Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of Year Binding Progress Report

Don't think I'll stay up past midnight to finish binding the last two rugs of 2017.  Have been working on both simultaneously so neither is totally finished and probably won't be until sometime tomorrow.

Was asked how I bind my rugs ~ answer is many different ways depending on the look I want.  Here are a few ways I've bound rugs:

  • wool yarn whipped over cording
  • wool fabric over cording and continued on back as binding
  • Wool strip bound edge
  • cotton binding tape
  • twill or cotton fabric binding
  • Betsy Reed primitive binding

Here is a picture of the Birthday Lion being bound.  The linen has been serged at the edge to protect from ravel and was cut away at about 1" away from the last row of hooking as cotton binding tape is only 1 1/4" wide.  Then wool yarn is gently stitched from the outer edge to the edge of binding tape.
That process continues all around the rug while easing gently at the corners and doing a miter edge.
In the photo below you can see it is pinned as I go and the corners have been mitered.  There's still one side to attach with yarn at the edge before stitching down the inside.
Sometimes I don't want the added color or texture change beyond the last loop pulled.  So the Primitive Horse rug I didn't want wool whipped edge, crochet edge or braided edge either.  This is to be a primitive rug so used wool I'd dyed in a black walnut bath some months ago.  Wanted it to look like it had a faded and scuffed edge from wear ~ it's an antique replication.

While purging my cottons I found this perfect match so cut strips wide enough to double.  Sewed the raw edges together first then stitched close to the last row of hooking.  Sure would have been easier to do if I'd sewn it on before hooking.
In the photo below you can see how well the colors match the wool in the rug.  Since this is cotton fabric doubled believe it is at least as strong as the woven cotton binding used on the Birthday Lion.  Plus, this binding is a tad wider so protects more of the foundation's edge.
Hope everyone has heat as it is frigid.  I tried to go for a walk and don't think I walked 1/4 mile before turning fingers and face frozen.  No way anyone could pay me to go for the Ball Drop in NYC tonight.  Not only the frigid temps would keep me away but also the dangerous times we are being exposed to.

Stay safe, don't drink and drive and be aware of your surroundings.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Antique Hooked Rugs and Stools

It has been a while since I posted rugs found on auction sites so figure it is time.  The two horses and two birds rug below was hooked by Cecile Perrault of Montreal Canada.  This first photo is of the front.
With the rug flipped over you can see the original colors.  Since there is no sign of binding tape I'm guessing the foundation was folded over and hooked thru all layers of backing up to the edge since there doesn't seem to be any framing involved.
The same person hooked Wolves Howling at the Moon.  Below is the faded front  of the rug. 
And now the more colorful unfaded back.
A folky horse with stylized fountain hooked late 19th century New England.  Love the horse, blocks of color as well as the faded and soiled areas.  
A wonderfully primitive rug with crows and lollipop flowers.  Looks like it was a well used rug.
Below is a lovely floral with interesting border hooked 1851.  The description said "wool threads on plaid wool".
As promised a couple foot stools.  Below is a naive sheep hooked footstool from 19th century.
And last, a cricket style footstool hooked around 1850 New England.  Nice rich colors for it to be that old.
Enjoy your evening and try to stay warm in this ridiculously frigid winter.  


Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Background Wool

Julia, my northern neighbor in Canada, asked me how I did the background on the Birthday Lion.  Actually, Julia, I didn't do anything special; it was mostly the different wool chosen that did the work.  I prefer to use more than one color wool in my backgrounds and borders.
As you can see there is a difference in color between the border and the inside around the lion.  I wanted a difference and have a big bag of primitive black wool for backgrounds which has a mixture of all dark wool.  So those strips from any dark textured wool adds to my primitive black background source.

The inside background is a combination of the three wool pieces you see above the rug.  From the left is Gemstone, then Whales Tail, and on the right a wool I've forgotten the name of but all three come from Heavens to Betsy.

The only other thing I did was hook areas in puzzle pieces where I could.  on the far right and between the lion's legs there wasn't much room to hook in blocks.  

So now the binding begins tonight and have resigned myself to the fact it needs to be done before starting anything else.  I've 3 days to completely finish the last two rugs within the confines of 2017.

Hope everyone is warm.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Another Finish

This afternoon the last loops were pulled on a pattern named Birthday Lion, a design by Bill Laraway.  Bill designed the whimsical lion as part of a larger rug for his wife Jayne Hester called "Jayne's Birthday Rug". 
This finished piece measures 20 x 25.  So now there are two rugs/mats here which need binding.  Tho I've a pattern ready to go on my frame it won't be hooked until after some binding of the rugs has begun.  Besides, I still need to pull wool for my next project so it isn't really ready yet.

It is very frigid here in Delaware but at least luckily (so far) not having to deal with snow some states are seeing.  Safe travels for those of you still commuting to and fro for the holidays.  There is still the new year celebration so please stay safe, be aware of your surroundings and keep you eyes on what is around you INSTEAD of your cell phone!!!!!!


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

Just couldn't wait to give my grandson Zach his Christmas gifts this year.  I held out two boxes and asked him ...'which box of clothes would you like to open first (trying to throw him off track)?"  He opened up his favorite soccer team wall hanging first.  It already has a dowel and ready for hanging.  
Second box had an official Barcelona soccer ball, air pump with 5 different size needles and its own carry bag.
His parents gave him many clothes and entertaining gifts teen boys like and then dad had to have a little fun with his son.  Greg had wrapped a bunch of goodies in this bundle of saran wrap which took Zach 9 minutes to open.  Little at a time Zach unwrapped his favorite strawberry gum, miscellaneous small candies and money in various denominations; all separated by more layers of saran wrap. 
When Zach gathered up his money he had received a total of $50 so was a happy boy.  Below is my 14 year old grandson and me.  Zach is over 6' tall and was determined today by mom and me that he is officially a smidgen taller than his father by maybe 1/2".  I believe that made Zach more happy than any of the gifts he received for Christmas.  
Hope all my blogger friends have a very Merry Christmas.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Last Loop

Just now pulled the last loops on #227 Primitive Horse rug.  The un-steamed dimensions are 26 x 39 1/2.  I know that hooking a rug alters dimensions from the unhooked foundation to the hooked version.  So will be interesting to see what measurements are after the rug is steamed.

Again took two different camera settings; the first one doesn't wash out colors.  OH NO!!!!!!!!!  I forgot to do the pre-binding stitches 1 1/4" away from the last row of hooking.  Now I've got to manipulate this honking big rug 3 times around to do the two rows of straight stitch and one joining zig zag stitch.  Oh well, have forgotten before and won't be my last I'm sure.
Here is the other camera setting with more pixels so if you tap on the photo it will provide more vivid view of colors in the rug.
In case I forget to mention previously in a post of this rug, It was hooked using hand-torn, scissor cut and some machine cuts.  Size of strips ranged from #8 from my worm bags to 1" hand torn.  At the outer edge I used a faded out (actually a walnut dyed) wool strip so it looks like it had been scuffed and worn compared to the second row of wool hooked elsewhere.  A little lesson on making an antique look I learned from Barb Carroll.

Tomorrow I'll steam the rug but tonight I'll clean up my wool clutter from this project and prepare to finish Birthday Lion.  Haven't seen Birthday Lion in almost two months so wonder what changes might be in my forecast.

Hoping all of your Christmas shopping and wrapping is done or almost done... mine is.  And if someone unexpected drops in they will get a bottle of wine.  That's my excuse for having numerous bottles of wine on the rack 😉 .


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

5 More Days

.....and it will be Christmas Day.  My how time slips away.
Hopefully my present project will be all finished with hooking but not binding by then.  Maybe I'll even be able to post it tomorrow on my blog.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Yesterday I posted photos of snowmen hooked pieces and dolls I made over the years.  Today I'll scroll thru my photos of Santa's sold and perhaps some which are still here.  Of course my hooked antique adaptation of Santa and Deer is on my harvest table right now but here is a better photo than at an angle on the table.
Below is a huge standing Santa which had.....uh, cement feet, lol.  That was to allow the Santa to stand alone.  Naturally he was stuffed and had dowels for stability.  Made a few and all sold.
Lisanne Miller purchased this white Santa with candy cane which she mentioned recently on FB...thanks Lisanne.  She has a one-of-a-kind as this was the only one I made like that.
Below is a very washed out photo of a primitive Santa which sold years ago.
Americana Santa was popular when I did shows also so made a few of those. 
This big Santa below had a faux fur trim and think I only made two of these, both sold.  Yikes, the date on most of these photos is 2001.
A Santa in a stocking sold well in my booth too.
Another option for the Santa shopper.  These may have been the only two I made as I'd get bored.
Below are painted folk art Santa's which never sold.  They are the only two I made and think they are cute and don't understand why they didn't appeal to anyone.

The Santa on the base with primitive tree I still have; he is on my mantle now but this photo was taken another year at Christmas time.  I kinda like him and will keep him around.
St. Nick below I believe is still in a Christmas tote from the craft years.  
And believe this primitive Santa with a quilt coat might be in the same container.
The Santa below is in my wool room on a shelf, standing beside a feather tree I made from real goose feathers a few years ago.  The Santa has a femo sculpted face, real fur and velvet coat.
Am sure that many more santas were made and sold but didn't capture photos of everything I did.

Hope you have a great evening and thanks for taking the time to visit.


Monday, December 18, 2017


When I was a kid, as most kids, couldn't wait to get outside and build a snowman.  But as an adult a small amount of snow is better......pretty and enjoyable.  Here is a cute doll from my past which makes a statement for sure, lol.
In 2006 I hooked this snowman mat for my DIL.  It was just before knowing I was getting a divorce, lol, since the SS initials are hooked in.
Then again 2011 hooked this little snowman mat for my sweet DIL who LOVES snowmen.  Forgive me but cannot remember who the designer(s) are of either piece.
And there are snow people dolls I've made over the years ~ some sold and some I still have.
These guys sold but looking at them now they look kind of eerie. 
Snow people gathering for a photo shoot and they look washed out.
Oh, also made a Snow Girl doll like the one below for my sweet DIL Cathy which she has hanging in  her living room.  I'm glad this one didn't sell as I enjoy using it during winter. 
Thanks for dropping by.


Sunday, December 17, 2017


Yesterday I admired Lori Brechlin's embroidery project posted on Facebook and went to find a couple things I'd done many years ago.  One was a Bald Eagle head embroidered on my departed husband's jeans jacket.  After Gary died my then 13 year old son and I moved from California back to our home state of Delaware.  

As I needed to downsize donated his suits and other clothing but cut the eagle from the back of the jeans jacket thinking I'd stitch it onto something of mine or my son.
Also made my husband and me matching 'hippy/flower child' gauze shirts which we wore when going to Trader Lee's at the corner of Routes 611 and 50 in Ocean City, MD.  Still have his and mine but they both look like this.
Also sewed and embroidered the gauze blouse for myself below but didn't care for the neckline as much.  Yet it is still in my closet as a fond memory of the time.
In case you are wondering what project of Lori's I was referring to, enjoy it below.  Very realistic and would suspect it may be a Christmas gift to a beloved family member so ..."shhhhhh".
Happy Sunday everyone.  


Friday, December 15, 2017

Fill in the Blanks

Most of the hooking has been done on this rug but there are several blanks to be filled in.  This is a Lib Callaway pattern purchased from Hook Nook when Margaret owned the business.  Now Jeanne Benjamin owns Lib's patterns and I understand that Jan Cole also offers the pattern.
The reason for so much empty space is because there was so little of the background wool color to use.  My choice for background was Gold Dust (or was it dusty gold?) a wool offered by Rebecca Erb in 10/10.  I inquired and she said there was none left and she never offered a repeat date.  Sooooo, I'm improvising with walnut dyed wool and other wool.  

Since there is time before the new year this rug could be counted as a rug hooked in 2017.  But I'd better get crack'n!!!!!

More snow here and it is COLD.  Hope you are warm, safe and ready for Christmas as the countdown is here...... only 10 days until Christmas Day.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

de'ja' vu

If you think you've already seen this before, you'd be right.  Except the neutral sashing has been removed and the blocks sewn in the same direction.  Took two photos with different settings, here's one which keeps the photo small, thus not providing lots of detail.  Sometimes my rugs show up better with this setting as it doesn't distort the color.
The other photo below provides many more pixels so that when you tap on the photo shows more detail.
Go back and look the the second photo again....  See that orb to the right side of the quilt piece?  Wonder if that is my boy Ben visiting me.  Yeah, am sure some of you think I'm bonkers for believing that orbs are spirits or angels but when seeing them in a photo it feels comforting.

You won't be seeing stars for quite a while as more blocks need to be made and 11 pieces of fabric for each block needs to be cut and sewn together before any more progress can be made on this never ending project.

Must admit that I do like it better with all the stars facing in the same direction and without the sashing separating the blocks.

Stay warm folks, it is going to get colder here and more snow predicted.