Thursday, January 3, 2019

Hooking Magdalena Style

The other day I read some one's question on Facebook on how others achieve a Magdalena scrappy look.  I don't profess to be an expert but will try to explain how I do mine.

First I study Magdalena's original rugs, particularly the design I'm ready to hook.  Although I've never seen one in person there are photos one could find on line or from books.  Take for example, these two Olde Ducks rugs hooked by Magdalena.
That is a photo from Evelyn Lawrence's dedicated research on Magdalena Briner Eby and her work which is in this BOOK.
And here is a hooked version I did.  
Left over wool worms (a/k/a noodles) are the best way to achieve that scrappy look.  What helps also is to use short pieces of a similar color and close value to finish a line or fill in.  I have also dropped an odd piece of wool on the floor only to pick it up and hook it somewhere in the rug ~ after all, Magdalena used what she had.  Tap on the photo to enlarge and see what I'm talking about.

Another example is Magdalena's Eagle which also appears in the book.
Below is my version trying to accomplish the look of Magdalena using the wool in my possession.  The light/white is showing up brighter in the photo as it was taken outside in natural light.  But I use what I call 'dirty whites' to hook.  And if you have the book it shows odd colors Magdalena used ~ like at the eagle's neck just under the eye is an odd  purple which blends nicely with the brown.  
Here is a closeup photo I took of my rug where you can see the different wool at neck.  It is little details like that you can see with the assistance of the booklet and studying Magdalena's rugs.

Another Magdalena is this trio.
And my version below.
Since I love crows decided to design my own Magdalena Style Crow.  Magdalena used red for legs, noses and eyes on animals ~ kind of her signature.  She also would hook a berry at a crow's mouth and or beak.
I could show more of my Magdalena hooked rugs but will save you boredom.  As soon as the Star Geometric is done next on my frame is going to be yet another Magdalena rug.  

Click on the BOOK link above to purchase the booklet as it is a great reference for Magdalena rugs.  It isn't a 'tutorial' book as that part is left to the rug hooker's discretion to get his/her own rhythm.  But the photos of the original Magdalena's and photos of Evelyn's replications and information makes for a perfect reference book.  Good luck and hope I've been able to help.  



  1. I think you nailed her style! Wonderful eye candy thanks

  2. It is fun to see your rugs ...they are just as beautiful as Magdalena's ….I love how you blend the colors . When I examine my Grand Mother's rugs she used short little pieces all around the borders , so they seem to come un-done too easily. I wonder why she did that . Her rugs all need repair , but I am not up for that challenge !

  3. Saundra,I loved your tutorial! I think the hardest part of rughooking is at times with me personally is color selection.What is in my mind and what colors I have in my wool stash can be frustrating!It seems when you think out side the box in your rug hooking color selection it takes a bit of bravery. I wonder if our old time rughookers had it easier they grabbed what they had and accepted it.I Love your colors and rugs as always! Cheri

  4. I tend to hook that way, since I started with a lot of thrift wools.
    I do love the look and it is fun to do, great tutorial and explanation.


  5. I do love that style one of these days. I need to get back to my stair risers.

  6. Hooking Magdalena style is harder than it looks, me thinks. I've only done 2, but am ready to do another 😊 Just don't ask me when.

  7. Great pics,,, love that style!
    So nice of you to explain all ur knowledge,,,
    Late reading ur blog today,,,
    Busy driving hubby to hospital for xrays, drs appt,,, he has fractured ankle ,,, so no driving for 12 weeks,,,
    That leaves me! Yikes,,, no knitting time!
    Great post!!

  8. Hi Saundra,
    I always love to see your rugs, but especially your Magdalena ones!! You do a fabulous job and I always learn something new!! One of these days I want to try one!! I do have that book and love it!!!
    Hope you have a wonderful week!!
    Heart Hugs~


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