~ Rug Hooking ~ Penny Rugs ~ Cross Stitch ~ Punchneedle ~ Quilting ~ Crochet ~ Needlepoint ~ Vintage Good Life ~

Sunday, May 21, 2017

And we're off!

Off into a direction to get some hobby projects underway! :-) Thank you for all of the positive reinforcements concerning my clearing out the old projects... it truly is a "reboot"! And now, each time I enter my sewing area... it feels peaceful! As if I can sit and relax and enjoy stitching on a project... and isn't that what hobbies are all about? Stress reduction and happiness? :-)


Let's start with a table mat I've been stitching on since January... it's finally a finish! I purchased this as a kit from Timeless Traditions. It's a Norma Whaley design called "Heart Table Mat", and finishes up at just under 19" square.


The main background is an osnaburg. The applique is all hand dyed woolens, hand stitched with 2-strands of DMC floss. The border is a homespun. While the pattern directions called for some fusible fleece for the "quilting".... I decided to stick with a more traditional finish and used a wool batting and a black Jan Patek fabric for the back.


Quilting was just some simple outlining of the main motifs using the walking foot on my machine. The binding is self binding? I think that's what it's called anyways... when you fold the backing towards the front and then stitch it down. I programed my Janome for blanket stitch and chose the settings that closely matched the size of stitches I did by hand on the applique.


It was fun to try a few new features on the machine! :-)

What's next? Well.... let's see if we can do something with a pile of odd ball fabrics that didn't quite fit in with any of the other projects...


I've been slicing and dicing... *grin*

Update coming soon!

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!

~Sharon


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Quilts & Random Thoughts

I start each and every day with a pot of coffee and a handful of blogs! I've been having a good time reading everyone else's blogs... whether you update daily, or monthly... so, I thought I'd let you know that your time and effort to post tons of inspirational thought, tutorials and pictures is very much appreciated! :-)

Then I thought... well... maybe it's a good time that I update my blog as well! :-) Keeping busy about sums it up... I was fortunate enough to attend a local quilt show in the beginning of March. So, the pictures of the quilts that were displayed will be the main attraction in this post... with a little bit of random thoughts used as "filler"... Please do click on the photos to see them larger! :-)


So. As read everyone's blogs, and walk through quilt shows... and watch "how to" videos on Youtube and Craftsy.... my mind goes into happiness overload! And. I enjoy it. Immensely! :-)


But then...the time comes when I need to turn off the computer and finish with the morning routine... which eventually leads to either driving to work for the day...driving to PA or DE for a day trip... or simply just heading out for a meal with friends... club meetings... a visit to the LQS... general errands...


 ...and eventually one (enjoyable) day blends into the next...


...and then I forget about that long list of quilty, rug hooking, cross stitch, needle punch and applique projects that I was inspired (to purchase) and create! :-)


Some call that "stash". And I had been collecting quite a bit of stash. I even tried to keep that stash organized. But, then I forgot exactly what was in that stash. So, I took each and every pattern, thread pack, quilt kit, fabric bundle and wool stack and layed it out in one room of my house.

And, I discovered that not only did I have too much stash to keep organized in my modest sized home... but, also that I had lost interest in quite a few of those patterns and kits and potential projects that I had accumulated.


And so, when January rolled around... while I did not officially state a resolution. I knew I was determined to "hit the reset button" on my stitchy hobbies...


...one of those..."wipe the slate clean and begin fresh with an official do-over".


So, I did the "unthinkable"... and got out my camera. Took many pictures. Uploaded them to my computer. And listed NEARLY EVERYTHING on eBay!


The process began in January... and continued through February and March...


...and now, the first week of April is the final week of listings. Click HERE if you are looking for any patterns, fabric bundles or cross stitch linen...


Now... don't think that I listed COMPLETELY everything. I still have a handful of quilt kits. A couple cross stitch kits. A baker's dozen of hooking patterns and a closet of wool....lol!


But, for now...


that's just enough to keep me happy... :-)


And now... when I read blogs, watch videos and visit shows...


I can take a deep breath... smile... and know that I now have "room for new" and time to relax and enjoy the project at hand...


I hope you enjoyed the quilt pictures! They are just a few of the exquisite examples of inspiration that keep me excited to learn something new each day....


So when time allows...


...I'll gladly post some pictures of my projects in progress...


 ...and maybe you will be inspired to stitch along with me, or try something new...


...or wipe your slate clean. :-)

Happy Spring!

~Sharon

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Schwenkfelder

Wintertime always makes for some good cabin fever! lol! As much as I enjoy being home...and having some time to indulge in some indoor hobbies... there's only so much staying in one place that this gal can take! :-)

And so, last weekend, a friend and I hopped in my car and away we went to the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA! The main purpose of this trip was to see a particular exhibit. It was of hooked rugs done by Karl and Mary Jo Gimber. I met them a couple of times during regular meetings of a local rug hooking guild... so I was already familiar with some of their hooked rugs. The rugs they hook are of Tavern Signs...and what adds to their unique style is that they are all hooked with recycled wool! In fact, attached to each rug (on the back) is all of the garment labels from the pieces that were used in the rug! So, getting the opportunity to see them all on display in a museum sounded like a fun thing to do!

Join me for a little walk through, won't you?

A few close up pics of some of my favorites...









A general view of one of the three walls of the exhibit...


And away we wandered to other sections of the center...

Also on display were some Christmas themed paintings, stoneware and redware (from local artisans)...



While the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center offers limited time featured exhibits... they also have some "regular" exhibits that remain all the time... offering information of the PA Dutch Heritage of the area...

Here are some beautiful fraktur prints...






I am envisioning a beautiful hooked rug featuring this design...  :-)



These fraktur images were attached to the inside lids of some heavy wood trunks...


These were styled in a way that they actually resembled cross stitch charts... tiny little colored squares...


And some beautiful stained glass that was located just behind the welcome desk...




One of the off-beat and unique finds of the day, was this printing press...



I'm always in awe and appreciate the attention to detail and workmanship that was invested in even the industrial items...


I've been involved with the printing industry throughout my professional life... so I found it amusing that even on my "day off"... I could not "get away from my job"... lol! ;-)

It's all good!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

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