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Sarah’s rugs, new and old

image Sarah Jansen

Sarah Jansen, of Westport, Mass., has created many beautiful rugs, and when I saw the ones she has just finished, I definitely wanted to show them to you. First, as you see above, is a charming seaside pictorial with a lot of family history embedded in it.

Sarah writes, “The little boathouses with their docks are on the Westport River. One is in my family, the other in my husband’s and have been for generations. While the buildings are pretty accurate, I did edit out some other buildings that are in that landscape as I thought they would steal some of the focus. In the summer you would see many more boats, kids, dogs, swimmers, etc., but I opted for the simpler composition with that big old seagull (way out of proportion!) cruising overhead. It’s 23″x371/2″ in a no. 4 cut. Also, a shout out to my sister-in-law who did a line drawing of the two boathouses years ago. With her OK, I blew them up and put them on the backing and drew the land and water.”

Yes, artistic license is a wonderful thing, and when doing a pictorial of a real scene, sometimes deciding how to simplify and edit the details is one of the most important judgements for a good rug design. Sarah still got so much detail into this rug! I love the flag, the dory, the sailboat with sails furled, how she did all the little details of the boathouses, and even added a few wild rose bushes. And the compass rose, in the top right corner, is a wonderful touch for this scene. Here is a close-up of one part of the rug:


Now here is Sarah’s “old rug”. It is a very old copy of a classic rug pattern that Sarah bought a while back. It’s the Garrett/Bluenose pattern of the Bluenose sailing ship:

image Sarah Jansen bluenose

Sarah wrote, “I found the Bluenose in a basket of “adopt-a- projects” at rug school two years ago. It says Made in the USA on it, is pattern no. 2024 and is 24″x36″. It also says “For yarn rugs use the famous Bluenose Hooker.” I believe it’s a Garrett Pattern. Because the burlap was so dry and brittle I traced it onto rug warp and hooked it traditionally in a size 6. Was it traditional for Garrett’s patterns to have the colors marked on them? I don’t know, but I did put more water in my interpretation than is drawn on the burlap.”

Here is Sarah’s version of this pattern, once abandoned, and now brought back to life:


The waves, the sails, her sky – it’s all good! And happily, the collection of Garrett’s Bluenose rughooking patterns, developed throughout the 1900s and marketed to the US, Canada and Great BRitain, have been acquired and carefully reproduced by Linda MacDonald, of the Rags To Rugs shop in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Linda really saved this huge archive of rug design history. You can see all the patterns and order them online at www.ragstorugs.com.

Both Sarah’s rugs and the photos of them are hers, and used here with her very kind permission… so once again, don’t copy, post or pin them without her okay, okay?


  • Susan Sutherland says:

    I was fascinated to see the Bluenose pattern with the original stamp of Made in the USA. I literally just finished reading about the Garretts and the Bluenose Rugs of Nova Scotia by Nanette Ryan and Doreen Wright. When I say ‘literally finished” I mean 5 minutes ago!! What serendipity to see Sarah’s original Bluenose pattern and her beautiful rendition of it. The Garretts owned a company in Boston where they manufactured the Bluenose hooker and patterns and this was done to “save duty” (John Garrett’s words). Thank you for this!!

  • mjanep says:

    Thanks for the background, Susan, and I am always fascinated by occurrences of sychronicity!

  • […] Is “swirliness” a real word? Maybe not til now, but I bet you know what I mean! If you’d like to see the Bluenose pattern itself, or a great comtemporary version of it (by Sarah Jansen), look back at my May 3rd blog post, here. […]

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