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Hooking Halos

Contrast Makes the Rug

By: Rebecca Erb, Photography by Impact Xpozures
Hooking Halos
Hooking Halos

Button Basket, 43" x 32", #8- and 8.5-cut wool on linen. Designed by Susan Quicksall and hooked by Rebecca Erb, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, 2013.

The more I hook rugs, the more I realize there is always something new to learn. Nowhere is this more true than in my background work! Knowing I could benefit from a teacher’s expertise, I took this pattern, Button Basket, to a three-day workshop.

I packed up wools in my color palette and thought about what colors I would use for a background. I decided on a soft brown background. I like to mix background wools, so I chose a milk chocolate plaid as the main color and slightly lighter and darker browns to give the rug more movement. I had a plan.

I always hook two or three lines of background around the motifs so I can get a better idea of how the pattern is coming together. Everything went well at camp and I soon returned home, happily using some of my favorite colors.

But months after I came home from rug camp, I hit a road block. I laid the rug on the floor and studied it daily. I knew something was wrong—the rug was just not pleasing me—but I just couldn’t figure it out. I was happy with the soft colors of the motifs and the colors I chose for the background. So why wasn’t it working?  

This article is from the March/April/May 2015 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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