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:

Monday, August 17, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Ah Tis Spring

 

Ah Tis Spring
Adapted from the design of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

This is the companion rug to Mr. MacGregor, which I featured yesterday.  She is hooked with the same beautiful brown plaid that Mr. McGregor was. I had planned on having them as a matching pair.  Her dress is also the same wool that I used in Mr. MacGregor's background.  The basket was a fabulous waffle-like texture that I had picked up from Barb Carroll.  I hooked it in straight lines to give it a woven look and it was absolutely perfect!  The rabbit's dress has a lot of area to hook and I wanted to give it a little interest so I made quillie buttons going down the front. 
If you have never done quillies before, I'm going to give you a warning....they are totally ADDICTING!  Once you start making them, you will want to add them to everything!  Flower centers, sheep bodies, spots on animals, googly eyes...the list is endless.  I actually got to the point where I had to tell myself that not every rug has to have a quillie in it....LOL
To make a quillie, you need two wool strips of contrasting colors.  Consider how high you hook and cut your quillie strips in that size.  For example, I hook a little higher, more like a 8.5 cut so that is what I use for my quillies.  If you hook a little lower, you might want to try a #8 cut.  When you have the two strips that you want to "quill,"  put them together and stand them on their sides and start rolling them like a jelly roll.  I like to use a table when I am rolling them because it gives just a bit more stability.  When you have a circle the size that you want, stick a pin in the roll (going sideways so that the pin is holding all the layers) and then cut off the remaining ends (if you have them).  Don't let go of the quillie until the pin is secure because it will spring back open.  Now take a needle and thread and sew through the middle of quillie roll.  Think of the spokes on a bicycle and make several passes through the circle.  Don't pull too tight or you will misshape your quillie.  Your thread doesn't need to match perfectly because it is on the sides of the quillie and it will be hidden when you hook around it. 
After several passes back and forth with the needle and thread, you can knot off the thread.  Place the quillie circle in the area in which you want it to be on your rug and whipstitch it down to the foundation.  Again, your thread doesn't have to match because you will be hooking around it.  Just have your needle come up about  1/2 the height of the circle and then back down into your foundation.  When you have sewn all the way around, knot off and cut your thread.  Now you can hook around the quillie closely.
(I have directions and pictures for creating quillies in my book Introduction To Rug Hooking in Chapter 12.)

Lastly, I made a few swirly squiggles in the sky when I was hooking my background.  They are not drawn on the pattern but I thought that Miss Rabbit was perhaps a little giddy about spring so I gave the background a little playfulness!

You can find the pattern here:

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Mr. McGregor

 

Mr. MacGregor
Adapted from the design of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

Isn't this a strange year?  We have had a multitude of rabbits and I don't ever remember a year where I have seen so many.  In the morning and evening when I walk down to the barn, there are at least 6 of them out in the grass along my way.  There is a small one who is not afraid of me at all and I have gotten pretty close before he darts away.  I know most people think they are cute but they have chewed up some of my lovely plants...one was a rose bush from my granddaughter and we were unable to save it. :(
Anyway, I think I prefer rabbits when they are hooked so may I present to you....*taa daa*
Mr. MacGregor!
He's such a dashing gent with his cane and his hat set at a jaunty angle.  He must be on his way to meet his sweetheart because he's carrying a gift of a tasty carrot treat.
I found a beautiful brown plaid at Sauder Village years ago.  It wasn't very much but it was enough to hook his body and have a small piece left over for another rug.  I decided on a turquoise plaid background because I love the way it "plays well" with the brown.  The turquoise plaid had a dusty purple line running through it so I hooked the two big spindly flowers with different values of purple and a fun yellow center.  I dipped into my left over strips for the tabs on the sides.  It was my first time at "hit or miss" and if you remember, I ended up thinking it should be called "trial and error" instead.  I learned a lot about which colors worked well with each other and which ones didn't.   

This rug now calls home in a private collection.  One year we vended at a fiber show near Charlevoix, MI.  It took place at Castle Farms, which has an interesting history.  It was built in 1918 by the vice president of the Sears and Roebuck company as a farm to showcase their livestock and farm equipment.  The buildings really do look like they belong to a castle! Over the years, it changed owners and was once used as a venue for rock concerts. Eventually the buildings deteriorated and it was in sad shape. It was purchased by Linda Mueller in 2001 who restored it to its beautiful original condition.  It is now a popular venue for weddings and formal events.
On the last day of the fiber show, some of the other vendors told me that Linda Mueller would walk through the buildings and thank everyone for coming.  As we were packing up, a very small lady wearing a blue wind breaker and baseball cap came into our booth and thanked us for coming.  She also inquired about purchasing the Mr.MacGregor rug that was still hanging on my rug display.  I was a little flustered, realizing that this very unassuming person was the lady who owned the venue!  I tapped the keys of my calculator and showed her the price.  She promptly scribbled out a check, rolled up the rug, stuck it under her arm, and walked away.  My husband turned to look at me as my mouth dropped open..."did you just sell your rug?"  he gasped.  "That's OK, I'll hook another one" I managed to push the words out of my mouth.  Haha, I had never intended to sell my rug but I know it went to a lovely home and a person who would love it.
By the way, I never did hook another one so I look at my pictures with much fondness in my heart for Mr. MacGregor.

You can find the pattern here:

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Goat Hill

 

Goat Hill
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Deb Nees
(image borrowed from Woodland Junction blog)

There are certain design motifs in this rug that really speak to my heart so it is another favorite of mine and it's on my rug hooking bucket list.  I love the pomegranates on their spindly stalks, I love the crest in the middle with the date, and of course, I love the goat!  The combination of aqua and dusty pinks is perfect and the teal tulips are the icing on the cake.  Deb did a stellar job hooking this rug and I really have to give her extra credit for hooking in all the little fussy fences!  This design does have smaller details but they make the rug so delightful!
Another great rug from Deb! 

Here is another version of Goat Hill, hooked by Maureen Lowrey
Again, the dusty pink and soft red pomegranates along with the turquoise house melt my heart!  The neutral background highlights the gorgeous colors. 

Bravo to both ladies for a job well done!

The little goat in the center reminds me of one of my first angora goats, Sequoia.  His mother had twins and didn't show much interest in him. My friends brought him in the house, put a diaper on him, and let him have the run of their house until he got bigger.  He was just a tiny little guy when he came to our farm.  Goats can be sort of mean and he was picked on as a runt so we built him his own little goat house so he could get away from the bigger goats.  He grew up to be quite the sturdy fellow with the thickest horns and the most stunning blue eyes I have ever seen.  He was strong and stubborn, but boy, did he love me and I loved him right back. I still have some roving made from his fleece....so wouldn't this be a great rug to commemorate my special boy, Sequoia? 

You can find Goat Hill here:


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Rug Of The Day - My House Sampler

Let's continue our theme of "Houses" with the wonderful My House Sampler

My House Sampler
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kathy Simmons

Hooked by Rebecca Erb

This is another one of my favorite rug hooking designs.  I have never hooked it for myself but I have color-planned it many times in my head.  It's a really wonderful pattern to personalize for yourself.  I have seen folks hook the words "Our House" or "est." (for established) and then a date.  I have seen last names hooked instead, and names of cities.  The point is that you can commemorate any special occasion, name or date very easily and make it your own.

So let's do a little daydreaming and color plan this rug!  
My son just moved into a new house and the siding is yellow with white trim.  Since his house is more of a soft yellow, I would definitely outline the house so it will stand out nicely from the background.  I would look in my stash and see if there is a funky texture that might work for the outline.  Maybe some sort of boucle or unusual weave.  I believe a light background would be the best, maybe a winter wheat herringbone or a subtle light khaki plaid.  I have a lovely red/yellow/green plaid so I will choose that for the border. Since his new house doesn't have a lot of flowers out front, I think I'd change the flower pot to a little tree, just like Rebecca did in her rug.  I can hook the tulips in a couple different values of red because they will balance with the red in the border...however, I might throw in a stronger yellow texture for the center of the tulip.  
I would get my color clues from the border wool to choose the colors of the letters.  Again, perhaps a combination of red, green, and I'd throw a blue in there (using yellow might make the letters hard to read so I'm going to avoid yellow).  I could use the blue again in the door of the house and in the bird to create my color triangle.  I'd use a nice shade of green for the ground (I tend to like more olive and yellow greens) and I'd probably change the phrase to say "Our House" with a yellow or yellow gold box, surrounded by red triangles.  I'd be playful and fill each triangle with a different color...maybe dip into my endless assortment of left-over strips.  The numbers and letters on the ground would probably have to be hooked with a darker color...maybe the same sort of brown value that I use for the tree trunks.

Another trick I might use when hooking the trees:  choose three values of green for your leaves; one being a light value, one being medium, and one being dark.  Then divide up each tree into three parts.  Hook one third of the leaves that are closer to the tip of the tree in the lightest value, then the middle third would be hooked in the medium value, and the bottom third (closest to the actual tree trunk) would be in the darkest value.  I have done this in other rugs and it makes a beautiful transition!

Again, remember when hooking the letters and numbers to hook directly on the line, pulling your loops up as high as the background.  Just hook one letter at a time and then immediately work one row of background around the entire letter/number so it will hold its shape.  You can mix the size of your cuts if you want some thicker parts to your letters. You will have instant success and will never have to pull them out and hook them twice.
I LOVE HOOKING LETTERS!

As with all rugs, there will probably be some tweaking when I start hooking and getting all the colors in there.  There might be some spots that need a stronger color or a darker value but that is the fun of trying to figure it out!  Sometimes I leave a questionable spot in there until I get more hooked around it.  I have learned that sometimes when you rip out too early, you will end up going back to the original color...so learn to live with those little stinkers for a little while.  Get some more area hooked around it and then come back to it later.  Put it on the floor and step away.  Or hold it up to a mirror.  You will know whether it will need to be changed or not.

You can find the My House Sampler pattern here:

PS: This is a large pattern (32" x 41.5")






Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Harvest Goode Things

 

Harvest Goode Things
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

I know it's August and it is still hot, but I have been feeling the slightest hint of fall in the air.  Our barn is full of sweet smelling hay, the crickets are singing their drowsy songs, and the sunflowers have their faces toward the sun.  We have a plump green pumpkin growing on our volunteer pumpkin vines and I just saw the tiniest woolly bear worm inching its way along in front of the hay barn door.  I just have that feeling that fall could be around the corner.

If you are looking for a rug pattern to carry you from August into September and into the start of fall, then this is the pattern for you!  Again, it was one of those designs that was a pleasure to hook.  I was excited to hook the sunflowers so I found a piece of tweed that looked seedy for the flower centers.  I thought it would be fun to outline a couple of the centers with a tad bit of brighter yellow.  A red house, of course, with a brown roof but this time, a green door.  I made the windows gray.  The lettering is a blue/green plaid and I love how it shifts subtly from the blue to the green, which adds some interest to the letters.  I decided that some of the pumpkins needed to be a color other than orange so I used a gray green.  The background is really a vanilla color that has a slight green cast...it's not as yellow as the picture shows.
The only real challenge I had was what color to hook the outhouse.  I didn't want it to be red.  After much debate, I chose a gray blue with a rusty red roof...perfect!  I love the odd little chimney pipe at the top of the outhouse.  I hooked that in the same blue as the siding...no need to overthink it.
A dark brown plaid was used for the border.  It frames the rug nicely and adds to the fall feeling.

This pattern comes in 2 sizes and I hooked the larger size (25" x 32.5").  You can find it here:

and the smaller size (20" x 26") is here:

Due to the invasion of a spammer, I have had to change my blog settings so that I will have to approve every comment before they post.  I am sorry for the inconvenience!  I do enjoy reading all of your comments.