31 July 2009

Finishing A UFO.... Oak Leaves Tote

Why did I put this beautiful piece away??? Literally, it was stuffed in a bag at the back of my closet for more than a year.

This great Bev Conway pattern was given to me as a prize a couple of years ago by Tammy, of Skip To My Ewe. It's a 2-sided tote (one side is shown) with a nice shape.

Michelle Micarelli did a wonderful job getting me started on it at a workshop hosted by our guild, Wine Country Rug Hookers. Michelle helped me step outside of my color "box" and combine my leafy greens in ways that I would not have on my own...... and, she convinced me to use a #6 cut. This was an important choice because the detail would have been lost with a wider cut.

(It did take a bit of convincing on her part since I'm rather wedded to wide cuts)

So why did I put it away? I've thought about this (since I can't really remember!) and I think that, first, I got distracted by another project and second, this pattern is on Monk's cloth and it was bothering my hand quite a bit to work on it. In retrospect, I should have redrawn it on to linen... live & learn!

Another lesson: When you put away a project, be sure to put all of your wool with it and don't raid that wool for another project. .....took me a week to find the wool! And, of course, I had to dye more of the color I stole for a green pumpkin....what formula did I use for that sparky green???

In a couple of days (once I take a few good photos) I'll post my recent progress on this. I'm very happy with the results and it's going to be great fun to turn it into a tote bag.

17 July 2009

You Must See This Rug Collection

Mary Shepard Burton is a noted rug hooking artist and author (A Passion for the Creative Life: Textiles to Lift the Spirit) who has donated a collection of her work to the American Folklife Center, a research center of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
The site has excellent pictures of the pieces that will surely be an inspiration to all rug hookers. There is a great zoom function that allows you to see the fine detail in the rugs and many have a link to commentary by the artist.
It's encouraging to see our art and craft form in a venue of artistic respectability.
Be sure to take a look:

The Mary Shepard Burton Collection

11 July 2009

Primitive Spirit Rug Hooking Patterns

I'm so pleased to be able to offer a variety of primitive and whimsical rug hooking patterns from Primitive Spirit by Karen Kahle. The designs are available on my website as patterns on quality linen and several are now available as kits with both the pattern and my premium quality hand dyed woolens included. If you're brand new to rug hooking and don't yet have your own cutter, you can even order the kit with the strips prewashed and cut.....get hooking right away.
My favorites for a beginner are Lavender Welcome, Bittersweet and Friendship (a great novice pattern!).

I have one or two projects to finish up and then I'm going to hook Almond Blossoms.....I have the wool all dyed and tossed on the floor of my studio so that I can pick and choose which colors are really working for me. I'm reshaping the outline of the rug slightly because the completed hooked piece will be used as a teaching tool in the pillow construction workshop that I'll be teaching in my studio in October.

I've never done any proddy but I think this will be a perfect piece to try out that technique for the almond blossoms. I'll post pictures when I get it started......but, no promises about when!

03 July 2009

Happy Birthday USA!

Wishing you all a memorable 4th of July....