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Rug Designs from Antique Coverlets

Techniques for hooking like a weaver

By: Wendy Barton Miller

Ohio Coverlet, 28" x 42", #8 1/2" -cut navy and natural wool on primitive linen.  Designed by Edyth O'Neill and hooked by Wendy Barton Miller, Attica, Indiana, 2005. 

My love for antiques naturally carries through into my rug hooking. I am an avid antique and yellowware pottery collector, and my yellowware pieces often show up in my rugs. I hook motifs from antique rugs, and I bring other antique needlework, such as samplers, embroidery, and quilts, into my rug designs. Most recently, my love of primitives and country decor brought old woven coverlets into my home and, just as you'd predict, into my rugs.

Coverlets woven on looms were prevalent in America in the 1800s. They were used on beds for warmth but were also woven to be decorative pieces for colonial homes. Weavers had different designs and motifs that they wove into their coverlets, and many coverlets contained the name of the weaver, the year it was woven, and sometimes the family name for whom it was woven. Some were wedding gifts, and others were created to signify other important events with names and dates.

This article is from the September/October 2011 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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