Posts Tagged With: rag rugs


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Fitting this beautiful building into a single frame on my camera didn’t do it justice. Built in 1893 as a city hall, then converted to a courthouse for Hurley, WI., it is now a museum and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The original clock, still runs. We go to so many museums, I always try to find items you won’t see in any other locale.

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This is Iron country and mining was prominent, so I stopped in the mining room first. This is the head frame of an iron mine.  But, I quickly got bored with mining technology. We had limited time because the museum closed at 2 p.m.; we arrived  at 1:oo.

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The electrical switches on the walls are buttons. The wiring is enclosed behind a trim board on the wall’s surface.

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In Hardwood, I spent time with the Dan DuFresne family. Dan DuFresne was like an uncle to me. This milk separator looked very much like his.

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But, I had never seen a milk cooler such as this. Dairy is big in Wisconsin, too.

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I kind of whisked through the rooms because our time was so short. This kitchen scene has nothing new in it but it reminded me so much of hard Michigan winters. Wet clothing drying by the kitchen stove was a fact of life, especially with kids getting wet and chilled coming in to dry off,  then half an hour later, wanting to be bundled up again to go outside and play in the snow.

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Then I discovered the weaving room. Five women were working on woven rag rugs. I counted five looms in the room. Two women were working the looms. This one uses polyester materials sewn in strips with mixed colors. Polyester wears like iron and keeps its bright colors longer than natural materials.

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This weaver was using a loosely woven rags for her rug. There is a garment factory in town and the materials used here would go into the dump if they hadn’t set up a non-profit rug making center in the museum using these old hand looms.

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I’ve seen weaving demonstrations before, but I didn’t know that as one rug ends, (no more material of the appropriate color) two cardboard pieces are slipped into the warp and another rug of the same size is started. Eventually, the weaver will cut between the two pieces of cardboard and the stray threads of the warp become fringe.

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This woman is tying the fringe on a denim rug she just completed. She separates and strands into an uneven number say five or three and ties them by hand into a knot.

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This woman made this rug to order. The customer wanted something that resembled Navajo rugs. She had to wait until the right color material landed on their doorstep. This rug sells for $40.

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They have material packed away, choosing colors, planning rugs. I was enthralled. DSC08978 (Copy)

This is a one of a set of four placemats.

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I was hooked. There are so few things you can buy when you live in a motor home. I bought three rugs and skipped the rest of the museum, which I highly recommend should you ever get to Hurley. Hurley sits on the  Michigan/Wisconsin border.

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I helped work on the paint job yesterday. I painted five window frames and two doorways,  which required having the doors open to the wonderful, cool weather we had yesterday. My son was having problems with his back and I decided I could do it myself. I enjoyed it, but there are eleven doors in this house and many windows still unpainted. So, we will be at it for two more days, at least.

With open doorways, I decided to get all the projects stowed in boxes under desks and in corners up off  the floor and consider which one to start with. DON’T PUT OFF ‘TIL TOMORROW…  you know what I mean.

A book on brew-tasting I wrote when the craft beer movement first got started. Unsold. I thought I should put it together. Scrapbooks of trips left unfinished. To many to name.

All week long, I’ve washed and sorted through a barrel of wool for rug-making. Braided, hooked and rag rugs are beautiful and long-lasting.

This is an unfinished hooked rug I started too many years ago.

I’ve braided eight area rugs. This one is in my living room. The biggest one I made was four-foot diameter circle rug that I’ve given to a friend.

Two small ones designed to be place in front of chairs so the carpet doesn’t wear down in one noticeable place.

A washable rag rug for the bathroom. It is made of cotton, not wool. I enjoy making rugs and the end result.

I’ll store the wool until cold weather sets in. I didn’t photograph the number of quilts I’ve cut and haven’t sewn. Or art projects unfinished. I’m never bored, as intended. But, I  think I have YEARS of projects on hold. Oh, well. It’s like fun in the bank.



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Saturday, I decided to walk the town of Monroe and view the various historical buildings that managed to survive the fires and re-developments that obliterate the past.  Jim took the Bronco over to Mike Coleman’s, his mechanic/friend for an adjustment on the transmission and let me out on the street to begin my walk from the Historical Society Museum.

Names interest me and from the Museum I learned that the Post Office shared quarters with the Park Place Store, but the U.S. P.O. would not approve a name with two words. They could have asked for PARKPLACE, but, instead, submitted Monroe, after the Monroe Improvement Co.  plotting lots on the present site of town at the time. And, as they say, the rest is history.

I hadn’t walked but half a block when I discovered an antiques fair lining both sides of a side street.  In a motor home you can’t buy anything except small stuff.  What the heck,  half the fun is looking. I should have taken pictures of the entire affair, since it was very well done. By well done, I mean they really had antiques, not flea market junk.  Some unusual things caught my eye, like this turkey foot. Nearing Halloween, hmmm. I considered. While examining  deer horns and feathers and bone buttons an Indian woman identified herself as a Pomo. She collects buttons and makes Indian vests with colorful buttons and feathers.  As we talked, she offered to buy my collection as described and I gave her my card to call me in October when I return to Murphys.

I admired this bag worn by a young cow-girl named Judy. She bought it during the Evergreen Fair. Minutes later I found two similar bags for sale.

Not antique, but beautiful future antiques.

Signs, another interest of mine, as long as they are unique or humorous.

I’m not sure Edison actually said this, but I figure I’m half way there, I’ve got the junk.

I drooled over beautiful home-made lace sewn together with crude burlap in an effort  to disguise a hole in the lace. The burlap is already leaching acid onto the bottom of this gorgeous lace. It needs rescue.

And a beautifully rendered crazy quilt with home-made lace on the edges. Nice enough to frame.

Besides quilts and quilt pieces,  an unusual amount of rag rugs.

This well-worn braided wool rug is in need of rescue.

Another type of rag rug I’ve never learned to master the technique, though I tried once. Not antique. You can tell from the colors.

And this antique wool hooked rug was a beauty. The vendor had it on the street covering up a grease spot from cars. I wanted to scold her or offer to buy it. But, I have two unfinished hooked rugs of my own at home.

Hooked wool seat covers were nicely preserved.

Jim called all too soon, claiming his Bronco didn’t need anything  done to it. It had just started to rain and we headed for the Motor Home.  When I got my pictures up this morning, I realized how biased I was to women’s crafts. There was plenty at this fair for men, tools, furnishings, car stuff, wood work of all kinds. I guess I can relate to the craftsmanship of basket making, rugs, quilts and lace that bore men silly.



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