Lessons from the Moroccan Rug

The rug isn’t quite finished yet, but I’ve learned some things from the project. Here is the rug as it looks today – still hoping to have it done by the end of the week.


1. I like Impressions, but it had to be doubled in most cases for this project to cover the straight stitches.

2. Even working out the patterns on the computer first doesn’t mean the design will work out correctly. There’s always tweaking to do.

3. Some borders and motifs translate easily to needlepoint canvas (like the motif that looks like Sprat’s Head). 

4. Some patterns are difficult to reproduce and have to be redesigned and scaled down.

5. If I’m going to improve as a designer, I need to establish a specific size for a project and make the various borders and motifs fit within that. I originally thought that this project would be 5 x 7 but cut a much larger piece of Congress Cloth in case it needed to “grow” to make some motifs fit better. That’s not the way to design. I have to work toward a precise size and rework motifs, if necessary, to fit that size.

6. The plain red bands that are used between the border and motif segments needs to be wider to separate the patterns a little more.

7. Just putting together a series of borders and motifs separated by small red bands doesn’t necessarily make a good design or finished product.

Is this Moroccan Rug is good design? There are parts that I feel are good design, especially the final border and motif in the middle of the rug. Is the whole rug designed well? I’m not sure. I’m still thinking about it.

I would like to hear what you think about this project? What do you like and what do you think needs to be reworked? Tomorrow I’ll talk about the reasons for this project.


4 responses to “Lessons from the Moroccan Rug

  1. I think this looks splendid! I’d agree that the plain red bands could be a bit wider, but not by much. I found in recreating some of the Pueblo pottery designs that it’s not always the exact duplication of line-by-line as much as evoking the overall feel of the original piece. I’d say you’ve embodied the Moroccan spirit quite nicely!

  2. #4 is part of the “adaptation” to needlepoint process. This is absolutely gorgeous – you have done well, and I wouldn’t change the proportion of the red you already have in it. You have definitely captured the “ambience” or Moroccan Rug “feel” in this work.

  3. I did the red bands over 2 threads for most areas and over 3 for the middle motif. I think if I did them over 3-4 threads in basketweave it would look better (flatter) and give a better sense of separation. A relief from all the texture of the borders and motifs.

  4. I can’t wait to see the finished rug! I like the proportion of red and the way you have toned it down with the light brown. I agree with your assessment of the red divider bands.

    I have found that designing on the computer usually works, but with this type of design you have to put in the stitches, not just a chart of squares! Especially when mixing slanted & straight stitches! I keep trying, but always end up having to do it in “stitches”.

    I agree with all of the points you make, and would add one: Always start a geometric pattern in the center!

    Great progress!!!!!!!!!!!

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