Monday, May 10, 2010

Catching up….Hooking

Mid-April almost always finds me at my favorite rug hooking camp at Friends by the Sea in Rockaway Beach on the northern Oregon Coast. This was my 10th year to attend in the 15+ years that I have lived on the West Coast. It's always such fun to see the same wonderful women I've seen year after year.
What a joy to have one's only task be to hook and create and learn. The food is wonderful and "cinnamon break" mid-morning is always a treat. This year my classroom was in the Lodge which is a great spot away from the bustle of the other classrooms.

My teacher was Carol Fegles and she is so gracious and generous. I took a trip to Eugene about a week before camp (yep, cutting it close!) to discuss my project and get some ideas for color-planning and dyeing. I decided to take the plunge and use Prochem dyes. I have used Cushings for years simply because when I started out I inherited a shoebox full of them. It seems that I never have one color to complete a formula so am constantly buying more of these annoying little envelopes. Carol ended up scanning some samples and sending them to me via email. From there, I chose a few colors, placed an order and within 3 days had my dyes. Of course this was over Easter weekend which is a super-busy time. So just days before camp began I was hustling to get dyeing done – some of it was still drying when I packed it up to drive up the coast.

This was a wonderfully relaxing rug camp – a real zen experience. Much of that had to do with the atmosphere Carol creates in class and much of it had to do with the project. I had decided to hook Jeanne Benjamin's "Mini Sarouk" (New Earth Designs). Her patterns are top-notch – on the grain, very clear, and high quality backing. I LOVE this pattern. I am really only using 3 colors – Forest Green, Gold/Toffee, and Evergreen…the "white" is a light wash of Straw (which ended up being dyed in an electric roaster at camp).
Here is what I got done at Camp...this may take a life time... 
Carol introduced me to a #2 cut – oh my! I fell in love! I've done a lot of #3 (3/32 inch) and have ventured in to 4-6…but never #2! It's like 2 threads…amazing. Of course I had to buy a new cutter head for my Bliss and was shocked to find they have doubled in price. Unfortunately when I got home I couldn't find the darned thing even after massive searches. Thanks to the generosity of hookers everywhere, Saundra from Delaware, sent me hers as she had never used it. I will be eternally grateful! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

10 Minute Challenge Update

I've been really consistent in keeping up with the 10-minute challenge. This is a pattern called "Water Nymph" that I must have started over ten years ago and had about 1/5 done. I kept trying to get the background darker and in so doing ended up felting the wool too much so it was very difficult to pull through the burlap. To top it off, I was using a #6 cut which is HUGE for me. I remembered that I had bought a Hartman hook back at Cape May so I dug that out and voila! It was much easier to do. Now that it's done, I kind of like this rug!

Catching up…Quilting

Time…never seems to be enough of it. Or perhaps there is simply an abundance of wonderful things in my life that continuously overflow. I am grateful that so many activities bring me enjoyment. It is a constant challenge to be diligent in discerning what is mine to do – and what is not! I am learning to say "no" to those things that do not make my heart sing and know that these same activities may be just the blessing that someone else is looking for in their life. Release it. Let it go. And on to the fun.
So many projects since my last post!
Here is the paper piecing put together – not sure what it will become. There are many possibilities.

Mid-March, my friend Sue and I took another class at the local quilt shop in how to use a new product called "Texture Magic". You sew it to your fabric using either a grid pattern or meandering and then steam it and it crinkles up – magic! It was a bit tricky to do but we had fun. Here is the tote I made during the class:

I do enjoy quilting and would LOVE to do more of it but I am trying to sharpen my focus on hooking at the moment…and then there is knitting, beading, scrapbooking, maskmaking…and on and on it goes.