Cynthia Norwood: Class of 2018
Name: Cynthia Norwood
Location: Austin, Texas
Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
In my earlier life I was a skier, golfer, hiker, and part-time gardener along with junior high English teacher. Now I enjoy gardening, reading, traveling all over the world, and spending time with our great niece and nephews. I have tried quilting, basket making, several types of embroidery, needlepoint, painting, knitting, and crocheting. But those went out the door when I started rug hooking. We also are strong supporters of Colonial Williamsburg and our college, Lamar University.
How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
Texas was home and very little rug hooking happened there. In 1980 we were transferred to Cleveland, Ohio, and attended an apple butter festival in a nearby village that fall. Upon seeing a rug hooking demonstration. I was instantly mesmerized by the technique and the results.
What was your first project?
My first project was a small pillow with #3-cut strips in lime green and orange swatches. The instructor made all choices... no options. The only part I really liked was the flower center which was hooked with as-is textures. Even to this day I would never pick those colors. I think I finished the piece because I liked the technique—but I quickly moved on to wider cuts of wool and softer colors.
Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
My most favorite rug was not entered in Celebration—Monsieur Paisley designed by Barbara Carroll. I used only antique paisley shawls (about 60 different pieces) in the design. My favorite rug that I entered in Celebration was Antique Pineapple. It was a commissioned piece and when I completed it, I hoped she wouldn't like it. I really wanted to keep it, but she also loved it.
Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
Primitive rugs that are beautiful and not too muted.
What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
Aside from the restful, therapeutic technique I love designing a pattern and deciding what fabrics to use. My studio may be a total mess during the process, but my brain and heart are happy!
What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Choose a pattern that makes you smile. You will enjoy deciding what colors to use. If working with an instructor, remember the rug is yours!
What do you love most about Celebration?
I love seeing what others are doing—even if it isn't my style.
Table of Contents
Spring Garden, Celebration II
"This rug lives in a guest room. It was created to be used in the room my nieces and nephews would use on their overnight stays with us. At this point in my rug hooking career (late 1980s), I still felt I needed to have..." Read more.
Dimensional Victorian, Celebration III
"This was a piece commissioned by a weaver who collected Victorian antiques. It was designed to be used as a framed piece in her dining room, and it reflected colors she..." Read more.
Pineapple Antique, Celebration XI
"The rug was a commissioned piece that when it was completed I hoped the person wouldn’t accept it. Yes, I loved how it turned out and it was one of the..." Read more.
Bowl of Flowers, Celebration XII
"Bowl of Flowers was an exercise for me in redesigning part of a design by a pattern maker. I loved the center motif, but the original border didn’t work for..." Read more.
Distelfink, Celebration XXII
"This pattern was so much fun to hook. The chroma is brighter than I normally use and the contrast with the dark background only makes the colors stronger. I started..." Read more.
Worm Geometric, Celebration XXIV
"It was begun with a plan at a rug camp. Then it was put away in a bag for several years. The plan just didn’t work. I pulled out all the loops and started over. There is..." Read more.