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Rug Hooking and Quilting--a Friendly Pairing

Mingling Methods and Natural Motifs

By: Tena Kellogg/Photography by Impact Xpozures
Updated December 14, 2018

The Gathering Pond, 39" x 40". Art quilt with appliqué and hooking. Designed and assembled by Tena Kellogg, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2018

Patterns and textures from Mother Nature have always been an inspiration for me when I create a new project. I look at the different shapes and repetition of lines in seed pods, I admire a winter tree silhouetted against a blue sky—each of those can lead to an engaging composition, one that provides movement, tactile textures, and interesting focal points.

I started creating art quilts 10 years ago. I was drawn to creating realistic images of birds, animals, and landscapes using fabric and threads, adding details with free-motion stitching and thread painting. I like using different metallic threads, embroidery, watercolor pencils, tinting or shading fabrics with a wash made from paint. Finding and using other mediums to enhance my work has become a large part of my desire to create.

Two years ago, I started adding wool appliqué to my art quilts. At the same time, I was introduced to rug hooking. I loved the look of using pure wool and wool blends in my quilting, adding a soft, textural component to my quilts.

Magpies and The Gathering Pond are examples of quilted pieces that include wool rug hooking. I love the raised surface that one can actually see and feel. Tiny little nubs of hooked wool add a great contrast to the two-dimensional appliqué forms.

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