Jill Hicks: Class of 2023
Name: Jill Hicks
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
Art was my favorite subject in school—I’ve always enjoyed being creative. I have dabbled in many assorted fiber arts, including embroidery, counted cross stitch, crewel, candle wicking, sewing, needle felting, wet felting, punch needle, and quillies. Rug hooking is my most loved, however.
How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
For Christmas one year, my husband gave me a gift to attend the Green Mountain Rug Hooking School in Vermont to learn how to rug hook. My teacher, Bev Conway, was great for a beginner like me. She was so kind and helpful, answering all my questions to help me get started. After that experience, I was hooked.
What was your first project?
The rug was an adaptation from a pattern entitled “Antique Bird with Nest” by Crow Hill Primitives. I was honored to have been selected to be included in the January/February 2013 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine’s “First Rug on the Last Page.”
Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
Probably my Square Harmony rug is the most memorable for me. It was the first of my rugs to be selected for Celebration. I was very humbled to be included.
Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
Most of the rugs I have made have a fraktur-style pattern. I have a Pennsylvania Dutch background, and that style appeals to me.
What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
I enjoy not only the process of making a rug but also meeting friends along the way with the same passion.
What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
If you have a rug hooking group near where you live, join it to get the motivation, support, constructive criticism, and technique information to help you along the way to complete your rugs.
What do you love most about Celebration?
I always look forward to each Celebration to see the wide assortment of amazing rugs in one place. It is interesting to read about all of the artists and the description of each of their rugs.
1898, 45½” x 28”, #6-cut hand-dyed, off-the-bolt, and recycled wool on linen.
Designed by Lucille Festa and hooked by Jill Hicks, Valparaiso, Indiana, 2022
When I first saw this rug hooking pattern, by Lucille Festa, I really liked the main design makeup. For some reason, I have an attraction to antique style patterns with birds. However, after studying the pattern for a while, I decided that I wanted to change the original border to make it my own.
Folk Fraktur Robin Redbreast Bird Nest
Folk Fraktur Robin Redbreast Bird Nest, 43” x 40”, #6-cut as-is, hand-dyed, and recycled wool on linen. Designed by Michelle Palmer and hooked by Jill Hicks, Valparaiso, Indiana, 2021.
Fraktur Floral 2, 37” x 43”, #6-cut as-is, hand-dyed, and recycled wool; assorted recycled and hand-cut, hand-dyed velvet, and specialty yarn on linen. Designed by Janice Johnson and hooked by Jill Hicks, Valparaiso, Indiana, 2020.
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