Sunnie Andress Rug Hooking

Because I no longer live in Vermont  down that country road at “Old Crow Farm”, I’ve decided to do more of my rug hooking content on a Blog with my own name and what I am blogging about…!!!    🙂

It will be fun!!!

Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂



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Hooking folk art animals-not realistic, but fun!!/Sunnie rug hooking/folk art

Over the years, I have hooked many “animal” pieces but none of them have been really “realistic”!   🙂

Because I like to create them myself, I don’t have to follow any guide of correct eye colour, etc.   all of you who do primitives or folk art style pieces know what I mean!!!!

Some of my early ones are more primitive and I used a #8 cut more often.   Later ones are done in narrower cuts, like the #4,5 and 6 cuts that I use most now!!

Some were copied from old rug designs and some were my own drawings.   While I was learning, I enjoyed hooking them all…!

Maybe, when I grow up (!!!) I’ll do more realistic hooking…but since I am 75 now, I don’t have a lot of confidence in that…!   …lol…

I showed you the “Homeplace” rug earlier with a lot of the owner’s animals in it…!

Here are some fun animal pieces:

Do you like hooking animals…either realistic, primitive or folk art style?    I always enjoy your comments…

Thank you to Mary for contacting me!   Mary does primitives!  

Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂

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Hooking Vegetables in a Whimsical Way…! Sunnie/rug hooking!

This is why I love to experiment…!   🙂

This rug design was actually started by cutting out random paper shapes !   Then seeing what ideas started zipping around in my mind as I laid them out on backing and moved them around.   I think it was the legs and “leaf” shapes that started me thinking about creating vegetable “people”…and it just went silly from there!!!

So this one is “Dancing at the Vegeta Ball”…and I had such fun hooking it….!

If you are searching for your own “style”, try a lot of things. ..and you’ll eventually find what pleases you most.

 Sometimes you just know what you’d like to do.   You love doing hand-drawn portraits and want to know how to hook them realistically.   Or, you want to do beautiful landscapes with proper horizon lines and shadows.   Or, maybe, you want to hook fun cartoon-ish animals!!!!   If you know that you want to follow a particular path, you will learn all you can about the appropriate techniques and take classes with teachers whose work you admire.

I’ve always wanted to do art and craft that was “different”.   Although I did some very “usual” work during my learning period, my favourite designs are those that no one else has done.   I prefer that my designs bring together things that others might not think of combining…or might not even like!!!!   …lol…   And I like starting out a rug and not knowing what the finished design will actually be.   The journey is the fun part for me…and creating the changes along the way!!! 

I love it when people laugh when they see my work, even if they would not do something so silly themselves!   🙂   And I always appreciated my husband’s comment, “I can’t understand How you think up these things!!!!”   …lol…  

He enjoyed my work and that gave me a lot of pleasure.   But he was a traditional craftsman and his work was beautiful but he would not have been happy if people had thought his drawings, wood carvings or writings “silly”…!

I figure that if I like what I’ve done and one other person gets pleasure out of it…I’m happy!!!!!   

Here is a self-portrait that looks just like me when I was a few years  younger!!!   (Maybe only 70!!!)   Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂

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Ideas for Hooked Rugs-Everywhere!!!

Today, I have a couple of rugs that I hooked many years ago.

I always say that ideas are everywhere…and they are.   🙂

I have Dover books with many themes and those designs are free to use.   If you look at illustrations. book covers, paintings, drawings, ancient art, vintage woodcuts, frakturs, samplers, etc. there are many to choose from that are in the public domain.   I usually stay in the 1800’s or before and check out the design source before adapting it.

I collect “things” or “colours” or “shapes” from these sources and use or adapt many of them into my rugs.    I combine them with my own drawings and refine them to get the rug design I want to hook.   Then, as I go along, I  change whatever I feel is necessary to achieve the end result I want.   (For instance, I have borrowed an arm from an illuminated manuscript, the rear end of a cat from a free clip art image and a flower from a vintage textile, to name a few!!!!)

Here is a design called “Patriotic Rider”, adapted from a folk art design painted on an old chest.    This rug was donated to an auction in Vermont to raise money for the arts.  

(I actually have 1 pattern for this… drawn out on monk’s cloth.   The pattern is 22 1/2 x 29 inches.)   When I left Vermont, I took my rugs, my stored patterns and some items out of the shop and the Galleries (where I sold them) and packed them away.   If anyone is interested in hooking this design, the price is $35.00 (plus postage), just as it was in 2007 when I drew it out…!   🙂

The next rug was fun to hook (loved working with these colours!) and this design was adapted from a black and white photo of an antique cupboard with a punched tin door!   One of my friends said that she would never think to look for a pattern on punched tin…but I like to look everywhere!!!

I hope you’ll enjoy seeing these different rugs.   You can see whether working in simpler designs and a #8 cut back then, or working in more detailed designs and #3,4,5 and 6 cuts today, my style is similar!   🙂

Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂


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Developing your “style”-Rug Hooking!

I have a lot of people ask me how I developed my “style” of hooking!

Actually, I took a rug hooking class in Vermont (I think it was in 1998) and was taught to shade the petals of a rose with an 8 value swatch using a tiny #3 cut.   (This is about the width of tape dental floss!)   It was beautiful…but too realistic for me.

I knew that this type of hooking would not be satisfying for me as I had been a folk artist for many years, designing quilts, needlepoint, embroidery, creating original dolls and finally designing original Santas and folk figures for collectors.   I wanted to design my own!   But rather unsure of what I wanted to do, I put away my rug hooking things for awhile.

So… later on…without much in the way of wool to use, I created my first rug…this one:


This was done with a larger width, a #8 cut and was just a simple sketch.   But I think you can see, if you are familiar with my work at all, that the “folk art” style was there from the beginning.   And the silliness!!!   🙂

I was thinking of my work as “primitive”. (wide cut, simple design…yes?) ..but later on when I took another class, the teacher scolded me and said, “Your work is NOT primitive!!!   I want you to refer to it as “folk art style”.   It is too detailed for primitive!!! ”  …lol…

My work now is even more detailed, uses smaller widths of wool and is either goofier or more “experimental”.   Even somewhat strange.   But I think you can see the connection between the first efforts and now…after 12-14 years of hooking.

I remember someone in my Vermont hooking group asking me if I was going to hook an Autumn rug…so I sketched out this one…again one of my first efforts:


Again, simple and a little goofy!

Once I decided that rug hooking was a terrific way to do my art/craft…I purchased more wools and supplies and set out on my way to what was to become a delightful journey that continues to the present day.

Rug hooking is a “forgiving” art/craft…I can change my mind and go off in another direction as I design and hook.   Now, I plan very little before I start a rug.   I do not use colour wheels, math, horizon lines, light and shade, etc. because my rugs are not realistic.   I am designing what is in my head.

When I first found a rug hooking group on the internet many years ago, I wrote down all the complaint comments the members had about hooking and found a solution for each one.   Then I never was under stress about colours or worried about having enough background wool or anxious about people “liking” my design or fussing about my early rugs (that they weren’t “good” enough) etc.   Since I was “doing my own thing”, I could do anything I liked.   🙂

We all have different personalities and our needs are different.   I just wanted to be able to design and hook with no worries or stress!   Just pure fun!   And so it is!!!

If anyone has a question, I’ll be happy to answer if I can.   New rug hookers have a lot of questions!   Happy Hooking!   🙂

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More Hooked Chairpads…!

Just a quick post to show a couple more chairpad designs that I enjoyed hooking!  

If you like primitive designs or prefer vintage quilt blocks, and antique folk art,  or old fraktur and sampler images, you can find many designs in the public domain to adapt  into chairpads or pillows without worrying about copyright.   Just go to the original and not someone else’s idea!   🙂

kittydreamingKitty Dreaming!   🙂

chickchairpad300Spring Chicken!   🙂

I loved designing and hooking this chicken one and must hook my design again for myself!   It would be cute in my cottage.   Someone used the phrase, “Well, I’m no Spring chicken”…and that got me thinking!   Of course she wears pink boots.

Hope you have a delightful day today!   Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂




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Chairpads…a fun way to try out your ideas!

Chairpads or pillows make nice gifts as they are not too big and can be hooked quickly.   Different themes are easy to do for each recipient and, if they have a  Holiday theme, they can be put away if they don’t “go” with the house decor!!!!!   🙂

I liked experimenting with chairpads a lot when I first started hooking…and I use them in my home.   Of course, in Vermont, I lived down a country road in a 100+ year old farmhouse so hooked items fit right in!   

Now, in my little cottage in Vancouver (with it’s bright yellow door) hooked pillows and chairpads still fit in!   Right now, this little pillow  (done in 2017) with the wooden bead trim …”The Rooster and the Rose”. .. sits on a little chair in the entry… 🙂

Roosterand R beads

I hooked a rug many years ago called “Good Dog Dan”…and I decided that the center part of the rug would make a fun chairpad.   Here it is…


Since I had a business in Vermont, I sold my work at the Vermont Hand Crafters Holiday Show each year and through Galleries.   Many of these pillows and chairpads have gone to live in other homes, but I enjoy remembering how much fun it was to hook them!!!

Night Bird” was a piece that I enjoyed working on because of the colours and the dark background.   At that time, I was inspired by antique frakturs and samplers so I tried to adapt some of the motifs into small mats, etc.


I hope you will try a pillow or chairpad if you haven’t done one before.   After all, it takes a small amount of wool and not as much time as a rug…!   And you can test something that you might like enough to put in a large rug someday!

Enjoy, and Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂


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Rug Hooking Memories

I thought I would bring some items from a blog I had 8+ years ago that might be helpful to new rug hookers.   🙂


Here we go…………..

If you are new to rug hooking, chairpads or small table mats or wall pieces are a great way to practice and …  to have a project that can be done quickly and finished without a lot of fuss!!  I encourage new rug hookers to do these smaller pieces because the hooking practice and the experiment with finishing techniques really helps! : )   Here is an “in progress” chairpad for Autumn.


I finish my pieces by sewing rug tape by hand all around the edge…close to the last row of loops.  Then, I fold the rug tape to the back and whip the edge with wool yarn (over both the tape and the backing) all around the piece.  I then steam the piece again – on both the back and the front – and let it dry completely.  For the final steps, I sew down by hand the loose edge of the rug tape and put a label on the back of the rug or chairpad stating who designed and hooked it.  : ) 

Some rugmakers do not  steam the pieces on the front, only the back…but I steam both sides.  Also, I steam parts of the rug I have finished while the piece is still in progress.  : )

Happy Hooking!  Sunnie  : )

Jacque asked for a closer look at the “blocks” border!  I hope it comes through…I think you can see the different browns!  : )

The corner square is the same charcoal gray herringbone as the fenceposts and all 4 of the corner squares will be this same gray.

I love doing these block borders!!  : )

Happy Hooking!  : )

(Here is the full rug picture…this was a special commissioned piece…I loved designing it and including the owners animals!)



You might enjoy seeing the  “in progress” sign I hooked for my booth in 2009!!     It is great fun and keeps the “funny” rug theme I’ve been hooking lately (along with my usual hooked pieces, of course!!!) LOL      (This idea might help with others who want a hooked piece for a sign!)

Note:   (I’ll take a picture of what this piece looks like now…in 2017…I changed it as I no longer live in Vermont and don’t have my business.   I still love hooking folk art rugs though…!!! )

Happy Hooking!   Sunnie   🙂
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