Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brave enough to be yourself….

….sometimes that is hard in rug hooking, but it’s getting easier all the time.

While I was at “Rugs on the Rocks” in Maine I started working on a footstool pattern.  The template came from Kim Nixon and my husband drew the design.

I’m working this in very bright….almost neon colors at some points. Not something you see a LOT of in rug hooking. My colors are more vivid than they appear in this picture…when I have time I’ll take some close-ups for you.


I’ve found that a lot of people have a hard time coming up with something to say about the rug because of the colors.  “nice design”, “how unique”, “is that your own design?” are some of the comments that other rug hookers have made.

Then, there are a few, who truly love the colors…..are they secretly wanting to use bright and bold colors in their rugs, but are not yet brave enough to use them? Or do we need “someone” to give us license to use the colors that we really love?

So why am I writing about this today?  It all started when I got a friend request on “The Welcome Mat”.  It was from another rug hooker who is using bright colors in her rugs….I went to look at her rugs…..LOVED them…..then I went to read her blog postings.

I felt her struggle as well.

It’s been on my mind for several years actually…..not just the bright colors, but colors that are outside the “norm” for rug hooking.  By the “norm”, I’m talking about antique and primitive rugs (don’t get me wrong…. I LOVE the colors in the antique rugs….red/brown/green is one of my favorite old color combinations that I’m always drawn to and like to hook). 

When I first “explored” hooking with colors that were not “old” it was by hooking a rather pastel rug….I loved it and I felt like it was “me”.  Not me trying to be “someone else”.  So, this year, as you see my rugs, you’re seeing more of “me”…..maybe what you expect, maybe not.


  1. Tammy,
    The colors and designs you hook are great!! I think you are ahead of everything, just look at quilts now. The colors and designs are fresh and young. Keep doing what you love!!

  2. Tammy,
    Great comments. Rug hooking should be another way to express ourselves. I sometimes struggle with design my own vs using someone else's pattern. But I never feel the same about a rug if I use another's pattern. Almost feels like paint by number to me. I take ideas from others and try to make it my own. And I LOVE those bright colors. Many times I pick up the hook to escape and the vibrant rich colors always cheer me up. I can't wait to see your footstool.

  3. Oh, my ~ you struck a cord with me, too, Tammy!! At Sauder, I started a Barbara Brown pattern "Flower Tree" ~ I'm doing the background in antique blacks but the flowers are pretty vibrant!! I wanted to step out of the box ~ something more artistic! Most of the other class rugs were primitive and beautiful ~ but I found that people who came by would barely look at my rug or say 'that's different' ~ funny that you should mention this right now!! I've always 'been myself' ~ it's hard for others to deal with!! So glad I have company on my way out of the 'box'!!! And your footstool is going to be smashing, me thinks!!

  4. Above all else... be true to thine own self!! :D
    I have always loved your color choices Tam... as they are a true reflection of YOU!! I love that you are brave enough to realize what makes your heart sing and run with it! It's what makes you unique and different and SPECIAL!
    LOL.. you know me and my affinity for browns :) And when it comes to rug hooking i LOVE the prims.. it makes my heart sing!! But, i have always had a love affair with color! And for some reason I dont want to cross that boundry with my rugs... it doesnt feel right to lol... enter fresh modern BRIGHT quilts! Nope, the 2 dont match.. at all! But who cares?!? They both make me soo happy! :D And i can SEE the happiness in your rugs when you embrace what you WANT to do! So keep doin it girl! xoxo

  5. I love your happy colors, I think your footstool is going to be stunning. Always do what make you happy. When you get as old as I am you won't give a flip what others think if you like it.

    Brenis said it all when she said to thine own self be true

  6. Tammy, You know I love your color choices! I think we're just rebels and like to do things different! I think brights are Happy Colors!

  7. You go Girl!!!!Do I hear that old sing "Just got to be ME....."?You know what I think about doing your own thing.

  8. Rug hooking is an art form and if you don't use it to express what you love (in colour shape and form) then it doesn't express yourself!! I absolutely love bright colours in rugs and I think most people do as well. I think, for me at least, that the primitive colours are well-loved but safe. So stepping outside of that comfort zone can be, well, uncomfortable, but, soooo rewarding in the end :D your stool is going to be absolutely spectacular and a show stopper!!!

  9. know where I'm coming from. It's gorgeous and will be fabulous when done. I can't wait!

  10. I love your color sense! Funky and fun! Right up my alley! And like you, I also love those dark old colors too! There's a place for all of them! :o) Can't wait to see your rug!

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