Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Farm & Sugarloaf Mtn

Farm & Sugarloaf Mtn 43x 43

The Farm: My parents bought it before I was born. I'm the sixth child, two more siblings born after me. I hold the title for being the first farm baby. So, creatively speaking, it's no surprise that I would eventually design a rug to celebrate the memories of growing up on 20 acres.

Farm & Sugarloaf Mtn is the rug I designed and hooked that embodies my early farm-life memories. It's a big rug, 43" x 43". The background was hooked with recycled thrifted wool and hand-dyed wool in an 8 1/2 cut. The motifs were hooked in an 8 cut with marbleized, hand-dyed and recycled wool. The way the big bold flower motifs flow on this design, remind me of a quilt pattern with one oversized flower in the center that spreads out to the four corners with the long stems dividing the rug into equal quadrants.

I couldn't put all of our animals on the rug, so I chose the ones that had significance for me. The cat because we had a few favorite adult cats, Smokey, Siam, Calico, and many litters of kittens. The cow because I can remember being in the barn with my dad while he was milking, and hearing the sharp pinging sound of the milk when it is first filling the empty metal milking bucket. I loved to hunt for snakes under the pieces of corrugated metal roofing material from the barn that had blown off long ago and were left laying in the field.
cat close-up
me age 4, unknown kitten
sister jan dad and me

The little haystack-like motifs represent the small mountain named Sugarloaf, that we would often hike to on our many adventures. I repeated that motif, because I liked the way it added unity to the design, but also because the mountain represents many good memories. For instance, trying to hike to the top and look out at the distant bay before the noon whistle blew at the refinery on the point. Hiking along the trail to the mountain, where the sun was shinning, that was the "fairy trail" the more wooded, shaded part of the trail was the "witch's cave". We ran through that part! There was the time my older sister fell off part of the steep backside and I had to lay across the rock outcrop and reach my hand down for her to grab.

sugarloaf mtn w hit and miss border close-up

The border with its hit-and-miss pattern helps create movement for your eye. I wanted to add interest to the border without it becoming overpowering, so I changed the direction of the hit-and-miss hooking in a few places. The heart motif (I do love hearts) and the barn are placed within the margins of the border to keep the border from seeming too predictable.

barn & bird close-up

If I were to hook this rug again I would love to try to hook it in more neutral tones with a light background. Hmmm, the flowers, maybe in reds. I could see this being an amazing wool appliqué quilt pattern, or sewn with really bright and willd cotton batiks.

goats grazing in moonlight present day

My second to youngest brother and his dear wife now own the family farm. She took this photo earlier this spring of their goats grazing in the moonlight. Hmmmm, this could be an inspiration for another rug!



  1. Nice rug----haven't seen that one before. Wish my hooking would look wonky like yours.

  2. Lol Marie! I hope "wonky" is a compliment! The edges of my rugs are always "squared" but within the rug, lines are not too straight, on purpose! mj