Hooking variations on a theme

Boucherouite theme in rug hooking.

“The First Boucherouite” hooked from old bed sheets and a little t-shirt added in. I loved this rug, even considered keeping it for my own house.


How many of you have fallen in love with a style of rug or a theme or design or what-have-you, enough that you feel a pressing need to hook more and more of them? I find myself feeling like that with the whole Boucherouite thing. For those not familiar with the Moroccan rugs, check out this fabulous article dealing with the history of the rugs and the Berber peoples who make them. I warn you, you’ll start seeing these types of rugs in every home magazine and website you frequent.


In essence the Boucherouite is a simple rag rug. Strips or unraveled fibers of older textiles, such as clothing or worn out rugs, are recycled and woven together to create something new. Yet the humble origins of these rugs serve only to accentuate the remarkable nature of the finished products which take full advantage, not only of the weaving skills of their makers, but of the benefits of their patchwork components.

Certainly, I’ve written about the Boucherouites before, when I hooked my first one last year. Yes, mine are hooked; I don’t weave them. I fell in love with these rag rugs with their seemingly haphazard designs and color schemes when they started showing up in my Pinterest feed. The pics made it difficult initially to discern whether they were hooked, woven, or made in some other way. The fact that the weavers create them out of old textiles – like I hook my rugs! – made it impossible for me not to try my hand at one. Again, hooking, not weaving.

Colorful bedsheet strips for Boucherouite theme rug

And so it begins. A pile of bedsheet strips. Color, it’s all about the color. And using what’s available – even if I have to head off to Savers to get it.


I found that my own sense of design, despite my best efforts, didn’t allow me to create a rug as “irregular” as the true Boucherouites. That’s okay; it’s how inspiration works. It’s not about copying. After I hooked (and sold!) the first one, I knew that I was going to do another sooner than later. And that it would be BIG.

Fast forward to this winter. The BIG Boucherouite’s time has come. I drew it up on a piece of monks’ cloth and sewed on the rug binding. Prior posts have shown that. Currently, I’m in the midst of cutting sheets into strips. I’d recycled old bedsheets for the “First Boucherouite” and loved the effect. That plus the high we get here at High on Hooking when we up-cycle made it a winner. I’m not completely sure how the colors will work on this new rug, it’s a fluid thing, but I’ll need to have strips at the ready. It’s a LOT of hand-cutting for me and the scissors.

So, you see the theme running here. It gets better. Last week, the Mystery Rug finally finished and off to the framers, I needed to start hooking pieces for this year’s selling season. Specifically, I have Albuquerque’s Recycled Art Fair coming up in April. I decided to start with a double mug rug because…they tend to sell pretty quickly. I took out a couple of OD green mugs I’d found at Savers and stared at them, waiting for them to channel an idea into my brain. And I waited. And I waited. In the meantime, I was sewing up the BIG Boucherouite. Ooh! Got it! Thus the “Baby Boucherouite” was born. I know, I know, I risk becoming boring. But they’re fun!

Boucherouite theme rug.

Keeping true to the theme, now we have the “Baby Boucherouite.” Also hooked from old sheets with some t-shirt thrown in. It’s about 7″x14″. Wouldn’t it make a great magic carpet for Barbie?


Hooked rug

Okay, it’s not much to look at right now, but it’ll be pretty as a posy later this week. BTW, if you’re looking for Tynan, he’ll be back next week. Tom took him out for a walk. And left the house all to me!


In the meantime, before I can finally hook the BIG rug, this is what’s on the frame today. No, it’s not part of the Boucherouite theme, but it is another double mug rug. T-shirt, bathing suit, nightie, and an old blouse ensure that I can use it at the Recycling Fair which requires 70 or 75% of items offered for sale be constructed of recycled materials. I can do that, no prob.

What about you? Have you ever found yourself obsessed by a particular theme or design or even a color when you’ve been hooking? Tell us about it.



3 thoughts on “Hooking variations on a theme

  1. Debbie Moyes

    Grandmother’s Flower Garden type quilts! I love hand sewing hexies together. I think I have about 6 finished and all sorts partially sewn… I also make the teeny, tiny English Paper Pieced kind. I am finally getting my butt in gear and doing some proposals for some classes at a local art center (where I volunteer). Mulling over a hooking class and a wool appliqué one as well. I guess I’d better wait to see if I am accepted.
    I have also done a lot of Mariner’s Compass – partially because I love them but I also make a quilt along with students when I teach.
    You are getting a lot of hooking done.

    1. LauraS Post author

      Wow! I feel like a piker. What do you do with all your quilts, Deb? Yeah, lots of hooking. Have friendship rugs due, start selling in April, and Friday I have 2 students coming. Next week, hoping to get to an Etsy shop.

      1. Debbie Moyes

        Don’t! I’ve been quilting since the late 1990’s… The bed quilts I use, and rest. A lot of the quilts are lap quilts and I drape them on furniture and we use them. I have some wall quilts and hanging them seems to be an issue. Nick is big and I do want him to hang over the fireplace, which will require Peter on a big ladder. I’d like to make a similar sized quilt so I can rotate them. (I’ve been hoolking since the late 1980’s and have far less rugs to show for it!)
        Etsy! I keep thinking of doing that too but I seem to be so busy…