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Sheri J. Bennett: Class of 2018

Name: Sheri J. Bennett

Location: Cleveland, Tennessee

Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
I love all kinds of crafts. I started sewing at an early age, and thus began my love of textiles. Fabrics, yarns, and needles top my list of favorite things. I worked in a craft shop through high school and college, so I was exposed to many forms of hand work. I guess I have tried them all. I found rug hooking in 1994 and fell in love with it. For the last 9 years, I have had a hooking studio, "From Crook to Hook Wool Studio," in Chattanooga, TN, where I sold all things related to our art. I am now preparing to retire from the shop, but I am sure there will always be a rug on my frame.

How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
I started quilting in the 1970s. In 1994 I came across rug hooking at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. The display blew me away, and I knew I had to try it. The next year, a class was offered, and I jumped at the chance to take it. That was the start of my love of hooked rugs and hooking.

What was your first project?
At Houston, I picked up several kits from Laurice Heath of Fredericksburg Rugs. My first project was a small rug with a cat in the middle and two vines on either side.

Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
My Oak Leaf Runner by Pine Island Primitives may be one of my favorites. It is a large runner surrounded by beautiful braiding. It was my first attempt at a cut larger than an #8 . I hooked it in a #9 cut and learned that wide cuts are my favorites. I now use mostly #9 to #10 cuts.

Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
I love geometrics and patterns that can take wide cuts.

What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
I love the process: color planning and hooking. The finishing is a necessary chore.

What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Take classes and workshops if you can. Every teacher will have some new tip or technique for you to learn.

What do you love most about Celebration?
BEAUTIFUL RUGS!!! Wonderful inspiration in every edition and an introduction to some of the best rug hookers in the world.

Pineapple Antique, Celebration XI

Pineapple Antique, Celebration XI

Sheri Bennett saw Pineapple Antique in a book and felt drawn to the warm pattern with its cheerful red pineapples. "At the time," she explains, "I had no idea what rug hooking was." But she never forgot that rug, or how well its colors would complement her... Read more.

Caswell Fruit, Celebration XIV

Caswell Fruit, Celebration XIV

Sheri Bennett's definite opinions about what colors she picks for her home decor made Caswell Fruit a perfect choice for her next rug hooking project. "I truly love the color red and this rug gave me plenty of places to use it," says Sheri. "I worked..." Read more.

Mighty Oak Runner, Celebration XIX

Mighty Oak Runner, Celebration XIX

Sheri Bennett knew something was missing in the hallway every time she'd walk to her kitchen. That something was a runner to warm up the floor and add beauty and color to the area. She saw the pattern for Mighty Oak Runner and knew... Read more.

Bradley Primitive, Celebration XXIII

Bradley Primitive, Celebration XXIII

Wide cuts are Sheri Bennett's passion. And in this rug-within-a-rug design, Sheri had the opportunity to do double the amount of hooking with wide-cut strips.

Sheri picked the colors for... Read more.

Doily Oval Rug, Celebration 26

Doily Oval Rug, Celebration 26

This rug was featured as an honorable mention in Celebration 26. Read more.

Rick Rack, Celebration 27

Rick Rack, Celebration 27

This rug was featured as an honorable mention in Celebration 27. Read more.

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