Rug Camp!

Cambria Pines Rug Camp is just a wonderful experience, all the way around. Its also fun to go to the same place for a period of time (I think I’ve gone six out of the last 7 years.) You get to know people a little  bit, and look forward to seeing them every year.

My teacher this year was Donna Hrkman. She is a wonderful artist who has chosen rug hooking as the medium to express her work. She specializes in portraits, so I was always a little too intimidated to take her as a teacher. I didn’t want to do portraits, but I admired her work a great deal.

This is one of her most well-known pieces “Steam Punk Reverie.”


Look at the detail in this portrait of an Indian boy. To do this monochromatic rug, she dyed nine shades of the same color.


This is her newest rug, a portrait of her son. I LOVE the way she superimposed him on top of a scene of the downtown area where he works and plays and lives.


Okay. So it was finally time to start my portrait of Noah. Donna spent individual time with each student to get them started. I had to start on the eyes, which I was dreading. But with a little encouragement from Donna (and also, she drew in the highlights in his eyes,) I got started. I was really so very happy with how they came out.


The next day, I filled in with more colors, trying to choose the right shade for each area.


The NEXT day, I wanted to start working on the “natural” side of him. I had a lot of natural wools with me. I chose eleven of them, and then pre-cut strips so I would have a palette to work from. This is the same thing I do when I am starting an improv quilt. If I just keep the large pieces of fabric in front of me, I have a hard time starting. But if I cut strips of the fabric in the sizes I think I might use, it is a lot easier to make the next step.


And here is what four days of concentrated rug hooking looks like. I was so pleased with what I was able to accomplish. I still think his face looks too fat. In looking at the earlier photos, I think I can see the problem. There will be some unhooking soon, I think.


On Wednesday, we have a rug show. Everyone brings their rugs, and they clear out the dining hall and put up a wonderful display. I was pleased to see my big rug displayed with this nice group of rugs.



And thus ends Cambria Pines Rug Camp for another year. I have so many quilting ideas that have been percolating and have been put on the back burner for a while. I am excited to get started on some of those projects. But I will set Noah up at my rug hooking station, and will continue to work on him.

11 thoughts on “Rug Camp!

  1. All of the rugs are incredible! I love how your big rug looks with all of the other ones, and the Noah rug is coming out just perfect. You know I have to ask…will there be a QUEEN rug next? 😉

    • I had to think for a minute. There is already a Queen rug in the works. I did one of all three dachshunds when they were all still alive, and then I got stuck. It is really good of the dachshunds, so I want to finish it. I almost brought it to camp this year. I think after Noah is done, I will get that out and try to figure out what I want to do with it.

  2. Welcome back! I really like how the colors in Noah are working out. What fun! And now since I’ve made a rare appearance in this blog, I have to scroll down and look for a couple small pieces of yours that I have fallen for.

  3. Your Noah brought tears to my eyes!!! I love him!!! We had a yellow lab for 14+ years and I so miss him. You have captured the same loving trusting eyes that he had when he looked at us………………….

    • Wow, that is really a compliment. Several people at camp thought the picture of Noah was a lab, since it was only a head shot.

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