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 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'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 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 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

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!