Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hooked Rugs

I have received some requests lately to show some of my hooked rugs on my blog. Rug Hooking seems to go hand in hand with quilting. In fact, it was through a quilting store I was first introduced to rugs many years ago. A woman named Jennifer Figgins moved from Texas to Utah and tried to get a group of women together who wanted to work on making rugs. A group of about 8 of us met weekly in Jennifer's home for about 5 years. We did rug retreats, just like quilting retreats. Jennifer even had well known guest lecturers come into her home to teach us private lessons. It was a wonderful time together. Jennifer has since moved on to knitting, but many of the group still meet together in the Salt Lake area.
Meanwhile, I have moved to Southern Utah and my rugs stay mainly folded on a shelf in a closet.

I have stacks of wool just sitting, ready to be used.

Before I moved, I used to go around to different quilting groups and do trunk shows on Rug Hooking. I loved showing people how therapeutic it is to work in another medium. Just like quilting, you work in color.

When I first moved here I tried to find other people who made rugs, but couldn't find a one. I even offered classes at a local quilt shop to stir up interest. It never took off. Maybe because of the heat the idea of working with wool just isn't attractive. I have noticed that even the types of quilts people are drawn to up North are quite different than here. Diversity and variety are what makes the world go round, so I haven't worried about it too much.

In order to have the right colors in making a rug, I hand dye my wool. It's a really fun process, and I think it's about as easy as making a batch of cookies. I have this dresser in my sewing room full of hand dyed pieces. Each drawer holds a different color.

Since it's the fall season, I'll show you some of my Halloween and Fall rugs.

This is actually one of the first rugs I made. My rugs are "primitive" using 1/4 inch wool strips.

These small rugs are from designer Sandy Kandris. I went to a few of her retreats. She did a lot of designs combining Halloween and Americana.

This one used to go in front of my fireplace in my other house. Fall is my favorite time of year.

Emma Lou Lais of Kansas is considered the pioneer of Rug Hooking in the United States. She helped revitalize the art by designing patterns and teaching seminars. Now in her 80's, she still travels and teaches classes. She did two seminars at Jennifer's house and I was able to learn so much. The pumpkin rug below is an Emma Lou design. It's quite long, about 3 feet in length.

I liked the idea of white pumpkins for fall instead of the traditional orange.

I wanted to show a few pictures up close to give you an idea of how much color is mixed to make a simple leaf or background. It's really fun to let your imagination go wild.


Carrie said...

I'm impressed by your rug collection. I love the white pumpkin one! I've seen pictures of them in magazines but never knew anyone who made them. I would like to find a class around here and learn how. Thanks for sharing!

Eileen said...

GREAT stuff here! As you already know, this is one of my hobbies too. So I totally know what you mean about working with wool. I love everything about it.. especially the smell. You do very nice work. Beautiful!! My favorite is the squirrel :-)

em's scrapbag said...

YOur rugs are great. I have a dear friend that got me into quiltilng that hooks rugs. I lovingly call her a hooker and a stripper.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Oh Nedra - wow, how fun! Its such a fun medium. The rugs are absolutely works of art. I'm drooling over your collection of wool!

flora said...

Thank you Nedra! I love your rugs and was motivated to at least start collecting wool and patterns after I saw your truck show in Alpine some time ago. Beautiful stuff!

BeFRuiTFuL said...

How much fun that was seeing your gorgeous fall rugs. All my wool is in totes as we are traveling gypsys. But I love rug hooking it has become a passion. Thanks for sharing all of the photos with us and all that wool. Yummy. I also love to dye wool it is so much fun waiting in anticipation to see that color come to life.


Ulla said...

Wonderful rugs! I have hooked one rug for my daughter but I used T-shirts and similar materials. I can imagine how wool can feel very different and it will not go flat like the cotton does. I can always learn new things!