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Most time-intensive project yet. Almost 2 months to make this. Finally my first hooked rug is done!

I am happy and relieved and a little sad.

Voila! Finished rug.

I’m happy it’s finally done because I’ve been pushing myself to finish it “quickly” for weeks. Relieved because it really is done!! And a little sad because working on one project that is simple, manual work without much thought after it’s started is, as Mary put it on her blog, meditative. It also was easy to do during a work meeting, and I watched a lot of anime and TV while doing this, which is an uncommon treat. So I’ll miss the “easy”-ness of this. At the same time, I’ve been chomping at the bit, wishing it was done for weeks.

Every time I sat down to work on this, Chaos climbed up on the rug. What a helpful boy.

I bought it as a kit on e-bay and began hooking it 15 February 2012. I did take a week off to do the cut paper project. Finally finished it tonight, 5 April 2012. So, 7 and 1/2 weeks to finish.

This is where I ran out of black wool and worked on cut paper Cat 115 for about a week.

The e-bay vendor was great and sent me more black wool to complete the project.

When I finished all the hooking and took it out of the hoop, I had to resist the urge to call it finished and move on to the next project… but I know myself. I would never get back to it and it would bug me being half done. Better to finish it all up now.

Fresh out of the quilting hoop without a binding yet.

So I found this great tutorial on binding rugs and followed her technique. I started binding on 30 March and it took 7 days to bind it. Apparently I am much slower than the woman who wrote that great blog post!

A rare event: a real lunch break! I made it down to the Hudson River on a beautiful day and started binding the rug.

Binding in process (didn't have pins with me for the corners & used extra needles instead).

Finally the twill is all whipstitched and the rug is complete!

View from the back. Binding is finished.

White was a poor choice. I may rip this out and just stitch "GG April 2012" right onto the black twill with some upholstery thread.. or not.

Hooked rug... or new cat bed? Chaos makes his opinion known as I take photos for the blog.

Thanks to folks who “voted” and gave me feedback on the last post! Asante sana. I had my own preference before I posted, but I really was curious what y’all thought. My preference? Final projects. But if everyone voted the opposite, I would take that into consideration and ponder why I’m making my choices. I haven’t closed the voting, but at the moment there are 4 votes for “final projects only,” 3 votes for “process info along the way,” and 3 votes for “other”: 1) post finished projects with accompanying process photos, 2) post about other activities (Thanks for the suggestion. I do post little random life events on Twitter so you can check that out if you’re interested. The bulk of the rest of my life is spent working which I really can’t blog about), and 3) do whatever I want… which I planned to do anyway! :)  So it kind ends up 6 votes for “final projects only.” We have a winner. And it’s a winner I like.  Thank you again for your input!

Final version finally. I like the bright pink against the green. It took a long time to sew the pink letters to their white background with pink thread with tiny stitches. I used 3 strands of my 6 strand embroidery thread to sew the white letter background onto the green and white cat. Going through 3 layers of the iron-on adhesive plus the sweatshirt with the embroidery needle was tough on my fingertips, but somehow I made it. ;)

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Off to collapse into bed! Life is mostly cats and work, cats and work lately. Mostly I’m grateful to the 365 cat project for keeping me feeling balanced.

Some projects take days of research and many trips to the local craft store, and this was one of them. I know nothing about sewing, but I had so much fun doing this! I had to keep going to the store for different color quilting squares (I didn’t even know they existed a couple of weeks ago), different threads, iron-on adhesive (also new to me), a new sweatshirt. I made the decision to use an old sweatshirt because this is kind of a test run. I might actually wear it more often now. And I looked at lots of images to see what I liked, read about how to apply appliqués, watched videos on how to hand stitch. I’m proud to say that’s a back stitch there, folks. Only proud because I didn’t know what a back stitch was few days ago either. This isn’t finished yet, but I think it qualifies as a cat. :)

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And I have to give credit for the inspiration to another 365’er, Sanne who is doing a heart-a-day project.

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I love her sweatshirt!

Thanks for visiting!

Silkscreening fun tonight!

So, things I learned from my silkscreening adventures:

1) start with a t-shirt I really like and want to wear even if there isn’t a design on it – I really just won’t wear a crappy t-shirt from the art supply store even if it only cost $3.99 US – putting a cat on the front doesn’t make me like it any more than I originally did

2) test run on a piece of fabric or old t-shirt is essential to find little imperfections in the glue that need to be taped

3) don’t get ink on the tape… that transfers to the t-shirt

4) I am not a one-swipe inker – it comes out too light for me, have to swipe at least twice

5) when I ink two shirts right in a row, need to swipe ink over the open screen to keep it from drying and blocking the flow of ink…

6) which then makes it impossible to see exactly where I’m placing the design on the second t-shirt because I’m looking at just a big smudge of ink on my side of the screen – gotta flip it over and mark some kind of points of reference with my fingers and flip it back and then set it down

Overall, I’m still fascinated by this silkscreening thing. Weird how different things capture different people’s interest. Thank goodness, eh? Or else we’d all be wearing only cat t-shirts!

I have been driven to create another silkscreen. Today’s is inspired by my stepfather’s idea for a t-shirt that my brother made years ago. It’s a red t-shirt that says “yellow” on it. It makes my scratch my head and chuckle. So I thought of how weird a word could I put under or over a cat? Hmmmm… “elephant”! A co-worker had a good idea for another word, so that may be coming up soon. (I’m exposing my odd sense of humor here. Are you running away screaming yet? Hee hee.) This didn’t dry as fast as I wanted, so no inking tonight.

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A closeup so you can see the dried glue and the screen.

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Here’s a link to the first video in a series about how to make a silkscreen.  This is the method I used for this and the previous silkscreen.

And the chihuahua foster dog is doing well. Look, you can’t count every single rib anymore! Can’t wait until his rescue group finds him a home. He’s a lot of work. And he is super cute and fun while he’s with us, though.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this!