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Category Archives: Design

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

By | Antique rugs, Design, Making rugs | 3 Comments

Let’s start by looking at this patriotic-themed rug from the late 19th or early 20th century. A grand-looking eagle, looking somewhat fierce, as all American eagles should look, carries a red and white banner in its beak. Its wings are a somewhat improbable red and tan, with blue stripes, but it looks just right. It sits on a gray-ish background, and is surrounded by a double red, white and blue border.

Oh, for antique rugs which have a tag saying exactly where, when and by whom it was made… but in the passage of time, this eagle holds its own meaning, love of country, whenever it was made. And on November 15, (10 am, EST) it will be auctioned off by Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, PA. It is Lot 344, and the description reads “Hooked rug with eagle and bannerette. Late 19th/early 20th century. Worked with polychrome wool and cotton. 31 in. x 52 1/2 in.” The estimated price is $800-$1,200.

And now here is an early 21st century rug, also meant to convey a love of country. This one you may recognise from its beginning stages. It was designed and hooked by me, adapted from a photo I took of my own flag flying from my own porch.

I wanted to do a patriotic flag rug. I remember I spent the good part of a day looking around on the internet for flag patterns, and ideas for primitive designs featuring our flag. There were many nice ones, but all of a sudden, it occurred to me that I wanted to do a design based on my own US flag. And so this rug began. I took one photo of the porch and flag, but the flag was hanging somewhat limply that day, and I thought not enough of the “Stars and Stripes” were showing. So I waited for a quite windy day, and took another photo where the flag, fluttering in the wind, showed itself more. I used the first picture, and when tracing it on my linen, just used the flag itself from the second picture. Just right.

I really stuck to the photo pretty closely. The cat on the little stone wall is actually a stone cat sculpture, and that is exactly where the stone cat sits… but of course it is also representing Ruby the cat. I always have a little trouble hooking stones. Each time, I usually hook them first in dark grays, then realize that is not right, and re-do them in lighter grays and beiges that look more like the big rocks around my yard.

It came out well, I think, and as usual, I tried to be patient with the multi-greens of the tree foliage, which I did using “pixilating”, where you take strands of various greens and do three loops of one strand here, four loops of the same green there, skipping around, making tiny little three- to six-loop patches here and there. Then you take the next shade of green strip and do the same, and gradually fill in the leafy area. I like the effect, but it the slowest of techniques!

So I’m happy with the rug. Now the big challenge is finding a place in my house to hang it.

The web site for Freeman’s is at www.freemansauction.com, and the photo of the antique eagle rug is courtesy of them.

Out at sea…

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | 5 Comments

It’s one thing to go to a great rug camp, but when you are six miles out to sea on a small island, the problem is that every direction you look in, there is a rug design just waiting to happen. This is a photo of early morning, just after sunrise, on the Isles of Shoals, where I spent four days at Pam Bartlett’s Star Island Rug Retreat. And yes, though I got a lot of hooking done, this time I did take photos of at least some of the projects people were working on to show you.

Last year, Pam set aside the project she had brought to spontaneously make this rug during the retreat:

And she challenged us to come back to Star with a rug reflecting our memories of the island. Three people brought beautiful pieces. First, Cathy Dupuis, of Holderness, NH, made this small piece, capturing the rowboats that anchor in the harbor:

Donna Rousseau, of Wells, Maine, finished her challenge rug this week on the island. She decided to call it Cornerstone:

And Dayle Young Wheeler, of Rutland, VT, brought back her wonderful view of the chapel steeple, with the words that capture the essence of a retreat on Star Island – just beautiful:

And while we were there, two rugs were completed. Biffie Gallant, of Randolph, VT, finished this lovely rug that she had been working on for more than a year. The pattern is Chinese Roundel, by Jane McGown Flynn:

And Bonnie Roycewicz, of Fort Ann, NY, finished this charming rug during our time on Star. The pattern is Love Birds, by Cushing, and adapted by Bonnie as a wedding gift:

And in our four days, I got a lot done on my rug, based on the photo I’ve shown you of my porch with our flag flying:

Each day, Pam spent a few moments talking with us about being creative, being in the moment, being mindful, and noticing the beauty of your surroundings. And of course, this, we can each do wherever we are.

Pam Bartlett does such a wonderful job organizing this retreat, as well as running a great rug shop, The Woolen Pear, in Loudon, NH, online at www.redhorserugs.com. It’s not that easy, when every single thing has to be anticipated and transported out to the island on the ferry. Thank you, Pam.

All photos of these rugs are shown here with the permission of their makers, and many thanks to each of them. And thank you, Star Island. More info on day trips, retreats, and conferences on Star, and the fascinating history of the island, can be found at www.starisland.org.

Before I go…

By | Antique rugs, Design | 4 Comments

Before I go off to rug camp, here are a few antique rugs coming up for sale for you to contemplate and consider. First, above, is a perfect combination of a floral pattern with hit or miss completing the geometric design. It is Lot 337, coming up for sale by Wooton and Wooton, in Camden, SC, on Sept. 16th (10 am). The description: Early American Hooked Rug Late 19th/early 20th century. Having floral pattern throughout. W 41 1/2″ L 61″. Estimate: $100-$200.

This next photo shows two rugs being sold together, by Locati Auctions, on September 18th (9 AM) in Maple Glen, PA:

The larger rug does not interest me that much – a bit too blotchy even for me – though I do like the border. If the center section had been hooked in all one color, the other areas of variation would not bother me nearly as much. But the Hit or Miss rug is great – the simplest of a geometric design, with an internal grid border to define the blocks. I can say it is simple, but if I got out a piece of linen to draw it out, I would really have to focus on finding the exact diagonals in each block that forms the pattern. One of those designs that look simple without being easy to reproduce! These two rugs make up Lot 917639. Description: The larger rug has floral decoration, the smaller rug has a geometric pattern, both early 20th century. Dimensions: 60″ x 35″ and 37″ x 24″. Estimate: $200-$300.

And here are three more antique rugs which will both be sold tomorrow (Sept. 9, 10 am) at Garth’s Auctioneers, in Delaware, Ohio:


This is a large rug, and I think it’s quite elegant – the bright flowers and center design are framed by the two-tone scrolling leaves. It is Lot 497, described as AMERICAN HOOKED RUG. Twentieth century. Room size rug with large polychrome bouquet of flowers in center, bordered with flowers and foliage. Backed with cloth. 9′ x 12′. Estimate: $600-$1200.

This next one is Lot 401 in tomorrow’s auction at Garth’s:

and what’s not to love about that charming, smiling dog? Even the star is sweet! Description: AMERICAN HOOKED RUG. Early 20th century. Large dog. With fringe. 26.5″ x 41.5″ Estimate $200-$400.

And here is Lot 408, in the same auction tomorrow:

I really like this one, both the design itself and the combination of colors used. Description: AMERICAN HOOKED RUG. Early 20th century. Floral design on purple ground. 31″x 65″, Estimate $100-$250.

Well, I am fairly ready to set off for my rug retreat on the Isles of Shoals this weekend. I took Lynne Fowler’s advice, and cut a lot of 3″-4″ wide long strips of wool in the colors I think I will need for my flag-on-the-porch rug. I put each group of colors together with a large safety pin, so all my grays and tans are in one bundle, all my greens in another, and so on. It cut down my pile of wool substantially, but I will have a good choice of colors to be getting on with. Great idea, so thanks, Lynne!

Here are links to the auction websites, and all photos are used courtesy of them: www.wootenandwooten.com, www.locatillc.com and www.garths.com

Hope you have a great weekend with at least some hooking involved, wherever you are!

My way of doing it

By | Design, Making rugs | 8 Comments

What to work on next? Well, here is the story of how one rug is getting underway. I wanted to do a flag rug, just out of feeling patriotic these days. I looked at a lot of designs and graphics to get some ideas. But while there were a lot of versions of the Red, White and Blue out there (espeically some great primitive patterns around), it suddenly occurred to me that I should do my flag, the one hanging outside of my house.

So I went outside and stood in the driveway, and took a few photos of my porch, with our flag, and the door into our house. I finally chose the photo above for my design. I liked that it included the little stone wall on which I keep my stone cat sculpture, and flowers in pots – they would add some bits of bright color in the foreground.

Then I took my photo, and ran it through an app called Waterlogue that I have on my iPad. As you can see, the colors get simplified, and the outlines of objects stand out:

I also made a plain black and white copy of the photo, and on this, I took a black marker, and traced all the major lines, just so I could see them easier once I got to the light table:

I wasn’t happy with the flag itself – didn’t think enough of the Stars and Stripes were showing, so I waited for a windy day, and took a few close-ups that showed it fluttering out a bit more. And I decided all the tree foliage can be filled in once I start hooking them.

Then I figured out about how big a rug I wanted to make. This will be a hanging piece, not a floor piece, so I kept it small-ish, about 15″ wide by 21″ tall. And went down to my local copy shop with my marked-up black-and-white version to enlarge it to rug size.

Then down to use a friend’s light table, to trace it onto my linen backing:

I think everyone has a slightly different method for transferring a photo to a design on backing material. I have done without a light table by using masking tape – taping both the design and the backing (on top) to a bright window for tracing. I’ve even tried making my own temporary light table by putting a small lamp on the floor and balancing (on stacks of books) a piece of plexiglass above it. It worked ok, but my friend Mary has a real light table – it is easier and more stable!

Now the color planning. I had the right reds, whites and blues for Old Glory, and scrounged through my wool room and pulled out a few browns for the porch, dark maroon for the porch trim, grays for the roof, a bunch of bright colors for the flowers and pots, a lot of grays and beiges for the stone wall, and a whole pile of greens for all that foliage. And some more grayish-tans for the ground. That is about the extent of how I color plan for a pictorial!

The problem is this: I will be starting to hook this rug at the rug retreat next week, out on Star Island. So there is no throwing anything you might concievably need for wool colors in your car. I think pictorials are the hardest to choose the wool for, when going away – you might need just a bit of this-or-that, right? So here is a photo of my initial wool sorting:

A friend reminded me that I probably will not be able to finish the entire rug in four days at camp, so if I take enough wool to get started on the porch and flag, and maybe begin on the green leaves, I will probably have enough! I know she is right, but… but… I always pack wool like I might somehow get stuck at rug camp for a month or more. And you can never have too much wool!

Designs right around you

By | Composition, Design, Making rugs | 2 Comments

A few people asked me about this rug I showed (with Ruby gracing it) the other day. So today let’s talk about it a bit. It was one of the rugs that I’ve had the most fun hooking, maybe because I drew it out quite quickly, and only had the most vague idea of how it would end up looking. I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out!

A few years ago, I took a class called “Designing From Nature” with Liz Alpert Fay, up at Shelburne, VT. A three day rughooking class, and none of us ever picked up a hook! We just looked at things and worked on designs. And we talked a bit about techniques to transition a design from drawing-size to full rug size. I came home with at least three full designs on backing, ready to go. And this was the first one I finished hooking.

Liz had asked everyone in the class to come with about 6 or 8 “natural treasures”. We brought little pieces of driftwood, seed pods, flowers, little rocks. And though most of us were not at all experts at drawing, she had us just sit down and sketch out our versions of the natural treasures that struck our fancy.

One thing I brought was a cross-sectioned slice of blue agate that I have kept in a window for more than thirty years. I have always loved seeing the light from the window coming through it, and highlighting the layered rings:

As you can see, the rug only remotely looks like the agate slice. It was just a starting point. One large squiggle for the outside border (without any really sharp curves that would make it hard to finish when the rug was done) and then echoing inner squiggles that varied a bit each time. I tried to vary thicker “layers” and thinner layers. And I remember I ended up changing these a bit as I actually did the hooking.

I did keep to the overall blue coloring of my original agate, but added in some purples and blue textures as I went. As often happens, I picked the colors as I went along, just mindful of getting enough contrast between the “layers” and enough variety overall.

One thing about designing that I learned in this class with Liz: You don’t actually have to try drawing an exact replica of something. Think of it as drawing your own impression of it. A seed pod can become such an interesting form to create an abstract yet natural design!

A handful of shells can suggest forms and shapes to create a design that might end up having nothing directly to do with shells at all:

Can you envision using the lines of this shell photo to make an interesting pattern for a hit or miss rug? There you go!

A branch of a tree, currents in a stream, the curves of a piece of driftwood, or even the cracks in a rock can be the starting point of a lovely rug design.

Look at this simple photo of a tree branch:

Now, try to stop yourself from seeing it as a branch, and look at it just as a form, a series of lines. What if each section of the background was a different color, instead of being all green? Can you start seeing it as a design, maybe a design that will become completely separated from “a branch”, that you could develop into a pleasing rug form?

I just quickly went into an online paint program and came up with this:

It was done quickly to illustrate a point, and nothing beautiful – but can you start seeing it as lines and forms, and areas of color, rather than a branch? Can you imagine where it could develop from there? There is something organically pleasing about the designs you find in nature.

That’s how I came to design my “blue agate” rug. At some point, it stopped being a picture of my agate slice, and just became a design I really liked. I would like to do another version of this general rug design, maybe in reds, oranges and yellows.

You don’t have to be an expert in drawing to look around, and play with shapes and lines, forms and colors – to create your own designs! Abstract designs might not be for everyone, but they are a great change of pace, and a good way to stretch your “creative muscle”. And don’t forget: rugs do not always have to be rectangles or circles!

Keep on hooking, and hook what you love.

Summer days…

By | Color, Design, Making rugs | 8 Comments

I confess, I went to a wonderful few days at Green Mountain Rughooking School, and I took no photos for the blog. If I take photos of other people’s rugs, I then have to wander around and find them to get permission to show them. Maybe the photos are all over facebook, but on the blog, that’s how I do things.
So I took a blog vacation in favor of sitting with friends and just hooking, hooking, (visiting, eating, telling stories, laughing, comparing projects and…) hooking.

Above, you see my current project, started in mid-May. I wanted a rug to do in a wider cut than I have tried before – an #8 cut – and was not feeling very creative, so I ordered this pattern, called Birds In The Border, by Lin Wells of Lin’s Primitive by Design.

I liked that it was sort of symmetrical, but not completely symmetrical. And in choosing my colors, I made sure that I continued this slight unsymmetricality. Is that a real word? Well, you know what I mean. I used the same group of colors for the small and large flowers, but changed the order and pattern of them.

And how did I do, using a #8 cut for the first time? Just fine! I expected to have to work harder to pull my loops, but really, it felt just like hooking with my usual #6 cut. I do use a hook with a fairly thick shank, even when working with a #5 or #6, so maybe that is why I had no difficulty. I just had to remember to space out my loops a little more than I usually do, since even with a #6, I tend to pack my loops in.

The other great thing about this design is that, once I finished all the design elements (birds, flowers, leaves, vine) there was not that much background to do!

One of my favorite parts of hooking is when you put that first row of background around all your design elements. That flower or this leaf looks so different when it is finally surrounded by the background color! And that first background row is what locks your loops into place, so that is the time to nudge a loop a little bit this way or that way to smooth out a curve or a straight line, or give final shape to a bird’s beak or tail.

And as you can see, I only have a bit left to do. As I approach the “home stretch” on a rug, I usually have to set it aside to finalize my next project. Then I can relax and finish up the current one. We would never want to find ourselves rug-less, would we??

Hoping you are enjoying the summertime, and that the rug on your frame is coming along, too!

A Labor of Love

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | 3 Comments

Gayle Burton, of West Point, Utah, has been working on and off on this rug for over five years, and now it is done. It is her family story rug, and is pretty large – 48″ x 60″. She wrote that it was a labor of love, and it felt great to have finally finished it.

I have become more and more drawn to personal storytelling rugs in general lately. Yes, we can all enjoy making florals, or holiday rugs with Santas and pumpkins and Easter bunnies, and enjoy them for years to come. But taking your own memories and family stories, and making a rug design around them, as Gayle has, really puts your own experience and spirit into a rug. Let’s look a little closer at how Gayle did it.

She wrote, “Hubby and I moved into our home in Clinton, Utah, as honeymooners, and raised three children and a dog there, over the course of 37 years.

Lesson #1: Don’t stress about hooking people into your rug! It doesn’t have to be a fine-shaded, perfect-rendition portrait of them. If you could draw people when you were in the third grade, you can draw (and hook) them now. Gayle’s are charming, and all the family (the focus of her family rug) is right there and up front.

The Union Pacific Railroad runs right behind the house – the diesel trains aren’t very picturesque, so I hooked an old-fashioned steam engine instead“:

Lesson #2: Adapt as you see fit. “Artistic License” is a wonderful thing, and you own it! You can adapt reality to a symbolic level, to fit your taste and style, and everyone will know exactly what you are representing!

Gayle did the same thing with her little airplane. She writes, “We live near Hill Air Force Base, and F-16 fighter jets fly overhead often.” So she added a simple little red airplane to her design. Who cares that F-16s aren’t red?

“We are LDS (Mormons) so I hooked in the Salt Lake Temple as a symbol of our religion – there are flowers to depict the beautiful gardens that are to be seen in every season at Temple Square. The blue represents the Great Salt Lake.

Again, Gayle did not try to portray the gardens in their entirety, she just put in a few flowers to represent the gardens. Perfect!

Lesson #3: Get started by making a list (and asking family members to add to it) of significant places and features that define your story – both large and small.

Gayle’s list included the very large – the Temple and Great Salt Lake – to a quilt hanging outside, the flag, and what grew in her garden:

She writes, “Our home is surrounded by wonderful shade trees that provided great climbing opportunities for the children and their friends as they grew. We also grow a garden each summer, so I hooked corn and pumpkins to represent that.

Finally, she included the family name and date banner across the bottom, and then two borders on the upper part of the rug, which really give a finished look to the rug (I love the little dabs of hit or miss!) and she added, “The borders were fun to hook, and used up a lot of my worms, too!”

Lesson #4: Just begin. Maybe it took Gayle more than five years to finish this lovely rug, but she has it now, and I am sure it will always be treasured. If your kids had a pet hedgehog, google “drawings of hedgehogs” and then just try drawing one. Gayle drew all of her motifs freehand, and rughooking’s folk art style allows for each idea, place, person, animal or object to be pictured as a motif, not a perfect line drawing. If you need to, draw your hedgehog on newsprint a bunch of times until you get one you like, and then cut that one out and trace it onto your backing. But just begin.

After living in Clinton for 37 years, three months ago Gayle and her family moved to a neighboring town in Utah, and, as she puts it, “We’re starting new stories here now!”

Thanks so much, Gayle, for sharing the story of your wonderful story rug with us! It is a terrific rug, and your labor of love comes through.

This is Gayle’s original work, it’s copyrighted, and used here with her kind permission. Please ask her before you copy, pin or share it on the web. Gayle wrote much of the process of making her rug on her own blog, online at themiddlesister.blogspot.com.

“their history was often lost…”

By | Antique rugs, Design, Museums | 6 Comments

A while back, I browsed through the online collection of hooked rugs at the Textile Museum of Canada, and of course found some beauties. Above, you see a rug dated 1925-1935. The maker is unknown, but it was made of synthetic material on burlap, on Prince Edward Island.

The Textile Museum of Canada is in downtown Toronto, and happily, the searchable collection is online, too. My simple “hooked rug” search brought up over 250 rugs (with photos) for me. And I thought their brief description of hooked rugs was interesting:

Rug hooking is a unique North American tradition that arose in response to the need to cover the cold bare floors of pioneer homes. Weaving cloth required long hours at the spinning wheel and loom, but rugs could be made from scraps of fabrics and fibres that were pulled through a burlap base to produce warm floor-coverings to brighten the home. It is rare to find a hooked rug whose maker is known; unlike quilts, which were treasured family possessions, hooked rugs wore out and their history was often lost.

Here is another rug, made in Ontario, dated 1900-1930:

The museum presents rotating exhibitions, changed throughout the year, drawn from their collection of over 13,000 objects, and the work of local, national and international contemporary artists are featured, both at the museum and in touring exhibits. “This diverse collection includes fabrics, ceremonial cloths, garments, carpets, quilts and related artifacts which reflect the cultural and aesthetic significance that cloth has held over the centuries.”

Here is a sweet rug, dated 1900-1930, from the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario:

You can search the museum’s collection by technique (as I did) or by type (clothing, headwear, etc.), materials, region or time period. Here is a hooked rug from 1940-1960 (maker unknown, region unknown) that I admired – quite an intricate floral design:

And here is another floral, also intricately designed, from much earlier, in the 19th century (dated 1875-1900):

I would say “Road Trip!”, but Toronto is almost 8 hours drive east from Burlington, VT, or just north of Buffalo, NY, and that slows me right down. But when you have a minute, go to the website of the Textile Museum of Canada, and take an “armchair road trip” through the collection. Here is the link:
collections.textilemuseum.ca

Oh, and once you get there, look around at other things in the collection beyond hooked rugs. The museum celebrates textiles from around the world, like this intriguing apron from Papua, New Guinea:

All photos courtesy of the Textile Museum of Canada.
Oh, okay, here is one more – you know how I love hit or miss rugs. This beauty was made in 1940, (yes, maker unknown) in Waterloo County, Ontario:

One thing leads to another…

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | No Comments

Because I had the flu, I actually looked at a postcard that had been tucked in with a piece of wool I had mail-ordered months ago. It was about a rughooking place in Iowa, called Old Friends Woolens. If I hadn’t been down with the flu, I would not, most likely, have come across it again, and actually looked it up. But that is how I found Catherine Tokheim’s website and rugs. Cathy is a long-time rug hooking enthusiast with a passion for passing on the craft. She lives near Swea City, Iowa and enjoys traveling to meet up with rug hooking groups from all over the Midwest. It is always a pleasure to see what is going on in rughooking, in different areas of the country!

Above, you can see her design, Prairie Spirit. Catherine drew out this pattern for a friend, whose husband was instrumental in the introduction of peregrine falcons to the downtown Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic campus. The rug was a retirement gift for him. The first male peregrine introduced was named Chase, and so the name was included in her hooked rug. Look for the name, subtle but there, worked into the background on the top right side.

Catherine writes, “It’s a big rug pattern, 38″x66″ to allow for the detail in the bird and botanicals. I loved the story of the peregrine’s introduction to Rochester, MN and loved that my friend Jean Bartel wanted to commemorate that introduction for her husband. I know and love them both so this design, hooked by Jean, has a special meaning for me. The colors and style just make the rug shine.

Here is another lovely primitive rug by Catherine, called Gentle Words:

“Dew is to the flower what gentle words are to the soul.”

Catherine writes, “This design comes from a quote that I found that really rings true for me. Words have an effect and gentle words have an uplifting effect in a person’s life. I hope to hang on to that quote and use it daily. Flowers gathered from my gardens are a gentle, beautiful activity and their presence in my home always bring a smile to my face.

And one last rug of Catherine’s that caught my eye right away, Sheep In The Poppies:

Sheep in the Poppies was an exploration of favorite colors and their hues along with my attempt at primitive shading. Animals and flowers are favorite subjects for my designs and sheep, as you know, are just a joy to hook. A big, bold sheep as the focus is fun too!

Catherine has many patterns for sale on her Old Friends Woolens Etsy shop here, (at very reasonable prices), as well as wool. And she has a website and blog at www.oldfriendswoolens.com. She teaches around the northern midwest, so if I were looking for a class or hooking event in the area of South Dakota, Iowa, or Minnesota, that’s where I would look! Two day Old Friends Woolens retreat coming up, Jul 21 – Jul 23, in Ormsby, Minnesota! Wouldn’t you just love to go?

Catherine owns her own creations, of course, and they are copyrighted and protected as her own designs. Thank you so much Catherine, for permission to show them here! And as for the “many more primitive designs yet undrawn” you mentioned, keep drawing them! Your rugs are a delight! Greetings to all your rughooking friends in the Midwest, from a bunch of New England rughookers – have a lovely spring and summer!

Cats!

By | Antique rugs, Design, Making rugs | 6 Comments

I’ve just sketched out a primitive cat design for my next project, so was pleased to find two nice antique cat rugs for sale at recent auctions. Above, you can see Lot 1724 from the Jeffrey S. Evans Auctioneers sale on February 18, in Mt. Crawford, VA. Here is the description:
AMERICAN FOLK ART PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG, design featuring a reclining cat on a checkered floor. Professionally mounted for hanging. Dimensions: 22 1/2″ x 33″.
Date: Second quarter 20th century. The sale estimate was $100-$150, but I could not find what the final price was.

And here is another great antique cat rug that was sold at Thomaston Place Auction Gallery, Thomaston, Maine, on Feb. 12th. It was Lot 501:

The description for this sweet “Spooky” rug was:
Description: HOOKED RUG OF BLACK CAT Stretched and Mounted Hooked Rug with portrait of black cat named “Spooky”, initialed “ATS” and dated ’81, unframed, 17″ x 22″ overall, very good condition. Estimate:$400-$600.

The final sale price for this rug was $500. And beyond the charm of the rug itself, I was interested in these two other photos of the rug:

It really looks like the rug had no binding, or even hemmed edges at all – the backing was just stretched onto a frame and stapled.

I really loved both of these! Now I will show you the design I (quickly) drew onto linen for myself. I wanted a “Ruby In The Garden” design, something to just play with. I drew it out freehand onto the linen, so you can see a few “mistake” lines that I will correct as I hook:

Why did I do this design? 1. I just am finishing the border of my big hit or miss, and wanted to do something that I can just play with. I suspect I will change the flowers and other details as I go, and maybe add a few more. 2. I got three pieces of different neutral-color wool that I know will make a good swirly background for a primitive style rug, and want to use them! 3. You can never have enough kitty rugs. 4. As I finish one rug, I start getting nervous about what my next project will be, and the need to know what will be “next” starts pressing on me. Now that I have this to go onto, I can finish the border of my hit or miss in peace!

Hook on, whatever you are working on!

Antique rug photos are courtesy of the auction houses, both of which can be found online. Jeffrey S. Evans Auctioneer is online at www.jeffreysevans.com, and Thomaston Place Auction Gallery is at www.thomastonauction.com.