Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If it's Tuesday it Must be Magdalena Day!

Two of my hooking sisters recently attended a workshop focused on drawing a Magdalena style pattern by using various cutouts of animals and other symbols.  They were talking about it at last Saturday's hookin, and it was clear that going "all out Magdalena" was a new adventure for them because the style is contrary to what they normally hook. 

Having studied Magdalena's style a lot, and preferring the "out of the box" approach Magdalena used in her rugs, I encouraged them to join me in exploring more about Magdalena's unique designs:  an abundance of hit-n-miss hooking, obscure and repeated animals, echoing around animals, various symbols repeated among the rugs and the use of the unique lollipop bouquet.

Yesterday we met at Betty's house, our favorite meeting place.  We started off by going through the book Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdalena Briner Eby and studied each picture of Magdalena's rugs.  We followed this by viewing more pictures on the Internet.  We talked about the common elements of Magdalena's rugs, what makes them unique and charming and so very Magdalena in style.

Next, we put their patterns out on the table and discussed where the Magdalena elements can be added:  hit-n-miss semi circles and lines, leaves, hearts and other symbols you see in Magdalena's rugs.  Magdalena's Domestic Zoo rug provides a great example of how to add many unique symbols around animal motifs. 

Let me tell you, it was very hard for me to resist taking my pen to their patterns to add numerous Magdalena elements to the patterns, but I had to restrain myself.  These are not my rugs to hook, so I had to  sit on my hands to avoid going at the patterns. 
Sandy's original rug, before our meeting.
Sandy's original rug was drawn with numerous animal cutouts that comprise the majority of space on the foundation she is using (burlap).  The animals will be the major focus of this rug and there won't be a lot more room for mixing in extra symbols due to the size of the canvas.  But common Magdalena elements can still be incorporated if Sandy chooses to add them:   echoing around the animals and hit-n-miss lines throughout and semi-circle hit-n-miss on the perimeter.

In the next picture, Sandy has begun drawing in some hit-n-miss lines in the lower left corner.  She wants to hook them before adding more random lines.  This way she will approach the hit-n- miss hooking from a free form style as Magdalena probably did, rather than drawing them in a prescribed way all over the rug.
Sandy has taken the first step to add hit-n-miss lines.
By the end of our day, Sandy had hooked most of the lower left dog and you can see faint lines at the lower left corner to indicate where she plans to start adding the hit-n-miss hooking. 

The animals all have meaning to her as symbols from her life.  She can tell a story about each and why she added them to the rug.  It will be fun to see how this rug develops.

Denise's rug is larger and there is a lot of space for adding Magdalena themes throughout it.  Denise decided to focus on hooking the bear image in the upper left corner as her starting point of adding multiple wools to the bear.  Denise is a 3-4 cut hooker who does magnificent shading and detail in her rugs, so the Magdalena style is very different from what she normally hooks.
You can see Denise has added in multiple colors into the bear to give it a nice primitive look.

I am hoping she will go "all out Magdalena" in her open spaces, but I have to remember to temper my influence because this is not by own rug.  It's hard for me, because going outside the box is my favorite place in hooking! 

I can't wait to see how more of this rug progresses!
Betty works on drafting the lollipop bouquet.
 So now, onto the BIG SURPRISE of the day!

Betty, our wonderful host is a fine cut hooker and her rugs are extraordinary! She has been featured in Celebrations a few times for her beautiful rugs, generally of a floral nature.

Betty never hooks primitive, it's not her style, but Betty has been watching me hook my huge Magdalena Menagerie rug and she's been admiring the lollipop bouquet.  For some reason the lollipop bouquet really peaks her interest.

So the big surprise yesterday was Betty saying, in a very humble voice, that she'd like to hook Magdalena's lollipop bouquet.  
I was stunned and overjoyed that Betty wants to hook the lollipop bouquet, and what fun it will be to see her hook primitive!

So Betty and I went to work to draw out the lollipop bouquet (70+ circles) and she let me pick out wool from her stash for the bouquet.

I feel so honored to have played some influence to Betty getting involved in this endeavor!  We plan to meet weekly as Mag's Girls and see where our rugs go in color and style.

While the others hooked yesterday, I finished the border on my MM rug and now have to whip the monster rug at 58 x 32 inches.  I love this rug and can't wait to hang on a wall in my home.  If you wish to hook this pattern it is now available in both a medium and large size.

Here is my finished rug.

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