Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Contemporary Hooked Rugs

Contemporary Hooked Rugs, Themes and Memories, by Linda Rae Coughlin, published by Schiffer, came to me from an eBay auction today. I am so glad I won that auction. I opened the package in the car right after picking it up at the post office. That gave my mother a chance to look at the book while I went to the farm and fed the chickens, cats, horses and dog - by the time I was finished, she had decided Contemporary Hooked Rugs is the most beautiful book she has ever seen.

I didn't have time to sit down and look at the book until after dinner, dishes, putting Mother to bed, etc. Normally, by that time I'm ready to kick back in my recliner and take a snooze, but after the first few pages of Linda Rae's book, I was wide awake. What a wonderful collection of rugs!!

The book starts with Patty Yoder's alphabet of sheep rugs. I was already familiar with those rugs, I had a copy of Patty Yoder's book until I foolishly gave it away, but I am so pleased to have those pictures. Now, when I tell people about Patty Yoder, which I do often because she is my prime example of how kind and thoughtful and creative rug hookers can be, I have an easy way to prove my point - at least about her creativity!

Another of my favorite creative people is featured in the book, Deanne Fitzpatrick. So far, I have only looked at the rug pictures and haven't read the text, but the rugs look like they tell a story about the people and places Deanne first hooked - the people her family lived near when she was a child. I had never heard about the Great Removal when Newfoundland became a part of Canada until I opened my shop in 1994 and bought my first rug hooking kits from Deanne. I was so impressed by her story that I'm sure I talked my kit-buying customers half to death before they bought the kits.

There's another set of rugs that tell a heart-grabbing story - a story about a black and white dog, a border collie who is the star in seven rugs. As soon as I saw the wonderful dog rugs, I started thinking about all of my sources for dog rugs - surely with four dogs I must have some good rug possibilities. I made the little mat in the photo, and fastened it to the top of a little wooden stool before I saw the border collie series. The dog in the mat is Blue, an Australian Cattle Dog, who goes with me almost everywhere. I'm sure she could help me design more Blue rugs.

There are a great many other wonderful rugs in the book, it's definitely a book well worth having.