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Seeing the Rug, Designing the Rug

One photograph leads to three pretty primitives

By: Project by Cynthia Norwood/Photography by Larry Norwood
Updated December 14, 2018

Pretty Primitive, 32" by 22", #8-, 9-, 9.5-, and 10-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a photograph and hooked by Cynthia Norwood, Austin, Texas, 2017. A rare purple paisley was used for one set of leaves while a very rare pink antique paisley created the heart. Orange and burgundy paisleys were scattered throughout the motif.

After 40 plus years of marriage, a spouse can still be full of surprises. Larry is our official photographer for trips, books, articles, and family gatherings. Throughout the years on our travels, I have frequently requested that he take a photo of that grate, iron work, fencing, Chinese roof tiles, or floral arrangement. He looks at me with a skewed glance for a millisecond until he realizes it’s a shot for my rug-ideas collection.

On a recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, he got the drop on me. He took several photos of a stenciled antique sideboard in the Founders House. When he realized I had noticed what he was doing, he said, “I thought this would be a good rug design.”  While my head was spinning taking in the pieces of period furniture, various utensils, and the timely costumes, he had found a rug pattern for me.

And yes, he was right. While the colors were not in my palette, the design certainly was. The design includes several items that appeal to primitive rug hookers: birds, flowers, a vase, and a heart!

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