Sunday, July 5, 2020

More Barbara E. Merry Discoveries

For those of you who haven't heard or know about Barbara E. Merry here is a little information on her.  She lived in Maine most of her life and her mother was a painter.  Barbara's mother told her she'd never make a painter because her perspective was off.  While it is known Barbara did dabble with painting she enjoyed hooking rugs where perspective didn't matter. 

Recently I found a couple more rugs by BEM and of all places on etsy.  Yes, on etsy and couldn't believe my eyes.  Two of her rugs were for sale.  One was this red roof house with a rainbow.
And a close up of the house.
Another rug  in the etsy listing was this chenille shirred rug.  Don't see her initials in it but guess it might be difficult to do initials with shirred rugs.
Of course I had to share the fun with my friend Evelyn so sent her an email with those pictures.  In turn she said she was sending me copies of an article about Barbara which appeared in a June 1986 issue of Country Home magazine.  A photo of the above shirred rug is in that article.  There are several other rugs in the article of which I don't have  photos.

Another found on a recent on-line search was this titled The Merry's which was said to have been hooked when she was married to John Merry.  Dimensions of the rug are 27 x 46.
In the article Evelyn sent me Barbara stated the reason rainbows appear in many of her rugs was to be a symbol of hope.

Another chenille shirred rug (below) looks like the initials are BEB not BEM.  Wonder if her maiden name started with a 'B'?
The end of March this year, a woman contacted me and said she owned 3 of Barbara's rugs and sent me photos of them.  Won't mention her name as I'm not sure she would like me to share that.  Here are the three rugs:

None of those were among the rugs depicted in the Country Home article so know there are more Barbara E. Merry rugs out there.  In a previous blog post I showed other BEM rugs and you can see them HERE.

Hope this post finds you happy and healthy.  And anyone reading this blog, if you know of other Barbara Merry rugs or know what her maiden name was I would love to know.  



  1. Love these rugs ! I like the idea of a rainbow as a sign for hope ! Fun post today !!!!

  2. Interesting. I am not familiar with her. I need to look. I may still have that! It was always a favorite of mine.

  3. Interesting about the rainbow. TFS Janice

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. My apologies...I wrote too much in response to your interest in Barbara Merry and then typed a new post accidentally on your 4th of July post.
    I'm admittedly not good with the internet! However...we own 5 of her rugs as written on your other post. I first met her in the 1980s at the ATHA biennial held in Portland. She gave a wonderful presentation on her work and have met her numerous times over the past thirty years. Great...lively...inspiring...
    Lovely. Think of what you want to know about her rugs. Happy to help...

  12. Interesting!,! Read about her in a rug hooking magazine, years ago,,,,
    Like her work very much!

  13. Hmmmm....I am not familiar with her, nor her work. It is a very uniquely primitive style and I a ma still trying to decide if I love or merely "admire"? That "Merrys" one certainly yanks at my heart....will have to let them sink in a bit more...and look back at your other post with her rugs. ~Robin~

  14. wow, this is an amazing thread! I am so in love with her story and your finds. I'll have to look at past Rug Hooking mags to read up on her. I can't imagine how excited you must've been when you found those two on etsy! I'm searching for rugs by Molly Nye Tobey of R.I. and havent been this lucky yet!

    1. Molly tobey rugs are out there...not easy to find.
      Other than the 50 states at shelburne most were given as gifts to family and friends. Jessye Turbayne did a very nice display of them in one of her books. The Tobeys and Hammond are still very much in the Rumstick Point area of Rhode Island. Her rugs are a different primitive perspective than Barbara Merry. Molly was an incredibly productive little woman of barely q00 lbs. She used anything she could get her hands on to hook with...skeins of yarn
      too. Good luck with your search.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and I always welcome comments.