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This free-form make-as-you-go rug hook project is the perfect gift to give your child as they head out to camp or college, or just to reinforce to your child how much they mean to you.

Posted by Running Press Published See Running Press's 24 projects » © 2021 Laura McFadden / Running Press · Reproduced with permission. · Reprinted with permission from KNITLESS © 2015 by Laura McFadden, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
  • Step 1

    On the linen, use the marker to draw a rectangle the size that you’d like the finished pillow to be, leaving at least 6 inches all the way around. Sketch a picture or design onto the linen.

  • Step 2

    Place the linen in a heavy-duty quilting hoop or rug hooking frame.

  • Step 3

    Hold your hook in your dominant hand, and hold the yarn in the other. Place your hook through one of the linen holes and bring up a piece of your yarn, pulling it through the linen. Continue to bring up loops of yarn, which will create “stitches” in your design. Yarn loops should be as high as the yarn is thick. As you pull your hook up through the fabric, pull away from the hand holding the yarn; the yarn should be barely taut. This way, the hook won’t pull out the loop you just made. All of your yarn ends should end up on top.

  • Step 4

    Work your way around the outline of the pillow, then fill in the outlines.

  • Step 5

    Cut the fabric down so it has a border of 2 inches all the way around the edges.

  • Step 6

    Place the finished hooked piece onto an ironing board, pin it to the board, and block it by dampening it with a wet towel. Let it dry and remove the pins.

  • Step 7

    Place the rug-hooked piece face-up on the work surface. Starting at the bottom of the pillow, pin the piping (flat edge facing out) around the edges, overlapping the two cut ends of the piping by about ½ an inch. Trim the cord on one end to fit inside the casing of the other end, hiding the two cut ends. Fold the excess material over the cords and pin. Machine-sew the piping onto the front of the pillow.

  • Step 8

    Cut the faux fur out to be the same size as the front. Place the right sides together and machine sew around all of the edges, leaving a 3-inch opening unsewn. Turn the pillow right side out. Stuff it with pillow batting and hand sew the remaining 3 inches, closing up the opening.

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