Friday, December 20, 2013


Chickadee Ornament, 2013
Wool applique, 6" x 2 1/4"

This ornament pattern is one of many that I found at Downeast Thunder Farm in Susan's Bird Patterns . The patterns (from wrens to owls to a Canada goose!!) are downloadable in PDF format.  Each pattern has a photo of her finished bird.  She'll share the patterns, but they are for "your personal, not-for-profit use." You cannot redistribute the patterns without written permission of the artist or sell them, and she encourages you to make the birds for non-profit fundraising. Great idea....
I made the pattern double sided, added a ribbon for hanging, and gently stuffed the chickadee with polyester. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

The End of Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings, 2013
Pattern by Jane McGown Flynn.
#4 Hand dyed wool strips on burlap, 19" x 35"

The rug is finished except for whipping the edge.  I almost completed the rug with Peggy Hannum's color plan......almost.  I had dyed enough wool to complete the rug as she had planned, but I added some of the deep red to the border rather than complete it in brown.  I believe the center design may have been more the focal point, if I had completed the edge in browns as she suggested, but I just wanted to hook in another color. (I still wonder what the rug would look like with a background of royal purples???) I have a good spot on our floor for this rug.

More Coasters

Coasters, 2013
Wool strips on linen, 4.5" x 4.5"

These coasters were hooked by Sara and I received these as my exchange gift at our ATHA Christmas gathering.  I love the bright colors.
Sara also included her beautiful card that she printed using a linoleum cut that she created.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Coasters, 2013
Wool appliqué, each 4" x 4"

Our Atha chapter chose a challenge for us - make a set of 4 coasters for a gift exchange at our Christmas get together. The pattern I used is an adaptation of a penny rug pattern I purchased from Oley Valley Primitives called Bluebird on a Branch. The coasters have an insulating layer of a material from Worcester Industrial Rubber Company that is a mixture of cork and rubber bits.  It's flexible and thin enough for my needle to pass through. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Onion Skin Dyeing......again

This is the second method of dyeing with onion skins that I've tried.  The first time (post 6/28/13) was using alum as a mordant, making a dye bath with the skins before dyeing, and moving the wool frequently during the dyeing process.  This time I used no mordant.  I layered the wool (soaked in Dawn and water) with dried onion skins in my dye pot.  Each piece of wool had crumpled skins under it and above it.  I layered 6 pieces of Dorr's natural wool and added enough water to just cover the wool.  I let the wool simmer on the burner for 1 hour, occasionally pushing the fabric down into the water.  The pieces were then separated from the onion skins and tossed into my front loading washer for a rinse.   The color result is very different from the wool using the alum mordant.  This wool almost has a "leather" appearance to it. I have a rug with a lion pattern........ this might be perfect....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Barn

Winter Barn, December 2013
Acrylic on Canvas, 6" x 4"