Dimensions: 30" x 54"
Materials: #3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-cut wool on burlap
Designed by Jane McGown Flynn and hooked by Gail Dufresne, Trenton, New Jersey, 1995.
Featured in: Celebration VII

"I entered Sunflowers into the Celebration VII contest because everyone else in my hooking group was entering theirs. I did not tell anyone that I was entering because I was sure that I would get rejected! I never would have guessed that I not only was deemed a finalist but that my rug was selected as the overall winner! I was a professional gardener at the time, and sunflowers were my favorite flowers. A red sunflower is my ultimate favorite among them. I worked at an large Princeton estate with the most spectacular sunflower bed where, in the fall, the goldfinches would swoop down to get their favorite treat, the sunflower seeds. This rug was hooked in 1995, long before I started to design my own rugs, and when I saw this Jane McGown design, I fell in love with it. I hooked it with guidance from teacher Barbara Miller at the Cape May Rug school in Cape Maya, NJ. I told Barbara that I wanted a red sunflower as the focal point. Barbara dyed all the wool, and the sunflowers were a combination of dip-dyed wool and swatches. Teacher Patsy Becker added the goldfinch, bee, and ladybug for me. The background was intended to be a bright blue sky, but it detracted from the sunflowers, so I darkened it up considerably with navy and chartreuse dyed. I added a Pendleton plaid bathrobe to the background wool mix. I used a line of one of the dip-dyed sunflower wool as the beauty line (the line between the border and the main background), and I dyed a pink tweed wool dark red for the border. It took me three months to complete the rug, and it was a joy to hook, but even though this rug won every award, I still see things I could have done differently to make it better, as I always do with my work. I would have taken a little more time to do a better shading job on those sunflowers!"
- Gail Dufresne, Celebration Hall of Fame 2018


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