Sunday, February 15, 2015


When did they start naming snowstorms?  

I woke up really early this morning -- before 5 -- and just snuggled under the down comforter for awhile, listening to the storm.  I love how snow muffles normal sounds, how it softens the edges of the world for a little bit.  I got up to watch the sunrise over the bay -- we have a tiny winter water view between two houses when the leaves are off the trees.  But there's no sun today!  So I broke open the bag of Vietnamese coffee beans our God-daughters sent us from their recent trip to Asia, steamed some milk, and nestled into the couch to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (which is exquisitely written).  

Today is my day off -- from everything.  After I post this, I am unplugging for the day.  I'm turning the computer and my cell phone off and unplugging the land line.  I need some quiet time.  I'm taking care of our neighbor's four dogs -- 3 Labradors and a slightly spoiled French Bulldog.  I love them, and I don't mind, but that's a lot of dog to shepherd through the snow.  Cairo, who turned 13 on Friday the 13th, is struggling with his allergies and all the salt on the roads and sidewalks and seems to need constant attention.  Pete and I have just spent two weeks housing and helping a friend who needed some TLC, and I've been struggling to design new rug patterns and kits for this year in between preparing for classes.  So I am feeling a bit . . . Stretched?  Scattered?  Saturated?  Whatever the word is, I need some solitude.  So today will be a quiet one, shoveling snow and snuggling on the sofa with my new book and my old dog.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I ❤️ Teaching

I have been teaching two wonderful groups of quilters how to rug hook at the Farmhouse Quilt Company.  The women have all taken to rug hooking quickly -- not a surprise since they all make quilts and do other crafts.  Two students, both named Judy, are particularly prolific.  I think they've finished more rugs this past year than I have!

Here is Judy W. with her version of my White Whale Tavern.  She hooked it with thrifted wool, except for the background, which is one of my hand-dyed wools.  That's her husband, Gene, helping her display the rug.  What a terrific job!

Judy and Gene and The White Whale Tavern
And here is my other Judy -- Judy L. -- displaying her version of my pattern Long May It Wave.  She gave it to her daughter-in-law for Christmas.  Lucky girl, that daughter-in-law.
Judy at the Farmhouse Quilt Company

Both Judys are working on the Saturday Sampler I designed just for their class.  I'm sure they will have theirs finished before I finish mine.

I also got a great email this week from a customer who purchased my fox terrier pattern.  Meet Sugar the Fox Terrier, hooked by Niheala:

I love the way Niheala turned my abstract border into a field of flowers and added the landscape behind the dog!  

It is always a thrill for me to see how people interpret my patterns.  If you've hooked one, send it along and I will post it here.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Rug Show & Hook In

I just received this from Sherry Paisley who runs the Newtown Rug Show.  Sounds like fun.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Yet Again

More snow this morning.  I was out early (6 am) to pick up a friend who needed a ride.  I was driving near Mill Creek at dawn and there -- smack in the middle of the road standing tall on the yellow line -- was a Great Blue Heron.  He was so majestic.  I am praying that he flew away and did not get hit . . . Apparently they don't always migrate south, especially here where it is pretty temperate.  He made the wrong decision to stay here this year, lol.

I am prepping for a repeat of my Key to My Heart needle punch class at Farmhouse Quilt Company tomorrow.  How I love teaching there!  Such a great space, and such great people to spend time with.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow and more Snow

I woke at 5 and listened to the wind blow and the muffled sounds of the snow plow driving by. We have a LOT of snow, maybe 20 inches by now.  I went out in my pajamas and boots to shovel a spot for poor little Cairo whose legs are only 6 inches long.  I couldn't get the back door open, and the side steps had a four foot drift in front of them.  I came back inside, had my coffee and breakfast and went back out to shovel for 40 minutes.  Then Pete took over.  He's been out for a couple of hours, with a hot coffee break in between.  We want to get it as cleaned up as possible because the temperature is supposed to drop drastically and it is much harder to shovel icy snow than the fluffy stuff we have right now.

I'm not whining -- I actually love a good storm and I like to shovel -- and I know that Buffalo and International Falls and a whole bunch of other places deal with this amount of snow all the time.  But it is a pretty remarkable snowfall for the rather temperate eastern end of Long Island.

It is supposed snow for the rest of the day.  We may hit 30 inches!  I will be shoveling again today!  Then I'll sit at my frame and hook!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Storm of the Century

I must have been on another planet for the last week -- I had no idea we were in for a gigantic storm until yesterday.  It looks like it will be huge, and the total number of inches expected seems to grow by the hour.  I went out this morning to the bank, the gas station, and the grocery store, even though we have enough food in the house to feed the entire village for a month.

The flurries started at 8 this morning, and just as the weathermen predicted, the heavier stuff started falling at 1 pm.  I put snow shovels by the back and side doors so we can clear a path for Cairo, whose little legs are only about 6 inches long.  We parked our cars as close to the street as possible so we won't have to shovel the entire driveway.  So we are all set, now that the snow is really starting to accumulate.

So what's next?  I'm about to make a cup of Lemon Zinger tea and sit at my rug frame!  Hooray!  I cannot remember the last time I spent an afternoon hooking.  I've been too busy getting ready for classes and the new round of shows that start in April.  So this will be a real treat for me today.

Speaking of classes, we had another successful day at Farmhouse Quilt Company.  I had three brand spanking new students, and five returnees who have all started hooking within the past year.  What fun we had!  And how well they all took to it!  I think the ease with which they have picked up hooking comes from the fact that they are quilters.  They are already handy, and tuned into color planning and all that jazz.  Turns out, a quilt shop is a really great place to color plan a rug -- all the fabric companies bundle up cottons that go with each other and those color combinations lend themselves to hooking.

I'm excited to see what the girls have completed by our next class.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Saturday Sampler

A new class starts this Saturday at the Farmhouse Quilt Company -- Saturday Sampler -- a welcome mat that combines designs that quilters love and techniques that new rug hookers want to learn.  Its another delightful result from this wonderful collaboration I have with Janet and Lindsay.
Saturday Sampler ©2015 S. McNamara
The class runs from 10 AM to 3 PM.  I'll provide the pattern and the wool for the center section.  We'll talk about color planning to start, so students will end up with a rug that fits into their home.  Everyone is encouraged to bring in their stash, to keep costs low.  If you are interested in joining us, call Farmhouse Quilts at 631-236-6030.

It feels like spring here today, even though it is only about 30 degrees.  The sun is shining and warm and there is virtually no wind.  But a storm is headed this way -- the weathermen are calling for snow and a nor'easter.  We'll see what happens.  Sounds like good rug hooking weather.