Charmed Life Craft

Hooked rugs and other delights by Margaret Forsey


2 Comments

My Very First Quilt

Alternate title for this post: The Quilt That Took A Zillion Years To Complete

I have been wanting to try making my first quilt for some time now. I have also been rather intimidated by the idea- I consider myself to be a beginner at sewing.  In the Autumn, I found a lovely simple pattern for a quilt. It was from a library book called Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet and Simple Projects to Sew and Embellish by Jenny Ryan. The project was called the Spumoni Stripe Quilt. It was designed to be a baby blanket! But I thought it would make a lovely lap quilt for my partner, Mike. Mike is always chilly, and his favourite thing to do in the evenings is snuggle on the couch with our cat, Tubbs. I thought they would both enjoy a special quilt made just for them.

image

I went to the fabric shop intending to buy fabrics in shades of golden yellow, orange, and brown. Those colours make me think of Mike. However, when I saw this fabric with bicycles and cats, I knew that I had to use it. Bicycle rides and cat snuggles are basically the glue that hold me and Mike together. Well, that and fart jokes. (Gentle readers, if any of you know of fart themed fabric, please let me know!)

image

I am sorry, but I cannot tell you the name of this fabric, because I forgot to note it before I chopped it up! Do any of you know?

Anyhoot, I began the quilt in early December, hoping to finish it by Christmas as a gift for Mike. However, I got busy and distracted, making craft for holiday markets, preparing for a new job, and travelling to Newfoundland. I thought,”Hey, I’ll finish it time for our anniversary in January”. Nope. Valentine’s day? NOPE. The project kept get put aside for work, and plans for my upcoming wedding, and life. I finally finished it in time for Mike’s birthday in May. Thank goodness!

image

I tried to hide this project from Mike, but it didn’t work. I kept referring to it as “my top secret project that you know nothing about”. He was very sweet about turning a blind eye to the quilt laid out on my studio floor. when he finally received it, he loved it. So do the cats. This makes me happy!

tubbs quilt

I really enjoyed making this quilt, and would love to make more! I used my sewing machine to piece the fabrics together, but the quilting itself was done by hand. I enjoyed working while chatting with my friends or watching movies. It has lots of mistakes, especially in the corners, but hey, that only adds to it’s charm, right?!?

I would love to make another quilt based on this pattern for myself, to use for as a picnic blanket and yoga mat. Perhaps I will make another as a gift for my parents sometime, too. And of course it would be a great gift for a new baby. And I want to make a queen size quilt for our bed. I will keep you posted on all future projects!

Love Margaret xoxoxoxo

Ps: The photographs outdoors were taken by Mike Beazley. The photo of cozy Tubbs was taken by me!

 


11 Comments

My Very First Hat

   Hello everyone🙂. I am sorry that I haven’t posted in so very long. Life has been very full recently, with some travel, a new job, and much to integrate. I am happy to be back in this space now, though!

   I want to share some photos of the first hat I ever knit! This may not seem so exciting to some of you…the hat is very simple. But as I wrote before, I am a newish knitter, and am delighted to be learning new skills and completing new projects.

DSC_2675

   I finished this hat in late December. It is called “The Tom Hat” and was designed by Margeau Soboti (www.margeausoboti.com).  It was double-strand knitted, using DK weight yarn from the Mineville Wool Project. I chose my favourite colour, raspberry, which makes my heart sing. The pattern is a very simple one, great for a first hat. I decided to add a HUGE pom-pom. I have seen some photos of hats with big pom-poms on style blogs and loved the look. Also, it bounces when I walk and that makes me giggle!

DSC_2683

DSC_2690-001

   To be honest, I am still deciding if the pom-pom looks cute, or really silly and dorky. what do you think?

DSC_2711

   These photographs were taken by my lovely boyfriend while on a walk in the wintery woods. I love the leaping photo!

   Thank you for visiting.❤ Maggie xoxoxox

ps: My dad loved his scarf and wore it all through the Christmas season. My mom loved her scarf, too! Yay! Who knows, maybe by next Christmas I will be knitting socks for them….😉


Leave a comment

A cozy scarf for my dad!

My dad has a birthday coming up in early December. Recently, I knit a lovely squishy scarf as a gift for him. Here it is being modelled by my sweet boyfriend Mike:

DSC_2429

I am a newish and fairly unskilled knitter. I learned how to knit about two years ago, but it did not really take. I was working as a private childcare provider at that time, caring for several very young children. I was also taking a class in Waldorf Early Childhood Education. Needless to say, I was very tired and didn’t have a lot of brain space to perfect new skills!

One of the first things I ever knit was a very simple blue cotton scarf for my dad. It was FULL of mistakes and holes, absurdly long and stretched in weird ways. My sweet dad, however, still wears it daily when the weather gets cold, and proudly shows it off to everyone he meets. (Nice of him, but very embarrassing for me!)

Anyhoot…..last May I left my nannying job, in order to devote all of my energy to my own art and ECE projects. Now that I have more time, energy, and brain-space, I have been hanging out at my wonderful local wool shop, trying to expand and fine-tune my knitting skills.

I decided to make my dad a new scarf!

The pattern came from the book Last minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I highly recommend this book for new knitters. The patterns are simple but quite charming. The scarf pattern I used is called “Men’s Cashmere Scarf”. I didn’t use cashmere for this, however. I used a wool yarn from Fleece Artist, called Coraline. It is 100% corridale wool. The yarn is dyed a lovely deep blue called ocean.

DSC_2425

(Mike is cute!)

I really enjoyed knitting this scarf. It has fewer mistakes than anything else I’ve knit. SCORE! I am excited to mail it to my dad, and when I visit Newfoundland at Christmas, I’ll take some pictures of him wearing it, to share with you.

Are you knitting anything these days? When you first started, did you make anything ridiculous and dorky? Please share in your comments🙂

xoxoxoxo Maggie

 


2 Comments

Finished Pink Gang Rug

Hello! I have finished my first rug in my “Pink Gang” series. Hooray!

(You can read more about the background of this series in my last post, from August 28th)

Here is is:

IMG_3073

And here is the back:

IMG_3043

I am so happy with this rug, and it was a joy to create. It was made with a burlap background, and hooked with a variety of yarns- Brown Sheep Company bulky for the hair, skin, and sari, and Briggs and Little for the background. The stick and the gold jewelry were hooked with mystery scraps from my yarn basket. I have been experimenting with using finer yarns and I am really enjoying the detail you can achieve with them.

Admittedly, the face of this woman is not how I had envisioned it would be. I had hoped to make her look fierce, as women in the pink gang must be, but she persisted in looking gentle. I have learned from the past that when you fuss and fuss over a piece of art, trying to force it to look a certain way- well, it shows! The art can look overworked and frustrated. So I decided to allow this woman to look gentle🙂 I am planning to create several more pink gang rugs for the Taza India Bazaar, so I will experiment with creating other facial expressions. I also want to try some different backgrounds.

Now I just need to add a dowel to the back of the rug, for hanging, and a tag with my name and the date, and this piece will be all ready to go!

Here are some detail shots of the rug:

IMG_3056

A gentle expression.

IMG_3047

A bright gold ring.

I hope that you like this rug, too. Please share any questions or comments below🙂

xoxoxoxo Margaret


2 Comments

The Pink Gang

I have been invited sell my rugs at a fair in my town- the TAZA India gift bazaar. This event celebrates locally made and fair trade items.  It is organized by an artist, dancer, and musician named Heidi Kalyani- a wonderfully talented woman❤. This year, the fair will feature some Nova Scotian crafts people and artists, selling work that is inspired by India.  I am so excited to take part! I am hard at work creating some pieces for the fair, which will be held in November.

For the bazaar, I am making several rugs inspired by the Gulabi Gang in India- known in english as the Pink Gang. This is a group of Indian women activists who fight against violence against women. The group was founded by a woman named Sampat Pal Devi. They wear bright pink saris, and carry sticks called laathis for self defense. I first read about the Gulabi Gang years ago in Shameless magazine.  I was so inspired by these women, protecting their communities and standing up for themselves! Recently I learned more about them by reading the book  “Pink Sari Revolution: A tale of Women and Power in India” by Amana Fontanella- Khan. I highly recommend this book.  I am going to make rugs to help share the story of these women, and celebrate their heroism.

Here is a watercolour of the design for my first Pink Gang inspired rug:

IMG_3014

Here is a gathering of the materials I will use:

IMG_3012

And here is a picture of my cat Tubbs, who has claimed some of the yarn as her own! By the way, the colour of this yarn is called lotus pink!

IMG_2996

I am very happy to be working on this little series of hooked rugs. I will be sure to post pictures when I complete one. Wish me luck! xoxoxo Margaret

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.