Plus the fact the stuffing is contained in a cotton casing.
These next steps are what Betsy said she did with her pillows to make them hefty, which was my goal.  The pillows I've been using (one a big sofa pillow) always ends up dropping down between the bottom cushion and the back of the sofa.  This pillow is thick and am sure there won't be an issue with it.

Next I cut an open the purchased pillow and pull out some of the stuffing.  #1 it makes it easier to insert into the hooked pillow with reduced stuffing.
#2 you will fill the center with more substantial stuffing for the heft after being inserted.   Betsy said nothing goes to waste in her house, not the trimmed off linen foundation, snippets, etc.  Well that makes sense to me and we've all used snippets I'm sure.  And you wouldn't believe how much extra stuffing went into that pillow in addition to the stuffing that I pulled out in the beginning.
Next, stuff the half full purchased pillow into the hooked pillow.  I started filling it up then realized I'd better stuff the purchased pillow in the hooked piece before it got too big.  Was anxious to get it done and forgot to stuff first but was still able to get the pillow inside.
Once the purchased pillow is placed inside the hooked pillow you can manipulate the insides around to place in corners, in the center more, etc.  Then I whip stitched the pillow cover closed so pieces wouldn't work themselves outside the case.
So now it was time to close the opening to my hooked pillow. I used heavy duty cotton button hole thread and stitched it with single thread one way, turned around and stitched it again the other way so it is double hand stitched all the way around.
The final step was doing the edge.  You can see the edge better from the back side of the pillow than from the hooked front.
Getting ready to make a pot of homemade soup then lean back on my new hooked pillow and hook on Santa for a while.

If you ever have an opportunity to take a class with Betsy Reed you won't be disappointed.  She shares and gives all of what she knows.  Have a great evening everyone and enjoy the nicer winter temperatures tomorrow than we had the last few days.

If you have questions about the pillow installments, please e-mail me and I'll try and explain better.