Just Motoring Along

Just Motoring Along

Hi everyone!  I had lots of rest this past weekend. Guess I needed it. Today I’m back and eager to get back at things.

I finished sewing on hanging sleeves and Hubby hung the Old Tyme Scrappy quilt on the wall.  I hemmed my jeans. I’m done the face mask order. I’m almost finished Autumn. I’m hand sewing the binding on the Trip-Around-The-World quilt.

The cushion cover is a bear I have to face this week. It’s a mess and I have to rip about one quarter of the blanket stitch out.  I also have to fix the rip in the back.  Sigh.  Have you ever had one of those projects where nothing seems to be going right?  Well this is one of mine.

Once all those are done I want to get back to my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging. Hubby already has a place he wants to hang it. I’m a bit miffed with myself that it’s taken a whole year to complete one medium sized wall hanging.  But I have done many things besides it, including a major move in April. While I had it on backing and started in January, I was living in someone else’s home and didn’t want to overtake it with exploding boxes of fibre.  I did for a while anyways, the few days I searched for fibre for the piece, but I quickly packed it all away.   I found my accommodations more suited to knitting and quilting small pieces. I worked on a gorgeous appliqué quilt pattern while there! Which reminds me I still have a couple of knitted cushion covers and the appliqué quilt to finish.

Lots of projects to finish!  Looks like I’m going to get some time to do them.  Nova Scotia’s Covid-19 cases are rising again and we’re limited to our five person bubble.  I’m staying home for the most part, and working on my projects.

If you’ve been reading, thanks! And have a productive week everyone!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Lots happened this week. We finally received our upright freezer – only four months after ordering it. I now have a small fridge freezer, a small chest freezer, and a medium size upright freezer. That has got to be enough for two people! I started filling and rearranging them this week.

I also finished sewing the hanging sleeves on the quilt. We went shopping for a curtain rod to hang it from. It’s more like a cafe rod. The quilt will be at the top of the bed by tonight.

I’m almost finished “Autumn”. I have just a bit of hooking to do around the letters on one side of the wall hanging. Then it’s onto finishing.

I struggled greatly and have the binding sewn onto one side of the Trip-Around-The-World quilt. I’ve pinned it down the whole way around the other side, ready for hand stitching. The quilt itself is not square, so it looks dreadful from the front. But then I remind myself I was only 17 when I started it, and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. It was a major learning experience.

I almost finished my nephew’s cushion cover when my sewing machine went wonky. The tension is totally whacked. I took the threading out and rethreaded the entire thing. Crossing my fingers it works. Today is the day to try it again. I hope it does work, because I have another face mask order to fill!

If you have been reading, thanks! Have a great weekend everyone!

Running Behind

Running Behind

I’m running a bit behind the last few days. Company on the weekend was great fun! But Monday was time to prepare packages for shipping and prepare for a visit and visit a bank official. Between them and resting up from the weekend my day was shot.

A heads up. I disabled the checkout on my shop. For some reason shipping went wonky and I have no idea how to get it back to normal. Suddenly it was offering free shipping on everything, and I’m certainly NOT getting free shipping from Canada Post!

Anyone who wishes to purchase something can contact me on Facebook at Jean Ottosen Studios or email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com

I did manage to fit in a bit of rug hooking between other activities. I worked on “Autumn” off and on. I’m not sure how well I like it. I’m thinking on it. This week I hope to finish hooking it.

I also have to get back to focusing on sewing. I want the binding added to my hand quilted trip-around-the-world quilt pretty badly. Plus I have jeans to hem, a moose design to appliqué to a cushion cover, and a hanging sleeve for a quilt Hubby wants to hang above our bed. Lots to do! I’ll post my progress Friday!

If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a great week!

A Week of Remembrance

A Week of Remembrance

An update on company first. Our friend from outside the Atlantic Bubble decided to postpone her trip till Covid-19 dies down. Our house is not a good place for quarantine.  It’s too small and the upstairs is open to the downstairs with no door between.

In sewing news I’ve finished on sewing the face masks.  I just have to put the filters inside.

I also sewed the binding for my trip-around-the-world quilt. My sewing machine became jammed while I was attaching it. All sewing has stopped. This time I really do have to take my machine in for cleaning and repairs.

I have my jeans cut and pinned, but I’ve yet to hem them.

I’ve yet to appliqué the moose on my nephew’s cushion cover.

In rug hooking news, I hooked some on “Autumn”.  I’m working on the words in the piece.

I ordered a “new” Red Dot sample from Kevin LeMoine of Punch Needle Rug Hooking in New Brunswick and it arrived.  I tried it out and it’s almost exactly like the old Red Dot I used to use!  I’m put in an order quick like.  I love the thin Red Dot for transferring patterns!

What’s up this week?  I’ll be hooking and entertaining company. I’m taking part in Karen Miller’s Rug Hooking Clinic today. Plus an online hook-in on Thursday.

Plus I’ll be remembering Grampy and all the other war veterans on Remembrance Day. May those who didn’t make it home rest in peace, and those who return find peace.

I’ve been reading in the news that the Poppy campaign by the Canadian Legion is not doing too well this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. The money from the poppy campaign goes to helping veterans and their families. I encourage everyone to get out there and support the poppy campaign.

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Have a great week!

Monday Musings

Monday Musings

This weekend I worked on my hooked mat from Beth Miller‘s class last week.  Here’s how far I’ve come to date.  I changed the way the words sit on the pattern to make them more readable

Friday we had our new TV installed. We’ve been without a TV for over a year now. I took the opportunity to watch Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Thursday Live You Tube video.  I also watched Textile Talks: Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafil, A Creative Conversation.  It was wonderful!  I found out about the Textile Talks during Workshop Week last week.  My TV and I will be busy the next while.

I have some sewing that needs doing. I am sewing face masks for some relatives this week.

I am also sewing a gift for my one remaining nephew who didn’t get one yet, from his Grandpy’s LL Bean shirts (see the moose appliqué at the top of this post).  Grampy passed away a couple of years ago and somehow this one nephew fell through the cracks. I managed to sew something for the other 27 people, but this young man was difficult to get ahold of during that time. You can find a video of this project under The Shirt Project May-June 2018 on my YouTube channel – Jean Ottosen.

I also have a quilt I started when I was seventeen to work on.  That was a long time ago.  I was up to a friend’s this morning for her help in cutting off a border that just wasn’t working.  It will make the quilt smaller, but it will still be a memory quilt for me.  I hand quilted 2” squares together in the Trip-Around-The-World pattern from sewing remnants of family dresses, shirts, pyjamas, nightees, etc. While at my friend’s we also prepared and cut the binding for the quilt. I am much happier about the quilt now.  This week I hope to attach the binding to the quilt.

As you can see, the bulk of this week will be sewing.  However, in the rug hooking arena I am going to be watching Nadine Flagel’s In The Studio talk on Wednesday afternoon.  I’m looking forward to hearing her approach to rug hooking.  I’m also going to be exploring some art and rug hooking links online.  I’ll let you know what I find of interest.

This afternoon I had a visitor from the Kingfisher Rug Hooking Guild in Halifax.  We had a great time chatting.  She shared where all the hook-ins normally are in our area.  Covid has shut a lot down for now.  She was very encouraging.  It was great visiting with another hooker!

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Hit the like button and/or leave a comment.  I know you’re out there.  I can see the stats! 🙂  Take care and have a great week!

Studio Makeover

Studio Makeover

Hi everyone!  I thought I’d do an update on the studio makeover. The main part of my studio is ready.  However we are storing stuff in it until the basement guest room cum family room cum classroom is completed.  The paint is drying as I type!

I’ve been working in my new studio, enjoying it for a couple of months now.  It has been a great space to work!  I have projects strewn everywhere. I could wish for improved lighting still.  But the LED overhead lights are a great start.  I wish I had some kind of track lighting to light up my gallery walls.  I have two gallery walls at the moment, and hope to have a third before too long.

Check out my current photos. It’s a bit messy because of all the work going on here, but it functions for me.  That is good!

My current projects are:

  1. an appliquéd moose wall hanging or cushion cover for my nephew, in memory of his grandfather.  I’m not sure which will be better for him.
  2. Fixing a hand quilted quilt I started when I was seventeen.  We won’t say how long ago that was!
  3. Dyeing the border colors for my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging,
  4. preparing for Workshop Week next week, and
  5. getting the guest room stuff out of my studio!

Hoping to get considerable movement done on these in the next couple of weeks.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone! We signed for the house, put down our deposit, and are looking forward to closing mid-April. It’s been a long haul. We’ve spent time browsing home building stores. I’m into the home renovation mode. I picked up several countertop and paint samples. We’ve arranged to check out the house again this week for measurements. While there we’ll take a few photos.

We have people lined up to help us move in the first weekend in May. We want to have as much work done on the house as possible before then. That gives us a two week window to renovate. So not doable if we use contractors, so I imagine most of the work will be done by ourselves.

In the home decor department I’ve finished the first cushion cover and am onto the second. I may, or may not, knit a third.

I’ve picked up the appliqué quilt again and am sewing more blocks. I hope to hook more on my South Korea wall hanging, and finish the “Hearts” coasters this week.

I’ve discovered Wayfair.ca this week! I’ve been exploring design options on my iPad. Mostly I’ve been disappointed with apps that advertise “Free” and then have crippled the app unless you buy a monthly subscription after you download it. So right now I’m trying to use Wayfair’s mood board feature. Haven’t figured it out yet, but I have browsed their shop for ideas and garnered a lot for my various rooms.

I have a wood floor lamp my mom turned on a lathe when I was a child. The lampshade sadly needs replacing. I’ve been struggling to find the right size and shape. Wayfair has it. For over $100!!!

A friend suggested I knit a lampshade. There is a design in “Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders” book I have. However it’s for a smaller lampshade. I’m debating it. I have the yarn already. It would take more time, and it would be a lot of texture…depending on the pattern used. I would have to recreate the pattern to fit the old lamp shade. Hmmm…

Lots happening, so keep an eye out on this blog! Hoping to have my studio up and running by Fall at the latest. Only one year late! Sigh. It is what it is.

What I’m Up To

I finished my first bed sock and am almost done the second. They are a bit large, but that’s okay. If I knit myself a real pair for walking I’ll go down one size.

I finished the first eight appliqué quilt blocks and am onto the next eight. Having a hard time finding time to do this, what with other distractions and only being able to do it during daylight hours. My appliqué stitching is a mess after the sun goes down, even with lights on!

I am reading “Eyes Open to the World” by Karen Miller. I’m really enjoying it! I’m halfway through the book now. I’m a slow reader.

I missed rug hooking, so I scrounged around in bins and boxes for some scrap linen backing. I freehand drew some hearts on it, on top of some squares that were already on the backing.

I commandeered Hubby to move boxes of fibre around so I could find the appropriate colours to prepare for hooking. I settled on pink, red, purple, and white. I am using my usual wool, silk, and nylon.

Then I discovered my portable lap frame had cracked during our move. I quickly mentioned it to a friend and she offered to bring one to our group meeting this week for me to borrow. I took my cracked frame to the meeting and asked for advice on fixing or replacing it. I was surprised the answer was try Gorilla Glue! So Hubby went out for some Gorilla Glue and is poised to try and repair my frame.

I hope everyone else is having a productive time. Take care and I’ll try and check in next week.

My hearts wall hanging
Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Today we’re having an “at home” day. The wind outside is howling and blowing snow around. Police are advising people to stay off the roads. There are a lot of snow drifts developing and accidents. We are taking their advice!

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I thought I’d take some time to fill you in on my latest reading:

I finished Meryl Cook’s “One Loop At A Time”. I found it a very interesting way to rug hook, having never heard of chakra colors before. I love the look of her work! I am so glad Meryl decided to pick up the hook and work her way through recovery using rug hooking! This book is the story of how Meryl worked towards wellness and recovery following surgery using rug hooking and her creativity. I find times of sudden illness have been life changing for me as well.

I am finally getting serious about Karen Miller’s book, “Eyes Open To The World”. I am loving her writing style! Both she and Meryl have great writing styles. They don’t waste words and they are very clear in what they say and mean. I like that.

I’ve finished chapter 1 on traveling and really seeing what’s around you. And I agree. It’s too easy to just go, go, go and not really see what’s around you. That’s what happened on our South Korean trip in 2017. Thankfully I captured a lot with my camera on that trip. It definitely helps to be a decent photographer when you travel, or to travel with one!

As one of the featured rug hooking artists in her book, I can see where I have an unusual word cloud of artists and people who’ve inspired me. I think sometimes we’re too narrow in defining which “artists” have inspired us. I have to include my grandmother, a fibre artist long before they were called such. She was an excellent needlewoman, seamstress, quilter, etc. She inspired me to make time for my creative work and to aspire to excellence in technique, as well as interpretation. She inspired me to create works with meaning – something I am still working towards at this time.

I also find my children’s poetry to be inspirational. They were pretty good poets as children – far better than I was! They created a large body of work and have given me permission to use some of it in my rug hooking. I am currently planning a three day retreat for myself in order to put more patterns on backing, color plan, and dye fibre for them. That’s a tall order for three days, but we’ll see how far I get.

Of course I am inspired by the usual Impressionist, Van Gogh, Emily Carr, Group of Seven, Georgia O’Keefe, etc. They all affect how I perceive and interpret what I observe. They teach me, as Karen writes, about light, perspective, and color.

I am also finding inspiration in unusual places. Take for instance, the manhole covers in downtown Vancouver. Don’t laugh! They have great designs I’d love to do a rubbing of some day. Unfortunately it’s rather crowded for that. I settled for snapping quick photos!

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Aside from reading and being inspired by Karen and Meryl, I’ve been busy quilting. The quilt I’m currently working on is from a South Korean quilt book a friend owns. I have no idea who the designer is or the name of the quilt, let alone the book. All I could decipher was the pattern diagram. A friend who used to be a quilt instructor gave me instruction on how much to enlarge it and how to quilt it using the freezer paper appliqué method. So far it’s working great! I have one block I have redesigned, as it requires tricky machine quilting to determine what it is exactly.

I’m hoping to turn it into a queen size quilt for our bed. We still don’t have a quilt for our bed. I’ve made lots of quilts for other people, so now it’s our turn. I have eight blocks completed and need at least forty-two total. That’s another thirty-four blocks! I can appliqué one a day.

I’m also knitting a pair of Merino wool socks from Ella Rae yarn. I was originally planning on making a shawl, but the yarn had breaks in it. In the end I decided to not only make socks, but to make bed socks. It’s cold where we live…especially at night. The breaks won’t matter if I’m just keeping my feet warm at night in them.

This morning I gathered up all my unfinished projects and took them to the upstairs living room, where it’s warmer. I stored them all in the large tote I have of projects I want to do or finish. I’m hoping to make strong headway on emptying that tote this year!

That’s my Weekly Review folks! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

January 2020

I have plans. Big plans. I sat down and went through some unfinished projects I’d like to finish, and some I’d like to start. It’s going to be a busy year!

Finished over the holidays were the following:
~ a soy silk/alpaca drop stitch scarf, modified free Ravelry pattern,
~ a soy silk/alpaca tuque, my own pattern,
~ an alpaca/Merino/bamboo set of wrist warmers, free Ravelry pattern.

In progress are the following:
~ a trip-around-the-world quilt…yes, I’m still working on that.
~ a South Korean appliquéd quilt pattern. I’m gathering supplies for that.
~ a needlepoint cushion cover. Yes, I’m still working on the hydrangeas.
~ the sandpiper crewel embroidery.
~ a hardanger wall hanging that just needs framing and hanging.
~ hardanger Christmas ornaments.

In the wings, waiting to be started:
~ a gold work wall hanging,
~ a robin needlepointing piece,
~ several sketchbooks of patterns to hook into rugs and wall hangings.
~ various scrapbooks from the last 18 years of photos.

This all sounds like a lot. But I have a partner in crime. Someone who can help me by encouraging me and holding me accountable. Not just my readers my friends, but also our current hostess/landlady. Our hostess is a craftswoman herself, and knows how valuable motivation in the form of accountability to someone else can be. She and I have decided to start a quilting challenge on Monday, January 6th. A block a day. That could be difficult for me as I’m starting with an appliqué South Korea quilt. But we shall see. Any forward progress is good progress in my view.

Beginnings and Finishings

I started the planning for 2020 by unpacking my Finished Work binders that contain photos, patterns, and instructions of various craft projects I’ve made over the years. It was a trip down memory lane and filled me with inspiration and anticipation.

I’ve decided this year, 2020, is all about finishing. I have numerous projects I’ve put off working on over the years. We are currently temporarily boarding with a very crafty lady. She and I have decided to embark on a finishing challenge for this coming year.

To that end I’ve pulled out my Trip-Around-The-World quilt again. I started it when I was seventeen, using fabrics leftover from my mother’s and grandmother’s sewing projects. It grew to include fabric from my sisters’ sewing projects. Until finally it grew so large I actually had to go out and buy fabric. It’s my experimental quilt. My first run at hand quilting (the center), AND my first run at machine quilting (the border). I used a mix of cotton and non-cotton fabrics…not the best choice I know now. But when I was piecing it in my late teens I had no idea. The backing is actually a piece of poly/cotton…also not the best choice.

I put a border I did not like on it at the suggestion of another quilter. Our hostess says she thinks it can be fixed with some judicious appliqué. We’ll see. I’m counting on her guidance. She used to teach quilting. I’m really just a beginner/intermediate level.

Aside from that I’ve pulled out the South Korea roof tile end caps rug and have been hooking it. I’m stuck. I want to dye some red-purple wool fabrics and silk for the design. I already spun the red-purple yarn I plan to use. However I have no place to dye fibre here really. It would be a major inconvenience for our hostess and for Hubby. But I’m thinking. I mean…I have a hot plate and drying rack. It’s definitely doable. I’d just have to have Hubby help unpack my dye equipment and supplies…and he is really not keen to do that. Our stuff is piled in boxes high to the ceiling here!

I did finish the Dropped Stitch Scarf from Ravelry. It’s a free pattern. I’ve yet to block it and weave in ends. Again, it’s for lack of space…and supplies. I could use a good drying mat for my knitting.

Other than that I have a needlework pillow top project, hardanger Christmas ornaments, the sandpiper crewel embroidery, another hardanger wall hanging to stitch, and one to frame. I also have a couple of quilts I want to sew…larger ones for our bed. Plus I have some needle painting and embroidery projects. Oh and a goldwork project. That will be it I think. If I finish half of that this year I’ll be doing well I think!

What about you? What are your plans for the year 2020?

The Shirt Project – DONE?!

The Shirt Project – DONE?!

Wednesday evening I finished off the fourth and final quilt of The Shirt Project.  Those who recall the origins of the project know that my goal was to make about 30 items from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts for descendants of my father who wanted them.  To see the projects check out the slide show below this post.  Wednesday evening we packed like mad and we mailed most of the packages Thursday morning.

All told I made 29 items in 2 months.  That is record sewing for me!  I had a lot of fun doing it too.  One person hasn’t responded to texts related to his memento, so I haven’t been able to start it.  Another doesn’t want anything.  That’s fine.

Total cost of the project was just under $500CAD.  Most of that was for postage.  I had to mail fifteen parcels across Canada.  Other than that the costs were for the Moda fabric for the puppy quilt, thread, sewing machine needles, and some sewing machine pressure feet.

I made quite a dent in my supplies, but not as much as I thought I would.  I have less quilt batting and less muslin.  Also donated one sheet set to the cause for quilt backing.  It was an old set with holes near the edges from being caught in our hide-a-bed mechanism.  It was destined for the garbage anyways.

Next up is a major freezer cooking session.  I’m due at hospital for a procedure next week and am not sure how long I’ll be out of commission.  Will try to post next Friday again.  Have a great week everyone!

 

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The Shirt Project – Almost There!

The Shirt Project – Almost There!

I’ve been working off and on, between company, on Dad’s L.L. Bean shirt project.  I finished the third moose and flying geese quilt and am onto the fourth quilt – a puppy quilt.  The puppy fabric arrived in the mail Tuesday.  It is Woof-Woof-Meow from Moda.  I purchased through Dinkydoo Fabrics.

Third quilt finished.

Moda puppy fabric from DinkydooFabrics.com

Design for the puppy quilt.

I packaged up six of the thirteen batches of work to send to the recipients.  Had to confirm addresses before shipping.  Also notified them all their packages were in the mail.  So satisfying to see this project come to a close!  I have to finish the last quilt and a jackknife pouch, and that’s it!

 

The Shirt Project – Quilts

The Shirt Project – Quilts

I was lamenting I might have to buy cotton yardage for the binding for these L.L. Bean shirt quilts, and then thought about it and asked myself “Why?”.  Surely I or one of my friends would have something I could use!  Before going to my friends I decided I needed to check out my own stash first.

I thought it was a lost cause.  But Hubby had been up in my sewing room rearranging the packed boxes for our move so he could get at the walls to repair and prime them ready for painting.  I wandered through the room and spied a clear tote with some cotton yardage in it that I’d forgotten all about!  Out of sight, out of mind.  Sure enough, I found fabric to bind one of the quilts in the tote.

The fabric for the binding on the second quilt came from Dad’s old cotton housecoat. I hadn’t cut it up for blocks because it seemed a bit flimsy.  As the binding is doubled over before being stitched down, I figure it will be good enough for a toddler quilt.  I finished sewing the binding on the quilts Tuesday afternoon.

Then I started designing the third quilt, which is going to a little boy.  Unfortunately I am running out of shirts!  It went through several metamorphoses until I settled on these colors.

And by yesterday afternoon we have an almost pieced top…

It doesn’t look half bad!  Thank goodness Dad liked blue shirts for dress shirts!  Hoping to work more on it today. 🙂

Have a great weekend and upcoming week everyone!

Quilting Along

Quilting Along

The Shirt Project continues!  I’ve moved on to designing quilts from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts and quilting this week. I started out trying to keep it simple, so it would go quickly and look good – a simple 4.5″ square quilt with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. When I moved my design board downstairs to the dining room the plain quilt looked, well, a little plain. So I added some flying geese squares. Not too many because I’m starting to run out of fabric to make things match. It still looked plain. I decided to add appliqued moose to the centre blocks of the quilts. Still not totally happy with the design, but it has elements that reflect my dad’s interests. I’m sure the recipients will be happy with whatever they receive.

Running low on fabric has its challenges. I was scouring YouTube looking for ways to make quilts from scraps. I discovered crumb quilting this week! A crumb quilt is a quilt made from pieces of fabric too small to make a piece for regular quilting – meaning usually less than 2 1/2″ in any direction. (This is my generic definition.) I watched all ten videos in one series by Darlene Michaud. I tried to make a 4.5″ x 4.5″ square. It took an hour to come up with a very poor looking one. I think I made my crumbs too small. Lesson learned. Having taken the time and thread to do that though, I think it will be easier on my time and thread to make a plain scrap quilt from leftover blocks 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and larger. I’m going to try and design one that way first. If I don’t come up with enough blocks, then I’ll switch to doing a version of a crumb quilt…with larger pieces of fabric.

Other than that, not much exciting happening this week. I am debating the best and most affordable way to bind these toddler quilts, and the best and most affordable way to get all these mementos to their recipients. I think a trip to Alberta is in order as thirteen recipients live there. It’s cheaper in gas to drive there and back than it will be to mail to the thirteen different recipients. Plus we get to visit and stay with relatives.

The Shirt Project

The Shirt Project

I’ve now taken to referring to all this sewing and quilting of Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts to “The Shirt Project”.  I finished the moose wall hangings Sunday evening.  So far I am a week ahead of my overall schedule for sewing items.  That is good because the quilts may take longer than I expect.  I want to hand stitch those bindings to finish them.

Here are the finished “flying geese” pot holders.  I found a basic flying geese quilt pattern online (just google “flying geese pot holders”) and adapted it to my materials.  Each one of these has two layers of Radiantex (R) in the centre, facing outward on both sides.  That makes both sides suitable to use with hot pots and pans.  These are really designed as hot pads for the table as they have no hanging loop.  However they will serve as both pot holders and hot pads.  They are 8″ square.

And here is the table runner in various stages.  It is roughly three feet long by twelve inches wide.

Next up are four 40″ square toddler quilts.  I have designs drawn in my bullet journal and have cut out the pieces for two and a half of the quilts.  I am waiting for coordinating fabric to arrive in the mail for one of the quilts.  I had a special order for “a puppy quilt”.  Dad didn’t have any puppy shirts, so I am augmenting his shirts with some puppy fabric.  I don’t think I have enough shirt fabric for the final quilt to be similar block style to the others.  I may end up making a form of strip quilt, or something like it.  Something that will use up scraps and still look good.  But first I have to do an assessment tomorrow and see if I have enough fabric left for one hundred 4.5″ squares.

Having a great week and hope to have a better weekend.  Take care everyone!

Weekly Review – Let it Rain!

Weekly Review – Let it Rain!

Hi folks!  It’s been raining off and on this week.  We badly need it.  I am happy to see it.

I had a great time at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair this year.  Found some friends selling their wares and chatted them up a bit.  I hope they did well.

This weekend is our multicultural festival, Mosaic.  Hubby and I were out to the Korean pavilion last night. The food was good and so was the show!  Lots of good dancers there.  Not sure yet where we’re heading tonight for Mosaic.  The weather forecast is for thunderstorms, which can be an issue here on the prairies.

I’ve spent some time fussing over the moose wall hangings made from Dad’s shirts.  The binding proved more than I could handle alone, even with YouTube videos to watch!  I called in reinforcements.  A friend came over and showed me how to do it quickly and, well, almost effortlessly.  I have one more to fix and one more to go.  Then it’s onto attaching hanging sleeves.  I hope to be done the wall hangings by Sunday evening.

After that I have potholders, a table runner, and three baby quilts to sew.  I think I’ll be leaving the quilts till last.

 

L.L. Bean fabric rocks!

L.L. Bean fabric rocks!

Okay, so mostly I’ve been sick with a cold this week.  But I did get some serious sewing done using Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts.  I have to say the fabric quality is excellent.  Some of it is very fine cotton, but it still looks good and, backed with leftover quilt batting, an old sheet, and lined with leftover muslin, it should hold up just fine in the tote bags I’m making.

This tote is stitched in the ditch to quilt the fabrics to leftover quilt batting and an old sheet for stability.  The lining, pockets, and straps are a tight muslin that was leftover from another project. I confess I had to buy thread, because I couldn’t find mine.  I may have to buy a seam ripper too.  I have a seam that needs to be partially ripped on the tote bag yet.

Dad had interesting taste in colors and patterns.  Once his hair turned white he determined he would wear any color he wanted, and did!  All the colors of the rainbow are here except purple.  And I notice there is no black or white either.

This week I sewed eight cushion covers and one tote bag.  I have three more tote bags ready to go.  Unfortunately company is sick and sleeping in my living room, which is open to my sewing area in the dining room, so no sewing today.  I decided I will sort through boxes looking for my fusible webs for the moose wall hangings that are coming up next.

 

Textiles of South Korea

Hubby and I in Dongdaemun Market, Seoul, South Korea.
 

One of the objectives of my trip to South Korea was to explore the handmade textiles in the area.  I had unexpectedly more difficulty with this than I thought I would.  The first part of the trip we were in Busan and Gyeongju with friends just acclimatizing.  The second part of the trip I was traveling with men.  I counted myself lucky to convince them to go through textile museums, galleries, and shops with me at all.  Poor Hubby left one shop in a daze after seeing the framed goldwork for 450,000 KRW.  That’s roughly $450US for  a 12″ x 12″ piece of exquisite goldwork embroidery.  Worth every penny in my mind.  But I digress…

Our first textile stop was to Dongdaemun Market in Seoul to order silk for rug hooking and pick up burlap for samplers for my students.

To understand Dongdaemun Market you have to think of a large warehouse, three buildings of it, 5 or 6 floors of it, all fabric/yarn/craft vendors.  One whole building is fabric.  Each vendor has a space about 10’x 10′ to sell their product.  So, for the most part they just have small samples out.  You check the samples, order what you want, pay for it, and then come pick it up the next day when they bring it in for you.

Dongdaemun Market is one of the largest fabric markets in Asia, and I was thankful to have help getting through it.  I have a friend with contacts outside Seoul who were able to tell me exactly where to go.  I got in, ordered the silk, and was out in half an hour.  Our guide was amazed!  It was definitely a lot quicker with him to translate for me.

As we went through various museums I’d stop and take photos of textiles and textile related items.  I found some interesting artifacts at the National Folk Museum of Korea, an unscheduled stop we just happened across on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace.  Check out the old looms in the National Folk Museum of Korea.

Also the traditional dress of Korea.

Traditional dress of South Korea.

We saw a lot of people walking around in traditional dress, especially women, because you have free access to key tourist sites if you wear traditional dress.  It was a little weird seeing people of all nationalities in traditional Korean dress, but one got used to it quickly.  I opted to not go for traditional attire because of comfort and time constraints.  We were really moving through sites at the rate of 10 – 12 kms. per day.

One day was devoted exclusively to my request to see textiles.  We stopped first at the Embroidery Museum of Korea. It had piecework or patchwork samples in it, but no embroidery.  I was a bit mystified.  There were a lot of books for sale.  The only one I wanted to purchase actually did have embroidery photos in it and was selling for close to $150US.  I regretfully walked out and went onto our next stop…the Chojun Textile and Quilt Museum.

The Chosen Textile and Quilt Museum was a small place, but larger than the Embroidery Museum.  And it had displays that included embroidery.  There was some lovely goldwork on display.  The quilts were not all made by Koreans or in Korea.  We were told that the exhibit is actually a partial display of a private collection amassed by a generous lady over the course of 40 years. 

After purchasing a sample of Korean piecework and some postcards, we headed off to Gallery 0001010 at the recommendation of the lady at the Textile and Quilt Museum.  She told us it was “in the basement” of Myeongdong Cathedral.  Hmm…Myeongdong Cathedral has no basement we could discover.  What it does have is an underground shopping mall nearby.  Sure enough we found Gallery 0001010 in this underground mall!

We were in luck!  Not only was the gallery there, but the quilt show was open, AND the artist, Lee Jae Woo, was there as well.  I had the opportunity to chat with her and her friend, and to show the guys some quilting.  It was a delight to meet her and her friend.  These quilts were machine quilted.  Lee Jae Woo learned quilting in the USA.  The small size of the quilt pieces and blocks just awed me.  Look at this one…three different levels of close up…

Hubby checking the corners to make sure they all match up!!!
Closer yet. Yes, those are smaller blocks even yet!
These small pieces were well under an inch square…more like a centimeter square. Amazing detail! Just beautiful!

By the time we were finished Gallery 0001010 it was suppertime and we were ravenous.  We had a great bite to eat at a local restaurant and shopped Myeongdong Market before heading back to the hotel for the night.

We also popped into the Hansangsoo Embroidery Museum in Bukchon Hanok Village.  No photos were allowed and there was not much happening.  I understand you can arrange to take silk embroidery lessons there if you plan in advance.  I did not.  There were some nice embroideries in there. They appeared to be mostly one particular artist’s work.

Other fibre things of interest?  The South Koreans excel at knotwork.  They create beautiful tassels and hang them from long strands of silk rope with elaborate knots made in them.  Check the sides of this painted panel hanging in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.  This is not a particularly elaborate one.  Our guide said it was actually quite easy to make. However I’ve made tassels and they aren’t always ‘easy’, and I have never been brave enough to try knot work this fine.

If you feel so inclined there is a Knot Workshop in Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul where you can go and take a workshop in creating a basic knot.  It is best to book in advance though.  Interestingly enough, there are a lot of workshops and little classes one can take if they book ahead.  I simply did not have time to do them.

When I asked around about the lack of textiles Korean women commented they were too busy working from 8 AM to 10 PM to have time to do handwork.  Most Korean women with families are up at 5 or 6 AM to prepare for the day and don’t get to bed till 11 PM or midnight.  Most textile work was done by retired women, and women who could afford to do it.  However, while that may generally be the case, I do know some South Korean mothers who make time for handwork, and do an excellent job of it.  Our guide’s aunt hand painted and made beautiful fans for Hubby and I from scratch…after she finished her day job.

I was disappointed not to get to see the dye garden at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, or the dye workshop located in or near Bukchon Hanok Village.  I was just too tired.  Hubby and I both agreed we need to go back again someday and see more of South Korea.

Inspiration Wednesday

Inspiration doesn’t only come from photos for me.  It also comes from other bloggers…and they don’t have to be rug hooking blogs either.  Here are a few blogs and blog posts I’ve been inspired by lately.

Elizabeth Barton’s Art and Quilts, cogitations thereon

Danny Gregory’s blog by the same name.

If you’re a knitter like I am as well, check out KnittingHelp.com for free videos on how to knit.

Anna Hergert’s Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Katie and Dori Hobbies Up To Here

If you are a stitcher or needlewoman, Sharon Boggins has a blog, Pintangle, with lots of inspiration and ideas.

And for a good change of pace I love to follow this blog out of the border country in Great Britain.

Inspiration Wednesday

It’s not that I don’t have a lot to do.  I really do!  And when I look around my home and start pulling out all the half finished projects and projects to do around the house, or making a list of them, or…well…in this case, photographing them, I find it’s inspiration to get on and finish a few of them.

If you didn’t guess it, last week’s Inspiration Wednesday theme was Warmth.  Can you guess today’s?   I gave it away above.  It’s my “To Do” list of projects.  All except my rug hooking…of which I have sketchbooks full of ideas.  Should keep me out of trouble for a while. 🙂

I hope everyone has a busy and productive day.  I know I will! 🙂

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A baby blanket

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The hanging sleeve

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A Korean applique quilt pattern.

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Plein air “Wascana Creek – Study”.

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Yarn!  It’s emptier than it was!  The rest I’ve already either used, given away, or sold.

 

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Spinning fibre

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An Irish chain quilt.

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A sweater

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Goldwork embroidery

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A gorgeous Needle Box.

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Needlepainting

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Crewel embroidery

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Needlepoint cushion

A bit about me…

WIP

WIP “Prairie Sky – Cirrus” wall hanging.

People sometimes ask me what took me so long to actually sell my work and start a business?  The answer, as with most things in life, is complicated.

I’ve been absorbed and immersed in fibre most of my life, from a very young age.  Learning sewing, embroidery, and knitting before entering the double digits in age.  None of it was very good, mind you, but I had the rudiments taught to me by my paternal grandmother.  She was an excellent seamstress and needlewoman, often winning prizes for her work.

As I entered my teen years I drifted away from fibre, encouraged by a school system that felt I was “matriculation” and didn’t need to learn to sew or create art.  I balked at the latter.   It was in my teen years I took up painting.  My interest continued into my 30s.

Painting-2-&-3

“North Mountain Lookout” and “Azaleas”

Painting-1

“White Elephant Inn”

But I kept coming back to fibre…  My grandmother taught me to tat lace as a teen.   My mother bought me needlepoint patterns and supplies.  I continued to embroider and sew.  I learned cross-stitch.  I attempted my first quilt at seventeen.  It’s still unfinished!  I did finish the quilt for my  first baby’s crib though.

Needlepoint-deer misc-embroidery Bird-cross-stitchWhen I had my first child I learned to hook rugs.  That was 30 years ago now.  I hooked rug and painted side-by-side for some time.  We moved and the paints were put away.  The rug hooking too.

Our new community had a wide variety of fibre craft opportunities.  I took up quilting…

Quilt-1 Quilt-2 Quilt-3And stitching…

Hardanger

Hardanger embroidery from the Hardanger Fjord region of Norway.

Goldwork

Goldwork

And finally settled on rug hooking again about 16 years ago.  From the beginning I knew I wanted to design my own work.  I also knew I didn’t want to just hook wool fabric.  It creates beautiful work, but it just wasn’t me.  And so the experimenting began…

pennsylvania dutch

“Pennsylvania Dutch” – t-shirts and double knits.

blog cohasset

“Cohasset” a free pattern from a magazine. Yarn and wool fabric, sculpted border.

Azeri

“Family Reunion” – wool yarn, wool fabric, beads, wire, silk thread, cotton threads, polyester thread, rayon thread.

blog hollyhocks

“Hollyhocks” – wool yarn and fabric, polyester yarn, roving, mohair locks.

And I took up spinning…

Canola fields art yarn drying for my

Canola fields art yarn drying for my “Prairie Sky” wall hangings.

I was happily hooking along one day at the annual local fair, demonstrating, when a man came up to me and started asking about my work.  By the end of the conversation he wanted to know why I had not become a juried member of the Saskatchewan Crafts Council.  It was the first time I’d heard of the Crafts Council.

It took a few years, but finally I decided I was ready to take the plunge.  I applied to be juried in and was.  That was 2 1/2 years ago.  Since then I’ve had a lot of fun learning the ropes of having a craft business.  It’s hard to believe it’s been that long!

It seems like yesterday I was in the “upper room” of the Affinity Gallery in Saskatoon having my work juried.  I look forward to many more years of fun and learning in this business.

A big shout out to all the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way.  Both online and in real life.  Without you I would not have had the courage to try and have a craft business. 🙂

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂