About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I guess that I'm turning a new leaf but it's not my Hooking Bible yet. I actually worked on my rug today and got a small progress to show. I didn't removed the lint but you will see what I've been up to.

I managed to hook the swimmers after I had the flesh colored wool ready.

 I always keep a small burlap bag of onion skins with zippers that my basmati rice comes in. I used some vinegar as mordant this time because when I used salt last time, the color was a dirty grayish tinge and not suitable for flesh. I did this before going to work and hung the wool swatch up on a plastic hanger on the ceiling near a ceiling fan and the wood heat dried the swatch by the time I was ready to hook this evening.

Here is the swatch of flesh color dyed with onion skins.

Here is how much onion skin I needed to get this beautiful flesh color.

This photo was taken after the color was reabsorbed in the wool after the vinegar was added and simmered for 30 minutes.

Here is the girl (me) on a blanket looking at the cloud formation. This was hooked a few days ago. It was one of my favorite pass time as a young girl. I could see so many objects in the clouds.  Things are really getting crowded here on my rug. I may have to redraw the school house in red Sharpie. I'll think about it. I need to buy a red Sharpie.

Thanks for your visit. JB


  1. Oh my gosh, if that rug isn't the cutest! Love the swimmers and you watching the clouds on your back. I remember doing that a lot when I was a kid! After all, we were outside playing! No playing inside. So we had to use our imagination, right? Really can't wait to see more done!

  2. Julia,
    It is looking amazing! I love the swimmers but then I saw the girl cloud watching and I love love that one. I can't wait for you to finish to see the whole thing. The new year is off to a great start.

  3. What a wonderful rug. Great color in the swatch.
    I love the swimmers and you on the rug. I too use to do this in the summer. I can't wait to see more.

  4. Julia...love what you've done on the rug, can't wait to see more. I admire you for dying wool, that's just something I haven't tried yet and not sure I really want to!

  5. Oh, Julia, this rug is going to be such a pride and joy for you. It is a wonderful project. I love the swimmers and you as a girl. What kid has not dreamed when looking at clouds?? Maybe it is a childhood memory for all of us kids! Please keep sharing it with us.

  6. OK. I didn't realize what goes into rug hooking...you have to dye it...whole wool pieces??? You don't use yarn? Do you hook strips of wool? Or take the threads off one by one either way a lot of work! And the design is just amazing! I am just in awe!

  7. P.S. What a wonderful way to remember childhood memories!! Great idea, that will always be a very special family heirloom!!

  8. Oh I always have wanted to dye with onion skins. Your flesh color is wonderful. I have always been so interested in natural dyes. I love how it turned out. So glad I got to see your rug. It is going to be so beautiful Julia. Thank you so much for your very inspiring comments. They add so much encouragement to me.

  9. Great post Julia!
    I always thought it took more onion skins to dye...... but your color turned out perfect for the faces. I'm so glad you are getting back to hook again! I'm not quite getting into the groove yet. For some reason I'm having trouble settling my mind today! Something must be brewing!
    Cathy G

  10. Your rug is gorgeous! Great job so far!
    Be careful with the red sharpie...I used one a few years back for a correction and when I steamed my rug, it sort of bled. It didn't ruin the hooking but I could see on the back that it bled some into the foundation. I won't use red again.

  11. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. Your comments are so encouraging. I just wish that I could find more tome to hook.

    Donna, thanks for your comment, to answer your questions, I dye some of my wool, some, I use as is. I sometime put several colors and simmer them together so they kind of all blend together. We call that marrying wool. There is a lot of information on the internet on how to dye wool without having to use dye.
    I use mostly recycled 100% pure wool from thrift stores. The wool is washed in hot soapy water as soon as I get it home for fear of contaminating other woolens with moth eggs. I dry it in the dryer with a sheet of fabric softener and then take the garment apart. I then tear swatch roughly 4 in x 12 in or more and use a special cutter with crank to cut strands of wool that we call worms. They are cur different width for different purpose. It's all fun to do.

    Cathy G. it depend on how strong a color you want for your wool. More onion skins will produce a darker color. That's the fun of it.

    Kris Miller, thanks for the warning about the Red Sharpie bleeding. I thought that they were all permanent.
    Thanks for your visit everyone. JB

  12. Hey honey loved looking at your rug tonight. Oh how I wished I lived next to you and Kim and all the other hookers. Rug hookers I mean of course.
    This is really going to be a beautiful piece. I too would make things out of clouds and keep saying I am going to try that when it turns pretty weather again.
    Your comment was pretty darn good tonight that you left me. I can just imagine the look on your face when you got home. haha
    I so wish I could learn this but I would not know where to start.

  13. Thanks Maggie, I think that the three of us would make quite a trio.I'd probably would be the one to straighten up the both of you. ha, ha. Thanks for making me laugh so much. I get to laugh a lot when reading both your post.
    Love, Julia

  14. LOL Now that is funny. After a couple of hours I think Maggie and I could corrupt you! (wink) It would be like Thelma and Louise and Louise

  15. I agree Kim, being a Sagittarius, I'm very adaptable therefor I could adapt easily to you two and fit right in. JB

  16. Julia ~
    Your rug is awesome!!! Can you show us a picture of the whole thing as hard as that may be?
    Thanks for showing us the wool dyed with the onion skin. I, too, thought you would need so many more skins.
    Hugs :)

  17. Thanks Lauren, I'll take a picture of the rug tomorrow when it's daylight and I'll post it on my blog . The colors didn't came out good on this post. There's a lot of tweeking needed but I'm leaving it for now. It's amazing how the defects shows up on the computer. JB