Tuesday, March 27, 2007

almost famous

I received a surprise phone call from my aunt yesterday. She had ordered the new book, Hooked Rugs Today 2006, and one of my rugs is featured on the back cover...

The house mat was designed by Deanne Fitzpatrick. I started it at a workshop at her place in the Fall of 2005, where I was encouraged to use lots of other textures (wool slub, fleece, mohair locks, etc.). If you ever have the opportunity to take one of her classes or even to visit her studio in Amherst, I encourage you to go. You will not be disappointed.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Yep, the new machine was hard at work on Saturday. I even sewed in my very first zipper ever. Can you believe it?

I am going to be working on writing up the instructions this week, while everything is still fresh in my mind.

my new Singer

Several years ago I bought my first sewing machine - a 1950s era Singer - complete with table/cabinet for $20! It has served me well, and I most definitely got my moneys worth. I had been having a few problems with it a couple of months ago, and around the same time, my aunt gifted me my grandmother's old Singer (same vintage, but a much fancier model). I then had two Singers.

Since then I been having some problems with my Grandma's machine, and I was beginning to think that the time had come for me to "bite the bullet" and treat myself to a brand new machine. I started researching new machines, and was horrified at the prices. You can practically buy a car for less than a new sewing machine! I was torn: new TV or new sewing machine. It had to be one or the other...not both.

My sister called last week, wanting to pop by and drop off my birthday present. Would I be home on Saturday afternoon? She would need help bringing it inside. My curiosity was piqued....what could it be? Imagine my surprise when she opened her tailgate to reveal a sewing machine! Jackpot!

It belonged to her neighbour's late wife, and arrived complete with cabinet and all of the original attachments, plates, etc. Even the instruction book - copyright 1972, so it's only one year older than me! I spent about 45 minutes cleaning it and oiling in all the necessary places, before I turned it on for a trial run. It sews like a dream!

You don't need to be a math whiz to figure out that I now have 3 Singers. At this rate, I will soon be able to open a museum! ;-)


Okay. I know that I have been negligent in my posts of late. I’m sorry. No good excuses, just life has gotten in the way.

I spent the next to last weekend in the city…shopping, visiting, eating, and getting some culture. I made a great discovery at Romni, when I found half-sized skeins of Strati (the wonderful slub yarns I have been incorporating in my hooking lately), for half of the price. After much consideration of all of the various colours and skeins in the store (and wandering up and down all of the aisles, drooling all the way…), I was able to exercise some self-control and only splurged on four skeins ;-) I cut them up and braided them in bundles of 10…

They look pretty, and it also helps to keep it organized ;-)
I have been thinking more and more about my footstool, and I am getting closer to actually drawing it on paper. I’m already starting to think about colours, and I expect that some of the slub will be making an appearance. I don’t think that I will need to do much (if any) dyeing….I can just work from my stash.
I was surprised with early birthday presents from my cuz Laura. One of them was some flowering tea. I had first heard about this several years ago…but I had not seen it in a store before. It is pretty neat stuff – and a great gift for anyone who likes tea. I took a couple of “before” and “after” shots…

Very yummy!

Friday, March 16, 2007


My sister brought her kids for a sleepover last weekend and suggested that I reorganize my furniture a little. I have moved my couch over in front of my wool shelves, so I can't help but be motivated to produce when this is what I see....

Of course, there is still more wool -- but it's not too much fun to hang out in a closet!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

feather pillows...

If you are looking for feather pillow forms that don't cost a fortune, Ikea has some for 5 dollars apiece. They are 20" square -- sadly too big for the pillows I just sewed together, but I can always hook more ;-) [I picked up three on Monday]

a real gem in Ottawa!

I had to go to Ottawa this week for work, so I invited my mum to come along for the ride and promised shopping and sushi. AB (my Auntie Betty), recommended we go here. What a great store! I didn't see very many things that I didn't like....gorgeous fabrics, fine threads, books galore, miniature punch patterns and supplies, and even a little bit of rug hooking wool. I defy you to browse without buying ;-)

I picked up a few more batik fat quarters for purse linings, as well as some gorgeous Sulky blendable threads for top-stitching purse trim. Believe it or not, I demonstrated considerable self control by limiting my fat quarters to four and my spools of thread to just six -- but aren't they lovely?!

They also stock weaver's cloth for miniature punch backing. I'd only ever seen it in white before, but they also carry black and a nice taupe colour. I picked up a couple of metres of taupe and one of black. I am going to experiment and see if I can make a runner of sorts, only hooking portions of the cloth and leaving the background plain. I don't know when it will happen, but at least I have the cloth! ;-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Ahead...

My internal clock and calendar has been confused by the early switch to daylight savings time. Yesterday started off as a fabulous day. The sun was shining, the snow was melting, coats were unnecessary -- just like Spring!

I had hooked away on the second half of my newest purse for much of the day on Saturday, steamed it flat and left it to dry overnight, while I started cutting out lining and trim fabric. Sunday was full of promise, and I was hoping to get it all sewn together. With the problems I have been having with my sewing machine lately, I decided to go and visit my mum, and use hers. I hadn't really done all of my figuring ahead of time, and I was undecided about how I was going to attach my zipper (I think there is a reason why I haven't yet put a zipper at the opening of any of my purses to date). I made a couple of hasty decisions in a row that ended up being poor choices, plus I forgot some tools and materials that I needed at my place. I finally gave into my fatigue and crabbiness and stopped shortly after assembling the lining.

Here is the first half of the purse. I abandoned the idea of hooking it completely with nylons, and instead just used part of a pair of glittery gold and black ones (Calvin Klein from Winners on clearance)

I do have some other photos, but they haven't made the journey from camera to laptop yet...more to come in the coming days.