Thursday, February 25, 2010

Today I was a Hooker

Okay, don't be shocked.  Two posts in a week - unheard of from me.  But I'm so excited!  Today was a great day.  I finally made it to my long awaited rug hooking class with Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios.  It was so much fun, but I have so much to learn!   And I have to send a huge thank you to Melody for telling me about Kris!

I was the newby in the class, or I should say the newest.  A couple of the other women were new, but had a couple of weeks on me.  One woman (and forgive me that I don't remember her name) just started, had designed her own rug and was almost finished with it.  I hope that she brings it next week so that I can show a picture of it!  It was so cool!!  I don't have a lot of pictures because I didn't want to run around startling people and being aggravating.  Next week, I'll take a few more.  Kris' wool collection is to die for!  And the finished rugs she had were seriously drool-worthy!!!

In this picture, Kris is demonstrating how to do different types of eyes.  In the background, you will see a face (actually a face of an angel on a rug that I just have to do - yep, already I have the fever - LOL).  Kris had such wonderfully different methods of doing eyes depending if it's an animal's eye, a person's, etc.

These are some of the different eyes that she demonstrated.

There was just so much to see and drool over - honestly.  By the time that I watched everything, looked through kits and admired everyone's work, and Kris taught me the ropes of beginning hooking, it was almost time to leave.  This is what I ended up getting accomplished:

Not a whole heck of a lot!  Just about nothing!  I do need to trim that one piece of wool sticking up! Kris suggested that I start with something small for my first time.  The larger pieces were pulling me like a magnet.   This is a pattern that Kris adapted from Lori Brecklin's (Notforgotten Farms) Folk Art and she has a number of Lori's patterns, so you know that there is going to be huge hole in my wallet now.  I just can't wait until next week!  Kris is such a great teacher and a really nice lady, that I know that this is going to be a great learning experience.   I know that Kris was right about starting small even though I wanted to start bigger.  With any luck, I'll have this finished by next week and can move on to bigger things!

And not to have anyone think that I've abandoned everything else, I have been quilting:

On Round Two of the Bullseye Quilt.  Each row of circles takes a little bit of time because you have to cut the back out of the circles as you layer them so you don't have this thick mess underneath, so that takes a little bit of time.  One more row of circles and then I'll be ready to slice and dice them into quarters.  That's the part that scares me!  These fabrics seem kind of wonky to me, but they're what came with the kit.  I'm sure that once I do the slicing and dicing, and piece them back together,  I'm going to be happy with it.  Especially once it's been quilted and thrown in the wash so that the edges of the circles fray.  I don't think this will be the last one of these that I make.  I have some great homespuns in the stash pile and I can see them being used for one of these quilts.  And I have been stitching too - but at this point, it's just a bunch of birds on the fabric.  I should have more soon!!!  Although tonight I just want to be a hooker!

Thanks to everyone who sent me such lovely compliments on my quilt and Mary Corey!  I appreciated all the great things that you had to say about them.

Hope that everyone has a great weekend!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mary Corey, Stripping and Hooking

Happy Monday everyone!  It's snowing like crazy here in Michigan - up to 8" is what they're calling for.  And wouldn't you know it - everyone is home - DH and the kids!  ACK!!!!!  But they seem to be keeping to themselves which is a good thing (a very good thing if they know what's good for them that is - LOL).

I've been stitching, sewing and hooking my heart out and I'm having so much fun.  Cari left a comment about being a stripper and a whore and getting stitch ass daily!  ! I loved that!  LOL  So that makes me, what?  A stripper (quilting),  whore (scissors) and a hooker (rugs)!!!  And I do try to get my daily allotment of stitch ass in!  Just don't tell my kids or DH what I'm getting into!

I finished Mary Corey this weekend after having to frog out most of it because, well.....I just can't read a chart.  There was one symbol - a square - repeated in small, medium and large.  Obviously, I couldn't determine what was what and stitched 1/2 of it wrong which resulted in a lot of frogging!  UGH!!! I don't know why it is, but these smaller projects just befuddle me.

Mary Corey (aka Diaper Babies)
The Goode Huswife
30 ct. Apple Brown Bindy and DMC Threads
Distressed with Walnut Ink Crystals

This would have been a real quick, fun stitch if I could have read the chart!!!  I tried my hand for the first time with walnut ink crystals and really like how it turned out!  Bake in the oven for a few minutes, and TA-DA!!!  I may still add a little over to the left side - not sure yet.  I'm going to frame it pretty close to the design, so I don't think that's going to matter.  Oh, and if you'll notice, that fruit basket is just a tad too close to Eve.  I swore that I wasn't ripping out another stitch.  I decided that the basket could be close at hand so dear Eve could reach over, grab that apple, hand it to Adam and get that party started in Paradise!  

I have to thank everyone for their suggestions about the border on the quilt.  I decided to go with it since I had all the pieces cut out.  It turned out to be a biggie:

I have to thank my two helpers - Nick and Catie (whose polka dot robe you can see on the left) for holding this up for me.  I do love how it turned out even with the borders.  I was really on the fence with it and ended up staring at it for a couple of days before finally adding them.

So what to do next?  Well, I threw another sampler on the scroll rods, but haven't much to show for it.  But I did start cutting out the pieces for the Bullseye Quilt

This quilt is turning out to be so much fun.  I still have the two piles of squares in the front to cut into circles, but I can see that I'm going to have a ball with it.  I have to thank Kim for convincing me that even with my anal side, that I would have no problem cutting out circles freehand.  She was so right!!  I plan on layering this baby together this afternoon.

And speaking of quilts - you know, I just can't resist a good sale (I really need to stop trolling the internet!!!!).  Anyway, these things just somehow ended up in the UPS man's truck and into my waiting arms this week:

The bundles are for a quilt called The Farmer's Wife.  It's similar to Dear Jane, but not quite as labor intensive.  It's a BOM (Block of the Month) so I'll have a smile every time these arrive in the mail.  I don't have the book yet, but should soon and then I can get started.  I think that I'm going to have a partner in crime with this quilt (waving at ya Kim).  The tin in the back is for a Pineapple Quilt.  I have wanted to do one of these forever.  And looks what's inside:

You just have to love those rolls of Moda fabric!!!   Quilty goodness!!! This may have to be the next quilt after the Bullseye.  I don't know - it's going to derail my plans to get stash out of the way - but I'll have done two from stash, so time for something new me thinks!  LOL

This is what I accomplished in rug hooking.  I think that I have this baby crammed a little too much with wool.  I also didn't outline the pumpkin sections, which I should have done first!  But the beauty of this is that you can just pull the wool out and start over.  Which I did after I sent this picture to Melody so that she could critique my work.  She said that I've done good, but I did end up ripping this out and starting over.  But I can tell you, I'm going to love doing this!!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that snow nor sick kids keep me from going to this week's class.  I really can't wait to get started (although I think I saw DH trying to get the credit card out of my wallet!).

One thing I forgot in my last post was to post something for Berit.  We have gotten into a small discussion about the goodies that you can find at Marshalls/Home Goods.  She liked the cabinet I got for my scissors and I told her that I found another goodie there the following week (DD's dance night and me having 2-1/2 hours of time to shop is deadly sometimes).  Anyway, I promised to post my latest find:

I liked the keys okay, maybe not so much what was behind it.  But then I saw that it opened up and that you can remove the keys and saying and that there were little hooks inside.  I still may keep the keys but line it with another fabric - or, perhaps put some scissors in the lid or some stitchy something - the possibilities are endless, I think.  And the hooks could hold fobs or small stitched pieces  (whenever I get my butt in gear to make them)!  So Berit - be on the lookout - I think it was just $14.99 - a deal in my book.

Well, that's it for me.  Everyone is off to their own pursuits.  DD's actually stitching BBD's Eiffel Tower and I hope to have pictures soon, plus she pulled out a needlepunch kit I bought her at Joanne's, so she may be giving me a lesson before the day is out.  That is one craft I haven't tried yet.  But until then,  I plan on going down to the craft room and making myself dizzy sewing circles!

Thanks for all the lovely comments and suggestions again about the border of my quilt!  It really makes me smile every time I read them.  Wishing you a wonderful, stitchy week!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Learning My Alphabet and What's a Little Spilled Tea?

Happy Thursday everyone!!  It has just been one of the weeks.  Stitching, quilting, cleaning up spilled tea (ahem, Terri!).  This week has really run the gamet, but yet it's been pretty productive.

This week in the stitching arena, I've had a bit of startitis.  Ever have those times when you just don't know what to stitch, so you dig around and make a huge mess?  Well, that was my week.  After finishing the Yellow House Sampler, I couldn't decide if I should stitch on a WIP or go for something new.  Well, I opted for the something new.  For all the stash diving, I picked a couple, but definitely not the most exciting pieces.  A note here - I did pull out a WIP - AAWFAA and took it to Guild, but as luck would have it - or maybe it was a lucky thing - I pulled the wrong project bag and didn't have the right threads.  Probably a lucky thing when you read the story of the Sampler Guild a little further down. Anyway, this is what I did work on this week:

And this one:
Pretty boring!!!  I'm almost done with the top piece, so I'll just wait until I'm done with it before I reveal the whole picture.  But don't you think that if you had startitis, you'd pick up something a little more fun than alphabets?  My DH still wonders if I'm losing some memory faculty in my advancing years and need to refresh myself by stitching things with alphabets!!!  But these are fairly small pieces and will be a welcome relief from the BAPs I seem to always pick out!

Now, a little bit about spilled tea with an update on the life of The Yellow House Sampler.  

You can read all about it on Terri's blog, but there was a slight mishap with my poor sampler.  We had Show & Tell at Guild this weekend and I took my Yellow House Sampler to show.  Well, we are Sweet  Tea Lovin' Girls, and of course, those were up front and center on the table along with my dear, sweet sampler.  Well, I won't go into all the details, but poor Yellow House got a bath in iced tea!  And poor Terri just about had a heart attack (have you recovered yet Terri?)!  Me?  Well, I don't know if I was in shock, or what, but I just kind of sat there looking at it trying to figure out the ramifications of the sampler getting a tea bath.  But the reasonable side of my brain probably thought that everyone is trying out the tea dyeing thing, so what the heck!  Well, probably I was more in shock!   LOL  But no harm, no foul - everything is fine and it looks the same as it did before.  I think we did more damage interrupting the meeting (which makes me laugh every time I think about it) than was done to my sampler.  I think that poor Terri thought it was ruined, but you know, these samplers a lot of times look like they've been water damaged, stained, run over by cars, etc., with all the various shading of the fabrics, so if there was some tea stain, let's just go for it!  I'm still thanking my lucky stars though that I didn't use overdyed threads!!!   (Note to self: buy Terri a non-spill, insulated sippy cup for next meeting).

On the quilt front, I've made great progress on my quilt (about time, don't ya think?):

But it's not quite done yet.  There is a pieced border and I'm not sure that I like it with the border.  What do you think?

I don't know - I like the simplicity of just having the thin black edge, but yet at the same time....hmmm, I'm still not sure.  Oh, if you blow these up, please ignore all the threads.  I have this weird thing with loving to sit with the finished top and spend an evening clipping all the threads that I didn't clip because when I sew, I sew fast!!  And plus, I just love playing with the quilt top - touching it, spreading it over me while I work - I know, I'm weird!

Another sweet (no, not sweet tea) thing that happened in the past week was that dear Melody sent me a wonderful package in the mail in anticipation of my upcoming rug hooking class.  Wow, I just realized that I'm going to be hooker and a whore (scissors) - I know they're the same, but I can officially be called both.  Hmmmm, that doesn't sound too nice!  Anyway, Melody sent me the nicest package:


She was such a sweetheart and send me a small canvas and the wools to try my hand at hooking!  Isn't this the greatest?  She also send a maple hook in a French General drawstring pouch!!!  I am going to always remember her wonderful act of kindness every time I look at the rug and that FG bag (just love, love the FG things).  I have only played around with this for all of about two minutes (every time I settle my hiney in the chair to watch the video, I get booted off by the kids), but I'll definitely post more progress after this weekend!  Thank goodness for videos on YouTube because DD is sick today and I couldn't make my first hooking class (last week's class was cancelled due the snow we had up here - yeah, doesn't snow all winter and BAM, it does on the day of class)!  AUGHHHH!  But I will make up for it at the end.  I just can't wait to get started really learning about this craft!

That's just about all the excitement for me this week.  I think that's enough!  Thanks for all the wonderful comments you left on my last post and just a word of advice here - if you see Terri, guard your stitching!!!  If she wants tea, find a table in the corner for her!  LOL  Only kidding, Terri!!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yellow House Finis And Sweet Things!!!

Can you hear me whooping it up over here????  Well, I am because I finally finished the Yellow House Sampler yesterday (envision me dancing like Snoopy!!!!).

The Yellow House Sampler
Sheepish Designs
35 ct. Pearled Barley and DMC Threads

This sampler isn't large at all, but it gave me more fits than my kids do!!  The chart was a little mixed up as far as colors go and just about drove me to distraction, and then I made the fatal mistake of saving the border pretty much until the end!  DUMB!  Not loving borders, that was a lesson learned.  Don't do that again!!!  Anyway, this would have been finished during the Super Bowl when I parked my butt in the stitching chair, but I ran out of the green thread for the leaves!!!  I tore my stash apart, every project, every conceivable place where floss may be, thinking that surely I would have the color!  NOPE!!!  Thank goodness the boys were engrossed in the Super Bowl because I'm sure that they would have had me committed or gently led me to bed and told me to sleep it off!  Anyway, a quick trip to Joanne's yesterday remedied the situation and I did something I never do - slapped my behind in the stitching chair, turned on the noon news and finished the baby up.  For all the fits, I do love it!!!  

Michigan is finally, yes, finally getting some snow today!!!  I know, you people on the East Coast are probably mumbling obscenities under your breath at me (or possibly speaking in loud, nasty tones), but I'm thrilled.  I'm so tired of seeing brown grass!  I am hoping that the snow gods will look kindly me (and all the other mothers) and not give us enough snow that the kids have to be home tomorrow!  LOL  But they're predicting 6 to 10 so we'll see what happens.  

On the quilting front, I have almost all the blocks assembled for my quilt:

I just have to finish up sewing the last row on the blocks, and it's time to line them up and put the baby together!  

The scrap bowl is overflowing!!!!

I'm already dreaming about the next quilt.  I've got a few lined up, but the one that calls me the loudest involves loads and loads of circles, but I think this is going to be a fun one:

You basically cut out three sizes of circles, sew them on top of each other on a square base, cut those into quarters and reassemble.  You don't have to line the circles up, just go for it!  Sounds kind of fun, doesn't it?  After quilting, you throw it in the wash and because you sew 1/4" from the edges of the circles, the circles fray giving it a time worn look!  I can't wait to get started.  I'm so anal though, the directions say to cut the circles freehand.  Yeah, right!  My severe anal side probably won't let me do that.

And speaking of quilts, I was just minding my own business last week, taking an innocent drive (well, maybe not so innocent, I was in pursuit of spending money on stitching supplies - fabric to be exact), and I came across a quilt store that I hadn't seen before.  I don't drive up to this town very often, so that could explain why I never saw it.  But don't you just love coming across something unexpected like that - ah, the small joys in life!  Well, I hesitated checking it out because I know me, and the end result could be a smoking charge card.  I don't know what happened, but that darned van, she just turned the corner, went into the parking lot and refused to budge!  LOL   So, of course, I had to get out and investigate the store.  And after an hour, I came out with this - some Sweet Things - Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes:

I have been very intrigued by the new things out in the quilting world, like Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, etc., since I haven't done much quilting for the past few years. But they sound good enough to eat, don't they?   Well, I couldn't pass up this Layer Cake from Moda called Aster Manor!  Ten inch squares of loveliness packaged together.  The colors aren't very true, due to no sunshine here today, but I just love the fabric, and of course, I needed a pattern for it!  

I also had to pick up a Jelly Roll (on the right) - it was on sale, (and you know when it says it's on sale, I'm drawn to that word like a magnet),  a book with different Jelly Roll quilt patterns, and then BBD's When The Cold Wind Blows book that I've wanted to add to my collection for some time!!  Ahh, quilty goodness!!  This store has the greatest things, so I'm sure that I'll be back there again (and my DH hopes that it's none too soon!!!).

Then I went to Stitches N Things.  The shop is small, but she's the only game in town for hand-dyed fabric.  I don't know how I managed not to come out with anything but the BBD book, Joyeaux Noel (love the cardinal piece in the book), but I did come out with the highly coveted fabric:

Do ya think I bought enough?  Well, I was so desperate for linen, and I'm not a fan of ordering through the mail, especially for a pattern where the fabric is no longer available and I don't have a clue what to order for it.  At least here, I can floss toss, etc.  And I love looking at all of it - touching, etc.  And btw, they do let you touch the fabric there!!!  Anyway, I don't think there is going to be any excuse for not getting in a lot of quality stitching time!!!  Now I'm wondering if I can convince DH that these were fraudulent charges.  A couple of weeks ago, our charge card was compromised with some lame brain charging computer supplies.  Do you think I could get away with telling DH that some crazed woman went on a craft rampage and the charges are all fraudulent?  Nah, he'll know it was me!  LOL

Well, that's all for me this week.  Stay safe and warm, especially everyone on the East Coast.  I hear that you're in for even more snow!!!  I can't believe all that you're getting.  And to all that read my blog, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving the wonderful comments that you do.