Playing with Embellishments

Yippee! My camera is back and fixed. What an annoyance it has been to be without it. I wasn’t able to take any photos of the second workshop I attended with Sandra Marshall so I’ll have to make do with sharing the project I have under way.


I haven’t touched it since, so this is what I accomplished in the two days of the course. What a genius idea she has created….a colour wheel sampler of  many many ways a hooker can embellish her/his work. DSCN0165

In the red section she taught us how to create bias shirring (mine leaves quite a bit to be desired…you can see that it does not all pucker successfully). Then we created needle felted balls which could be sewn on (seen below the shirring) or needle felted directly onto the hooking (top right corner) This was my first time doing needle felting, and I was surprised at how easy and effective it is. The background is hooked in with a variety of wools in the red family, and eventually each section will be completed the same way.DSCN0166In the orange segment she taught beading (alternating strips …shown down the right hand side),  couching (second row up from the bottom)…and as you move up…., hooking with yarn (leaving high loops so it will blossom)….ruching….with a wide strip sewn down the centre in such a way that it ‘wiggles’ when drawn up…then in the centre  fabric bundled shearing made from different sized circles of wool.


In the yellow section she taught scrunched applique with felted”sushi” on top (the two coloured larger yellow ‘circle’) once again, mine is not very good and will undergo some ‘renovations’ so it is a little more ‘scrunched’. My colours are also a little too close, so the 3 ‘sushi’ layers don’t show to advantage. (mine looks more like a 3 day old dried up egg yolk). There is a small wool circle with felted ball on top, and then (one of my favourites) weaving.….where a strip of wool is woven through hooked loops.


The green section features a trapunto leaf. It is stuffed giving a 3d effect and the edging is couched to the leaf before it is attached to the backing. It still requires some embroidery detail on the top.  At the top is a spider web rosette. Mine is not completed and will be coming out. I want the colours to be more distinctly green, but you can see what a beautiful embellishment this makes. I can think of countless ways to use it. More shirring is still to be added to the section. This time done with narrower strips.DSCN0170

The blue section has a fabric bundle with a felted ball (a  Jennifer Manuel method) and a two colour chain stitch, as well as a yarn bundle using strips of interesting yarn to create the ‘flower’. (mine will likely get an additional haircut).


The purple section features standing wool circles (quillies). Apparently it isn’t technically a quilly unless it is done with paper. One of the Sunshine members used this technique last year when making a bag to hold her hooking tools, and it is absolutely beautiful.

Around the quilly is a ring of caterpillar shirring sewn in place to create an elegant edge.


The centre has been felted with black fiber, and eventually I’ll add a felted ball of each of the colours of the colour wheel.

Wow! What a learning experience. Sandra packed an amazing amount of information into two days while at the same time giving us time to try it all with her expert assistance close at hand. There were a lot of smiling faces at the end of the two days .

The first workshop was of course on needle punching, and my camera died before I could post my efforts… here it is just underway..DSCN0141

….then a little further along…..DSCN0142

….this time from the back (the side you work from)

DSCN0163….and here it is at present (showing the front)…almost done. It has certainly been fun…and punching is much faster….but it would take a lot of adjustment for me to get used to not seeing the front of my work as I progress. Since I also love the beautiful evenness  of the cut wool strips, I don’t think I’ll be making a switch from hooking to punching any time soon. It does however provide another option (you can teach an old dog new tricks, but she may not like to give up the old ones).

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. Here in my neck of the woods, winter has arrived with the first significant snowfall of the season.



Venturing into Punch Needle

What a week! I attended not just one, but TWO workshops…… one learning punch needle, the second investigating embellishments for our hooking. Both were given by Sandra Marshall  and  each was a wonderful learning experience. If you have a chance to attend either or both…..jump at it!

The  punch needle class was one day long, and since we were all hookers, the transition was quite simple.

Here is just one example of Sandra’s punch needle work.


Advantages:  it’s quicker than traditional hooking, you can use balls of yarn with no need to deal with smaller strips and ends (although normal wool strips can be used). The needle determines the depth of the loops, so once the technique is mastered, all the loops will be a consistent height.

Disadvantages: You work from the back so your work is always up-side-down. Your pattern will be a mirror image of your completed work (makes lettering tricky) and you can’t see your finished product as you are working on it.

For a “colourholic” like me, the array of fabulous wool brought by Sandra was spine tingling.

I chose my pattern, and wool (made some changes and added some of my own wool as well after this photo was taken) then Sandra suggested the size of punch needle that would be best for my wool.DSCN0114

A lesson on technique, and before long we were all busily at work.


Some people chose one of Sandra’s pre-drawn patterns, some used her templates to draw one of their their own, and some brought patterns from home. DSCN0123DSCN0129DSCN0125DSCN0131DSCN0132DSCN0130

Everyone was having a good time.DSCN0111DSCN0115DSCN0116DSCN0113Seeing Sandra’s work was a wonderful inspiration.DSCN0119DSCN0105DSCN0106DSCN0103DSCN0104DSCN0121The next two used wool strips rather than wool yarn. DSCN0117DSCN0118A super day…..great learning, fun working, good friends , and yummy food (thanks to Brenda).

I did take photos of my efforts, but my wonderful new camera has turned out not to be so wonderful after all!  It is on its way back to the manufacturer after refusing to upload any more photos to my computer. Hopefully it will be back soon and I can continue with a blog about embellishments.

Thanks for stopping by.

Stained Glass in Fabric

Last week at Sunshine Rug Hooking, Linda Wilson gave a demonstration about hooking stained glass. Without my camera, I thought I’d missed my chance to share this technique, but as it happens, I wasn’t the only one to forget last week, and several people brought their stained glass work to share this week. So I wanted to show that work, and for those who may never have tried it, outline some basic steps to achieve the effect.

I have only hooked this one simple example, and you can see that I’ve never done the finishing. I always wanted to surround it with a real stained glass frame, but somehow that has never happened.DSCN0094

The day I got this pattern is one I’ll long remember. I had just started hooking, and my friend June Baker and I struck out one February day  to drive to Sheila Klugescheid’s house some miles away, to purchase hooking supplies. A raging snow storm blew up when we were on the road, and by the time we arrived, we had to struggle through about a foot of freshly fallen snow to get to her door. I found this pattern, and Shiela helped me choose the wool, then gave me the quickest lesson ever on how to hook stained glass. We couldn’t stay long for fear we would be completely snowed in.

Here’s the essence of her instructions for anyone who hasn’t tried it and might be interested….

Choosing wool:

-a dark colour for the leading (mine is deep taupe)

-spot dye or casserole dye for the background and details

Cutting wool:

-carefully keep the strips in the order in which they are cut and hook them in order (I used two sided tape affixed to cardboard to keep them in the right order)


-Begin with the leading ( she suggested I cut it a size larger than the regular size,,,,in this case #4 for leading, #3 for the rest)

-Hook each section in straight lines (Shiela suggested sections touching go in opposite directions….although some people hook it all the same way)


Edie brought three examples to share today. Rather than a spot dye, she used a dip dye for the gowns.


This little tree is mounted on actual stained glass.




Jean made this piece for her mother.DSCN0088

She said she wasn’t pleased with it because she couldn’t keep the leading lines straight.

Her second piece didn’t start out as an underwater scene, but as she hooked the foliage, that’s what it suggested to her so that’s what it became. To keep the leading lines even in this one, she “tunnelled” the loops. DSCN0089

When she said this…someone in the group said, “I thought you weren’t supposed to do that! ” ….the reply?  ” You’re not….unless it creates the effect you’re after” How true for almost every “hooking rule” there is.

Kathy brought some examples of quilted and appliqué stained glass.DSCN0083


What a wonderful way to decorate the house for Christmas. (such a talented lady)

Last week If I’d had my camera, I could have taken photos of beautiful  examples by several other people and included the extensive directions that Linda Wilson shared with the group . I apologize to them ( and especially Linda) for neglecting to do that.

Teresa has had a very productive fall. Along with a number of knitting projects, she has completed her shaded flowers piece,…..


…..and a hit and miss rug for her bedroom,DSCN0092

Congratulations Teresa. Love them both.

Thanks for stopping by.