Monday, February 22, 2010

the trials of hooking

But before I chat about my hooking trials, here is my progress on Alphabet Sampler. On the home stretch now but it's going to take all week I'm sure since there is a ton of filling in on the bottom. I love how it's turning out. I'm stitching mine on Silkweavers 32 count Golden Wings.

On Saturday I had pretty much a lost day since I left the house at 7:30am and didn't get back home until almost 3:00pm. But a good time was had! The rug store (called Log Cabin Hooked Rugs and is located inside another store called Just a Little Bit of Country). They were both wonderful and everything I wanted! Well almost. :-) The rug store had tons of wool both dyed and un-dyed and even had many still on the bolt. The hand dyeds were to die for but since I didn't have any projects that needed any I just fondled them. There were a few books but nothing really caught my eye there and a nice supply of hooks but I've been very happy with the one I've been using so I just kinda looked there. They only had one rug frame available and I was hoping to see a few different types but the one they did have was the type that I have been leaning toward even without knowing anything about them. Kits were everywhere and I did pick up three more - all small and all to be made into pillows I'm thinking.

The only sour point to my visit is actually very good. There were a ton of finished rugs on display and on the floor. I discovered within seconds of walking into the room that I am hooking much too tight. Bummer! I had a feeling that I was and it never occurred to me to take the rug out of my hoop and see if it was laying flat. So of course the second I got home that afternoon I did take it off and sure enough the rug curled right up. I had been thinking it would make a good pillow and now it will for sure. :-) So the rest of the hooking I did all weekend was about trying to find the balance between too tight and not tight enough. I think I'm ok with my row spacing but it's the individual loops that are too close together. But as I write this I think I could be wrong about that and my row spacing is the problem so when I start one of the new projects I'll experiment and take it off the hoop every so often to see if my rug is laying flat.

As for the rest of the store it was full of primitive goodies and even had a room full of woven fabrics. It just so happened that I needed some and I ended up buying almost seven yards! There was also a quilt store right next store and on the way home I found another quilt store! Of course I pulled right in to check it out. My bank account was surely dented. :-) I'll be making this store a regular place to visit every couple of months or so.

On Sunday I spent most of my day piecing two of my quilts. I did finish all 12 of the basket blocks (that's the photo above) for my wall hanging but have had to put it aside because the log cabin and courthouse step blocks now needed are done with paper piecing and I don't have the strips cut out yet. Then I almost finished piecing my star blocks for my Paintbox Stars quilt! I only have six to go and then I can start putting it all together. I had only planned on doing six or so but it was going well so I stuck with it. That meant of course I didn't cut any of my fat quarters into strips but that is a small thing and I'm thinking of doing a couple every evening until they are all done.

Here is where my rug is as of last night. The bird to the left looks really wonky around it's head but that is his little beak - it should come together as I fill in the background.
Here are the three kits I purchased. They are all small - the largest is 10 x 12 inches and I'm thinking to turn them all into pillows.

I'm working from home today - it snowed last night and is supposed to continue through the morning - I hate driving in it. But of course that means no stitching time on the train!

Enjoy your week!


Margaret said...

First off, I love your Alphabet and your basket blocks! So pretty! And your rug hooking -- I think that would be my problem too. Figuring out how close to place my loops and the rows. That's what's intimidating me. Cross stitch is so easy since you know exactly where to place your stitches. lol! I love how your piece is coming out! And your new kits too -- what fun! I'm looking forward to watching more!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Margie ~
You are doing a FANTASTIC job on your hooking. Your loops look very even for a first time project. Just an FYI ~ when you take a project off a frame or hoop, it has a tendency to curl. After completion, steaming makes a huge difference. It will make the piece lay flat and really helps make the loops look even more even!!! Way to go! Your new kits are very sweet. I use small hooked pieces as mats on tables, benches, etc., since I don't like to sew {{or am too lazy to try to make them into a pillow}}.
The sampler and quilting looks great, too. You are one busy lady. You must manage your time much better than I do!
Pug hugs :)

Giovanna said...

Lovely progress on everything, and what a gorgeous quilt!

woolwoman said...

I think you are doing super for a first time attempt at rug hooking Margie. You are going about it in a very logical manner - observing other pieces at the shop was very helpful I'm sure. More kits - HUUMMM - I think you're "hooked". Your sampler is lovely and the quilt progress - ooh la la
Have fun and enjoy! Melody

Melissa said...

You're Hooked, Margie! You're doing great and it's been interesting to read your observations and the other comments. I will watch your progress eagerly.

The Alphabet Sampler is looking great and your blocks too!

Siobhan said...

Margie, wow. Everything looks great, from your sampler to the quilt to the rug. You are so inspiring!

Paula C. said...

You sure do get a lot accomplished for as busy as you are! There is a shop here that you would just love called, The Buggy Barn. They are all primitive and mostly quilting but have prim embroidery and rug hooking too. They are designers so you might know who I am talking about. Good luck with your rug hooking! You chose some really nice new kits to work on =)

Kathy said...

Love your Alpha Sampler. And your hooking looks fabulous. That shop you found sounds like it could be addictive. :)

Theresa said...

Wow~ What a productive weekend!!! Sounds like you had a very educational trip to the stores. Your rug is coming along very nicely, I love the colors!!!!!

katie said...

I'm loving the sampler and the baskets for a quilt and the rug hooking is looking good also. Guess I should say I love it all and good job.

Stitch By Stitch said...

You have made great progress on the Alphabet sampler! Home stretch! I think your hooking is inspiring as well! Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

Great progress on "Alphabet Sampler." I did that one a few years back, and it still ranks among my favorites.

And wow! Your rug is really coming along, and your work looks great! Keep at it, and you'll be an expert in no time.

Tanya said...

I really like everything you are working on. Looking forward to seeing your finished hooked design.

MyLifesAStitch said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous crafty weekend!

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling your blog is bursting at the seams with creativity, colour and beauty.

Love & Hugs