Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Standing Wool Rugs

Historic Rugs, taught by Nola Heidbreder and her sister Linda at the Green Mountain Rug Show in 2005, was the best rug class I have ever taken.  Our fingers were never idle.  The class covered a wide variety of rugs including toothbrush, knit, crochet, broomstick, locker hook, shirred, proddy, kitchen table, and my favorite, standing wool.

Like hooked rugs, standing wool rugs are easy to make.  The art of it comes in the application of the technique and the color of the wool used.  I've used the standing wool technique for jewelry, small mats and to add interest and humor to my hooked rugs.  Here's my Juggling Jack mat, designed in 2006, and his companion, Juggling Cat (who needs a serious cleaning).  The circles are all strips of wool, rolled and stitched onto the linen before any hooking was done.

Lots of versions of this technique have been popping up all over the rug hooking world lately.  People call it "rolled wool" or "quilling" (referring to the Victorian paper craft of the same name).

I find it interesting to watch the wave of a new technique roll through the rug hooking community.  Several years ago it was the age of embellishment, then the era of self portraits done mostly in shades of blue (or so it seemed).  Impressionism or pointillism -- depending on whose blog you read -- is also surfacing in rug making.  Not long ago, rug hookers were limited to purchasing patterns and using wool dyed by a teacher to create an almost paint-by-number rug.  It's good to see our horizons expanding.


TamboinMO said...

Isn't Nola just the best?! I've had her as a teacher twice...love her!

robin said...
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lee woo said...

Most days it feels as if the world is whirling around me and I am standing still. In slow motion, I watch the colors blur; people and faces all become a massive wash. See the link below for more info.