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TitleRug of RemembranceDesigned byPiper RexfordHooked byPiper RexfordDimensions35" x 26"Materialswool strips, cotton, leggings, silk, linen, damask, cashmereStart to Finish2020-2021Your TeacherLaura SalamyShare

Rug of Remembrance

I took a Laura Salamy Zoom class on making Boucherouite rugs in October, 2020. These are Moroccan rugs traditionally made from old clothes and textile scraps. They are colorful and often geometric and freestyle. So when my cousin sent me some of my aunt’s clothes, I began to create this rug. The initials of the women whose clothes inspired and created this rug are subtly hooked into the corners.


My Aunt Mary Alice Richert’s yellow and black sundress had yards of material. There was also a rusty colored Arizona desert motif sweater and a Loden jacket she had bought in Austria on a trip with my mother. I couldn’t bring myself to cut the Loden jacket so a friend gave me the perfect green wool. Mary Alice was a perfectionist quilter who sewed and quilted all of her many quilts completely by hand. She was an exuberant, colorful, and messy gardener.


My sister-in-law Patricia Anne Rexford gave me several of her silk scarves before she died. I used a cream colored triangle patterned with Miró red, yellow and blue shapes she had bought in a museum store and a large rectangle of turquoise and cobalt blue. She always created environments in rooms, houses, paintings, gardens and landscapes. They were thoughtfully designed, exciting, textural, colorful and contained unexpected elements. 


My friend Rita Weinstein Seltman died while I was hooking this rug. I asked her family for a couple of her sweaters. The creamy vanilla colored cashmere turtleneck was the perfect representation of this elegant, warm and sophisticated lady. Her arms and heart were always open to new friends and family and her sweater is the background of the rug.


That’s me, Piper Primm Rexford in the bottom right corner. I added a brown border because it’s my daughter’s favorite color. I started designing and hooking from the outside borders toward the center. I hooked nine patch quilt squares for Mary Alice. I used socks, my grandmothers’ linen and damask napkins, several old cashmere sweaters, leggings from my flamingo costume, sheets from my father’s boat, the first dress my daughter made, antique silk curtains, a plaid blanket, my kitchen curtains, and an old beach coverup in addition to wool strips. I struggled mathematically with a center motif because I discovered I wanted the corners to stay open and flow like Patricia’s beautiful garden gate. It was helpful to relive the memories these fabrics evoked as I worked on this rug during that first Covid winter. Grieving with your hands, I’ve heard it called. My grandsons’ infatuation with the Harry Potter books led to the somewhat formal sounding name. This rug hangs in my sewing room.

More rugs by this artist

About the artist

After decades of doing needlepoint, I started rug hooking in 2017. I joined a class at our local senior center taught by Pam Finnegan and the Maple Corner hookers (of Calais, VT) let me join their weekly group. I also have a group of American and Canadian rug hookers in Mexico where I spend the winter. I have joined the Green Mountain Guild and ATHA. I’ve taken Zoom classes and gone to several rug schools in several states. For me, joining this community of hookers has been as important as the hooking. I’m continually inspired, taught, supported and encouraged to create.  I’ve loved making all my own designs and growing into and trusting my own creativity. I’m interested in geometrics, repeating motifs, borders, using different fibers, lines and color.