Extend a gracious welcome to guests with these handcrafted signs of hospitality. Pictured above is an easy-to-craft, ripple-patterned throw rug. It was hooked by hand, using narrow strips of woollen remnants and fabrics culled from cast-off pieces of family clothing.
To create your own welcome mat, use strips of fabric or lengths of rug-weight woollen yarn. Alter the colour scheme of the rug to suit available materials or to complement your decor. The elegant “Welcome” sign, opposite embroidered in satin stitches, straight stitches, and cross-stitches on perforated paper—is an up-to-date version of a favourite 19th-century stitchery technique. Bright colours and crisp framing lend a contemporary air.
2/3 yard of closely woven burlap or monk’s cloth (backing)
Strips t to 14: inch wide) of medium-weight wool fabrics Permanent marking pen
Rug hooking tool and frame
Rug binding tape
Liquid latex rug backing (optional)
Enlarge pattern. left: each ripple in the design is about 1/4 inch wide. Transfer design. centred, onto 24×35 inches of backing fabric trace outlines with a permanent pen.
Hem backing fabric to prevent raveling. Mount onto a rug frame. making sure that horizontal and vertical threads are perpendicular and parallel to edges of the frame.
Begin by hooking the WELCOME letters in double rows of gray wool strips. Work with one hand above the frame. hooking the strips; place the other hand, holding the strips. beneath the frame.
To start a strip. slip the hook through the top of the backing and pull the end of a wool strip through to the top so it extends about inch (trim end later). Next, about two threads away from previous stitch. slip hook through top again. Pick up wool strip and pull it up and through the backing. making a loop about h inch above backing.
Repeat the hook-down-and-pull. up motion, keeping loops a uniform It• inch high. until strip is finished, or until line of design is completed.
After hooking WELCOME letters (each letter is two rows wide), work background colour of centre rectangle. Then. working front the centre of the design toward the edges, hook ripples of colour each ripple is one row of loops wide. When hooking is completed. remove rug from the frame. Trim ends to match the height of the hooked pile. ‘Print unhooked fabric backing to within 1 inch of hooked edges of the design. Tack raw edges to back: cover with 1 inch wide strips of rug by applying two coats of liquid latex to back, if desired.