Thursday, March 29, 2012

If its Tuesday it Must be Magdalena Day!

The Maggie’s Girls met on Tuesday, a very rainy day and perfect for indoor hooking. The Girls hooked on their rugs since our last meeting:  Sandy arrived with her Magdalena style rug finished except for binding.  Denise added some background and Betty finished the numerous lollipop bouquet circles and filled in the base to the bouquet (or did Magdalena intend it as a vase?). 
While bantering about other world problems during our meeting, we continued our typical conversation about Magdalena’s style, design elements and her life from what we can glean from our reading.  We all wish she was in the room with us so we could hear stories about her rugs, what was happening in her life at the time she hooked each rug, and ask her questions, such as: 
  • Why were some rugs hooked orderly and more prescribed (symmetry) in design while others were not?
  • Why are some rugs rife with hit and miss while others are not? 
  • What cut size (or hand torn) did she use?
  • How did she use the poke berries in dyeing?  What was the recipe?
  • What was the fabric combination in the rugs – home spun, clothing, any wool?
  • Why are some animals defined in shape and others are less discernible? 
  • Did she use a template for her animals since several are so similar in shape?
  • What contributed to her being such a prolific hooker?
It makes sense to us why many of the motifs were added to the rugs, because they existed as part of everyday living, such as the animals.  Other things we aren’t so sure of (the lollipop bouquet), but we ponder many possibilities about changes throughout the rugs:  could her eyesight have been changing or failing and glasses unaffordable (therefore blurry animal shapes); was the over-abundant and unpredictable use of hit and miss in some rugs a symbol of some level of anxiety or extreme artistic expression, a love of color, or due to using various available fabrics?  

Our discussion is intended in the highest respect and honor for Magdalena.  We appreciate her invaluable contribution to the art of rug hooking and love her assortment of rugs.  Our conversation and analysis is meant in true sincerity as we ponder her life and the time period in which she lived. 

Each conversation eventually leads us back to hooking style and this is where we have some good chuckles about present day hooking and our diversity of styles.
Betty and Denise are McGown Certified and prefer an orderly way of hooking; both are masters at 3-4 cut and fine shading.  We all know they don't teach Magdalena at Teachers’ Workshop so Magdalena's style is a BIG stretch.  Denise and Betty are good spirited about exceeding their comfort zones. 

Betty is questioning if she is "getting her lines crooked enough" as she starts in on the hit and miss.  I try to stay silent on this question.  To myself I'm saying "bring on the crookedness!" but I try not to impose my extreme preferences.

Sandy hooks a lot of primitive, but adding the random lines in and around her rug was initially a stretch.  She adapted quickly and is ready for more of it. 

Enough conversation for now, here are the examples of Tuesday’s work.  Enjoy and let's thank Magdalena every day for her contributions to our art!
Sandy's finished rug which still needs binding.  Really cute huh?!!
Denise's rug in progress.  Adding the colors is making this really fun!

Denise's rug close-up.
Betty has finished up all the circles and is beginning to add hit
and miss lines below the base in a 6 cut.  A 6 is "wide" hooking for Betty!

Betty is trying to add some crookedness to the hit and miss.  It goes against her normal style to hook crooked. 
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