Sunday, January 11, 2015


Similar to the Easter installation our church did in 2011, we were invited to participate in another one for Epiphany this year.

On the Sunday before Christmas we were invited to take home a "square" and have it done and turned in two weeks later. Today was the first day we got to enjoy it in our sanctuary.

And what was the "painting" we were putting up? This icon:
which depicts the angels who visited Abraham, but in church tradition also represent the Trinity. (I don't have the details right now...I forgot to pick up the handout! I trust you'll excuse me as this is a crafting blog, not a theology blog.)

In any case, the painting was divided into 30 squares and we could pick up a copy of the square we wanted to do:
I picked a simpler one to make sure I would be able to get it done. You can see the copy has a grid printed on it to help us duplicate the design. We were also given a 24" square of tar paper:
I had decided to do a hooked rug of my square and since I didn't think the tar paper would hold up to all the holes that would take, I copied the shape onto a netting that I've had forever. I have no idea where I got it, but it was obviously a "hand me down" because there was a few inches of rug hooking done on the one end. I ruthlessly cut it off and had just the right size left for this project.
Once I had an outline, I added grid lines:
and then copied the outlines of the design with the help of the grid lines:
Then I started outlining the shapes with yarn. Rug hooking is traditionally done with narrow strips of wool fabric, but since I don't have any and didn't have an easy place to find some I went with yarn. With the picture in hand, Troy and I went to JoAnn's and shopped for appropriate colour approximations in the bulky weights. Some were wool, some acrylic. When I got home I found some stash yarn that would work for the blue colours so I ended up returning the blues I bought.
My first line in dark brown actually followed the wrong line, but I noticed it before going any further. The nice (and scary) thing about rug hooking is that pulling on the end quickly pulls out all your loops. There are worse things to undo.

When I had that fixed, I added more lines in the dark green:
With the outlines done, I started to fill in the rest:
Since this is netting, I just followed the holes and the yarn ends up in a grid pattern. I think rug hooking is usually done on a type of burlap and then you can give the solid areas texture by filling in the area with curved lines. But I was on a deadline, so I didn't mind not having to make those decisions. I just had to fill all the holes.

I was a little worried about something catching a loop or loose end and ripping everything out, so I covered the back with masking tape as I went:
It's not fool-proof, but I thought it would help enough.

I continued to fill in areas:
I was pleased I was able to work on this in the car as we drove to Missouri and back. By the end of the trip, all the hooking was done:
My original thought was to stick it to the tar paper with spray adhesive, but when I couldn't find the spray adhesive I decided that was probably overkill anyway. I put the tar paper on the back of the "rug", folded over the excess netting and taped it down with my fancy duct tape. (We somehow were out of regular duct tape.)
The masking tape was my "basting."

Here it is finished and "bound":
And this morning when I got to church, I got to see it on the wall:
Here is the whole thing:
A little closer:
Closer still:
I was distracted today and didn't get a chance to get a close look at the other squares. I will admit that I spent a lot of time studying them during the service and may have missed parts of the sermon...

The glitter one was very popular. I always like the ones done with ripped paper. The top right square of the right figure's halo was done with some very effective 3D effects. The halo looks like corrugated metal (but maybe it's stiff paper?), I think the hair is string and the top of the staff looked like a stick. And I think one of the squares in the very top row is done with tinted photographs. That idea occurred to me but I didn't know if I could do it. I hope to get a closer look next week.

I just love these projects. I also was reminded how much I enjoy rug hooking. I have had that scrap of netting to do a rug for years and now I wonder why I hadn't done it yet??? And the grid method of copying a picture is just so easy, it makes me think I could take a photograph and make a hooked rug hanging from it. I would love to take an "iconic" family picture (doesn't every family have those pictures we all know and have seen a hundred times?), simplify it, and hook a rug. And you know if I do, I'll tell you all about it!

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