Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Barn in Iowa

I am loving my Iowa Postcard Rug from Nola Heidbreder (  Loving. It.

I'm so obsessed with it, in fact, that it is making it difficult to work.  I've promised myself that I can hook from 4-4:30, because, "Hey, it's my JOB, right?"  I have it set up in my cubicle, but I can SEE it all day, and it whispers to me, "Julie....Julie....put those marketing figures aside and let's play!"

This picture is taken from my chair...
that's the arm of the chair in the bottom of the photo. 
So. Hard. To. Resist.

The other day I was hooking trees with The Perfect Wool, that I happened to have in my bag.  Today, I am hooking a barn with The Perfect Wool, which I happened to have in my bag!  How lucky am I!  It must mean I'm supposed to hook more during the day!  This perfect barn red wool is a piece I was lucky enough to snag from LeAnn Hodgson at Camp Wool (  I believe she used it for some pomegranates, but I loved the color so much I had to have some. 

Here is the wool:

Isn't it pretty!?  Of course, the picture doesn't do it justice,
but you can see a little variation in the lights and darks.

For an Iowa barn, you need to have the look of weathered barn boards,
and this wool does just the trick.

Love it!

It's 2:43 p.m. here.  Still one hour and 17 minutes until I can give myself permission to hook!  I don't take it home with me at night because I have it all nice and tight on the frame here, and I have the Magdelena Animal Purse to finish at home.  I've steamed it and I'm making the liner right now, so hopefully after this weekend, in between two orchestra concerts for my kids and a basketball game, I'll have it done.  Then I can REALLY go to town on this Iowa rug.  Plus?  The Oscars are coming!  Prime hooking time!

I love discovering the right colors of wool to use in my work.  I'd really love to take a color planning class at some point, there are people who just "get it" and I'd like to pick their brains.  So far I've been lucky - I'd like it to turn into "skill"!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Next Project: Vintage Iowa Postcard

Waaaay back in August, I had the opportunity to take my show on the road to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week.  I was lucky enough to meet Nola Heidbreder, who became one of our Bee Line-Townsend distributors after Sauder Village.  I saw Nola for the first time at Marilyn Schmidt's Hook-In in Lenexa, Kansas last February, but she was pretty busy the whole time so I didn't get to officially meet her, but I fell in love with the Vintage State Postcard  patterns she was selling.  At Sauder, I couldn't resist any longer, and I bought one.

Here is the pattern, available on Nola's website,

It's 17x30 - isn't it cute?  I happened to have some wool that will work well in this piece, so I got started.  I should mention that I have no patience whatsoever, so I probably dove in before I should.  Patience really IS a virtue, I shall probably pay for my haste later (see "Ran out of background wool" on last post!)

Now that I've started the tree line, I'm completely geeking out because the wool I have is absolutely PERFECT for the trees.  I'm finding it's so much fun to find the perfect piece of wool for a project.

Here's the green wool, freshly cut on my Bee Line - Townsend cutter (shameless plug, I know!) This wool has a few different hues of green in it, an then just a touch of brown.  Perfect for trees!

Here is what it looks like hooked into the pattern:

I'm trying to do round shapes in the tree line - I do try to pay attention to some of the fantastic rugs I see at shows!  The bit below is supposed to look a little like farmland - the green is pattern-free, with a little variation in the greens.  Someone did a lovely job dyeing this, I wish I could remember where I bought it to attribute it!

Here's a different shot of the project in its early stages:

 I know Laurie Simpson is teaching a class at Sauder Village 2012 on Vintage Postcard Pillows, and I would so love to take it, but I think I will need to be at my booth since BLT is vending at the event.  *le sigh*  Although who knows?  I may still be working on this rug in August! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Animal Purse: Still Not Finished!

Oh boy.

I'm going to say this purse has been a learning experience.  I did not get it done in time for my sister's birthday, but I did get the hooking done in time for New Years'.  I still need to steam it and make the liner and get the handles on.

However - I made a rookie error.  I didn't buy enough wool for the background!  I had this really beautiful dark tobacco colored wool I bought from Charlotte at ATHA Biennial whose store name I can't remember to save my life, which is unfortunate because she was lovely and the wool is terrific.  I got very lucky in that I had most of it hooked, so I filled in the background on the bottom with a black Dorr wool I had,  but it was definitely a learning experience:

Always Buy More Wool Than You Think You'll Need!

I am really happy with how the animals turned out - this is technically my third finished project, so while I know there is a lot of room for improvement, I know I can can do it.  That's kind of a relief!

Here is a photo of it before it was steamed:

I'm always amazed by how much steaming does to improved the project.  It's like magic!  I'm counting on the iron to correct the err of my ways.

On to the liner - it's time to dust off my sewing machine and get 'er done.