Thursday, November 30, 2017

It's A Beginning....

Although I HATE housework decided to wash my kitchen floor and dust in order to put out the beginning of Christmas decorations.  I don't put up a tree any longer since no one comes here at Christmas.  Christmas day I visit my son, DIL and grandson so can't see putting up a tree then put everything back in the attic.
I wondered if the gaudy gold painted mache' deer had been given to the thrift shop already, since I'm TRYING to downsize.  Thankfully they were still on the shelf in the attic.  The unpainted deer were purchased (I think) at JoAnne fabric or Michael's like over a decade ago.  

At least it is a start and goes with the antique adaptation rug I hooked of the Santa with Deer.  Looks as tho I need to get out a Sharpie and color that light edge of foundation....ya think?


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Better Late Than Never

I didn't get to take photos of the 'throw down' at the November rug camp nor able to get many pictures from fellow rug hookers.  Thankfully this morning I received these two photos.

Renia Davis is hooking this beautiful Bengal Tiger which is a Lib Calloway design offered by Jeanne Benjamin.  I admired Renia's work on the rug during camp and cannot wait to see it finished at next November's rug show.  Hopefully she will take it as there was very little participation in the show this year.
The dimensions of the Bengal Tiger is 42 x 67.  If I choose to hook it for myself I'm fortunate enough to have the paper pattern which came with a book on early Needlework designs and a box full of the patterns themselves.  Was lucky enough to purchase that set from my friend Joan Strausbaugh...thanks Joan.
Below is Grace Ayers who was my table buddy and working on Nantucket Broom Ride which is a pattern offered by Spruce Ridge Studios from the artwork of Lori Brechlin.  
The gals must have had a hooking day together and remembered to take a photo for me.  Hi Grace and thank you Rena!


Monday, November 27, 2017

A Quilter I am NOT

Remember that infamous star quilt recovered from the depths of my attic started so many years ago?  Here is what it looks like now and I've managed to built another hurdle for me to jump.
Below is what it looked like before ripping out the left and right sides to re-position the stars and having them all facing the same direction.
Then once sewing the stars back all facing the same direction thought it a good idea to sew a neutral strip between the rows of stars. Figured it would provide two positive results: #1 put a smooth transition between rows of stars and #2 would require less star blocks for me to cut and sew together.

Why on earth would I decide to make my own pattern and work it 'as I go'?  If I had an engineers mind I'd have done all the calculations and worked it out way ahead of time so as to not need a seam ripper.

After sewing on the neutral border all the way around now realize it will not be the dimensions of the next row of star blocks ~ it will be almost half a block short in both directions.  You can see that below as I've laid the top row down and the blocks don't match up horizontally or vertically.
Now at a standstill once again, need to decide if another row of neutral should be sewn to make it large enough to accommodate a block OR rip out the neutral and sew star blocks together without that separation.  

Hmm, or.... I could extend that vertical and horizontal neutral strip between the top two stars on each end.   

Would love feedback from you *REAL* quilters.  Meanwhile the sewing room is a mess and I need to start making more of a mess cutting out all the pieces for more star blocks.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

You've Been Waiting.....

....or at least think you've been waiting to see what my project was at rug camp.  Am disappointed I've not made more progress.  But life happens and will make this rug my main focus before going back to Birthday Lion.
This is a design by Lib Callaway called #227 Primitive Horse.  Lib's patterns are now being offered by Jeanne Benjamin.  I understand that Jan Cole also offers the pattern.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family as I did.  The plus part was having left overs for future sandwiches, soups, chow mein, etc.  Oh so many more meals ahead; so that turkey is a gift that just keeps giving, and giving and giving.

Happy Saturday and hope you aren't exhausted from Black Friday marathon shopping.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017


My sweet son is preparing dinner for the family again this year.  Greg was accustomed to seeing his father cook so it came easy for him.  While I did a lot of cooking my first husband really enjoyed getting in the kitchen and making a Sunday meal, or at the beach would cook fish and do BBQ anything.  He also did a lot of experimenting with spices and everything always turned out great.

Where my son and my first husband differ is that my son cleans up as he goes so all my DIL and I need to clean up are the very last pots and dishes.  
Above is a design hooked from a Needl'love booklet called Falloween. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Chaos Continues

Just before attending Ocean City rug camp my wool room was rather organized.  BUT.....the chaotic mess has started again.

It began when returning home from camp.  In the burlap tote below is my wool and in-progress Birthday Lion rug which was my project to work on the night before class began.  The tote was a gift to everyone in class by Betsy.  Thank you Betsy!

Then I plopped the container of wool taken to camp and to the left of that is washed remnants recently purchased from Heaven's To Betsy.  Like I need more wool, but hey, it is fun to have those little extra pieces of wool you may not have tried yet.
Below on my cutting/drawing table is wool being used for the present project from camp.  It is in a heap and not folded to see what is there.  After this post will go fold at least the wool on my table so I can find the what is needed.
And here is the rug which needs some hooking attention.  Luckily my son is cooking Thanksgiving dinner so will have a fantastic meal with family without all the mess in MY kitchen.  Greg will cook the dinner, I'll take two pies, then my DIL and I will clean up the kitchen.  Easy peasy.  Right after dinner my sweet DIL & her sister will do the marathon shopping spree.  I plan coming home to hook with a glass of wine.
Hope to show you a complete photo of the rug in progress after Thanksgiving.  Besides, everyone will be busy so won't have time to read blogs.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Partial Throw Down from Camp

Unfortunately I needed to leave camp a day early and just before the throw down of camp rugs.  So was unable to take any pictures myself.  Was hoping other camp participants might have snapped a few to send me.   Seems Cathy Clark was the only person who had taken photos.  Thanks for sending these to me Cathy.

Sorry I don't know who hooked the frogs on lily pads but will add names if someone emails me.

Also don't know who hooked the rugs above.  However, I do know  it was Lois Moore hooking the mermaid rug below.
Pumpkins were a popular design for Betsy's class and appears two were totally finished.  One at the bottom was done by Pat Harris who did hand torn strips I think.  She then started a crow mat which is partially seen in another photo below.
Cathy Clark was also working on a pumpkin rug; not sure who it was that started and finished the squirrel and way in the back is a rabbit being hooked by Cheri Reid.  
Again I don't know who hooked the rugs above.  But below is that part of a crow Pat Harris started in class.
The pumpkin mat above was started and finished by first time hooker Donna Tate-Steinbiss, Donna, you did an awesome job!!!  Then she purchased a few more patterns and wool to do them.  And started one in class ~ you go girl!

Will show you what I worked on in Betsy's class maybe tomorrow.  Haven't done a lot of hooking this week.

Happy Sunday.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

What Kind of Hooking is This?

That was a question a new reader asked me today.  She wasn't sure if it was latch hook, locker hooking or what.  
Above is my design of a crow with berry mat which was hooked Magdalena style.  

Indiefamilygirl, I would have replied to you personally but you are a "No-REPLY Blogger".  So even if I hit the reply button you wouldn't have received the message.  If you can't figure out how to add your email to your personal blogger info next time use the 'contact me' box on my blog.  That way reply messages can be sent to you.

So the answer to her question is.... this is TRADITIONAL RUG HOOKING as our fore-mothers used to hook rugs.  While we traditionally now use mostly wool, the women back then would use whatever textiles they had on hand to make a rug.  Actually, mixed media is also done today but the hook is different than the top two in the photo below. 

Below is a sampling of different hooks.
Top left is a latch hook; I have NEVER used it, don't know how to use it  and only have it to show people.  To the right of it is a locker hook which I've never used either.  Both of those styles just don't appeal to me.

The two hooks in the middle are antique hooks which are nails filed down to make a hook , then embedded into a hand carved piece of wood.  This is what our fore-mothers used and after finding them in the antique store HAD to come home and walk in their shoes...uh, make that hook from her hand.

The bottom hook is a Hartman hook which is my very favorite.  I have several back-ups in case I lose or misplace one.  That happened at Ocean City and bought yet another Hartman from Betsy.  Later did find the lost one which had rolled under the bed.

Tomorrow will continue with the Ocean City rug camp and show those few photos I have of the 'throw down'.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rug Show from Ocean City Camp

Someone commented that it was like a one woman rug show by Saundra.  I took 11 rugs which were hooked between last November until this camp.  So my presentation had two more than all of the ones below.

Was sad to see such poor participation in this year's show.  Won't bore you with mine but will show you others which were there.  The hooker of the floral below is unknown to me.
Millie Joyce hooked this #3 cut rug below and even did the fringed edge.  Not a purchased edge, but she unraveled all the foundation and did the knotting herself.  OMG!!!!!!!
Sadly I cannot remember who some of the rugs were hooked by so if any of the camp members read my blog will be happy to receive an email and give credit if you know who hooked what.  
I think the rug below was hooked by Peg Dutton, please someone correct me if I'm wrong.  Would you look at those awesome colors?  Also the blotchy antique style background appeals to me too since I love primitives and antiques.
Have no idea hooked this lighthouse wall hanging but.... it appears a spirit has connected itself to it.  Look at that huge orb on the left of the rug and showing up on the black tablecloth.  
Don't know who hooked the rugs below either, sorry.

The two rugs below were hooked by Grace Ayers.  The second one is called "Hooker's House" and a light in the attic where all the friends of the departed hooker have come to share in the bounty.

Have a good evening.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Braiding the Betsy Way

I've had a few classes with Betsy and each time she demonstrates the braided edge technique promise myself to do that soon.  Said that to myself again at this class.  While I was taking still photos of the process another student was recording it.  She was to have sent a copy but never received it.  Not sure if my computer isn't reading her software or what the problem is.  So, here goes my still photos.

Betsy trims the foundation backing 2" away from the last row of hooking and does a running stitch all the way around securing it to the bottom of the rug.  
Betsy said all the rugs have turned out just fine with the tacking down of the foundation fabric.  Yet, I'm so anal would have to serge the edge before doing the running stitch.... that's just me.
In the photo above Betsy is showing how the gold wool binding hides the join seam and protects the foundation from unraveling (the other rug).

For the wool braid Betsy uses 2" ripped straight of grain strips.  It can be three of the same color or a mixture of the wool used in the piece to be braided. 
Again, they are straight of grain and NOT bias.  You would need 2 1/2 times the length of the perimeter of the rug to cover with a braided edge.  To lengthen strips the two pieces of 2" strips are placed at an angle to form an F and stitched cross-ways to get the look below.  Sorry, thought I'd captured a picture of the before but if you are a sewer you already know.  If not, then google 'joining strips of fabric diagonally'.
Here is what it looks like when the strips are stitched together.  One continuous strip of wool to use for binding.  As the sewing is at an angle it doesn't make a thick bulk at one spot and makes the transition of thickness ever so slight.
Below is how Betsy starts the braid... she pins the 3 strips of colors chosen and pins them together.

Then using a braiding attachment at the edge of the table starts the braid with a taught edge.  As the braid forms in length will move the braid thru the metal clamp and continues.  When I braid mine will probably go the cheap route and use an industrial clamp since I won't do a lot of braiding.  Who knows, maybe after I start will choose to buy a clamp so it works right.
After get the length of braiding needed, it is then ready to attach to the edge of the rug.  Betsy uses craft button thread which is a heavy duty thread.  She catches the edge of the foundation and bottom edge of the braid.
Betsy starts in the middle of the long side of a rug and goes around until it meets in the center.
Below is another example of how she uses the wool binding to protect and conceal the foundation and braided edge.  Her join is neat on the bottom and hard to detect.
Below notice how she pinches the butted edge together, using the same threat will stitch closed going back and forth until it is secure.   Slowly and strategically she snips away at the edges of the join to be sure only the top parts lay over the raw edge of the wool.

Then she stitches the protective flap which hides those trimmed parts of the braid.  The next step would be to stitch on the wool binding to hide the foundation which is still showing underneath the rug.
Below is a butted edge of a rug, can you see where the join is?  Me either and I was there.  
OMG, Betsy had SO MANY in progress samples to provide her students a step-by-step example of every stage.  When I grow up I don't want to be a rug hooking teacher.  I'd rather go to rug camp and play.  

Betsy, Loved your class and hope to see you again soon.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Keeping it Light

It was a rough day for me today so will keep it light.   Will post what I remember of Betsy's braiding technique soon.  

Do you recall those wine glass pj's on a previous blog post?  At camp after dinner one evening figured it was time to use those Perfect Party Pajamas.  So decided to go to the hooking room wearing them and show the gals remaining in the classroom.  Below is me with Pat Harris.
Uh, guess you can't call me an introvert, eh?  Hey, we all need a little fun and healing in our lives.  I find rug camps a great way to heal and connect with people.  You have no idea how this woman Pat helped.... thanks Pat.  And that was BEFORE my baby boy Ben.  

I'm the one tugging at my pj bottoms to get a photo of the cocktail and wine glasses.
Thanks to everyone at camp who helped gather me together before  leaving the hotel.  And for those who have connected after.  


Sunday, November 12, 2017

More Betsy Reed Class

Betsy Reed always has something new to share at each camp.  Me thinks me needs to take more classes with her.  She had the coolest idea for pouches and zipper bags to carry hooking tools, applique pieces for projects, even makeup in the plastic bags if you so choose.  
 Above are three adorable applique bags.  Two are just wool with drawstring and one with a zipper top (on the far left).
 Above shows a larger applique container and the pot under the flower is part of a cool is that?  The below photo shows the inside which is a purchased craft zipper bag.  Then was hand stitched to the outside wool.  Next time I go to Salisbury I'll need to check out Michael's to see if they have them.
Below is a photo of Lois who is hooking a mermaid pattern.  I had so hoped to get a more completed picture of her rug at the 'throw down' but had to leave before that happened.
Below is a photo of Jeanne Benjamin (on the right) a teacher sharing our room.  I had a class with her several years ago and purchased some delightful dyed wool.  Beside her is Sibyl Osicka who wasn't teaching this time but rather enjoying the hooking family in Jeanne's class.
In all the years I've attended either the April camp or November camp I've never taken a picture of the traditional High Tea at The Dunes Hotel.  Finally, just before the 4 p.m. close I managed to get a photo of Betty getting the delicious tea.  Hey.... this isn't tea bags you can purchase because I asked.  They make this stuff themselves and it is AWESOME.  There is no need for sugar or milk, just sip and enjoy.  
If the tea by itself wasn't special enough, they also have warm scones and cookies.  Must confess I indulged just one day although I wanted a scone EVERY day.  OMG, the aroma of the scone is still lingering.
Oh, wanted to show you this delightful necklace Betsy was wearing.  She told me it was purchased on etsy even told me who sold it, but by the time I got back to my seat I'd forgotten.  Will have to ask her again.
Also forgot to post this whale pillow Betsy was working on as a demonstration, thought it was worthy of posting since she offers the pattern.  When Grace Ayers saw it she said, "I need to have one".  Grace was working on Nantucket Broom Ride in class.  Am hoping someone will send me a photo of it to show in a future post. 

Next blog post will be photos taken of how Betsy does the braided edge.  

My house is sadly quiet.. I miss my boy.