Sunday, January 13, 2019

Onion Skin Dyeing

Today is the day to get this task done.  It has been so long since dyeing with onion skins and was looking forward to the results.  Wanting to impress my readers 😀 thought it best to pull out my "Natural Dyeing" booklet by Marie Sugar and follow instructions.
It said to use 2 cups of onion skins ~ I mixed both yellow and red onion skins together.  I pressed the down but didn't push so hard it would crush the skins into bits.
The zipper mesh bag was purchased at the Dollar Tree.  There are 3 bags for only $1.
Decided to use these various pieces of bolt wool and parts of dismantled clothing.  There is approximately a yard there.
A picture of the color leaching from the skins before putting in the wool.
With the color almost all absorbed into the wool I wasn't impressed with the results and knew you wouldn't be either.  So pulled out the wool and added another 2 cups of skins into the same bag.
Back into the pot went the wool after the additional skins had leached their color.  Here is the before:
Here are the results.
None of those colors have a plan yet but sure will be more useful to me for antique or primitive rugs that the before wool.  Even in the past when I had disaster dye jobs have found particular pieces very handy.  


Friday, January 11, 2019

Plans, Time and Priorities Updated

'Plans' for today's blog post was going to be about doing onion skin dying.    When going to the grocery store I'd gather loose onion skins from the bin and put them in baggies plus save my own when using onions in recipes.  
But with other more pressing 'priorities' that plan went by the way side.   Am trying to downsize to rid items from my sewing room related to crafts I no longer do.  

Today was busy taking photos of various items to list on eBay tomorrow...such as more flour/seed feed sacks and quilt books.  There were some listed last week which are closing tomorrow.
While checking my book shelves for more Quilt Patterns I found this CHERI  SAFFIOTE hard back quilt book.  HERE is the link to the listing on eBay.
Instead of taking photos to list on eBay, what I'd really like to do is get busy hooking my new rug project.  But tomorrow a few eBay listings end which will need to be packaged for shipping.  Now I need to list those new items which also takes 'time'.

This Little Quilts pattern book is also listed on eBay.
When making primitive dolls I aspired to make small quilts for dolls, decoration, etc.  In retrospect think that would have been a much wiser choice than starting a huge STAR QUILT which still isn't finished after all these years.

That "S" word is coming my way and I'm not happy about that.  Yes, it is beautiful but requires more 'time' from me to shovel and keep steps clean so I don't slip.

Gonna go pull a few loops on my new project and who knows when that onion skin dyeing will eventually get done.

Hope everyone is warm and tucked in.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Star Geometric

Thank goodness the rug is all hooked.  It isn't steamed yet and won't be until later as I'm anxious to start my next rug project.   This rug measures 29 x 32 and hooked mostly in #8.5 but used various other cuts from my worm bags.   A lot of the wool has been over dyed with either my Olde Patina dye recipe or with black walnuts to give it an aged look.  The flash is giving the rug a rather washed out look.
 Here is a photo without a flash.....
..and now the original antique rug.
Before I can start hooking my next rug there needs to be a major clean-up in the wool room.  Again I'll use a lot of my wool worms but the two main motifs will require some cutting of wool so the table needs to be cleaned off.

As much as I hate cleaning there is no better motivation for me than starting a new project.


Sunday, January 6, 2019


As much as I love rug hooking, enjoying the beauty of old rugs gives me as much pleasure.  Here is a quiet naive designed rug of a single white flower with red center.  Measures 17 x 36 but no mention of date.
Check out those 'as is' pieces of wool used ~ wonderful.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Stag and Doe measures 32 x 52 and was said to be hooked late 19th century or early 20th century from Virginia.  That blotchy background I love so much.
Skinner called the rug below rug "primitive dogs" but what I see is a hooked version of a cave drawing or Native American design.  Measures 19 x 64 late 19th century.
1890 rug has a nice hit and miss center border.  All the worms blend well together,
Blue Cat and Blue Flowers still stand out despite the complex blotchy puzzle like background.
Click on the photo below, it is something I've never seen before.  It is  made up of coiled wool which was obviously stitched to the foundation.  Size is 24 x 45 from 19th century.
Cecile Perrault (Montreal QC) hooked this Boy, Mailbox and Chickens rug; this is the front of the rug and is quite faded.
And below is the back which shows the original colors.  Notice there is no rug binding, whipping, etc.  That is because early rug hookers used to fold over the foundation and hook thru all thicknesses to ensure the edges wouldn't unravel.
And finally, a shirred rug.   On an interesting note, I've been accustomed to seeing the blotchy colors hooked in a rug, thinking it was fading; but these wools were obviously chosen and were rather close in color and all she had to use.  Love it.
Yesterday I listed a bunch of vintage feed sacks and some quilt patterns on ebay.  Slowly but surely am trying to get rid of items I know won't be used by me.  Last week I sold several doll parts and was surprised the amount of change those produced.

A couple readers have requested my eBay seller name or a link.  So if you click this LINK you can see all the items listed yesterday and save me as a seller.

And, pay a visit to a new blogger, Kimm of Sheep Under Feet.  Stop by to pay to say hi and 'follow'.   Welcome Kimm.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Hooking Magdalena Style

The other day I read some one's question on Facebook on how others achieve a Magdalena scrappy look.  I don't profess to be an expert but will try to explain how I do mine.

First I study Magdalena's original rugs, particularly the design I'm ready to hook.  Although I've never seen one in person there are photos one could find on line or from books.  Take for example, these two Olde Ducks rugs hooked by Magdalena.
That is a photo from Evelyn Lawrence's dedicated research on Magdalena Briner Eby and her work which is in this BOOK.
And here is a hooked version I did.  
Left over wool worms (a/k/a noodles) are the best way to achieve that scrappy look.  What helps also is to use short pieces of a similar color and close value to finish a line or fill in.  I have also dropped an odd piece of wool on the floor only to pick it up and hook it somewhere in the rug ~ after all, Magdalena used what she had.  Tap on the photo to enlarge and see what I'm talking about.

Another example is Magdalena's Eagle which also appears in the book.
Below is my version trying to accomplish the look of Magdalena using the wool in my possession.  The light/white is showing up brighter in the photo as it was taken outside in natural light.  But I use what I call 'dirty whites' to hook.  And if you have the book it shows odd colors Magdalena used ~ like at the eagle's neck just under the eye is an odd  purple which blends nicely with the brown.  
Here is a closeup photo I took of my rug where you can see the different wool at neck.  It is little details like that you can see with the assistance of the booklet and studying Magdalena's rugs.

Another Magdalena is this trio.
And my version below.
Since I love crows decided to design my own Magdalena Style Crow.  Magdalena used red for legs, noses and eyes on animals ~ kind of her signature.  She also would hook a berry at a crow's mouth and or beak.
I could show more of my Magdalena hooked rugs but will save you boredom.  As soon as the Star Geometric is done next on my frame is going to be yet another Magdalena rug.  

Click on the BOOK link above to purchase the booklet as it is a great reference for Magdalena rugs.  It isn't a 'tutorial' book as that part is left to the rug hooker's discretion to get his/her own rhythm.  But the photos of the original Magdalena's and photos of Evelyn's replications and information makes for a perfect reference book.  Good luck and hope I've been able to help.  


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Star Geometric

First, Happy New Year to all of my followers and friends.  The Horses and Hearts Rug did get bound yesterday and in the list of rugs hooked in 2018 (10 of them).  However, that will not be the case with Star Geometric below.
This is an antique adaption and I tried to replicate even those quirky blocks like the original.  It measures 29 x 32.


Sunday, December 30, 2018


Are you interested in making some money by binding a rug for Polly Minick?  
Only experienced rug hookers and those who like to bind need apply.  Please contact her HERE and she will give you all the details.  

She is great to work with and for but since I don't even like binding my own rugs I'll pass on this work.  

Good Luck.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Horses and Hearts

Horses and Hearts will be documented as finished in 2018 since the binding is almost complete.  There's just a few more inches to stitch the binding down but will save that task while waiting for my annual mammogram on Monday.  Nothing more boring than waiting for a doctor's appointment.
Which means Star Geometric won't get listed as a rug completed this year but rather 2019.  No way I'll get the remainder of the rug completed in 4 days.  

Guess I'd better get hooking on the Star rug to pull as many loops as I can.

                    p.s.  Jacqueline asked what the finished size of the rug is.                                It measures 20 x36.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Wishing everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.  
A cotton batting Santa and Snow kids I made and sold several years ago.  
Below is a flannel applique quilt I made and gifted my wonderful daughter-in-law Cathy, also several years ago.  I still have that quilting book (Winter Whimsies by Suellen) and just might use a template to hooked a mat next year.  Think my favorite snowman is the one flying and with earmuffs on.
Keep warm everyone; and again, Merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Slow Hooking Results but....

Haven't achieved much hooking the Star Geometric the last few days yet I like what has been done so far.
Now the odd shaped blocks have been hooked the rest should be smooth sailing.  Below is a photo of the original.  Yeah, I know you who follow me have seen it time and time again but if there is a new visitor they should know.
Although my hooking has been at a snail pace that is due to listing items on eBay.  BUT, must say eBay has given me great rewards for the time spend to photo, crop the photo, and list them.  

OY... then when the items sell there is the packaging up, labeling and shipping part.  OH... but I did say it was all worth it didn't I?  

Guess I'm jealous of my hooking time as I've another rug waiting in the wings.  Really wanted Star listed in the year of 2018 but don't think that will happen since there are more listings on eBay.

Surely everyone is busy putting together toys for  youngsters for Santa to put under the tree.  Many are baking, wrapping, gifts or packing bags to travel to grandma's house.  Whatever stage you are in, I wish for all of my friends, followers AND OF COURSE my family to have a very Merry Christmas.  I WILL be with my FAMILY on Christmas Day.