Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pure Craziness!

I haven't posted lately due to the fact that my life has been a whirlwind the past several weeks.  After getting done with the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show I had shopping, cleaning, decorating etc. to do.  Company arrived and that meant cooking and entertaining.  Christmas came and our daughter and her fiance decided they'd get married.  Not in a few months or weeks but on Wednesday!  They did not want anything fancy.  So  a small family group gathered at the courthouse for a 5 minute wedding followed by a small dinner party/reception afterward.   Short, simple and sweet. 

Our company has now departed and my husband and I have no plans for New Years Eve or day.  I'd like to just sit back and do absolutely nothing for the next couple of days but QFAM (The Quilt and Fiber Arts marketplace) in Sanford is next week!  I spent the morning printing patterns and making kits.  I have some new ones that will be making their debut at the show.  The next two days I'll be dyeing wool (probably from dawn till I collapse).

Be sure to stop by the show and see what's new. For directions and hours of the show click here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busy, busy, busy time of year

Since the CDC show I've been busy. I've been packing all my booth paraphernalia away,cleaning and reorganizing my studio, Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating...whew I need a nap.

I did take some time yesterday though and went out to visit a clay artist on the Chatham County studio tour.
Tracey Broome creates  these terrific barns incorporating found objects and/or sayings and photos.  I think they're so cool.  As her sales have been so good this year she didn't have exactly the barn I wanted but was more than willing to take my order.  I can't wait.

My next show is the Quilt and Fiberarts Marketplace in Sanford, NC.  I've got some new patterns, kits and lots and lots of wool. 

Here's a coupon to print out for $1.00 off admission.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The show is over ... for this year

The Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show is over for this year.  It was a great show.  Beautiful things by talented, creative people.  It was a busy time for me and I was able to send several of my pieces to new homes. "Shadow", my white horse, has a new home as well as "Billy", my handsome goat.  I know they are in good hands. I also parted with several still life pieces.

Shadow   11" x 14"  SOLD!

Billy   11"x 14"  SOLD 

At the show I also met up with a good friend I haven't seen in quite a while.  Lori was my very first student when I started teaching rug hooking 15 years ago.  She was and is a natural.  She uses traditional rug hooking to create abstractions of what she sees in nature whereas I focus on realism with an impressionistic approach.
This is what I love about this art form.  It is SO versatile. 

So now it is time to pack away my booth for the year and get ready for the holidays! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's here!

The 42nd Annual Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show is now in progress.  Today's hours are:  10:00 - 6:00, tomorrow 11:00 - 5:00.  Avoid all the madness at the malls and by a one of a kind, hand crafted in America original piece of art. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show is just TWO days away...

It's almost here!  I've been busy, busy, busy!  I hope you can join me at this year's 42nd annual Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show.  Setup is Friday morning with the show opening Friday evening.  I've got a lot of new work I'm really excited about.  See you there!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Landscape Vignette

I love digging into my leftovers and doing small vignettes and this week I did just that.

This piece was inspired on a walk in my neighborhood.  We have a walking trail that circles around a pond where there are several flowering cherry trees.  The trees now are barren as the cold winds have blown all the dead leaves off.  What I find interesting is the stockiness of these trees and the wide spread of the branches.
The wind was so cold the day I was out it made me think the snow will be here soon hence, I made this a wintery scene.

One of the things I love doing with a landscape is the gradation in the sky.  Skies start lighter on the horizon and darken as they go up.  This simple, gradual shift in value can make a big impact on a piece.  Imagine if I had simply hooked one value in the background.  Rather boring.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Playing with tesselations

I bought some design software a while back and haven't really had time to experiment with it.  I have always done my designs the old fashioned way with pencil and paper.  For my geometrics I have employed graph paper. After drawing up the designs I would get out my colored pencils and work out a color plan. Recently my husband was looking for something to do so I pulled out some tesselation designs I had done on graph paper and gave them to him to translated into this software program. He succeeded in learn the nuances of this finicky software (so maybe now I won't have to) and was able to translate a lot of my designs.

I needed a break from the small pieces I'd been working on and decided to put one of the simple tesselation designs on my frame and have at it.  Though this is not really an original tesselation, it has been seen in Roman ruins and then quilts and probably elsewhere as well,  it is a simple but interesting one.

This is what I have gotten done so far...

Tesselation 1

To see some really cool tesselations go to the M. C. Escher website and click on Picture Gallery at the bottom of the left sidebar and then click on Symmetry.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Getting show ready

I have been SO busy trying to get things ready for the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fine Craft and Design Show on Thanksgiving Weekend I just haven't had time to post anything.  Please come by and see me at the show.

A bit of new news ...I was recently featured in an article in the News and Observer about my journey into rug hooking.  I've heard from people I haven't seen in 25+ years.  Thanks to all of  you who have sent good wishes my way!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pear with Apple

Another in my still life series.  The pear was lonely, so along came the apple.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

To Kentucky and back...

I spent the last week and a half in Kentucky with a group of my fiber art friends.  We talked, laughed, relaxed, took in the beautiful quilts at the National Quilt Museum and even got a bit of work done ourselves.

 As far as what I got done, I did yet another still life.

 I am quite pleased with this pear.  The pretty light yellows, yellow-green, and salmon pinks show up nicely against the blue-green ground and blue violet background.  Even better, I was able to do this completely out of leftover strips I had.  I also had some beautiful dark colored blacks for the shadows.  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life is just a bowl of eggs?

Oh maybe that's life is just a bowl of cherries?  Well I didn't have any cherries.  So after several days of working I "finished" the eggs.  I say finished in quotation as I will probably go back and make little tweaks here and there before I frame it, I always do.  But for now...

Working the eggs in "whites" against the really dark "blacks" really kept my interest in this piece.  And then to have the pop of color, the beautiful blue-green well it was the icing on the cake.  No, strike that, the hollandaise sauce on the eggs.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The eggs are progressing

I was able to get a bit more done on the bowl of eggs.  The bowl itself is quite interesting.  The bottom of the bowl is very dark due to the shadows cast by the eggs, but they are not black.  There is a lot of color in there.  I used various very very dark colors, you might call them colored blacks.  The rim of the bowl has some lighter color in bands.  Just below the rim there are drips of glaze in some beautiful blue-greens. I still have a ways to go... I must say this has been a very interesting piece to work on.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's get Crackin'...

So, this morning I sketched up my bowl of eggs, transferred the pattern to linen, got my palette "organized" and hooked some eggs.  Whew.

Here's the pictures of my progression.


"Organized" palette

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's been a while....still playing with still life

Life sometimes just gets in the way with this and that.  I've been busy but I can't really say that anything tangible has come from my efforts.  Today, however, I was able to work on a new design idea.  After I completed "Coffee, Black with Sugar Please" I was really happy and intrigued with shaded whites.  So I thought, I would try setting up a still life with eggs.  Today I tried arranging eggs in a bowl and viewing it from above and close in.
After adjusting lighting and arranging the eggs and taking many photos I decided upon this photo.

I then imported the photo into photoshop.  I love this software.  By use of it I can boost color, saturation, contrast etc.  I also love the posterization feature which helps to exaggerate the values.  This is very useful when I am doing the actual hooking of the piece. 

This is the photo after I have manipulated it and is what I will work from.

Now, on to sketching the design, transferring it to the linen backing and actually get it hooked.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A real still life challenge

In the past week I've struggled with my latest still life composition.  It wasn't the apple, but the "simple" spoon I put alongside the apple that became my nemesis.  I've decided silverware is NOT simple to translate into hooking.  I'm glad I didn't try a fork, thinking about getting the tines right makes me shiver.  I'm still not completely happy with the spoon, so it will get tweeked a bit more.  I actually already have tweeked it 5 times! This truly was a challenge. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Holiday runner applique pattern

I started this runner a few weeks ago but have had company this past week so I just got it finished.  Before you know it the cool weather will be here and then Christmas.  Time just seems to fly anymore.  I did want to get this pattern out in plenty of time before the Christmas season is upon us.  Patterns and kits should be showing up at Whistle stop in the next couple of weeks.  Happy stitching!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Backyard visitor

So today, while sitting in my kitchen with my cup of coffee, a little visitor appears.  It's been really hot and by the looks he thought so too.  He took a few minutes to rest and then went on his way.  I'm thinking I may just have to make a hooking of him.  The diagonal of the railing will make for a good composition, I'm thinking. Hmm.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

finished, almost...

Today I was able to finish the hooking portion of "Coffee, black with sugar, please".  I'm very pleased with the result.  Now, on to the lacing and framing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Black coffee with sugar please

Saturday was a raining day here, 4" of rain, not just a sprinkle.  As I sat and had my morning coffee I was thinking about what still life designs I could come up with.  I originally was thinking about fruits and vegetables.  But then I realized that we had little in the refrigerator.  I was not about to go grocery shopping in the pouring rain.  We'll just make do with what is in the pantry.  As I sat with my cup of coffee and my bowl of cereal, there's always cereal and milk in our house, I thought why not what is right in front of me.  That is how "Black coffee with sugar please"  came about.  I sketched up a design but then had to put it aside for some other things that needed getting done.  Sunday came and I pulled out my design, fiddled with it a bit, and then got it transferred to my linen backing.  I did a bit of the hooking but then had to go do other things.  I got back to it this morning and made good progress.  I'm not done yet but got a really good amount done.  Progress for now...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A new applique pattern... Pumpkin Runner

I just finished up a new applique runner.  It is 10" x 25".  I'll have the pattern and kits available in a week or two at Whistle Stop .

Saturday, July 30, 2011

framing complete

I finished matting and framing my pear piece.  I was so happy with the square format that I had the frame shop make me up a bunch of square frames.  I'm going to work on a still life grouping.  Here's the pear all framed up....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Page Added

I just added a new page to my blog listing my current wool applique patterns.  They are available through Whistle Stop Quilt Shop as a kit or just the pattern.  Look under "Let's Shop" or call them for more info.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Solo Pear Completed

We took some time and went to the beach this past week.  It was a nice relaxing break.  I took my pear with me and had the best of intentions to get it finished but I just couldn't do it.  I got involved in a couple of mystery novels and couldn't put them down.  I only ever get to read while at the beach.  I think it is the only place I don't get distracted by other things.   

We got back early yesterday and I once again had inspiration to get back to the pear piece.  I was able to finish it up this morning.  I do most of my work in the morning as I am fresher, and the morning light in my studio is the best.

So, here it is...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A bit of still life

I got back to some rug hooking today.  Just a bit, but it reminded me how much I truly love this craft.  A while back I took a painting class to sharpen my color skills and to have some fun.  In that class I had done a small still life of an apple wedge. From that painting I hooked this piece.

  It is one of my favorite pieces.  Ever since I had finished this apple piece I've been wanting to do some more small still life pieces.  Today I sketched and hooked a small pear piece.  I hooked it entirely from my bin of leftover strips which is so much fun!  Looking for the right value and color. A true treasure hunt.  I love the challenge of it!

Here's today's pear.  Obviously I still have the background to do but the pear is done!

I started a bit on the shadowing of the pear and the ground.  I'm thinking of using my favorite color scheme which is a split complement of Yellow-green (the pear) with blue-green (the ground) and then red for the upper background.  More later...

Monday, July 11, 2011

A bit of dyeing

Today I did a bit of dyeing.  I got a special order for some banana leaf greens.  Not all of these are for the banana leaves but while I was at it I did some others. I wanted to do the whole green thing so I did a yellow-green, a green, a green-blue and a blue green.  Green-blue being more green than blue and blue-green being more blue than green.  Here's the results...

I wish the camera could catch the true richness of these colors.  They're really pretty.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the quilt top is done

The appliqueing is done and the quilt top is off to be quilted.  Yeah!

Here's a pic...

Now I just need to write it all up.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The appliqueing is almost complete

I've been trying to work a bit every day on the applique blocks.  I'm now finishing up the applique stitching on the last block.  After that I'll be sewing the blocks together and looking to get the piece quilted.  Here's a few more pics of some of the motifs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

a sneak peek

A few posts ago I said I was working on a new applique design.  I thought today I would go ahead and post a little peek at what I've been up to.  I'm a ways from being done.  This small quilt will be 38" x 38" when completed and consists of eight blocks.  I figured if I posted some pics it would motivate me to dig in and get it done. 

Once this is done I have to get back to some serious rug hooking.  There are some things out there calling me.
More later...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our rug guild goes on tour

This past Friday I had arranged a tour at the NC State College of Textiles .  It was very interesting.  They work on everything from Space suits to parachutes to carpeting.  We saw machines for knitting sweaters, dyeing fibers, cutting out cloth for patterns and even your old fashion hand weaving looms.  Here's a few pictures from our tour.

This machine cuts out pattern pieces with a reciprocating saw in a flash.  

This is the HUGE jaquard loom.  It weaves so fast it makes your head spin!

This machine 'picks' the fabric to make a nap.  Think of fleece on the inside of your sweatshirt or the nubbies on your towels.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In recovery mode

I was so... busy getting ready for symposium and then doing it I was just wiped out this past week.  It also took me a few days to get everything back in order, well, sort of.  Here's my booth at symposium for those who missed it.

It was a great show with some extraordinary quilts.  Friday and Saturday were exceptionally busy for me. A lot of quilters are now doing wool applique on their quilts.  I got so inspired I decided to try it as well.  More on that in a future post.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quilt symposium is fast approaching

Next week I'll be setting up for the NC Quilt Symposium at Peace College .  I've been really busy dyeing wool and putting together some great new applique patterns and kits.  Here's a new pattern  that will debut at the show...

Primitve Floral Runner  10" x 25"
 Kits will be available as well as just the pattern.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The latest hooked rug design

Here's my latest hooked rug design. I still need to do the binding.  I'm thinking of kitting a few for NCQSI in a couple of weeks. 

Primitive Floral Half Round

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Class finishing up...

I just finished my Spring class session yesterday.  I took these pics of some of my students amazing work. They didn't want to pose so you'll just see and ear here and a hand there and their amazing work! I'm so proud of them.

Barabara's primitive flower!

Lisa's pretty iris, partly done.
Annmarie's terrific lion and little lamb.

Aren't they great?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A new applique pattern

Over the past few days I've been working on a new applique pattern.  It is always easier for me to design and create the prototype then for me to write up and publish the pattern and directions.  I'm always questioning whether I have included all the information needed and not assuming some aspect of the process.  It takes me more hours to write up the instructions then it did for me to design and create the piece.  The good news is once it's done, it's done.  So here it is...LIBERTY BANNER.

Liberty Banner 6" x 14"
  I am vending at the NC Quilt Symposium at Peace College in Raleigh the first weekend in June at which time I will have this pattern, and others available as pattern alone or with the wool kit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hot off the frame

I've been working behind the scenes on an abstracted geometric.  Today I finished the hooking.  My inspiration came from two sources, Nancy Crow and the Gee's Bend quilts.  The wools I used were leftovers from other projects that I separated into similar value piles and then overdyed them in bright colors.
Here it is...


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dyeing with my best buddies

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be included into a very talented group of rug artists.  Our mission: To stretch the borders of our craft, free ourselves from preconceived rules, and inspire each other to venture out and explore the possibilities of our craft.  We meet twice a year and this week we are in the Georgia mountains.  Today we were dyeing a color wheel using prochem dyes.  We used 2 yellows, 2 reds and 2 blues.  Here are my good friends hard at work.  I'm behind the camera.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A bit more on the guild exhibit

We had our opening reception for our guild show at the Halle Cultural Arts Center last Friday.  Pictures have been posted to the guild website.  Check them out at .  Click on Opening Reception...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apple wedge completed

After some final tweeking I completed the apple wedge that I translated from my painting class.

I found the process to be a great study in value, trying get the highlights and shadows that were produced by the light shining from right side.  I find that I as well as my students tend to underestimate the darkness of shadows and the lightness of highlights. " Middle-valueitis" plagues us.  I think I still could have gone further.  But as my first teacher once said, "acknowledge and move on".  It's always a learning process.  I've learned for the next piece.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Guild Exhibit at the Halle

Come one, come all.  Our local guild, the Piedmont Rug Hookers , is having an exhibit beginning with an opening reception from 5:00 - 8:00pm  this Friday!

Come see the wonderful work of our talented artists!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More progress on the apple

I did a bit more on the apple piece. Next, I need to put in the shadow and the rest of the background. For now here is my progress...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Guild workshop at the beach

I'm down at the beach for  our rug guild's annual retreat.  We had rain yesterday but today the sun is out with a beautiful Carolina blue sky.  It's early in the morning and still a bit chill so we're inside busy working.  Here's some pics...