25 Years Creating

I talk about the Girl Scouting and handwork skills learned while growing up, the BA in Art and History with photography as my creative medium but until Lillian Vale gave me a 15 minute lesson on how to pull loops I was not confident to proclaim: I am an artist. That session was on January 1, 1994, and rug hooking has lead to an amazing journey over 25 years.

First frame

This frame supported hundreds of projects until 2008 when I upgraded to a floor model. I had to pin the backing taught, pulling the push pins out when I needed to move to another part. The first top wore out and Jim made a second one!  I logged every project on the wooden base listing size, start, finish, title and if sold to whom.



the Spinner, Susan Feller

We do not have many places to store items, but the Pig rug is missing and 1994 was before digital photos. It was a large rounded pig line drawing (no “designer’s name). He was in the center of backing with no other details. However the second rug was my own design – the Spinner. A dream of what we would do when getting into our log cabin. The inspiration was Moravian Pottery mosaics. And rug hooking line drawings lead me to studying fraktur motifs, geometrics, nature and finally the confidence to “paint with wool” as an artist.

Flash through the years, 200 rug patterns, dye recipes, a Design in a Box filled with fraktur templates all as Ruckman Mill Farm are now distributed by Green Mountain Hooked Rugs. I served on boards of national and international rug hooking organizations, vended throughout the US and Canada, wrote a book about Design, sold hundreds of rugs, and exhibited in fine art collections. For the past five years, under a new company ArtWools, I have taught design to fiber artists, advocated for the arts in WV and work in my studio. The best of this journey is my confidence to say I AM AN ARTIST and the many friends I have met along the way.

Working at home

Looking forward to the next years creating.

11 thoughts on “25 Years Creating

  1. Pam Cleverly

    You were my first teacher at my first hooking retreat in (I think) 2010. You hooked me good……
    I haven’t stopped since! Great teacher!


  2. Debbie Ballard

    I enjoyed this Susan… so hard sometimes to make the leap from “crafter” to “artist” in our own minds. Debbie

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. LauraS

    I couldn’t be happier looking back at your experience. One 1/2-day class with you, and I learned how much more rug hooking could be, Susan. We’ll beyond a pattern and wool strips. Your 25 years have shaped my 15. Thank you.


  4. marylou justason

    Dear Susan, We all remember that first attempt at rug hooking and the special teacher who introduced us to what would become a life-long passion.  Mine was Shirley Lyons in ON over 45 years ago.  Meeting her changed my life. I knew Lillian and Bill Vail well for many years in Largo, FL where I hooked with her when we wintered in Florida. What happy memories I have of visiting their home and seeing the very large collection of antique Christmas items. Keep on hooking, one loop at a time .  Mary Lou JustasonWasaga Beach,



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