Friday, July 31, 2015

Another Cat Mat?

Actually, it's another kitten mat that I'm hooking for my guy friend who loved the other I was working on.  Problem is that I really had fallen in love with the mat when I started working on it and planned the journey for the mat. 

And, think he would prefer squared corners rather than the curved corners I planned and same with the primitive rag tag binding which I love.  Plus feel he would find it strange to have the separation down the middle of the kitten as the original antique had and I replicated.  This is the one finished for me and for patterns.
This is the one I've started for my friend.  Since there will NOT be any additional border needed decided to make life simple for me and sew on the cotton rug binding in advance.  I can hook up to the edge of the binding, steam and bind...easy peasy.
 And I'm so up-to-date on hooking and binding that this kitten and a couple more rug labels is all on my to-do list before the next bestest thing on my frame.  Which I just might draw out this weekend....AFTER cutting grass at a some point.

Hope you have a great weekend and play pretty with one another.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fini, Done, Enda, Finished at Last

Thanks to all who gave me permission to call the Man Cave Rug DONE without having to do reverse hooking.  I really appreciated all the positive comments but one that really resonated with me is what follower Carol (Ticklepie) said to me:  "...they form very nice bookends for the pool balls" just as they are.  So here is the finished front, steamed and bound.
While hooking the rug for my son I'd contemplated different ways to bind or frame the rug for hanging.  One way was to have artist framing like the stretched canvas type.  Yet I want to take this to Cape May for the rug show and didn't want a cumbersome project to haul around.  Plus the fact, maybe my son would want to use it as a rug instead of wall hanging.  Okay, I doubt it but was a fleeting thought.

So, finally decided to do a sleeve for a dowel which could be inserted to provide hanging capabilities or the dowel could be removed for a table or floor decoration.  For sure I'd be able to finally finish this and have it ready to take to Cape May in September. 
And the label is already stitched on too.  YIPPEE, I'm free at last!  And his Christmas gift is done...whew.  Feels good ~ except the back hasn't been steamed since I bound it.

So I'm caught up with binding and rug projects, and I've started the kitten mat for my friend.  Still have a few more labels to sew on hooked rugs but that's a piece of cake.  Now my mind is wandering on what to put on my frame next..... I'm thinking about HESTER, the cat in the latest issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.  I previously showed you a picture of Hester and it is a design by Lori Brechlin of NotForgotten Farm.
Hope everyone has a great evening and a less humid day tomorrow like we are to experience. 


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Did You Know.....

....that Lori Brechlin of NotForgotten Farm used to do some of the illustrations for the catalog of former doll, art, craft company Holly Berry Hill??  Yup, Kris Miller also knows and posts that fact on her web site so check it out and you read the list of credits artist Lori has.
In one of these issues is also a doll pattern offered by my friend Shari Lutz.  She has plans to retire very soon to enjoy rug hooking instead of dollmaking.
At one time these catalogs were the rage and collectors items.  I actually saved mine for inspiration, plus having purchased many of the doll patterns when HBH was in business.  Goodness, I've not made a doll in a few years but every once in a while get the urge to make one.  But then all too soon that urge dissipates and another rug is begun.

Have a good evening everyone.  Heat and humidity was horrid today and will be worse tomorrow.

Please be kind to one another.  Hurry back Lori!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Making Rug Labels

In a previous post a little over a year ago I gave a tutorial of sorts for different ways to make rug labels and even showed a few different styles I've done; you can check out that post HERE.  This time I did something a little different...actually a couple somethings.  This is the back side of Cherries and Candy Stripe with the new label attached.
The first thing I did differently was to put a mini photo of the original antique rug from which my table runner was adapted.  Thought that would be good historical information, problem is I forgot to include the huge dimensions of the original on my label.  The original measured 30 x 75 and my hooked runner measures 13.5 x 33.5.  Oh well this label can be reprinted on another sheet of 8 labels in future date....but need to buy another package of the printer fabric first. 

Here is a close up of the label.  Can you tell that I'm not a professional quilter as my stitches aren't consistent.
Another thing I did differently than the last sheet of labels, unfortunately,  was to use straight cut scissors instead of pinking shears to cut them out.  That I'll never do again.  That silly mistake meant that the edges of the fabric required a bead of Dritz Fray Check along all four sides of all the labels.

Here are the other labels I printed for other rugs.  Actually there are several more rugs which need a label but no more fabric printing sheets so need to purchase more.
Then the other thing done differently is not having lines printed between the two rows of 4 labels.  This time I had the forethought to remove the border lines for printing that was initially put in when setting up the Windows Table. 

Have a great evening everyone.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Done or Not Done..... That is the Question

While it appears I've pulled the last loops on my son's Man Cave Rug, it still may not be done yet.  This is why I haven't posted on my blog the last couple days ~ I wanted to get this dang thing done.  This is what the rug looks like right now and without steaming.
If you recall from a previous post, I mentioned hooking a mirror image of the beer mugs thinking that might be easier for me.  Yup, did that even tho I knew it wasn't the proper way they would appear with lighting coming from one side.  Since there is still plenty of time to get this finished for my son by Christmas decided to see what it would look like if I hooked it right the first time.  This is what the rug looks like with wool just placed in the strategic spots on the mug.
So I'll look at the rug in this photo and in my wool room from time to time and decide.  Guess I should have hooked it right the first time, eh?  Ya think, lol?

It's time for a brief break and will start hooking the Black Kitten mat for my friend.  His will be a little different and will show comparisons as some hooking takes place.

Sorry I was AWOL for a couple days.  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Binding Black Kitten

Before pulling the first loop on the kitten mat I knew it would be bound using Betsy Reed's primitive binding technique.  Also knew what wool would be used for the outer hooked row.  Again, this is the finished Black Kitten Mat.
This is the wool used for the outer hooked row.  It was purchased from Dorr Mill Store and it is color #6913 Brown and Grey Tones Basket Weave.  I imagined the colors would give a rag tag worn look to the edge and with the primitive binding would give it an appearance of having been repaired. 
Once the mat was hooked I drew a line 1 1/4" around the perimeter on the foundation and made the rounded corners as well.  I then did two rows of straight stitching 1/4" apart and between those two rows of did a row of zig zag to connect the two.  After which I trimmed away the excess foundation.
Next I rolled the foundation forward and did a running whip stitch to hold the rolled section in place.  Hard to see unless you click on the photo, are some straight pins holding the row in place until the whip stitching can be completed.   Even tho it is double work, I prefer to tack it down with stitching to be sure the rolled section is contained when I get ready to bind.  Using the word 'bind' very loosely here.
Next step was to rip some black cotton fabric 2 1/2" wide across the width of the fabric and sew the ends together.  Actually I didn't even bother doing a miter of the ends, and my sewing teacher from high school would cringe if she knew that.  I washed the fabric and dried it in the dryer and yes, it got all knotted but those wrinkles help give it an old look.  Oh, as does the stewing of the black fabric and the old cotton crochet thread in a coffee/tea bath.
Then it was time to whip stitch the cotton fabric to the edge of the foundation.  Don't worry about the stitches being evenly spaced or straight as the more rag tag the better I liked it.  It is, after all, supposed to look like an old rug.
And so this one is done and since a friend of mine wanted it so badly have decided to hook another for him.  His will have squared corners and will be bound using cotton binding on the back rather than this primitive style.  Think he'd like it that way better.

Now my attention can be paid to just the background of my son's rug.  Have a great evening everyone.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Cat is Back

The Black Kitten Mat that is.  It's done and with the very primitive binding technique which I fell in love with at a class with Betsy Reed.  And even tho I've attempted to replicate her style the kitten binding just isn't the same as if she'd have done it.  Here's Black Kitten.
My plans were to give the tutorial tonight but want to be sure to devote good instruction so will do that another day.  Don't worry, I've pictures along the journey.  Sheesh, where is a man when you need one?

Since the weather is much milder just might trim some limbs of some bushes which need it too.

Stay tuned and don't forget to let me know of ACTIVE blogs you'd like for me to put on my side bar.

Have a great evening everyone.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Closer to the End of the Man Cave

And I am looking forward to the end of hooking and moving on.  At least now I know it will be done by Christmas and so happy that it was started early.

Today I was hooking away on the other beer mug to post an update.  My plans were to have the entire mug and foam all hooked.  But there were a number of issues. 

FIRST AND FOREMOST... I understand the concept of LIGHT direction.  Know the sun would have been on the same side for each mug and colors would be different than I've hooked.  So for you narrow cut realistic hookers I DO understand but my son will never notice and my brain and hands won't go there for this project.  Sorry.

The other problems were that I hadn't divided or hooked equally the beer colors.  Ditto on the bright white, yellow white and blue white wool.  And just when I thought about taking a photo for my blog noticed that my hooking of a mirror image colors from the other side beer mug didn't work.  I'd hooked a totally different color down one side.  OY!

Therefore this is all I have to show you.  A photo with a flash here.
And photo with a different setting which was taken without a flash.
Tomorrow I will start the preliminary binding of the cute little Black Kitten Mat.  That will be a great break even tho I'm not fond of binding.

Stay tuned. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rug Hooker's Eye Candy

The first eye candy is a beautify gift from a sweet and generous blogger friend whom I've never had the opportunity to meet....yet.  However, if we're lucky, perhaps she will be at Rugs By The Sea in Cape May, NJ in 2016.  To continue, Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) send me this beautiful antique paisley pendant and chain.  I cannot take a picture worth a dang; the paisley is showing up as far too yellow ~ three photos were taken and this was the best of the three.
So I went to her blog and stole a copy of the one from when she was vending at a hook-in.  That's the beauty I received in the mail yesterday.  I HEART you Lauren; thank you for the generous gift.
Okay, for the rest of the eye candy....let the show begin!  The first one below is a homestead with lots of animals; notice the cat on top of the house?  Does anyone see the elephant?  Ah, now I've got your attention, don't I?
Two Swans facing.  Love neutrals and love antique black backgrounds.
Have you ever noticed how many antique rugs have this same cat shape?  The design of the rug may be different yet the posture, tail and two feet are the same.  The women (and men) back then must have made templates much like we do today.  I'm sure Magdalena used templates because many of her motifs show up over and over in her rugs.
For the heck of it I just went scrolling thru my antique cat rugs (which will make Kelley very happy I'm sure) and look at these cat shapes.
And another.
Yeah, I know, some are close but not exact. I like the border on the one below.
Another example of the traditional cat posture but entirely different rug design.
I'll give you folks a break from cats, besides, the same thing about template drawing could be said about dog rugs, horses, deer, etc.  However, it is such fun to look at old rugs and contemplate the history of the each of them and the women who hooked them. 

Now, on to a chicken.... I like this chicken below and looking at the colors on top, which would have been faded with age, wonder what the original colors really were.  If I were doing color planning wouldn't have chosen those colors which makes me think they are well faded fabrics dyed with natural dyes which fades easily.  But, those red union suits didn't fade all that fast did they?  Am guessing that is what the bright red is.  I'll have to send a link to this blog to my friend the antique expert and have her correct me on a lot of my comments.

Okay kiddies.... I'm off'n this machine so more loops can be pulled on the dang beer mug.  I did make some progress even tho I reverse hooked some of the wool.  What I need to realize is that my son won't be the hooking critic that I am of myself.  He'd probably never even notice.......but I would.

Have a great evening and hope you are all staying cool.  Please be kind to one another.  Hugs.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Back to the Cave

......Man Cave that is.  Yes, with Chum bound and Black Kitten hooked (but not bound yet) thought it time to work a little more on my son's Christmas gift.  A friend of mine suggested I just finish this one and be done with the rug to move forward on other projects.  I will try my darndest to do that since there is a rug camp coming up in September and don't want this lingering.

Two photos were taken with different settings.  Oops, looks like the rug wasn't placed straight or flattened properly on the carpet since it appears to be slanted on the left side.
The photo above was taken with a flash and the one below was switched to 'natural settings' and obviously without a flash.
My hooking issue now and before was mostly the angst with the beer and mug.  When hooking the first one I struggled mostly with the white wool.  In hooking the foam, side of glass at top and sides it either needed to be a blue white, bright white or yellow white.  Hell, I never knew there were so many shades of white. 

Perhaps after the beer and mug is hooked it will be smoother sailing but for the boredom of background.  At least background hooking is a piece of cake with no thinking, just hooking.

Hopefully later this week I'll post an update on the antique adaptation of the Black Kitten Mat.  There will be a mini tutorial doing Betsy's primitive binding in case you new followers didn't see it before.  Since I need to be at my son's house to have a worker enter I'll be working on the kitten then. 

Have a good Saturday evening everyone.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

More Hooking List Wants

Oh no, just what I don't need... more rug projects to go on my never ending list of "want to hook" projects.  My Fall subscription to Primitive Quilts and Projects arrived yesterday and I'm in love. 
Meet Hester, a design by Lori Brechlin, which happens to be one of the designs in this latest issue.  You can be sure to see this pattern on my frame this fall.
Another design in the issue which piqued my interest is this design by Stacey West called Moonlight Magic.  Sorry the picture is small but you get the idea.
Actually there are several great patterns in there and even from Maggie Bonanomi and Rebekah Smith, just to name two more.  If you don't subscribe to the magazine you are totally missing out.  Click on the link above to subscribe.  No, I don't get any rebate from this....just a very satisfied customer.

Have a great evening everyone.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Magdalena's Animal Parade

My friend and rug camp roomie Deb just finished binding this humongous rug.  Magdalena's Animal Parade measures 33 x 79 and am quite sure I'll not be hooking it at that size.  Frankly I think Deb did quite a great job getting that rug hooked in under a year since she has a 'day' job and has hooked other projects between.  Like most of us (uh, me), the binding is always last, but she wanted to take it to Cape May in September for the show so finally bound it. 
And finally my Chum rug is bound.  Yeah, I know...for you new readers looking at this dog with those toes you're a little skeptical I'm sure.  When first drawing this out from the antique did draw regular paws.  However, when Barb saw the antique she suggested that it have the antique folk art toes originally hooked.  And so it was.
Just noticed in the photo above that the lighting in the kitchen made a difference in the coloring on the left and the right sideds.  The very same wools were used for both sides but the left looks more correct in the color than the right.  Interesting.

This is the original antique.
For those of you who may wish to hook this antique rug design I'll offer the pattern in both dog paws and with these toes.  The finished hooked piece measures 18 x 33.  Naturally it was hooked with nothing less than #8.5.

Have a great evening everyone.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Goings On Here

Yesterday I told you of the recent pattern sales.  One was for Domestic Zoo which can be viewed at the top of my blog.  Since it is a popular pattern there is usually always one ready to ship; now need to get another to replace the one just sold.  In the same order was this Ali Katz design which needed to be drawn.  Both shipped yesterday.
Then later in the afternoon yesterday had an order for my Mache' Jacks so Deb can get a head start hooking it to display along with her antique mache' Jacks this October.
Also want to mention half of binding Chum has been done, the worst part, which is the outer edge.  The inside will be a piece of cake and go fast so I set Chum aside for today.  Then pulled a few loops on my son's rug and concentrated on getting the rest of the wording hooked.  Will show you progress tomorrow.
And believe it or not have even worked some in the wool room getting yardage a home and rearranging to make the space more work friendly.  Pictures there aren't ready to share yet tho.
Tomorrow will also show you a huge rug my gal pal finished binding recently.  It is Magdalena's Animal Parade.  So check back tomorrow to see what else is happening.
OH!!!!!!!  I would like a little help from my viewers.  On my side bar is a list of "bloggers who hook".  That is my very favorite place to see what my friends are doing but a lot of people aren't blogging much.  SO, if YOU have a favorite hooking blog you'd like to see on my side bar please send me the link and I'll add it.  OR, if YOU are a hooker who would like me to have your blog on the side bar also please send me your blog link.
Have a great evening everyone and life is looking up since my wool room is making progress as is my rug binding.  TA TA.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Busy, Clutter, Chaos and Overwhelmed

Frankly I'm feeling all those descriptive words all at once.  Yesterday I awoke to an order for two rug patterns and they will ship today.  I also cut grass yesterday so it was a very productive and busy Sunday.

Then today after shipping the other two patterns had an order for another pattern which was just drawn.  So yes, been a busy girl here.

Am still plugging along and NOT enjoying the binding process of Chum....there Lauren, I said it, lol.  It isn't even halfway done so will struggle thru the rest of the day working on it.
My son's Man Cave pattern is in the basket patiently waiting to have more loops pulled and having it there staring back at me is disturbing.  Perhaps I should tuck it away until I'm ready to work on it, right?
The second Black Kitten mat wool is also hanging around waiting it's turn at the frame for my friend when I'm ready for a break from my son's rug.
Yesterday this was my view from the drawing table with only a portion of the room in  view which is in total chaos; wool on the floor, wool oozing out of shelf spaces, colors mingled and some yardage needing a home other than the floor.  I must find a home for the Polly patterns which get drawn less these days and organize this room AGAIN which continues to get organized only to get in disarray over and over.
Before leaving the room after drawing a pattern did organize one narrow cubby of wool.  But since seeing a wool color (that purplish on the Nantucket Broom Ride) decided to see if that could be used somewhere in the Cape May class rug.  Oh yeah, may as well add more chaos into the mix Saundra.  Nantucket Broom Ride is a design by Lori Brechlin and offered by Spruce Ridge Studios.
Must decide which colors I want for the houses and think I want fall colors.  Since it is a Halloween rug too, it needs some purple and orange and green.  I'm sure as the chaos of the wool room gets more organized I'll encounter lots of wool possibilities.  Cape May rug camp is a little over 2 months away so there really is plenty of time to get ready for that.

Have a great Monday evening.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hooking and Binding Update

I've pulled the last loops on the Black Kitten Mat but it still needs to be steamed and bound. I'll bore you again later after it has received the Betsy Reed primitive binding.
As a reminder, this is what the original antique mat looks like.  Heck, perhaps I should have listened to my gut when first looking at wool choices and starting to hook  The picture compared to the original appears to be anemic... should have gone for the more yellow wool, "E".  Oh well, I can always do another.
Have already drawn out another Black Kitten Mat to hook for a friend of mine and will probably follow the same color palate as the one just hooked.  For sure I'll not be ready to hook this a third time even tho I wish mine was more aged yellow.  The friend would be better with squared corners since he is going to hang it on the wall.

Now there are two rugs which need to be bound so thought it time to start with the oldest in line first.  That ball of yarn is fantastic for whip stitching along the perimeter of a lot of my rugs as the variance in colors seem to work well with most of my dark borders.  Actually that  stitching isn't visible from the top but makes a nice secure edge and what's more it hides the foundation linen color.
Tonight my plans are just to chill and try to enjoy the binding process of Chum before starting to pull loops on my son's rug again tomorrow.  I mean, the binding must be done so may as well pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy the process in slo-mo.

Have a great Saturday evening.  Unless it rains tomorrow I'll be cutting grass (AGAIN)


Friday, July 10, 2015

More Inspirational Rugs

Here are a few more rugs which inspire me for color, design, hooking, etc.  Some I have no interest in hooking myself but have a lot of admiration for the work involved.  This one is called Stars & Fans and  hooked by Sondra Marshall Ives.  I love that red background and color combination plays well together.  Saved it because a red background rug needs to be in my future.

This was an eye catcher for me too.  American fields and sky.  Again don't know who to give credit for this but kudos to whomever designed and hooked it.
Take a look at this drop dead awesome hooking.  Can't remember where I saw the picture and don't have any information but named it Zebra with 3-D Mane.  Wish I knew who hooked it so he/she could get credit.  Click to enlarge the picture and really study this beauty....the lashes on the zebra, the mane hairs and hair going toward the tail.  Also the soft hairs inside the ears.
The 4 Seasons rug was designed and hooked by my friend Joan Strausbaugh.  Joan does excellent hooking and all her loops like they have been pressed even as she is hooking they are so uniform.  Again not something I would personally enjoy hooking.  But she makes it look so easy with the transitions from season to season without putting each in a separate box separating the seasons.  And even the border colors make that easy flow with the seasons as well.  Great job Joan.
There are other photos in my inspirations file too, like this this 1820 Pennsylvania Trinket Box.  I like the colors and design and one day hope to do a rug like it.
Darn it!!!!!!  You'll just have to lean to your side to see this pretty boy named Tom which is a design by Woolley Fox and hooked by Alice Frasier.  Alice must have taken the picture for me with the camera on its side to capture the other hooked rug (not shown).  But the photos default to the original position which was on the side.  In looking at a blank linen on this design I'd have absolutely no interest in hooking it.  BUT, when seeing Alice's hooking of it this would definitely be on my list of rugs to hook.  Problem?  I'd want mine to look exactly like this!  Fantastic job Alice.
Well kids, just a little more to hook on my Black Kitten Mat and it will be done tonight.  Then I MUST work on my son's rug and bind Chum (still not bound), bind the kitten but before the binding I'll draw out another kitten to hook for a friend of mine.  Will do those other tasks before hooking the kitten for a second time just to give myself a little space from it.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend.  Hugs to all.