Sunday, November 29, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Joy

 

Joy
Designed and hooked by Kris Miller (c) 2005

"Tis the Season!"  Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time for all things Christmas.  Christmas is really my favorite holiday.  I love to decorate, I love to bake all kinds of goodies, I love Santa and evergreen trees and snow and shiny old ornaments.
I have been decorating all weekend long!  The little studio shop looks darling.  I've set up my snowman collection in my dining area, decorated my own little Christmas tree with all my childhood ornaments, and set up my vintage Nativity scene (it's been in our family for 3 generations and I am happy and honored to be its current caretaker).
I thought I'd highlight my Joy design since Jo Wick recently posted her rug in a lovely setting.  You can see it in her post here:

I designed Joy as a project for the now defunct Country Marketplace magazine in 2005.  I was doodling one day back then and came up with the design.  I wanted a project that could be left out all winter long.  Childhood memories were an inspiration.  Oh, the joy I felt when I saw snowflakes falling!  It meant sledding until your toes and fingers were numb, and then hot cocoa with marshmallows afterward!
I used a light gray herringbone for the snowflake.  If you used white, it would end up being too bright for the rest of the rug.  I liked the idea of using Christmas reds and greens but mixed a little gold in the side tabs for some variation.  The background was a fabulous plaid of evergreen and red.  It was not impressive to look at but when it was hooked, it was perfect!  I call plaids like that "chameleons" because they might look a bit boring until they are hooked...they are the ugly ducklings that turn into beautiful swans!
This is a quick little project to hook because it is only 13" x 17" - just perfect for a table mat with all your other holiday decorations.
You can find the pattern here:

I also have a limited amount of kits available here:


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Rug of the Day - Old Tom

Old Tom
Adapted from the design of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

Old Tom is a fun little rug for any time of year but it's perfect for this week.  It measures 15" x 19.25" so it can be a fast project to hook.  I hooked my mat in almost all #8.5 cuts.  

I thought my Tom should have a little more of the "traditional" turkey colors so I found a scrap of blue/gray plaid that I used for his head.  Then I used a plaid that I call "Spice Cake" for his wing and body. 
As you can see, there are bands of red running through the plaid, so I cut it in such a way so that there would be strips of red and strips of brown.  I separated the two colors and used the red strips for Tom's wing and the body was hooked with the brown strips. I was a little sneaky and used a bit of the gold that was contained within the red for most of the outline around the wing.  It gives the wing a bit more subtle definition.

Last year when I taught in Ocean City, MD, I was talking to my class about separating colors in plaids and mentioned how one could hook Old Tom with the Spice Cake plaid.  I was holding up a quarter yard and Saundra Porter stood up and snatched it right out of my hand....we all had quite a laugh and it remains a wonderful warm memory of my class.  And then I believe there was a mad rush to my wool table to find the Spice Cake plaid.
PS:  I have used it in rug borders and it has an equally wonderful look, even without the colors being separated.

You can find the Old Tom pattern here:

You can find the Spice Cake plaid here:


Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!  Gobble Gobble!




Saturday, November 21, 2020

Rug Of The Day - First Heavy Snow

Rug of the Day is back!  Here's what is on my frame right now:

First Heavy Snow
Designed by Faye Schilling/Cabin Creek Designs
Available exclusively through Spruce Ridge Studios
Hooking in progress by Kris Miller

Every time I drew up this pattern for an order, I thought "Wow, this is SO cute...I need to hook this myself."  Then, last week, someone posted a picture of their completed rug on Facebook and that was the tipping point for me.

I love how I can "dress up" each snowman (or lady!) in their own winter attire...it's so fun to decide on which textures would make the best knit hats and scarves!  The best part is that each little hat or scarf doesn't take much wool so I can sort through my scraps and use up some of them without cutting into a big piece.

I don't often do this when hooking a rug, but I started working on the border first and then decided to work from one end of the rug to the other.  You see, I wanted to fool around with the border and try out a Christmas plaid that I had in stock.  I have to admit, I wasn't convinced that I was going to like the way the plaid hooked, so I added one row of red and green beading to the first inside row, then I "auditioned" the Christmas plaid by hooking several rows next to the beading.  When the plaid was cut into strips, it sort of gave me a selection of red strips and green strips so I made a plan in my head to stagger the red and green strips when they were hooked in rows next to each other.  It dispersed the colors a bit better and made it more of a hit-or-miss kind of feel (whew, are you following me on this?). 
So the verdict is in!  I LOVE, LOVE the Christmas plaid and I'm going to keep the beading too.  Sometimes there are places where the beading fades into the Christmas plaid but I love it that way and I'm not going to change a thing! So now it's on to the rest of the rug!  

A few observations:  
Since there are many small details in this runner, I have had to use a wide variety of cuts. The border is #8.5 cuts, the background is #8.5 and #8 cuts, the snowmen are also a combination of #8.5 and #8 cuts.  However, the carrot noses are a #6, as well as the stick arms, and the eyes are a #4 cut (I found a little bundle of #4 cut black strips that I had set aside - I have no idea why I cut them that small in the first place but they have come in handy now!)

I also have scraped together various shades of primitive "white" for the snowmen, since there are a bunch of them.  I may do some outlining for the ones that overlap and I can repeat some of the lights.  Three or four shades of "snow" is a good variety, I think.

I have taken a little break from hooking since October...I picked up my knitting needles and I'm working on a blanket for my granddaughter and need to start knitting a Christmas stocking for my grandson. Sometimes my hooking urge becomes so great that I have to put down the knitting needles for a day or two, but with this wonderful variety of fiber arts, I will never be bored or regret having to stay at home. Bring on the first heavy snow!

You can find the First Heavy Snow here:

If you feel the runner is a bit too big, there is also a smaller pattern that features just three snowmen and a tree:

And you can find the marvelous Christmas plaid here:








 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Coming Soon! Shop Grand Opening and Tent Sale

 Just 6 days away!  You are warmly invited to the Grand Opening of the Spruce Ridge Studios rug hooking shop and our Annual Tent Sale.  If you haven't peeked at our 2020 Show & Travel Schedule (tab located at the top of the page), you might want to read about all the details for next Saturday, October 10th.

Ken and I are in the final stages of putting the little shop together. The last minute paint touch ups and final construction details are being done today.  This coming week will be the stocking of wool on shelves and patterns in bins and rearranging display pieces. If you are coming and would like to purchase a specific pattern, please send me a message or email before Friday so I can have your pattern waiting for you.

Hope has approved the new flooring.  She says it's really nice but it will be a lot more comfortable with a few hooked rugs put down there.


Here's a few teasers of our decorating...we just couldn't resist putting a few fun treasures in place, especially the "up high" ones.  Still lots of tweaking to be done but I like it so far!

The tent sale will be set up in our front yard.  It's probably going to be a much smaller version of what we normally do but we are going to try to spread the tables out a bit more.  We would like everyone to distance and wear masks...we can do this and be safe at the same time!  Also just two shoppers allowed in the shop at one time but everyone will get their opportunity!

After October 10th, I will be scheduling regular shopping hours or you can also contact me and set up an appointment for the day or time that is convenient for you.  

I am happy for this wonderful new adventure...the pandemic has changed so much of our rug hooking life.  I miss the hook-ins and rug schools but at least you can still come and put your hands on all our lovely rug hooking goods!

Hope to see you Saturday at 10 am sharp!

P.S.  Forgot to mention that the weather will be gorgeous on Saturday!




 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Wool Witch

 

Wool Witch
Designed and hooked by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Pattern available through Spruce Ridge Studios

I can't think of a more darling pattern for a rug hooker to hook.  Perhaps to adorn your studio or hooking room, or perhaps to gift to a special rug hooker in your life.  We all love sheep and we all cherish our hooks...and don't we all create a little "witchy magic" while we are picking out colors and working our wool strips into the design?  Our rugs come to life right before our eyes!

Lori was extra-playful when creating her rug by adding a little braid for the witch's hair and a ribbon with a jingle bell for the sheep's neck.  The beauty and magic of rug hooking is making your rug personal to YOU and knowing that no two rugs will ever look the same.  

What I love about this design is the border!  Oh my goodness!  It adds energy to the rug and draws you in.  I think it's clever that only the corners were done this way, with some dark in between.  Of course, it's a great way to pull the colors from the center out to the edge.  You could add a few other noodles that have been hanging around in your stash too.  A great hit or miss incorporates the colors you used in your rug PLUS a few random strips of color that you didn't.  The only other suggestion I have is that you would not want to put your lightest nor your darkest color in the hit or miss.  Just a little "rule" that buzzes around in my head...

I know I didn't post for a while and I was surprised at how much time had gone by since my last Rug Of The Day.  We had family visiting from out of town and it was my granddaughter's first birthday.  We had a lovely picnic/party and we did wear masks and distanced as much as we could.  She loves Peppa Pig so her mama's friend made a bright pink smash cake for her to have fun with.


I think my fingernails are still tinted pink from trying to help clean up afterward.

You can find the Wool Witch pattern here:



Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Olde Hallow's Eve

Olde Hallow's Eve
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

Here is a really fun and simple rug to hook for Halloween!  I only used three different wool textures....an orange plaid, the ever-popular reversible black stripe, and a speckle tweed that was ivory and black.  You could use a light value of gray to get the same look for the wings.
I decided to jazz up my mat by making some quillie circles and using them for spooky eyes on the pumpkin.  I also wound some quillies in black and orange...I placed one in the big O at the top and then used two for the smaller dots between the letters at the bottom.  You know how I love to hook letters!  The lettering is a little bigger so they would be easy for a novice to tackle.  And they are kind of wonky so you don't have to worry about precision for this mat.

My husband is a professional picture framer and he's always thinking outside the box and beyond the limits.  He built a gravestone display out of wood, texturized and painted it, then mounted my mat on it.  We had it in our booth in Lancaster in 2011 for the ATHA biennial.  I picked up a few leaves from outside to add to the spookiness.


I have to admit that I'm not sure quite where this is right now...not the easiest thing to store and my husband wrapped it up and squirreled it away somewhere (he is notorious for doing that).  I think I'm going to have him dig it out for my new studio shop!

But you don't have to build a tombstone for your mat...it's only 16" x 16" so it is the perfect size to place on a table or display on a cupboard.  And it's simple enough to have it hooked in time for your spooky decorating and gatherings!

You can find the pattern here:


 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Merrie October 31st

 

Merry October 31st
Adapted from a design by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Sandi Lucero

This is one of the newest patterns that I recently adapted from a Notforgotten Farm design.  Isn't it terrific?   It comes in two sizes and either one would hook up quickly.  Just think, you'd have it ready for Halloween this year!

I love the color palette that Sandi used for her mat.  The background is light and faded, which she achieved by using wools that are similar in value.  I also like the way she hooked the house with a brighter value on one side so no dividing line is needed at the corner.  Her witch is "prim perfect" too!  You really don't need a lot of different colors to make this one fabulous.

Bravo, Sandi, thank  you for sharing your wonderful work!

You can find the small pattern here:

And a little bit larger pattern here (a good size if you a fan of wide cuts):



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Ghost Genie

Ghost Genie
Adapted from the artwork of Johanna Parker
Hooked by Marion Wilson

I posted about Marion's rug back in February so if you are a regular reader of my blog, this will be a repeat story for you.
Marion was in my class at the Historic Franklin Rug Hooking Retreat last October.  She wanted to hook this pattern but she did not want to use any orange in it...perhaps a little challenge for me as a teacher because I had already seen the original artwork and it was pretty much all orange and black.  So the next thing I thought of was purple.  I set about dyeing up several pleasing values of purple that I thought would work.  I had to keep reminding myself of the old phrase "keep it simple, sister"  (KISS).  I think as rug hookers, we sometimes overthink our color plan and make it more complicated than it really needs to be...at least, I can relate to that!
The best solution for the pumpkin was to make it a dusty green.  Then, of course, the use of off-white for the ghost and stars and black for the outlining and spider.  
I had to keep my fingers crossed that Marion would like the colors I brought her (because THEN what would I do???) but lucky for me, she loved them and away she went!  She hooked quite a bit on her rug during our retreat and I think her rug is pretty amazing, don't you?  Of course, most of the awesomeness is the skill of the maker!  So "bravo" and applause to Marion for her beautiful Halloween rug!

You can find the pattern here:

 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Merrie Halloween

Merrie Halloween
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin
Hooked by Kimberly Maggion

Did you know that Mr. Pumpkin Thyme has a companion and her name is Merrie Halloween?  She is quite the party girl and loves to dress up for the Halloween Ball.  She's put on her finest gown and a proper top hat (her favorite one) with a magnificent plume at the top.  It makes her feel so festive and giddy!  She brought her mask along to disguise herself but she's pretty sure that everyone will guess who she is anyway.  She can't wait to see Mr. Pumpkin Thyme again so they can dance the night away under the moonlight.

I have always thought of Merrie as a white pumpkin person so I am happy that Kimberly hooked her "Merrie" in this way.  She used a light background so there had to be a pop-out line around Merrie's face and upper body.   Kimberly kept it thin so it doesn't overwhelm Merrie's delicate features.  Merry is wearing a beautiful ball gown and that is one of the things I love about rug hooking....we can "dress" our hooked figures in some wonderful clothes.  Sort of reminds me of playing with paper dolls, don't you think?  We are the ones who are creating the finery!
There are some fine details in this pattern so I think it is important to mix your cuts to achieve the delicate nature of the design. 


Hooked by Melody Bryan

Here is another terrific version of Merrie Halloween.  Melody hooked an orange character, who is very lovely with the dark background.  I love the purple hat that coordinates with her dress and a few of the flowers in the vine!  Super fun!

Congratulations to both ladies for a job well done and your rugs are beautiful inspirations!

You can find the pattern here:

The Merry Halloween pattern was sized to coordinate nicely with Pumpkin Thyme.


 


Friday, September 11, 2020

Rug Of The Day - A Witch's Walk

A Witch's Walk
Adapted from a design by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Joan Treis

Hooked by Pat Cross

Here are two outstanding samples of A Witch's Walk.  The background contains circles, with stars and a moon within each circle, so I think a dark sky is the perfect choice.  Both ladies created movement in the sky by using several different textured wools for variation and they echoed the rows of hooking around the circles.  The witch's dresses are both fabulous...I can't pick out a favorite because both are good color choices...but I am really glad that there is some purple used in both!  I also think it's great that they both pulled some of that purple over to the windows and doors of the houses.

Both rugs are super-fun and a lovely inspiration for our Rug Of The Day.  Thanks so much for sharing your talents, Joan and Pat!

You can find "A Witch's Walk" pattern here:

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Happy Halloween Moon and Cat


Happy Halloween Moon and Cat
Adapted from the artwork of Johanna Parker
Hooked by Donna Miller

Spruce Ridge was a vendor at the Merry Mountain Hook-In last September and I took a picture of Donna's rug in the rug display.  She used a lot of alternate materials and really made her piece special!  Lots of fuzzy fun yarns with yummy textures. Don't you love the way she used pearl beads for the teeth on the cat and snake?  Genius!  If you look very closely, you can see she put little ghost beads all along the cat's collar and the snake has a glittery rhinestone eye.  She captured the moon's expression just perfectly.  You really can't help but smile when you see Donna's super-fun rug!
I have to point out that the pattern does not have a snake drawn on it (there is more of a "ribbon" type line drawn there).  That just shows how clever Donna's imagination is, to make it her own and make it playful.

Bravo, Donna!

You can find the pattern here:

How would you hook your version?



 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Do Goode, Be Nice

Do Goode, Be Nice
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Saundra Porter

I know I have probably blogged about Saundra's rug before but it sure does put a smile on my face and I think it's worth showing again.
Saundra and I worked on this color plan together at Cape May several years ago.  I really love that the witch has green skin and red hair.  Just as a witch would want, she is dressed in black.  The purple flowers are super fun and work well with the orange colors in the rug.  Saundra used the beading stitch technique to get those lovely hairy little petals on the flowers. 
 Another thing I love is the red fingernails! 
There are some fiddly little details in this pattern but they are so worth spending time on them.  Don't you love the word bubble?  It's really an important part of the pattern so the letters needed to be hooked smaller so you can read them easily.  A nice little pop-out line around the word bubble sets it apart from the background.  One other thing I want to point out is that Saundra hooked the words in brown....many of us may have had the notion to use black, but the brown is just a tad bit more subtle.  The letters show up but they don't take over the rug.  The witch is really the star of the show and she doesn't need to be upstaged!
And of course, Saundra hooked the eye using my suggestions...one of the lessons I love to teach in class.

You can find this fabulous pattern here:



Monday, September 7, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Moonlight Glow

Moonlight Glow
Designed and hooked by Kris Miller

This fun and playful Halloween design appears in Chapter 10 of my book, Introduction to Rug Hooking.  I designed it for a lesson for teaching dimension with directional hooking.  Basically, hooking in a certain direction to suggest an object's shape.   
Since I really wanted a black cat, I chose a purple plaid as the background for my mat.  It makes a great Halloween sky and works well with the pale moon and orange pumpkin too.

It's really fun and inspiring to see how other folks have hooked this pattern and I have gotten several pictures of their versions:

Hooked by Sherri Crawford

Hooked by Lois Deitrich

Hooked by Judy Bruns

Hooked by Karen Jablonski
I love the proddy edge on this one - so creative and fun! 

If you want to buy the pattern, you can find it here:

If you already own a copy of Introduction to Rug Hooking, you can find the pattern and complete hooking instructions in Chapter 10.

If you want to purchase a copy of my book, you can find it here:

Enjoy the rest of your Holiday!

 




Saturday, September 5, 2020

Rug Of The Day - October 31st

 

October 31st
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Bunnie McGee

September is here and the air is cooler.  The crickets are chirping and the little pumpkin in our pumpkin patch is the perfect orange (it was from a volunteer plant and we only got one pumpkin this year).  I've seen a few leaves turning red and our local cider mill has opened today.  Welcome to Fall!  My favorite time of year so I'm focusing on some great fall rugs to show you in the coming days.

I worked with Bunnie a few years ago on the color plan for this rug at a rug camp in Arkansas, however she did have some ideas of how she wanted her rug to look.  What I love about her rug is that the color plan is simple and neutral and has a soft lovely glow to it.  She used a few different values of black/warm gray along with the parchment colored background.  A few pops of orange here and there complete the traditional Halloween colors.  A fun rug to commemorate October 31st without all the usual Halloween goblins and ghosts.  I think her rug is the perfect example.  Bravo, Bunnie, on a beautiful rug!  Thanks for sharing!

You can find the pattern here:

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Grow

Grow
Adapted from the artwork of Johanna Parker
Hooked by Kris Miller

There's quite a story to this rug!  I am part of Deanne Fitzpatrick's "10-minute a day for 50 days" rug hooking challenge.  I was certainly happy to participate in this challenge and pulled out a continuing project that I started last year at rug camp with Anita White as my teacher.  I had drawn out a very large antique reproduction and chose colors that were similarly used in the original rug.  I wanted it to look as much like the antique as possible.  The only material I added was some antique paisley.  I really needed to get back to hooking on this giant beauty and this seemed like the right time to get it finished.

However sometimes God has other plans for us.  Just about the time that the challenge started, a little grandson came into our life.  He was 10 weeks premature and quite a surprise to everyone.  He faced all the challenges that a little preemie baby has when starting out their life.  We went through some exhausting, anxious times and I realized that hooking dark antique colors just added to my depression...I had to get away from those dark, drab colors for a while!
So I grabbed the Grow pattern and pulled the brightest colors I could find in my wool stash (maybe not the brightest to some folks but pretty bright for me).  I wanted to make this rug super-duper fun so I added yarn, sari ribbon, beads, and felted baubles.  I used quillies and the beading stitch.  I started hooking the letters first because I knew they would be fun and moved on to the flowers.  Soon I began to look forward to another day of sitting at my frame and hooking on my Grow rug.  It made me happy to figure out another flower and it became my daily prayer affirmation.  Grow, little baby, grow!  
I used all sorts of cuts from #9 all the way down to #5....whatever fit in that spot, I used it!  
Well, all that prayer and hooking brought great results!  Our little grandson came home last week after spending 68 days in the NICU.  He still has to make some progress as he is on oxygen at home but he is eating well and GROWING every day.  I finished my rug just a day or two after he came home.  Perfect timing.
And you know what?  I don't think I'm done with "bright" yet!  

You can find the pattern here:

Check out the other floral designs on Johanna's pattern page too!




Saturday, August 29, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Rain, Rain, Go Away

 

Rain, Rain, Go Away
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Maker unknown.
I really wanted to post this yesterday when the rain was coming down in buckets!

Here's another great design that I have wanted to hook for the longest time.  I had even seriously color planned it in my head and thought it would be fun to hook the umbrellas in different colors of antique paisley and maybe some sparkle wool for the rain drops.  Hmmm, not sure if I have saved any sparkle wool for myself though!

I love the story that this design tells.  Two of the ladies with the umbrellas over their heads have scowling faces but the third one (on the right) has a smile on her face while she lowers her umbrella and lets the rain drops fall.  Basically, you can make a situation be unhappy and unpleasant, or you can be happy with whatever comes your way.  Your choice.  A great lesson and affirmation for the times we are going through right now, don't you think?!?

I'll be the first to admit that the faces on this pattern are small and would need tiny little strips to get the expressions to show correctly.  My plan was to do the faces like wool appliqué:  you could cut out the shapes from flesh colored wool, embroider the sweet little expressions with floss, then sew the wool faces down to the foundation before hooking around them.  For even more dimension, I would leave a little opening before I sewed all the way around and stuff a little fiber fill into the heads so they have a nice plump appearance and they will also stick up higher than if you just left them as a flat appliqué.  
Oh my, I think I'm talking myself into doing this pattern very soon!!!  I really get excited about the possibilities.

You can find the pattern here:

I am almost finished with hooking a rug that I did for Deanne Fitzpatrick's 10 minute for 50 days hooking challenge.  If I can get 2 more hours in, it will be done!  And hopefully it will be the next Rug Of The Day...stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Lori's Flower Basket

 

Lori's Flower Basket
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm

I took a photo of this rug many years ago when I was teaching in Seattle but I didn't get enough of the label in the picture to remember who hooked this rug. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment so I can give credit where credit is rightfully due!

This is a wonderful version of Lori's design!  Maybe I'm partial to it because it has my favorite combination of turquoise and brown.  I love the way the flower pot is hooked and the beading is the perfect detail to give it a little pizzazz while still looking primitive.  I also think the light background makes all the soft colors sing and I love the extra little wiggles, which give a happy movement to the rug.

It is PRIM perfect!  Yay!

You can find the pattern here:
At just 19" x 20," this is a great floral design for someone who doesn't want to take on hooking a large project.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since today was National Dogs Day, I thought I'd show a picture of the first rug that I designed myself and only the second rug that I had ever hooked.  
I call this the "Jasper" rug, after our beloved family dog, Jasper.  As you can see, he loved to lay in that position.  The rug has a border of oak leaves and acorns which is my favorite type of motif.  I had never dyed wool before and I was totally scared to death to try it...I don't know why but I guess I was more worried about my failures than my successes.  I used a lot of as-is and recycled wool so the dog's body is hooked from a camel hair mens suit jacket that I found at Salvation Army.  I wanted to do a little "shading" just to show the shadows (not going for realism, by any means) so I dyed the darker carmel colors with strong coffee because that didn't scare  me as much as chemical dyes.  One night I was color planning the oak leaves and I felt like I had hit a wall...I could not come up with a color to go with my orange leaf section so my husband came downstairs and helped me pick out a dusty purple.  I'll never forget that moment....something very sweet about having him help me when I was at my wit's end.  Anyway, I'll cut this long story short....I entered this rug at Sauder Village the very first year I went and I won a ribbon!  I'm sure that there were some ladies who couldn't figure out why my rug got a ribbon and theirs did not, but it's the judges' choice and I do remember Carolyn Sauder herself telling me that she liked my rug because she felt like she could reach out and touch the sleeping dog...a good enough compliment for me!  When the rug came back home, we let Jasper sleep on it.  He needed to reap the benefits of being an award winning model!
I do not offer this pattern for sale as it is very personal to me and I wanted it to be the only one that was ever created.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Majestic

 

Majestic
Adapted from the artwork of PJ Rankin-Hults
Hooked by Gail Soltar

I have always been very fond of this design, even though I have not hooked it myself.  I have a special place in my heart for Pennsylvania German fraktur designs.  Their spirit, color, and naive-like quality are a constant inspiration to me.  So it's no wonder that I love the gracefulness of the bird and the reds and golds of the tulips.  It's a stunning combination that evokes peace and gentleness.
Gail's rug is perfectly balanced because she moved the colors from the center design out to the side tabs. I love how she hooked the chest feathers by making them lighter toward the head and darker as they move down the belly.  Outlining is a must so that the feathers are defined.  The dark background is very calming.

Hooked by Rhonda Thistlethwaite

Many years ago, Rhonda was in my class at the Holland Rug Camp and she requested a special version of Majestic.  We softened the bird a bit (almost dove-like, don't you agree?) and put tabs around the whole border.  The tulip red is carried out to the border and helps move your eye around the design.  The bird is very soft and graceful!  

Both ladies did a very lovely job with their rugs and they are outstanding examples of Pam's design!

You can find the pattern here:

I still have the pattern for Rhonda's version but since it is considered a special order, you would have to contact me to draw it up for you.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Tulip Bouquet

 

Tulip Bouquet
Adapted from the artwork of PJ Rankin-Hults
Hooked by Janet S. Reid

I love Janet's version of Tulip Bouquet and quite frankly, I think she really nailed this color plan!  She used the traditional fraktur colors of reds and golds and she balanced the colors perfectly.   The blue is unusual but effective and she hooked it so that it moves your eye around the rug in a very pleasing way. The tulip pot is the star of the show!  So fresh and lovely and even a little painterly.  

Suzanne Pastura hooked this wonderful version of Tulip Bouquet.  I love the dark teal blue background and how it highlights the lighter blue and red flowers.  Her tulip pot reminds me of crock ware.  She was careful to move some of that lovely texture out to the side border for a balanced rug.

Kudos to both ladies and lots of *applause* for sharing their beautiful rugs.

You can find the pattern here:

Have a great week-end!  Keep your hooks busy!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Flowers and Stars Antique Runner

 

Flowers and Stars Antique Runner
Adapted from an antique hooked rug
Hooked by Kris Miller

I decided to follow a floral theme for the next few days since the calendar says that we are closer to September and almost to Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer (although we definitely have some hotter days coming!).

I adapted this pattern from an old antique rug and I tried to stay true to the same color story, but using mostly as-is wool textures.  Since this is a fairly large rug, I used a lot of #9 cuts, but also my favorite cut, #8.5. There might have been a few #8 cut strips in the border, especially when I was going around the corners and had to fit in little pie-shaped wedges of color so it would flow properly.  Even though the border is considered hit-and-miss, I did not add a lot of different colors and preferred to pull from the other colors and values in the rug.  The antique rug was hooked much in the same way.

If you have ever taken a class from me, you have probably heard me say that "#8.5 is the new #8."  When I first started rug hooking, most people that I came in contact with thought that a #8 was wide and didn't venture too far from it. It seemed to be the popular choice amongst primitive hookers.  I used #8 for a while, but then people started talking about an #8.5 cutter wheel. I discovered that #8.5 was just a tad bit wider but I loved the way it looked and how I could cover a lot more territory on my pattern.  Now it seems to be a more popular cut than ever before.  So if you are hooking mostly with a #8, go up to a #8.5 and you will feel like you have been set free into a wonderful new wide-cut world!  haha!

You can find the pattern here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Tulips & Acorns

 

Tulips & Acorns
Adapted from the artwork of PJ Rankin-Hults
Hooked by Liz Marino

Today is another beautiful, sunny, dry and cool day here in Michigan.  It makes me think that we are in a strange limbo between summer and fall, and I am personally rooting for fall to win.  
This rug design combines the elements of summer and fall perfectly.  It seems quirky to have acorns and oak leaves growing on a tulip plant but in the rug hooking world, it makes perfect sense.  I have offered this pattern on my website for many years and every time I see it, I wonder why haven't I hooked it yet?
Liz did a fabulous job (as always!) by picking out jewel tones for the birds and echoing that delicious jewel-like fuchsia in the tulips.  The light background makes the colors glow and sing.  Have you ever heard that you should use "light, bright, dull, dark" in your rug's color plan?  Liz did it!  
Light=yellow pot  
Bright=fuchsia and teal  
Dull=oak leaves  
Dark=acorn caps 
I believe this might have been a gift (wedding?  I can't remember) and thus, the initials on the pot.
Liz is an accomplished rug hooking artist in her own right so I am honored that she chose to hook this Spruce Ridge pattern.
Thanks Liz!  It's a real beauty! **Bellissimo!**

Here's another version hooked by Paula Shultz.  She used jewel tones in her color plan too but just a little softer and different.  Her birds are so very graceful!
A lovely rug, thank you Paula!

You can find the pattern here:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Hope Flower

 

Hope Flower
Adapted from the artwork of Ann Willey
Hooked by Jean Bartel

I love the simplicity of this design and I love the soft colors that Jean used to hook her Hope flower.  The greens and blues in the background seem to melt into each other. The use of rust for the flower's outside edge is really stunning and works well with the blue in the rest of the flower.  
I think Jean has perfectly captured the feeling of calmness and serenity that is symbolic of Hope Flower.  It's something we all need in this time of uncertainty and turmoil!  Thank you so much, Jean, for a job well done!

You can find the pattern here: