Sunday, February 21, 2010

Testing - Idea for rug or pillow

Seeing if I can actually update my blog from my phone.

This photo is one I snapped with my cell phone of pillow I liked (photo of photo on monitor--that explains the poor quality).  Great idea for a scrap project!

Craft Day at Mount Olive Church

My friend Lena invited me to go with her to the monthly Craft Day held at a church near her house in Milpitas.  There were 32 crafters of all varieties--quilters, scrap bookers, jewelry makers, knitters and two hookers.  It was fun to see what everyone was working on.  It was fun to be in a room with so many talented people enjoying the company of friends and working away.  

A few ladies stopped by to see what we were doing and we demonstrated how easy it was to those who were interested.  Lena met up with our new friend Janice a few days later and helped her get a pattern onto backing and gathered up wool for her so she can get started.  It is fun to see the excitement I felt when I was first exposed to rug hooking.  I couldn't wait to get started!

I was also able to make some headway on my rug, hooking a big portion of the basket that has held me back from working on the center for quite some time.  I did a Google search on images of "traditional rug hooking" and "baskets" and looked at quite a few other rugs with basket motifs before I came to a decision.  I didn't want it to be mistaken for a brown vase!  I just hope it isn't too distracting.  It is interesting that I don't see the irregularities in my hooking when it is in front of me, but when I look at a close-up photograph--wow!

Craft Day is held at Mount Olive Ministries at 1989 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas in the Multi-Purpose Room from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.  This event is not limited to the ladies at Mount Olive.  We provide the table space, munchies and lunch. There is a $5 registration fee, payable at the door.  Please RSVP so there will be enough tables ready.  When you RSVP, let them know if you will need power.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Connie Beal at (408) 262-0506 or

Rounding the Corner

I did some reverse hooking and then reworked the corner.  I decided it looked much better to go straight past the edge of the last whole block for a ways before I started rounding the corner (rather than start rounding right at the corner).  I'm much happier with it now.

I am on the homestretch on this rug now.   It has gone pretty quickly. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Making changes ...

Ran across this photo in my flickr photostream where you can see more of original pattern.

Welcome Rug Update

2009-02-15 - Welcome Rug, originally uploaded by Sharlene W.

This is a perfect example of what not to do.

#1 - Have a plan in place before you begin. (All I knew for sure was I didn't like some things about this rug).

#2 - Work from the center out, not the other way around. (Um... the photo speaks for itself).

I'll explain myself--I worked the elements I was sure about first--it's not my fault they were all on the outside! I do know where I am going with this despite all visible signs to the contrary.


I also encountered problems with the upper corners.  After I had them hooked, they didn't appear symmetrical so I have redrawn them and I'm going to make another attempt.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flowers and Bunnies - Marion Ham / Quail Hill Design

I love this sweet little rug from Marion Ham.  It is hooked in a 5-cut on linen.  My teacher, Betty Taylor, dyed the wool from me.  I wanted the light background to match the decor of my home and I have been thrilled with the maize-colored background.  I learned about the necessity of making sure the pattern is drawn straight on the background with this rug.  My teacher checked it for me and it was so far off it had to be redrawn.

This rug is proudly displayed where visitors can see it on the floor in my powder room.  It was completed in the 2003-2004 time frame.

Wild Cherries

My first rug, made sometime in the 2002-2003 timeframe.  It is made with an overdyed antique black background in a 5-cut with a monks cloth foundation.  It was designed by Lib Callaway.

This rug ended up being a favorite in my rug group.  My teacher had previously made it with a light background and after I made it a few more in the group made it as well.  It was interesting how they differed in weight as the density of the hooking varied tremendously from one end of the spectrum to the other.

One end of this rug tends to curl--apparently I hooked it packed a little too tight at the beginning.  This is the only piece I have hooked on monks cloth.

My teacher, Betty Taylor, was wonderful.  She helped me color plan it from her stash and gathered together plenty of wool to complete the rug in a large plastic bag that she kept in her closet for me.  I would come hook every Thursday night with her hooking group and I was able to buy the wool as I went along.  That way the initial output of cash was reduced to the hook, frame and pattern.

Betty suggested I add a spot of light to the cherries to bring in a touch of realism.  My difficulty was remembering the light source and keeping consistency in my piece.  

I love the utility of rug making.  You end up with something useful when you are done.  People said, "Are you really going to put this on the floor".  Of course--a rug is made to use!  Unfortunately, we have three cats and they loved my rug too.  When I realized they were pulling out the loops I pulled it up, cleaned it and now keep it stored rolled up behind the sofa.  Someday I will have a place I can put it that is safe from the cats.  In the meantime, it needs a few minor repairs.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Welcome Rug Progress

2010-01-26 - Welcome Rug, originally uploaded by Sharlene W.

I am finding I really enjoy the effect of the checkerboard stripes in the background. I find I do a much neater job if I work the lines vertically on my frame rather than horizontally. I had worked several squares before I discovered this. I think I also tend to pack a bit more than I should, so I am working on easing up a bit.

I have been following the challenge here on the internet by another hooking blog to hook at least 10 minutes a day. I will say that first 10 minutes is the most difficult as you have to make a decision to sit down and pick up the hook. Once I start, stopping becomes the issue. I enjoy it so much I have to tear myself away to get to bed.

One positive thing about the squares in the background--I always try to finish a square before I end for the day.

A couple of negative aspects to the stripes is the starts and stops required when you hit a motif in the middle of a square. I decided not to be anal about making sure every square started and ended exactly the same. I don't think it will show enough to worry about it, but the proof is always in the final product!

I have made enough changes on this rug, both from the outset to those made on the fly as I hook to give me the confidence to design my own pattern for my next rug. I am busy gathering ideas for it and the excitement of thinking about it motivitates me to get this one finished.

I am really loving the colors on this one, aren't you?