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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Happy Accident

It’s a personal challenge of mine to finish some of my punch needle patterns that have been laying around waiting for me to punch the last few loops or finish the edges. While working on finishing the edge of my Witch in the Pumpkin Field Needle Punch Pattern (the digital pattern is on Etsy here) on Friday, I was dying some Pom-Pom trim for the edge of it. The first batch I dyed was pretty garish,

Yeah, no.....the trim is too orangey, don't your think?

                    Same with the send attempt, better but not quite right.

On the third attempt I think I nailed the color pretty well. What do you think? 

Anyways, fast forward to yesterday, I pulled out my Gnarly Dude to finish punching him. He’s been siting in my craft room for nearly 4 years waiting, waiting just waiting to be finished. Well, yesterday was the day. The only problem is I did not keep good records (actually no records) of the flosses I used, so much of my time was spent trying to determine and recreate the colors I used. Once, I figured out the colors, he was done pretty quickly.

Now here’s where the happy accident comes into play. While I was cleaning my punching area and gathering my stuff to put away, I happened to throw the garish Pom-Pom trim on Gnarly Dude and I was giddy with delight. It matched perfectly. My only choice now is to choose the top or the bottom trim color.  


Happy Accident, I think so. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Easter.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Press and Seal - Have you used it?

Press and Seal is not just for leftovers anymore!  It should be in all your Hooking and Punch needle Bags. I was first introduced to it last summer while teaching at the Manistee Rug Camp in Manistee Michigan. {Huge shoutout to a wonderful camp!!} One of my students put some over the top of rug to keep that pesky wool dust for imbedding in the rug she was Hooking. BRILLIANT! 

It was too good a tip not to share with the class so I showed everyone everyone the tip and many of the gals also had Press and Seal in their bags and they started to share other ways to use it. One of my favorites was to use it when Oxford punching to cover the front side of  your work so as not to pull out your loops when you detach it from a gripper frame. 

So fast word to today. I was Punch Needling a larger design and I had part of my finished design over the gripper  strips. When I went to move my Needle Punch Piece, I forgot to be gentle with it and snagged many loops. Darn it! But that’s when I remembered what the ladies in Manistee had taught me about Press and Seal and knew it would work with Needle Punch as well.

I pulled  it out out the drawer and cut a piece to just cover the design that would be over the gripper strips and pressed it on the design.


 My design wasn’t the whole width of the the gripper strips so I was able to still get some of weavers cloth to grip the gripper strips while protecting the finished piece. 

And the weavers cloth is tight as a drum on the frame and I can finish it without worrying about damaging my finished piece. 

Press and Seal for the win! Thanks for stopping, Maria 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Inspiration for Punch Needle patterns

Where do you find your inspiration for punch needle or rug hooking patterns is a question I get asked a lot. And the answer is everywhere. Probably like most of you, much of my inspiration comes from the web. Pinterest is the bomb when wanting to find inspiration and most of my ideas for antique inspired patterns comes from it.

Sometimes though something just pops into my head out of the blue. For instance, last week as I was driving to work in a snowstorm (yes you read that right) and passed a farm with cows and I thought “Those poor cows. They need spring and warmer weather.”  And I remembered an antique rug I pinned with a cow surrounded by a border of flowers.

Isn’t it a wonderful rug?  The muted colors make my heart pitter patter. The brain works in weird ways and what made me think of this rug that I had pinned is a mystery but I love it and  think that it will be my next project. I’m still deciding which medium, needle punch or rug hooking, but but hope to work on it this weekend.

Since I have cows on the brain, I have been doodling all sorts of designs involving cows. I’m certain several of my doodles will wind up as whimsical rugs or needle punch patterns so stayed tuned to Facebook and Instagram for photos.

Like the cow pattern, most of my patterns are based on antique rugs. My latest needle punch pattern “Pennsylvania Birds”  is based upon an antique fractur.
Interesting that both of the inspiration pieces have warm brown, blue and parchment colors and I punched a brighter version. While, I love the colors above, I always tend to gravitate to the brighter colors. I think we all have a color palette that we are comfortable with and tend to hook or punch in the color zone unless forced outside of it.

As you can see, I didn’t include the horses in the pattern. I like the horses and may someday punch or hook them separately. I also have started to hook this pattern and changed up the colors and used a dark background.

Both the needle punch and rug patterns are available. The Needle Punch pattern is $18 plus shipping  is 6 x 8.5 and the rug pattern is 30 x 39 and is $75 plus shipping. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Maria 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Garden Rabbit Needle Punch Pattern

Goodness gracious I didn’t realize it had been almost 2 years since my last post. I wanted to do a little post about my latest needle punch pattern, Garden Rabbit, and share more than you can on Facebook and Instagram and gasped at my absence from the blog.

This is my Garden Rabbit pattern that is finished!
I used Valdani threads to punch it and couldn’t be happier. One ball of Valdani thread nearly punched the entire background. I had my cameo set on 1. You can see in the picture below the small area where I ran out of thread and will have to use a new ball. But I wanted to show you how much area one ball of  Valdani covers.

And just check out that gorgeous, deep, rich background color. I absolutely love the hint of purple in
this thread. Isn’t it wonderful?

Just look at that color.....


The pattern is available for $16 and is 5.5 x 6.5. It comes with the pattern drawn on weavers cloth, color chart, instructions and thread placement. Email me at

One more look at the finished piece...    
I want to do a fun finish for this pattern and hope to share with you this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by, Maria

Friday, February 5, 2016

Paint program

Lately I have been using the Paint program (a free program that comes with most computers) to help me with my color choices for my rugs. When designing and color planning the challenge rug, I used the Paint program and played with the color design and finally decided on my palette. 
First, I transferred the design to the computer and added a few colors. 

I continued to add colors until I was happy with the overall color placement. 

Next, I chose the background color which was black to make all the colors pop. 
Next, I added some additional pops of color with the circles and decided I was happy with it and began hooking it. 

I have been using the paint program more frequently and have found it really helps me color plan my rugs. You can instantly see if you like the colors and if not erase them and try new colors. Oftentimes color planning is the most challenging part of hooking a rug. So the paint program has saved me several hours of frustration. 
Thanks for stopping by, Maria

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Challenge Rug

I recently joined a hooking challenge through the Facebook Group, Out of Hand Rug Hookers. Lori Brechlin challenged the group, which is over 2000 strong, to design a rug based upon motifs she provided to the group. Motifs ranged from whales to mice. There were over 15 motifs along with the alphabet and numbers to use in the design of our rugs. The finished rug had to be 18 x 24 in size and we could only use motifs provided.
The rugs created by the challenge group, over 100,  were incredible and diverse. Some people used all the motifs while some (me included) chose just a few motifs to use in our rugs. 
For my design, I went simple. I used 3 Motifs, the rooster, heart and circles (which was the o in the alphabet). I enlarged the rooster to fill most of the rug. To give the rug a little more interest, I added the heart and circle. 
Now most of you probably wouldn't have guessed this was my rug because of the bright colors used. It was definitely outside my color palette but I really wanted to push myself to try something different at least color wise. 
To help me with my color choices, I used the program paint on my laptop. That will be the subject of another blog post.

Here is a small sampling of the rugs from the challenge just to give you an idea of the diversity and creativity of the participants. 
A Good Mouse is a Dead Mouse is Kris Miller's rug and it is wonderful.  From the saying to that little mouse on his back, I love everything about it. Kris chose the challenge motifs of the cats, mouse,  branch and alphabet to design her rug. 
The house rug is Alice Fraizer's and I am  smitten with it. I just love a dark background and primitive colors. For her motifs, Alice used the lollipop trees, house and bird.
Isn't Lauren Fuqua's rug wonderful as well?  The soft colors of her rug make me smile. Lauren used the lollipop tree, horse, bird, mouse, rooster, dog and cat in her challenge rug.
The final rug was hooked by Lilly and it too is awesome.  The scallop detail arround the border really sets off the motifs, which I love.  Lilly used the lollipop tree and peacock to design her rug. 

See what I mean about the challenge rugs?  They are all so unique and creative!  

Thanks for stopping by, Maria

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A New Halloween Rug

 I'm getting ready for a show in November and am getting some new fall patterns ready for it so haven't had time to hook any Halloween rugs. But this guy was calling me and I had to bring him to life. Here is a sneak peak of the little fella....
And here is how this little man started: 
A doodle. I love it when I'm doodling and something wonderful emerges. Hopefully, I'll have him done this weekend and offer a pattern and a kit.