3 years, 3 months and 12 days. When I did the calculations I was horrified to find out that it has been 1200 days since I started this rug. The past two years have not seen much progress for many reasons, but partly because I was not completely satisfied with any of my possible border designs.
Inspiration for rug hooking, especially borders can be found anywhere. I found this carving at one of the museums in New York City. Unfortunately, I did not document it. It is one of those designs that keeps pulling me back. I decided to see if I could modify it as a border for this rug.
One of the problems is that the two sides are different sizes. I needed to redraw the pattern twice, once to fit the long side and another to fit the short side. Then I had to figure out a way to make the corners mesh. Some experimentation with a lot of taping and cutting finally reveled a solution. Luckily after doing some testing by printing out full sized patterns, I was able to bend and stretch the design enough so it fit perfectly on both sides. Next I had to transfer the pattern to the backing. This took three days of tugging and pulling and back breaking tracing. Because the design is complicated, I needed to color in some of the areas so I could keep the shapes straight. I left some of the corner area blank. I’ll figure that out later.
I still have a lot of excess backing so I’ll roll up the sides and stitch them in place with yarn. I did this in the beginning but I had to undo them in order to transfer the pattern. By stitching up the sides, I will not have to struggle with the excess fabric getting in my way while I am hooking. This method has worked better for me than clamps. I’ll roll it once, stitch it down, roll it again and stitch again. This way I can just rip out one pass and unroll the backing but the rest of it will still be stitched up. It is one of those things that will take longer now, but will make the hooking more pleasant later.
Now I can finally answer the most asked question:
How big will this rug be? 8′ x 10’4″
Here’s the rug in place. It is obvious that I have less than 1/2 of it hooked, but I feel like I’ve made huge progress. Settling on the final border design was more difficult than the hooking will be. I just had to give it time. Who knew it would take almost 2 years to figure that out. Now let’s see how fast I can get it hooked.
Cindi Gay Rug Hooking Newsletter
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