Vermont Floral Cottage chair pad that I’m finishing up! These chair pads are good for using up odds and ends of “wool worms” too…as you can easily stick them in here and there when you are doing whimsical or primitive designs!!! As you can see from the pen marks on the unhooked backing, I changed my mind and changed the design as I was working!!!!! LOL (I do that often!!) : )
One of my “teaching” chairpads…the bird design below! It was adaapted from an old Pennsylvania Dutch image!
If you are a new rug hooker, I think you would enjoy doing some “freestyle” hooking on chair pads or small mats. …but sometimes new hookers feel uneasy about their drawing abilities! As an alternative, if you have a child or grandchild’s drawing, simple children’s drawings make delightful mats or pads!
I like to give beginning students a circle template to draw around on their backing and then they can just draw some simple design to hook. ( the bird above is one of the two or three patterns I suggest If they don’t want to draw something freehand! The others are a pumpkin with stem and vines and a large sunflower) : )
The nice thing about doing a round chairpad is that you are learning to hook around a circle, to hook your center motif and then decide the direction you want your backing rows to go, you learn how to sew rug tape around a circle, to whip the edge of the circle and finish the pad and you have something useful when you finish!!! Also, chairpads finish pretty fast and you don’t have to wait for a large rug to get satisfaction!!!!! LOL Also, if you are new to rug hooking, hooking and finishing a chair pad or small mat will let you know if this is something you enjoy! I happen to love the whole process…from designing to finishing!!! : 0 )
It’s beautiful in the northeast kingdom this morning! Brilliant sunshine and shadow here at Old Crow Farm! I am cleaning and organizing my rug hooking studio and getting in a bit of hooking here and there too. I can’t believe all the “stuff” that seems to accumulate, even when I am giving lots (of things I won’t need) away to those who can use them and to Goodwill, etc. It seems the more I give away, the more I have!!!! LOL Do you have that problem? Any “organizing” suggestions out there?
When I see artists or craftspeople who have lovely, organized studios I wish mine was more like that!!! But since I am in a converted attic in a little old farmhouse, with sloping ceilings and not much usable wall space…I’m just thankful that I have a place to work, even with the limitations!!!!! : ) At least I can leave things out and just pull the curtain across the doorway so the mess isn’t seen! I’m really very fortunate! : )
A beautiful, snowy morning in Vermont! Just magical and so peaceful.
I really love this kind of snow…the big flakes swirling softly down to the ground!
This is one of my favourite Santas. After he was done, I just couldn’t sell him!
I have several Santas and figures that I didn’t want to part with, so they’ve become part of my home collection.
Still Life with Zinnias -(c) S. Andress 2008
I’m really having fun with these chair pads…very freeing exercise to just draw on the backing and start hooking with no “transferring patterns” or colour-planning!!!! It makes a change from working on my larger rugs and I find it is very relaxing. (Of course, they finish up fast too and can be taken in the car with a small “sit-upon” or lap frame to work on!) : ) Hook On!
This was the sky this morning after the snows of yesterday! We do love Vermont! We have some lovely, fluffy snow and it’s nice to see the sparkling white once again!
Fraktur Angel Floral is based on several old frakturs and sampler images and uses many different browns and misc colours for the background (I think about 15 or 16 different ones!). I also hooked it so that some of the motifs blend somewhat into the background and some stand out. All my rugs are experiments…I love saying to myself, “What if I did….that?” or “I wonder how that would look?” LOL The fun of finding these things out for myself is one of the wonderful things about hooking for me. I’d rather not be told, “Oh, we don’t do that in rug hooking!” or “This is the only right way to hook!”
When I teach beginning students, I always tell them that I am “giving them general advice and telling them how I design and hook“. My technique is not written in stone!!!! LOL Once they learn how to pull up the loops and get comfortable with hooking, they can do anything they want to do!!! I always refer them to good books and magazines written by very experienced rug hookers so they can see how others do their rug planning and hooking. As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer not to colour-plan in advance but to choose a wool or 2 and then start right in, bringing in other colours as I go! (Some hooking friends say that would drive them nutty…they want a plan to follow!!!!!) That’s great too! : )
I love to make what might be called “Memory Rugs”. These are rugs that evoke memories of my childhood or what I imagine women of the past might be feeling as they make their rugs or quilts or other decorative or functional items for their homes. This rug, “Granny’s Old Blue Vase”, was designed because I remembered that my Grandmothers, Aunts and my Mom all seemed to have an old homely blue vase in their collections. Everyone used them for flower arrangements because they were such a good size! After I hooked the main part of the rug and was deciding on a border (I don’t plan out all my rugs in advance!!!!) I suddenly remembered the knitted and crocheted afghans that all those ladies had draped over their sofas and chairs during that period of time! I decided to make the border look like those ripple afghans!!! It was such fun and I thought about all the women in my family and their creative work for their homes and families. And I smiled a lot!!! LOL
This Country Farmhouse rug below was made for my own home. Because we live in the country, I wanted a dark colour for my rug as we walk over it every day and can’t take off our shoes each time we come in!
As I designed and hooked it, I was thinking about a country woman of the past who was making a rug using wool from old and worn clothes. I thought about the brown from old pants and knickers she’d saved and, perhaps, some dark burgundy from an old skirt of her own. How happy she would be if a friend or her mother or sister came by with a basket of wool scraps of other colours so that she could make a happy pattern on the rug instead of plain brown and burgundy! : ) As I thought about this, I was so thankful for the wonderful selection of wools and fabrics that we have today.
As the pieces above show, we can design a rug around a story or memory and enjoy the entire process as we hook! Added to the fun of doing these rugs were the memories they evoked while I was hooking them. I know many rug hookers create rugs that celebrate the lives of friends or family or depict special moments or events. I enjoy doing that and I hope you do too! : )
I’m really having fun with the Summerhouse! : )
Carrot Porch Railing started
On my Vermont Rug Hooker’s Blog I had a question about our little summerhouse. I love it when artists and craftspeople add touches of whimsy and fun to buildings or to their gardens…so when we built this little house years ago I wanted details to make people smile! The bunny wreath on the door meant that I Must have carrots on the railing…so I am slowly making them and putting them up. I haven’t made it around to the front of the railing yet!!!! But what a hoot! : )
I’ve said that I love old frakturs and samplers! This chair pad above and the “Summer” hanging below are based on old frakturs. They are wonderful sources of inspiration!
I am hooking a small group of seasonal wall hangings or mats that can be hung on a cupboard door and changed with the seasons. I have done Summer, Autumn and Winter but haven’t gotten around to Spring! : 0 ) Maybe this year!
All images copyright Sunnie Andress 2007
We certainly are losing a lot of snow here. Temperatures are rather balmy, shirtsleeve weather. But we do often have a January thaw during our winters!