Saturday, October 29, 2016

Moved to Rug Warp

Using red dot tracing material I transferred my new design to rug warp backing.  The lines of dots allowed me to be sure my pattern was straight on the foundation.  I placed the transparent red dot over my drawing on paper and traced the design in red Sharpie.

I moved the red dot material (with the pattern in red) to the top of my rug warp.  Then I traced the pattern again, but this time in black Sharpie.  This lets me know that I have traced all the motifs onto the foundation.

This is the first time I've used the 100% cotton rug warp backing for a rug.  Rug warp is much heavier than the linen I've used before, but an experiment was done that showed it is less susceptible to abrasion.  It costs less than linen, but more than Monk's cloth.  The rug warp is woven with single strands of tightly twisted cotton warp that look like string, and it's softer and less scratchy.  We'll see how I like this foundation as I move along.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Rockefeller Rug


Because this rug design was inspired by the Rockefeller Quilt that appeared in The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book by Alfred Allan Lewis, it was necessary to receive the permission of the author to use the image.  I began with Mcmillan Publishers, was sent to Simon & Schuster, Inc, and ended with Curtis Brown, Ltd. who kindly forwarded my request to Mr. Lewis.  He granted me a one-time permission to use the motifs from the quilt, provided I make no monetary profit from the endeavor and wherever the rug appears the author will be credited.
I, also, wanted to get permission from the quilt designer, Dorothy Weatherford, but after some searching I found an article from the Charleston Gazette that stated she had passed away on December 5, 2013.
The original quilt was made by The Mountain Artisans co-op and given to Mrs. Sharon Percy Rockefeller as a gift at the birth of her first child.  After communicating through several directors and assistants, Mrs. Rockefeller also granted permission.
So, I have moved forward and created the design.

Here is a portion of the pattern.

Friday, October 21, 2016

New Project

I've been reading about the Mountain Artisans Quilt Cooperative that operated in West Virginia in the '60s and '70s, disbanding in 1978.   With the help of Sharon Rockefeller, the women were able to market their quilted fabrics to upscale interior decorators and designers during this time of revival of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book is by Alfred Allan Lewis and gives the history of the co-op and even includes instructions on how to make their patchwork pieces.
The Rockefeller Quilt which appears on the cover and inside the book has inspired me to create a new hooked rug design, but now I have the challenge of seeking permission for the use of the motifs designed by Dorothy Weatherford on a piece made in 1970.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Needle Felting

Recent Class

Lyn Slade is a needle felting artist, and I was fortunate to take a class with her.  We sculpted wool roving into a three-dimensional owl.  Lyn provided a kit with all the equipment and materials we needed, and her instruction was easy to follow and was thorough.  It was a fun time.
Lyn has also written a book that is a wonderful resource: Creative Needle Felting: Wool Art with a Painterly Style.

I came across another needle felting artist, Juliana Boyd. She was selling her work at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, MA over the holiday weekend.  Due to the weather, my trip to the Festival didn't happen, so I checked out her work online.  She creates incredible two-dimentional pieces.  I'm hoping her work will be in the Marlboro (MA) Festival in November.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Purchased Color Swatches

In trying to match the color of a commercial piece of blue wool,  I've been doing some dyeing..... With the help of my teacher, Beverly Mulcahy, I got a color that will work in my rug.  (I've done some dyeing, but I've never tried to match the color of a wool that I had purchased.)  While working, we used swatches she had that were coordinated with published dye formulas to find a match.  The swatches made the process so much simpler. You could actually see what the wool is supposed to look like, and now I have a formula I can repeat.
I already have some books with swatches in my dyeing supplies: Triple Over Dye 1 and 2; The ATHA Dye Book of 2011; and Seasons of Wool by Angela Anderson of Pioneer Primitives, but I need to begin to expand my library.
Lately, I've been buying Pro Chem dye colors vs Cushing. Pro Chem comes in a screw top jar instead of a tiny plastic envelope, and the amount of dye is greater.  The Cushing colors are softer. Pro Chem color is more vivid.  I finally purchased the Pro Chem color cards made with yarn.

 I purchased the book Primary Fusion  by Ingrid Hieronimus and it's accompanying wool swatch set from Ragg Tyme Studio.
The Primary Fusion system dyes 58 colors from 4 Pro Chem dyes, Magenta 338, Blue 490, Yellow 119, and Black.  The book introduces basic color theory and should be very easy for the beginning dyer to use.  Ingrid states on her first page: "For those of you who are already dyeing, this system is so comprehensive that you will learn how to vary a formula to produce the exact colour you want."  This is what I'm after....

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Color Choice

In a recent discussion of how to select colors for a rug, I suggested that finding a fabric you like can help.  "You can choose colors that please you by looking at fabric.  If the colors in the material speak to you, then most likely, you will like the outcome of your rug using that palette.  Some fabrics have circles of the color used to dye the material on the selvage edge making color choice easier." Sometimes, it's hard to distinguish one color from another when it is inside the fabric pattern, so the selvage markings are like paint swatches or chips.

Another suggestion from the discussion was the online Palette Generator.  It creates a color palette based on the predominant colors in an image.  This color palette could be used for many art or design needs.

These are the colors produced from this piece of Waverly fabric.  The sliding scale let's you choose from the dominant 2 colors to the dominant 10 colors.  You just drag and drop your file into the box and the program produces the extracted colors and the percentage of that color in the sample.

This is the palette produced from a flower photo.  This program could be another tool for me to use in color choice.