Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Hiding Our Colors Here...Framing A Hooked Mat

I finished binding and mounting my newest hooked rug project today while a cardinal couple ate lunch outside my kitchen window. Mr. cardinal in his bright red feathers and classic black mask sat in the bushes while the Mrs. flitted beneath the feeder on the ground. He watched her every move while she dined on sunflower seeds that little finches and chicadees had scattered about. So wary that I couldn't get a photo of the two of them together. There she is up in the header. Not a very good photo but I tired of waiting for them to cooperate. I had a lot to do in the studio this afternoon.
I decided to try a different way to finish and hang this little birch tree mat. In my usual "do it my way" style, I decided to try mounting it on a pine frame covered in burlap. Dave was kind enough to nail up a simple pine board frame for me. A coat of polyurethane to seal and protect the fabric and rug from future acid damage is probably a good idea. I actually did that step yesterday.
Then things got a little tricky while stapling the burlap to the frame. It was hard to get it pulled tight while stapling and the corners were difficult to get all the burlap wrapped around nice and neat. I persevered.
After I got all the burlap stapled onto the frame I laid the rug on top. It needed a little support underneath so I used a few layers of cotton quilt batting between the frame and the rug. Just enough to poof it out a little and keep the rug from sagging in the middle. From there I hand stitched the rug around the edges to the burlap on the frame. That was a little tricky too but I finally got the hang of it.
I think the burlap lends a kind of organic look and feel. The padding lends a slightly soft and pillowy feel and fluffs out the hooking a little bit.
I decided to hang it in the studio above the primitive yellow cupboard for now. It will provide some needed inspiration for me to try brighter and different colors in my rug hooking. Who says primitive rugs have to be drab and dull in color? I still like the primitive style but give me happy, alive and luxurious color. Right Mr. cardinal? Now if you had the drab green brown feathers and she had the bright red suit, well......you wouldn't have to hide in the bushes while she eats lunch out on the sidewalk!

hooked rug,birch tree mat

Mr Cardinal in Bushes


  1. The birch tree rug looks amazing. The colors and the quilling - very nice. And thanks for the little tutorial on framing. I lost my nerve and ended up not framing my last rug.
    What's the next project?

  2. Cathy,

    Didn't you just start that Birch Tree project???? It is really lovely! It looks great where it is on the wall. I like the mounting/framing method very much.

    Also, thanks for sharing the Cardinal pic. I have only ever seen one real one in my entire life.

  3. This rug turned out so great Cathy! There are so many unique aspects to the way you made it and framed it - really out of the box and lovely!

  4. Oh my goodness, your idea is great.
    Love the way it looks and I love the birch trees and the quilled circles. I so want to try that sometime soon.
    Mr and Mrs cardinal are so pretty, don't you just love them.


  5. Your trees make me smile! They're happy trees for sure. And kudos to you for being so perserverent with the framing. I would have given up and tried something easier!
    Great job!
    xo, Sheri

  6. That is one of my favorite rugs I've seen on-line to-date, I can't wait to try the circles sometime in a rug.

  7. That is absolutely the coolest rug! Just my kind of thing....so inspiring! I love your colors, circles, and just everything about it!

  8. Hi Cathy,
    Your birch trees turned out wonderful! And I love the way you mounted it! It is perfect there on the wall with the cupboard.

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful cardinal photos. They really show up against the SNOW! I'm sure they're ready for spring just like we are!

  9. Thanks for showing us how you mounted your rug. I've thought of putting one of mine on a frame, but was thinking I would have to "stretch" it over the frame and couldn't for the life of me figure out how that was going to WORK or LOOK. I might try this, but maybe paint the frame black and then staple the rug to the frame and put a picture hanger on the back....then I'd only have to put one nail in my plaster walls....so very inspiring!
    I really love your happy birch rug!
    As for people knowing to click on pictures to make them bigger....I don't know if most people know that or not?

  10. I love that rug! And your mounting process was very informative! I've not done that but look how nice your hangs!! Might I add, you are a speedy hooker!!

  11. What beautiful things you create.. and i LOVE the photo of the cardinal..feels like I can reach out and touch him..

    blessings to you...


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