What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a day makes. Or maybe it was two or three days. But ever since I made my pronouncement that rug hooking would be my priority for the next month, I have been hooking steadily, and have even surprised myself with the progress I have made.

Here’s the rug so far:

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Close-up of the “far ocean”:

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A few rug hooking secrets: where the fish change colors from pink to yellow to pale green? That is one strip of wool that I dyed that way. I can manipulate where I start and stop the strip, but otherwise its all in the wool. The same with the “shading” in the far ocean. The wool was dyed from dark to light blue. The poor fishies still need eyes. I just have to make myself do it.

Close-up of the sun:

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So now “all” I have to do is finish the rocks in the third portion and do the sky and stars–it will be a night sky. And THEN I have to figure out how to do the border, which will have the words to the Psalm that inspired the design:

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!

Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise

before the Lord, for he is coming!

 

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Still Hooking

I am much encouraged by the progress I have made on my rug, and I’ve decided that there is a chance that I will finish it by the Biennial Celebration in Long Beach at the end of September, so I am going to make rug hooking my priority for the next month. That means quilting goes on the back burner. This worries me a bit, but sometimes taking a little break brings some clarity in the direction your work is taking.

Here is the “fish” part of the rug, with the sky filled in. I knew I was running short of the mottled pale blue and white wool, and so drew a line in close to the sea. Originally I thought that I would fill in with sunset or sunrise colors. But as soon as I drew the line, I knew that that was where the “distant ocean” needed to be, so that is being filled in with a deep dark mottled blue. So fun to make discoveries like this.

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And here is all the mottled blue wool that I had leftover!

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Some close-ups:

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And to keep my hand in quilting, I have this little quilt that I have been working on:

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All the mosaic pieces are hand-stitched with perle cotton in blanket stitch. I love the way it looks, but it is time consuming. A lot more will be added to this quilt. I think that I will be doing a lot of beading on it too.

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Oh, and I started this idea of doing a value study quilt only in neutrals, using some of the strip piecing techniques I learned from Nancy Crow.

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Beginning blocks:

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As I asked my BF: exactly WHY am I working in neutrals, when I love color so much? Still, I think it might be an interesting learning project, so I might do a bit of this in between the hooking!

 

A Little Diversion

This week I’ve gone a different way. I’m still quilting and sewing a bit. Like I said in the last post, embroidering the perle cotton to the cross quilt is slow work. Its a little boring, but its also very pleasant to do in the evening, when the only decision I have to make is what color of thread to use and how long to make the line of stitching.

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So I’ve been dipping back into a couple of my other fiber hobbies. I got a new electric spinning wheel that I LOVE. I can sit in my easy chair with my leg up, and spin and spin. It even has a mechanism on it called a “woolie winder” that winds the newly spun yarn evenly onto the bobbin. So I’ve been spinning up some of the fiber I bought at the Black Sheep Gathering back in June.

Two four-ounce skeins:

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And then I really started back in on my rug hooking. This is probably due to the fact that the big rug hooking conference is coming up in September. I’d love to show off the rug that I started a year ago. I designed it around the verses in Psalm 96. ( Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!  Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise before the Lord, for he is coming!) I’ve finished another fish today.

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And I also decided to finish up a little doodle rug that I had started for fun. The theme of the conference is “Color My World.” And since I love color, and this doodle rug has colors that I love, I thought I would try to finish it for that particular category. I drew the idea of a grid for the background in my sketchbook. More easily drawn than hooked! But its coming along.

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Close-up:

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And just so I don’t forget how to use the sewing machine, I’ve been playing around with this group of fabrics, making a variety of blocks.

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A couple days ago, I followed this blogger’s lead, and did some patchwork scrap doodling. It was fun, and I was pretty happy with the results.

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So that’s how its gone around here this week. A lot done, but it leaves me feeling like I haven’t accomplished much. Maybe its time to FINISH a project!