Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Old Chalk Deer on hooked rug


Laurie Lausen hooked this one, what a dear face ! Thanks for sharing! Edyth

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A stitch in Time

Our white Lady Bank's Rose is a glory this week! I have never seen one fuller. They are more often seen in yellow, but I collect white flowers and have many times had a white banks through the years, Once Penny gave us a white rose when we first moved to the country. It was a fierce climber, with huge single blossoms and called Cherokee. It put out agressive branches 20 feet long in a season and had unbelievable thorns. Living with that over an entry to our back yard was like living with a shark! It surely was beautiful when in bloom. We finally took it down.
By contrast the Bank's are close to thornless. This one is medium in that respect.
How does it happen that I spend so much time making and mending rugs? A few weeks ago we had an opportunity to choose from a nice batch of orientals and came home with four medium sized ones. My artist daughter, Cheryl and her husband Glen, love the rugs, and as they are in the process of moving from their rustic high mountain home of the last 21 years, to a house in Denver, we are shipping a nice batch of rugs to them. So I am taking a few remedial stitches to help the rugs stay together a while longer.
As with any textiles, glues or tapes are a no no as those are not reversible when further work may be needed. I patch small holes in these soft old worn rugs, by putting a pice of heavy rug hooking wool under the missing spot, as I have every color in that. Then I stitch back and forth with Paternayan crewel yard in a near shade. This yarn is also good to overcast ravely edges on the rugs. Orientals are woven with generally two strong cords on each selvage edge. When these become separated from the sides of the rug through wear, the rug is close to gone. Best not to buy them in that shape. It pays to overcast this selvage or have it professionally serged when the rugs have this kind of wear. Less serious is the loss of fringe on the ends of the weaving. They may look ratty to some people. I told one of my daughters that a love of these rugs even when quite worn is like the affection for a worn pair of jeans which makes them more attractive to some of us. E

Friday, March 23, 2012

Changes happen.

It looks like I may have to move house. We are in a nice large two story
one, and husband’s bedroom is on the second floor. He is up a lot at night and
I snore terribly, so we keep separate sleeping rooms. Now the stairs are an
issue for us both. We do not want to move. A horrible prospect with all the
stuff we have packed in here! I don’t know just when, but I see it coming.
We have collections of collections.

Thanks to Debbie for buying most of the rug wool, and to a number of you
who are helping reduce the size of my doll family. The next house is 1000 sq feet smaller. Oh My!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hooked rug, whaling runner





















This one is a design from an old rug, printed by Barb Carroll as "Moby Dick" in her section of antique rugs. I would love to have it to use down the center of our dining table. Click on a picture to make it larger, you will see my color play using a great deal of variation, which is my main enjoyment in this great craft. Edyth

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quilting Bee 2012
































































A modern quilting bee is perhaps just as much fun as a traditional one held a century or more ago. Fredericksburg is a magnet for artists and crafters of all stripes. We have a world class fine art school here and many other less formal art classes and demos throughout the year. There is a growing film festival each spring. Weavers and wood workers and writers abound. Our town is also the site of many retreats and workshops for rug hookers and quilters.
This past week I enjoyed visiting with a group of quilters who set up their work in a large meeting room, and spread out an amazing display of quilts in progress, mostly quite modern in color and pattern as well as execution. The participants were not gathered about a frame quilting on their fingers, but rather sat at long work tables and had rows of sewing machines buzzing away. Half of the machines were our grandmother's beloved little Singer featherweights. The other half were high tech wonders capable of anything short of rocketry it seems. The popular little featherweights are still the darlings of many of us who make doll clothes or quilts. I have two Singers set up in my own sewing area.

As soon as they arrive in the hill country, many of the quilters make a bee line for "Creations" a fabulous fabric store in Kerrville. I visited some of the women in their motel rooms as they spread out their bounty from that expedition. So many beautiful textiles and patterns and projects!
Some of the women visited us for tea and brownies. We had such a great good time! E

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