Giving Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here in the States and a belated Thanksgiving greetings to my Canadian friends.  With this blog I would like to share a story of the pocketbook pictured above and give a small gift to you.

I like to do a bit of travel in the rug hooking world and attend classes, guild meetings and workshops. I like to hook other peoples patterns and compose my own patterns to hook, and I love to learn from other hooking teachers. I am blessed with an inquisitive mind and the ability to travel.

Over a year ago I signed up with the Olde Cape Cod Rug School  with teacher Betsy Reed and her lovely helper, daughter Erica Tracey of Heavens To Betsy .  At this time I did not want to start hooking a large rug because I am currently working on a large, finely shaded one and I knew hooking another large rug would be too much for me. Having a small project would give me peace of mind for not having too many unfinished projects.

So I examined my goals for this weekend:

  • Small project to be completed in a few days
  • Self-created
  • Approach this project like a teacher would
  • use teachers wool selections and color pallet
  • Complete a project of utilitarian design

I drew a pattern on paper, traced it to linen and what you see is what was created in my weekend workshop. I am truly thankful for the fantastic time I had at the Olde Cape Cod Rug School, with my Teacher Betsy Reed, seeing and socializing with old and new friends and reaching my rug hooking goals.

This Pattern is my Thanksgiving gift to you all. I am available at Ellen’s Hooked Rugs   Shop for $1.00 as a PDF download with directions on how to make it.  I know I am thankful for the good things I have, for family and friends, for warm hospitality, and for your good company.

Happy Thanksgiving,



Exploration into Proddy


I recently re-discovered the proddy technique. I had always thought of proddy as a way to make pretty little flower pins, but why not think outside the box?  What else could I do with proddy?

Being an avid rug hooker and a dyer of wool, I had some leftover pieces of  pretty pink wool fabric from another project.  Reusing leftovers for an experimental project is something that frequently piques my interest, so I thought “why not make a very large proddy pillow?”.   For my experiment, I designed and made a Dahlia pillow (pictured above)

To make my Dahlia pillow, I first drew a circle in the middle of my backing material and then a smaller concentric circle within the larger circle. Then I started working the center of the flower. I used my Oxford Needle Punch (from The Oxford Company)  to place a combination of yellow yarn and yellow wool strips.

The next step was to rip my wool into usable size proddy pieces.  For that, I used my lovely wooden  Proddy Tool and Gauge  


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To do this, I snip along the salvage pieces every 3/4 of an inch and rip into long strips. I then wrap the strip around the proddy gauge and snip. This results in beautiful petal like pieces of wool.

Working from the back of the fabric backing, I then poke a hole with my proddy tool and poke in one end of the petal and then poke a second hole next the the first and insert the other end of the petal. This goes round and round until you finish to your desired size.

It is a satisfying feeling to poke and poke and poke and then turn the piece around to see the front of the flower pillow.

This is  second pillow I have finished recently.  I plan on sending the piece to Canada to a church that is being converted to a fiber arts center.


You can find two Dahlia Proddy Pillows on my Esty shop Ellen’s Hooked Rugs

Priscilla Primitive

2018-09-26 18.29.53PricilliaPrimitiveI recently finished my rug named Priscilla Primitive. Priscilla has been sitting in my stash for several years. I knew I would get to it eventually and recently I heard it calling to me….”hook me now! ”

In May I had plans to attend the Ragg Tyme School in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada (Ragg Tyme Studio.) And I knew Priscilla would be the perfect rug to hook.  I had contact with my lovely teacher Beatrice Grant and she agreed that I could dye all the wool I wanted and she would help me color plan when I arrived.

I researched this pattern by looking in rug hooking books and on the internet how others had color planned and hooked this rug and the few I had found had light backgrounds.  I thought it would be a good challenge to hook a dark background and I knew the Antique Black from Dorr Mill   would be perfect, and better yet I wouldn’t have to dye three and a half yards of wool.  I dyed a bunch of wool and used recipes mostly from Vintage Colors by Karen Hahle of Primitive Spirit and a few from Holly Hill Designs  by Susan Quicksall. the pinks and blues were soft, the greens were lovely, and I over dyed on different colored wool to make uniform and nicely blended flowers and leaves.

Bea was very helpful and I learned useful tips and techniques, such as the difference between Wide Cut and Primitive design, that I can do shading, and hooking with a large primitive shank hook is a must. I enjoyed this rug so much I finished in five months. The pattern, I believe was designed by Joan Moshimer and currently can be purchased from  Cushing Company

Trip To Waldoborough

2018-08-09 12.25.24This summer I traveled to Maine with my friend Kathleen Herbert, a Rug Hooking Historian, to visit the Waldoborough Historical Museum in Waldoborough, Maine.   This museum contained several Waldoboro Style Hooked Rugs and we were very excited to see them.

Waldoboro style rugs have raised and sculpted motifs. The motif has loops that are pulled higher than normal and then clipped and sculpted creating soft beautiful designs.  This is a lovely example containing raised roses and scrolls.  2018-08-09 12.38.27You can see a bit more detail in the photo below. I am especially taken by the hooked basket.

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This is another fine example of a hooked rug with rose buds, and blue and white flowers.

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Reading about and seeing photos of Waldoboro rugs isn’t the same as seeing them in person; they are truly remarkable specimens . This road trip has inspired me to add the Waldoboro style of hooking to my “must do” list of hooked rugs to accomplish in the future. If you have the chance to visit Maine, I would encourage you to see the Waldoborough Museum.

Happy hooking,



Pineapple welcome hooked rug

Welcome!  The photo above is the very first rug I hooked upon returning to New England after living in the Midwest in 2001  I found a group, a teacher and I walked into the room and said I wanted to hook a New England themed rug, a pineapple welcome.  The following week Jessie presented me with this 22 x 40 inch half round pattern.  I started to hook and have never looked back. It did however take me almost two years to complete as I had three small daughters to attend to and a farm. This pattern is called Pineapple Threshold from the W. Cushing Company and measures 22 x 40.

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