I love to see families crafting together and sharing the same creative passions. Surprisingly, in our rug hooking guild there are several mother and daughters that hook together. Everyone has their own tastes and styles, however in one case mom and daughter showed how similar they can be.
Our local rug hooking guild had a display of our work at the Eugene Public Library the month of October. One of the highlights for me was seeing my design, Fruitlands, hooked by members Marilyn Lynch and her daughter Kym Ramsing.
The original rug that I created as shown in the photo on the right, was hooked in soft blues with a complementary color scheme of blue and orange.
Fruitlands is named after the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott, which I visited long ago. It is a charming place, complete with Louisa’s humble writing desk. In my imagination I could see her writing Little Women in that very room that she shared with her sisters. The Alcott family tried to create their own utopia here. I can see how they could dream it at Fruitlands, for the beauty and inspiration were still alive in this lovely place surrounded by trees and gardens. From this memory I created my rug design.
Marilyn and Kym took the color plan in a new direction, and chose to use a muted palette of neutrals. I asked them to tell me about their rugs and I fully expected them to say that they worked on them together and shared the same wool. But their stories are surprising. Let me share them with you today.
Kym’s rug, in the above photo, is quite muted in sophisticated color blend, with a very worn and faded antique effect. Here is what Kym told me about hooking Fruitlands:
Fruitlands was the second rug I ever hooked. I remember purchasing it from you when you brought some of your wares to rug hooking. Mom attended that day also, and without knowing it we both picked the same pattern from you.Mom and I do tend to gravitate to the same color family, although I think mom hooks with a bit more “punch” or depth of tone to her color palette. I tend to be a bit more muted. Nearly all of the wool I used was recycled from different clothing articles. Most of the background wools were dyed. Many of the leaves were hooked with marbleized wool ( I remember they were from lengths of pant legs) using your technique from your little book.The only change I remember making was replacing the words with the little branches of leaves under the birds. Because I live off of Willow Creek and have tons of willow trees along our property I think of them as representing our willow branches. I also hooked the house in a soft yellow to represent our old farm-house.Mom and I did hook fruit lands at the same time, but for the most part separately in our own homes. So it was fun to see how similar our colors were and yet very different with our own personal twist. I don’t think we shared wool. If we did, it was just a few snippets.
Kym’s mom, Marilyn, chose a slightly warmer and more colorful mixture of tones, hooking outlines with more contrast and intensity. Marilyn said:
It is kinda of interesting to hear about Kym and my fruitlands rugs. We both love folk art, and gravitate toward similar color pallets. We were shopping through yours and others vendor tables during one our eugene group gatherings, completely separately. We noticed later that morning that we found something we wanted to purchase so as we were showing each other our treasures, we found it pretty humorous that we had purchased the same fruitlands patterns.
We later started them separately and continued hooking them mostly separately, but did hook some of it together just during our hooking groups meetings. We did discuss the colors we were assembling to hook with at the beginning and through out the project. My project had a skinnier house, more warmish tones in the colors and is mostly recycled wools, with some pieces being dyed. Kym helped me dye a few pieces from your dusty dye book and I did some marblizing on my own using your technique.
I like to mix lots of similar shaded strips while hooking and to use lots of textured wools. My way of hooking is just natural to me as it is not so ordered or uniform. At first I tried to improve my loops, but seemed to fall back into my own comfortable disarray. Well, I guess it might represent more a very real primitive type of hooking.
We may have shared some of the same wool in some small area of the project, but Kym’s colors are more muted dusty brown tones. We love hooking and feel it is a wonderful mother/daughter hobby to share, but during the last few years each of us have had a hard time sitting together to hook, as too many other activities take over. We love your work and your creativity and I have been inspired by your colors and creations.
I love both of these rugs, and enjoy seeing how my rug can be used as a springboard for new ideas and color plans. Thank you Kym and Marilyn for allowing me to share your rugs and stories. Your work is inspiring and fresh.
What a special gift it is to have a family that can create together! Be it crafts or music or cooking or letter writing or ???
Have a creative day ~ Karen
Designs are @2012 Primitive Spirit
Fruitlands rug hooking pattern, finished size: 33″ x 40″, is available on primitive linen from Primitive Spirit’s ETSY shop.