Where I’ve Been and What I’ve Been Doing

The big rug hooking convention is coming up in a week. So being the very organized procrastinating artist that I am, I have had to work non-stop to try to finish the rug (that I started over a year ago) for the exhibit at the convention.

I finished the interior of the rug, and then started to figure out how to do the border and put the words onto the quilt. I consulted all my friends and a few professionals. The teacher that got me started on the rug suggested a red border with yellow lettering. What the wha??? I couldn’t figure out where she came up with that idea. But after trying out a number of different color combinations, I saw that she was right. A red coral was a more acceptable color to me, and so that started me on a 3 day adventure of trying to dye just the right color of red coral, and a little yellow for the lettering. I used to do a lot of dying, but I’m a little rusty now.

Anyway, after a few stops and starts, and a little dye spill on my new stove, I was very pleased with the color I got. I dyed over a number of different neutral wools, so I got a little variety in the final results, which I think adds to the interest when you are hooking.


When I am very busy doing things other than quilting, I revert to my little box of two inch squares to satisfy my need to put pieces of fabric together.


I had the idea to start with one square and just built a quilt from that, doing a color drift kind of idea. This is VERY fun to do. But it does take longer and longer to add a side on to it.



I also managed to sneak out of town for a workshop with Sherry Lynn Wood. She is a fascinating artist who taught us to do curved improvisational piecing in one day. Here are a couple of examples of her work:



She encouraged us to use lots of colors. Here’s a view of our work stations!


And, back to the rug! I used Gene Shepherd’s method of putting the lettering on without drawing it in first. I planned to put two lines of writing above the rug, and two lines below. I was almost all the way through the first line of writing when I realized that I had hooked the wrong line next to the rug!



Plan B: I would hook the words all the way around the rug, and hope against hope they would fit. I got to the last line, and realized I was running out of room. I looked at the verse again, and only had to leave one word out, and have it still make sense. Whew. Disaster averted.


Today I will be filling in the coral red background around the lettering, and then I will still have a bit of work to do, blocking, whipping the edge, and binding the rug. But I am fairly confident I will finish by the time I have to leave next Tuesday! I’ll be back in a week or two with more quilting news and views!!



8 thoughts on “Where I’ve Been and What I’ve Been Doing

  1. There are lots of things I can play with without pre-planning… but lettering ain’t one of em!! I always pre-draw it, if only to get the spacing figured out. But thankfully, you squeaked by on this one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And it is looking so gorgeous.

    That little block of twinchies is so cute. And I adore the color drift look. There is a minor movement in painted art, too, to do “twinchie” art. So adorable. So TINY! I’ve been tempted… I really enjoy mini art. But 2 inches…I dunno… where are my magnifier glasses?!?!?!

  2. Hello Debby,
    LOVE your quilts!! Just discovered your blog after doing a google images search for ‘housetop quilts’ – I got more than I bargained for! I’m designing a quilt for my mother & got the idea to do a housetop quilt with some of her favourite bible verses embroidered along the plain strips so was great watching your slide show to see some of your beautiful work. Do you sell any of your quilts/hooked rugs? Thanks, Sandy

    • Wow, that’s in the department of “great minds think alike” or something! Actually all of the housetop quilts are for sale. All of the proceeds from them is donated to organizations that help children in third world countries. I haven’t sold any of my rugs yet–I don’t make that many. Promotion is not my strong suit. My goal for next year is to get some of my quilts listed on Etsy.

      • That’s a great goal – you’ll do well. I too love Gees Bend & Nancy Crow quilts. I would love to do one of her workshops but living in Australia makes it a bit too expensive! Was really interesting reading your blog post about her workshop. The progression from strips of different fabrics sewn together to how they looked cut into blocks & stitched into a square was amazing. I also really like Denyse Schmidt’s style. I’ve done a couple of Kaffe Fassett workshops but not too many of the high profile US quilters seem to make it to Aussie shores. Have you heard of the Bosnia Quilt Project? It’s a collaboration between an Austrian artist & Bosnian refugee woman that has produced some beautiful art work & seems to have continued after the war. Here’s a link – http://www.bosnaquilt.at/de/galerie.htm. The Annie Lamott book looks interesting. I love quilting but a perfectionist streak does rear its ugly head sometimes. I keep trying to remember that the perfect is enemy of the good… But back to yours…I really like how you combine words & quilts – two of my favourite things! I’ve been trying to figure out how to combine the two for a while, without it looking kitsch, so got lots of inspiration from your blog. I’m not an embroiderer, so is there a particular stitch that you find best for embroidering text? Your work is beautiful so it’s hard to choose, but could you tell me the prices of Psalm 19 & Isaiah 58 if they’re available? Many thanks!

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