Featured Rug of the Month
Vase of Flowers, 18"x18"
Designed and hooked by Louise Paintner
I love pottery and I love flowers, especially Black Eyed Susans. I looked through my quilt and gardening books, looking at various vase shapes and flowers. The hard part for me is the fact that while I come from a family of artists, all of whom can draw (a father, a brother who has made his living as a graphic designer, three sons and a nephew who makes his living as a cartoonist for the likes of companies like Nickelodeon) I could never draw a lick. Since none of these relatives live anywhere near me, I decided if I was going to hook my own designs I would have to try my hand at drawing. This rug taught me that I can draw better than I thought.
I have a large roll of paper that I draw my designs on. I measure out and draw the finished size of the rug, including the hem. From there I draw whatever it is I think I want to hook. I draw in pencil and I do a lot of erasing. I have found that the more I draw the more confidence I have that I will be able to draw my next design.
This rug was hooked using a punch needle. The yarn I used to hook this piece I had spun for me some time ago by The Woolery in New York state. I purchased the wool from them and they added mohair that I had supplied from my angora goats. The blend is 85% merino and 15% mohair. (While this made a beautiful wall hanging I don't think I would use this blend for a floor rug.)
I dyed the yarn for the vase and flowers with Cushing dye. I used natural dyes for the background yarns, horsetail for one and an exhaust bath of black walnut dye for the other. While there were not very interesting as far as dyes go (two shades of beige) they made a very interesting background.
This was a worsted-weight yarn, so I held two strands together throughout the rug. When it came to the background I didn't have enough of the same color, so I held these two different shades together, which gave me enough to finish the piece and it has become an interesting design element.
People who are not familiar with rug hooking think I did some sort of pre-planning and difficult hooking to make the background look the way it does, when I only followed the contour of flowers and the vase while hooking.
This rug hangs on the wall in a bedroom in my home. It is one of my favorite pieces, one because it was my first hooked piece, two because it was my first design and three because it taught me to believe in my abilities as a designer and rug hooker.
Do you have a rug you would like to see featured on this website? E-mail me! If your rug is featured, you will receive your choice of a free half-yard of linen or our sturdy, recycled cotton rug hooking totebag. Share your story, we love to hear them! To view the many rugs that have already been featured, go to our archive.