Posted by: Laura Pierce | February 3, 2018

Beautiful Trip to Mendo’ & PTArts

Kirby suggested that I could stop at Navarro Winery on my way… they make some dry Riesling and Gewurztraminer… plus wonderful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Other wines too, with beautiful vistas, picnic areas and supplies; it’s a long time favorite stop for us on Hwy128.


View from Navarro Winery

I’m still trying to get the hang of ‘Selfie’s… the bright sunshine reflected the white sign onto the iPhone glass… impossible… but what it is, eh!

Bright sunlight on Laura and the PTArts sign; I have arrived at their Gallery and complex.

So welcoming for me… I’d heard of Lolli Jacobsen and the Pacific Textile Arts in Ft.Bragg CA; now we finally met! The facility is on the forested edge of Ft.Bragg, next to the famous Wood Working department of Mendocino College.
There is a Gallery, Library, Classroom and more, all dedicated to the art of Textiles.

Adriane, the PTArts member that put up the Rug Show, gives the exhibit one last look.

Adriane broke away from a complicated project; creating a triple weave warp. It was so interesting to watch her sort out my rugs and start putting them up. Fun to see which rugs went up first… She’d ask Lolli and I if things were straight and sometimes if we agreed with a placement. As soon as she was done and satisfied, she got back to that warping project.
I could have brought more rugs… but I didn’t know the space.


Window view at my Ft.Bragg hostess, Nancy’s house.

After the ‘Opening’, it was too late to drive home so I stayed with Nancy, another member of PTArts. Her home is comfortable and filled with artworks and antiques.


Overlooking the mouth of the Navarro River

It was such a beautiful day and the ocean was a wonderful blue! I had to stop and catch one more glance before I headed inland.


Navarro Redwoods along Hwy128

The sunshine peeked through the redwoods, and once in awhile, you’d see the Navarro river and the distant landscapes. I know the road, but not in every season. With fair weather following the rain, everything was clean, lush, intensely green and beautiful!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | December 27, 2017

Whip-Finish for the Little Hooked Purse

Dogwood side of Little Purse; designed, hooked and finished by Laura Pierce

It’s been a fun little project! Small and easy to hook; nothing too complicated about this hooked purse kit. I’m happy to offer it for my rug hooking workshop, February 24-25, 2018 at Pacific Textile Arts in Ft.Bragg, CA.

Showing the top opening of the little purse.

I trimmed the edges, folded the edge toward the hooking, then basted all the way around. Folding the little rug in half to form the purse, I pinned the top to keep the sides from shifting. Starting on the bottom of each side, I whip finished the two sides together in one whipped edge, then whip finished the two edges of the top, separately. Using punch needle yarn, hand dyed by Lolly Golden of Needles in the Nest, made covering the edges a cinch!

An iPhone fits nicely in this little purse.

When I designed this little purse, I wanted to make sure it would be big enough for my iPhone and wallet, but not too much else. I’ll sew a little insert with pockets and a zipper, then stitch it inside the purse. There are a few ways to finish up a little purse like this and I’m thinking about hooking another purse to illustrate other options. I’m also planning to make a second purse pattern, just a little bit bigger so it can accommodate my iPad!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | December 17, 2017

Rug Show at Pacific Textile Arts

Yes! I’m showing some rugs at Pacific Textile Arts in Ft.Bragg, CA.; an old lumber town on the Mendocino coast. We’ve scheduled it for February 2 – 24, 2018 and finish it up with a talk, Feb.24 and a workshop, Feb.24-25. Please join me at this workshop; I’m working on a little beginner kit that can be made into a little purse or pouch. it’s just enough to get a person started on traditional rug hooking and explores various aspects of this wonderful, forgivable, fiber art!

sneak preview of little purse designed by Laura Pierce

Some green leaves will balance out this colour plan, I think… There’s another design on the other end with a similar layout. Then, students will fill the in-between area with noodles from my noodle stash. Should be fun!
I’ll have more information to share and post after the holidays… Hope you are enjoying this time of year; getting together and celebrating!

Happy Hooking!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | September 15, 2017

Caswell Impressions at Sauder Village, 2017

Display of Caswell Impressions at Sauder Village, to the left.

A great showing at the Sauder Village Rug Event! I wondered how Kathy Wright would manage to show all 78 rugs… they were all together, side by side and wonderful! I received many kind remarks about the collection and want to pass that on to all those who participated.

Display of Caswell Impressions at Sauder Village Rug Event… to the right

Julie of Searsport Rug Hooking was at Sauder Village and took a movie of the exhibit… fun to see if you’re on facebook. She sent me a copy, but I can’t post it here.

Barbara Larsen with her Caswell Impression in blue and gold.

Barbara was my Sherpa and helped me bring the Caswell Impressions collection to Ohio. We had a great trip together; meeting in Detroit, driving to Archbold, staying at the Sauder Village Inn, visiting and participating in the Rug Event, exploring the dining options of Archbold and at the end of our visit, a quick trip to Detroit Institute of Arts! Beautiful building, fabulous art collection and a delicious sandwich too! Detroit Institute of Arts.

Katie, Michele and Laura in front of the Caswell Impressions display

Katie and Michele from Washington State, hooked rugs for the Caswell Impressions. Other participants of the project were there, but we didn’t have the opportunity to take photos together. It is a busy and exciting week at Sauder Village; always lots of rug hooking friends and beautiful rugs to see!

Katie Knoelke with her Caswell Impression

Katie hooked her Caswell Impression with textures. Katie’s twin sister attended Sauder Village Rug Event too, even though she’s a quilter. She helped us with the group photo.

Michele Wise with her Caswell Impression

Michele Wise was involved in a colour class when she hooked her Caswell Impression; she challenged herself to hook the subject from dark to light and her background from light to dark. It makes an interesting rug!

Caswell Impressions; a little book of the all the rugs.

For those who could not get to a showing of the Caswell Impressions, I put together a little book of all the rugs. It’s put together like a rug show; by colour and compliment… 2 rugs on a pair of pages going well together… if you know what i mean…

Caswell Impressions hooked by Laura Pierce and Val Flannigan

I produced the book through and have ordered several small batches. I still have a few available at $45, so let me know if you’d like to purchase a copy.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | May 14, 2017

Mothers & Daughters

Wine Country Rug Hookers in 1996 at Patty’s place

I am center in my white shirt, shown with my ‘Kokopele’ rug, Emma is on the right with her ‘Story Teller with a Border’ rug.
When my mother, Emma Webber, and I joined the new ATHA rug hooking guild in 1996, I learned to hook rugs. Emma had hooked rugs all of my life and I knew that I would take up the hook someday. That someday had arrived when she received an invitation to be part of this new group; the Wine Country Rug Hookers! In the beginning, we met at each other’s house; which was very interesting. We really enjoyed getting to know all these other rug hookers and being in each others’ homes added to that appreciation.

I stopped calling my mother, ‘Mom’ at that time and started calling her ‘Emma’. She had indicated that she preferred to just be herself, Emma that is. As most of the other members of the Wine Country Rug Hookers were mothers, when I called out ‘Mom’, almost everyone responded. Clearly it was time to change my ways. Some people thought it was disrespectful to call my mother by her name, but it suited us fine.

‘Story Teller with a Border’ by Emma Webber, 1996

This is the rug Emma was working on when we joined the Wine Country Rug Hookers. Emma wouldn’t teach me the actual technique of rug hooking, since her ‘method was unorthodox’, her words. I quietly observed and listened to others in our new group. We demo’d rug hooking at the Sonoma County Fair that summer and I learned a lot more listening to Emma’s responses to the questions asked of us… ‘do you have to pull a loop up in every hole?’… ‘oh no!’ Emma answered. ‘What?’, I thought.

Laura and Emma enjoying the afternoon on back porch, September 5, 2015

My daughter, Emma Rose, took this photo of old Em and I; our last photo together. I’m so glad we had those 19 years of rug hooking together!
It is a fine legacy.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | February 28, 2017

The Last Caswell Impression to Arrive

Caswell Impression #3 punch hooked by Sara Judith

Caswell Impression #3 punch hooked by Sara Judith

Yes, all of the Caswell Impression blocks have been hooked! It’s been fun to hook ’em and now it’s fun to see them come in with a variety of interpretations. Sara Judith is a Master at punch hooking rugs; using combinations of yarns to create colour magic! I can hardly wait to get this lovely Caswell block in my hands! Sara will hand it off to Brigitta Phy at Puget Sound Rug School in a couple of weeks. Puget Sound is really the jumping off point for my Caswell Impressions project; it was last year while I was preparing to teach at Puget Sound Rug School that I decided to open up the project to other rug hookers. It was the perfect place; an intimate and inclusive rug school. I printed up 40 of the patterns I had created by that time, offered to loan the patterns to participants and asked them to hook it their way! 25 rug hookers did.

Caswell Impression #41 adapted & hooked by Brigitta Phy

Caswell Impression #41 adapted & hooked by Brigitta Phy

Back at home, my friend, Brigitta Phy signed up for a Caswell Impression, got one of the challenging patterns and came up with a great solution. The original block seemed to have sea shells with foliage, but the sea shells looked like little hamburgers!?! Brigitta designed sea shells that we could recognize and hooked this lovely rug. As Brigitta is teaching at Puget Sound Rug School this March, she can bring home the final block from Sara. I wish I was going too; it’s a great time with stimulating classes and interesting activities. Check it out on line at Puget Sound Rug School

Caswell Impression #27 hooked by Michele Wise

Caswell Impression #27 hooked by Michele Wise

Michele loves a challenge; she says, “In a design class I am presently taking there was a challenge to use a graduated dark to light in the motif and the opposite in the background which inspired me to try it out on this pattern. These are not my normal colors and I like to challenge myself so I went with the purples and yellow greens.” These are my colours and I love the way Michele hooked this piece!

Sara Judith and Michele Wise direct the Puget Sound Rug School which a big reason it is so special!  Each year, they invite three great teachers to come and teach a specific class; it makes for a stimulating and creative gathering.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | January 8, 2017

More arriving Caswell Impressions!

Caswell Impression #29 hooked by Cec Caswell

Caswell Impression #29 hooked by Cec Caswell

When I got home from Little River Inn Rug Camp, I found a couple of rugs on my door step… from Cec Caswell and Laurie Wiles of Edmonton, Alberta! Wow! Cec uses the alternating stitch in black & white to outline her flowers and leaves! this is often her signature stitch… though it is most often around the edge of the rug. I love it!

Caswell Impression #52 hooked by Laurie Wiles

Caswell Impression #52 hooked by Laurie Wiles

Laurie handles her purple throat flowers with finesse! The leaves too, are interesting with a variety of colours!

Caswell Couple hooked by Laura W. Pierce

Caswell Couple hooked by Laura W. Pierce

My friend, Nancy Terhaar, is hooking this pattern for the Caswell Impressions.  I haven’t seen hers yet… but she talked about how it represented her and her sweet husband, Ron. I was inspired after hearing that; I had to hook a version of my sweet husband, Kirby, and I. We got married in 1973; a time of ‘Open Marriages’… not that we would have such a marriage; we were much more traditional and would just be ‘we two’.  It was a home grown marriage; I sewed my own dress and wore flowers in my hair. Kirby bought some cool clothes at the local haberdashery. Our plain gold rings cost $12 for mine and $17 for his. It was supposed to take place in the park across the street from my folks home, but it rained. We all crowded into my folks living room; it was intimate and wonderful. The sun came out afterward, so we took our photos outside.


Caswell Impression #20 hooked by Ruth Scott

Caswell Impression #20 hooked by Ruth Scott

Ruth’s bluebells border on purple; the spotty green background is perfect! of course, I love her outline and fill randomly leaves. Ruth’s work always pleases me.

Caswell Impression #23 punch hooked by Karyn Dambach

Caswell Impression #23 punch hooked by Karyn Dambach

Simple and powerful, Karyn’s flower stands on it’s own. Her finished edge uses the same yarn as the middle colour in her flower. Perfect!

Caswell Impression #26 hooked by Patricia Helland

Caswell Impression #26 hooked by Patricia Helland

Loving the blue and red flowers; the blue showing up again on the leaf tips!  The dark background sets everything off perfectly.

Caswell Impression #32 hooked by Leisa Robinson Collin

Caswell Impression #32 hooked by Leisa Robinson Collin

All the way from the Yukon! That place that’s almost like outer space… far, far, away! Leisa teaches school and lives off the grid up north in Canada. We met at Puget Sound Rug School, then again at Western Teachers’ Workshop. She and her friend, Lise Merchant, are going to teach rug hooking in the Yukon… yaye! I love the colours in her rug; the golden edged leaves with light blue high-lights glow and murmur.

Just 5 more to arrive… I’m looking forward to that!

The Caswell Impressions will be shown at Sauder Village in August, 2017.  My friend, Barbara Larsen, and I will be driving out to Archbold, Ohio, to deliver the rugs at Sauder village.  We can stop by your place on the way; let me know if you’d be up for that.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | January 1, 2017

Caswell #9 Colour Planning & Adjusting

'Caswell Impression #9' hooked by Laura W. Pierce

‘Caswell Impression #9’ hooked by Laura W. Pierce

The final result; I’m happy with it and it’s done by the January 1, 2017 2nd deadline. It was a crazy journey getting to this colour plan; it’s because of the ‘dull’ white I used to outline with. I could have changed the outlining, but it became my challenge to make it all work and understand why it was so hard.

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan 1

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan 1

Funny to see these two next to each other… I came practically full circle. I started off with coloured pencils and a yellow-orange and blue colour plan. I had it in mind to use a textured white with little bits of colour in the weave, as an outline.

Caswell Impression #9 colour plans

Caswell Impression #9 colour plans

I tried reversing the colour arrangement with white and blue flowers and an orange yellow background. but the flowers almost dissappear into the background. so I tried dark blue background, but the flower openings blended in. Then I tried a dark orange background and thought it might work. However, working with a dark outline as in these sketches, didn’t give me an accurate picture.

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on the computer

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on the computer

So I colour planned on the computer; first making the outlines off-white. Blue and Orange Yellow; one of my favourites!

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on computer 2

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on computer 2

Burgundy on Antique black, which is actually dark green; and changing up the 2 flower vines. hmmmm

Caswell Impression #9 - 1st start hooking

Caswell Impression #9 – 1st start hooking

Looking at the photo, it seems like it could have worked. But I wasn’t enjoying hooking it. I added a bright orange plaid to the background mix and still wasn’t happy. I wondered why I was hooking yet another orange rug?!! I tried the piece of wool next to it, but it just got muddier and more tedious.

Caswell Impression #9 with burgundy background

Caswell Impression #9 with burgundy background

I went into my stash and got a variety of burgundy wool pieces; from reddish to black texture overdyed with burgundy. This background worked for me. Actually, the Caswell Carpet had a dark background when it was originally made; it was a new style at the time.

But it seemed that the blue was not working for me, even though I hated to give it up?! I thought various pastels might work, but they blended in with the outlining; especially the lavender.

Caswell Impression #9 on it's way...

Caswell Impression #9 on it’s way…

Finally, I tried the orange yellow flowers with dark bright orange interiors. OKAY! I was still hanging onto the blue, but the bright blue green was obviously working better for me. Finally, I added a little bright blue green to the blue… in places.

I’ve heard talk of dark, dull, light and bright… I suppose I was having trouble with my colours because of the dull white. The same wool was light and bright used with a biege plaid texture that I used in the background of the ‘Caswell Blue Jay’. In this case, I found I needed hot bright colours with the dull white, to make it fun to hook.

Colour lessons with these small fun rugs are not too much of an investment…   and who knows, they may be very useful in the future.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | November 27, 2016

Which pattern should i do next?

Caswell Impression #9 pattern

Caswell Impression #9 pattern

It’s marvelous to have another Caswell Impression to hook… they’ve been so much fun! This one got lost, so I’ve got a month to hook it, before the second deadline; January 1, 2017. Lately, I’ve been re-purposing patterns by drawing another pattern on the back; even my own. When a pattern never sells; after a few years in the offering basket, it’s time to re-purpose it.

Louise's Iris, 16x16" pattern, by Laura Pierce

Louise’s Iris, 16×16″ pattern, by Laura Pierce

Who would want to hook a giant Iris? the translucent quality of Iris petals… what was i thinking… ha!? This pattern was developed for a class on ‘Giant Flowers’ that Barb Kennedy offered at our ATHA chapter, several years ago. Also included in the group are the popular ‘Giant Poppy’ pattern, the ‘Giant Dahlia’, the ‘Giant Cala’ patterns and others. After I re-purposed this pattern, I thought about Barb’s class; it was about shading with wide-cut. I wondered if I could hook this Iris pattern effectively…?

'Louise's Iris' shaded with coloured pencils, by Laura Pierce

‘Louise’s Iris’ shaded with coloured pencils, by Laura Pierce

It’s easy to print a small version of the pattern and colour it with pencils or crayons… to see what I can do. I think I’ll look for another pattern to re-purpose; I may be ready to hook the Iris!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | November 14, 2016

1st show of Caswell Impressions at Little River Inn Rug Camp!

Tanya, Laura, Emma & Brigitta; the team at Little River Inn Rug Camp

Tanya, Laura, Emma & Brigitta; the team at Little River Inn Rug Camp

A great team and a great little camp! Tanya Graham and Brigitta Phy are great teachers, so having them teach at Little River Inn Rug Camp is a cinch! Our backdrop is part of the Caswell Impressions Rug Show. The first show, but only 65 of the 78 rugs were available for this rug show. The second deadline is January 1, 2017. Then i’ll be looking for other venues to show these wonderful rugs!

Caswell Impressions done in the warm colours/

Caswell Impressions done in the warm colours/

I separated the rugs in colour families; cool, warm and neutral. I was wondering how I would hang all the individual rugs… and this seemed like a reasonable starting point.

The group of neutral Caswell Impressions

The group of neutral Caswell Impressions

all of the rugs are beautiful and deserve to be shown off to their best advantage. This was a great trial run; yes they go together, but more room would be good.

Tanya's class listens to Tanya's art talk...

Tanya’s class listens to Tanya’s art talk…

a few more ‘cool Caswell Impressions’ on Tanya’s class wall… to the left.

Tanya talks to her class about creating art in their rugs.

Tanya talks to her class about creating art in their rugs.

The Caswell Impressions are on the wall, but class also goes on… with a few teaching props leaning up against the same wall. Rug Hooking is a bit messy and especially at rug camp!

Tanya talks about rug design and modern art

Tanya talks about rug design and modern art

Again, Tanya’s backdrop is the Caswell Impressions cool selection. The rug show was a couple of days in the hanging, but I learned a lot about the collection. I’m looking forward to hanging the show again… with more gallery lighting and space.  I am looking for venues to show the collection; let me know if your group would like to see them!  Next summer, I’ll drive them out to Archbold, Ohio, to show them at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week; August 15-19, 2017!  There are a lot of states between Petaluma and Sauder Village; let me know if I should stop by.

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