Background Dilemma

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Sunshine Rug Hookers, we had an interesting discussion. Margaret is hooking this rug for her son and daughter-in-law. She is ready to begin the background.


So last Saturday, she and Mary Anne had a wonderful day’s outing to Martina Lasar’s lovely log cabin shop in Caledon, where she purchased this wool for the background.


Problem solved you might say…..but Margaret’s dilemma was how to hook the background to best set off the whole piece. She decided to elicit ideas from the many talented hookers in the group, and to that end, she made a rough sketch of the piece, and asked people to draw in their idea of how best to hook the background.


There were almost as many ideas as there were hookers. Some of the suggestions were….echoing the wheel movement of the border…..straight line hooking as a foil for the circular aspects of the bike and the border……..squiggles to provide a mottled background which wouldn’t compete with the foreground…….choosing a wide variety of cuts to give a diversity to the background….a background of small circles to subtly reinforce the “wheel” aspect………. all terrific options…..which just reminds us that the background, although not what immediately grabs the eye (hopefully) is an important feature in creating the overall effect.

I’ll let you know what she decides to go with.

Our group is preparing to help celebrate Sir John A. MacDonald’s birthday (I think 200th?) in February 2015. (for my American readers…Sir John A. MacDonald was the first Prime minister of Canada, and “revered”  as  the Father of Confederation…..somewhat as the Canadian version of George Washington…although the country was negotiated into existence….not fought for).

To that end we are looking at hooking some “old style” rugs, and Margaret found these patterns which were probably purchased by her grandmother.


What could be more Canadian than this old  Bluenose pattern of beaver……or this pictorial depicting the making of maple sugar….


….in fact….Margaret hooked this rug years ago (she said it was actually just her second piece).


I love love love it. I could look at all the colours used in the snow  for ages. It’s not only an example of an early rug pattern, but a depiction of a typical Canadian farm activity and how sugaring was done in the “good old days”.

Both of these patterns are now available from Rags to Rugs in Pictou Nova Scotia.  Check them out (and many other Bluenose patterns) at

I’ll have to get my thinking cap on about what I can hook to contribute  to the celebration show.

4 thoughts on “Background Dilemma

  1. Love the beaver pattern. Anyone know whose pattern it is? We have beavers on our pond and I would love to hook this.Janet Williams

  2. Janet I can just make out on the bottom “Bluenose Hooked Rug # 770” . I know the Bluenose patterns are old and highly prized, but I don’t know if anyone still has the rights to them. I’ll do a little searching and see if I can find anything out.

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