From Cross Stitch to Rug Hooking

On our travels while out and about on our trip to the Kansas City photo shoot for our new quilting book, Kelli had wanted to stop at a cross stitch shop.  We found a great one at CC & Company in Blue Springs, MO.  We decided that being they didn’t have the linen Kelli wanted we’d stop at Old Mill Stitchery in Liberty, MO.  It wasn’t really out of our way and we’re always up for an adventure.

We came to this building and were kind of confused.  We didn’t see a sign…didn’t see anything welcoming.  Then we walked around the side and saw an entrance.  We went in and found a gift shop.  UGH.  Kelli and I aren’t gift shop gals.  We want to create the projects ourselves.  Well there was a stairway and I ventured up.

I saw this.


Now this looked a little more promising.

Then I turned and saw this…


and this…


I didn’t know if all of these were manufactured of what.  Then I saw this.

Nope.  Not manufactured.  HAND HOOKED.  I was in awe.


Kelli was blown away.  I don’t think she knew about rug hooking like this.

I had never been in a rug hooking store…to be honest, I didn’t know there was such a thing…and let me tell you…this store has got to be the grand daddy of them all.





Rug after rug after rug.  Then we entered the next room.  The center of that room was full of nicely, neatly stacked wool in every shade and hue.  (I forget to take picture of that…the rugs had me BLOWN AWAY)

Then we saw a grandma looking lady and asked her about the rugs…telling her we had no experience with rugs.  Well she was AMAZING.  The rugs had primarily been done by her….a few by her daughter.  What a talent and what a charming lady.  Before long she had us in her room and she was demonstrating.  She made it look so easy…and pretty quick.  We could tell by talking to her that rug hooking was not just her job and livelihood, it was her passion.  What a lady!!  She was just contagious.  With in seconds of talking to her Kelli and I had both decided that we’d be trying rug hooking.  I had tried it years ago but didn’t know a thing about it….now I feel like I could actually do it.  Her lesson was quick but very effective.

We asked her if we could take pictures and share about her shop here on the blog.  She said yes..and my are you in for a treat.

The rooster was done by her grand daughter when she was eight.



The walls are just packed with finished projects.  All are for sale.  To the left is just a smidgen of the wool that is for sale…all shades…all colors.


So many beautiful rugs.


Florals and geometrics….



We talked and learned enough to know that I was buying a hook and frame….now some monks cloth but what to make….how do I choose??


Then Kelli saw this… She said mom-how about you make stair treads for the stairs at the house…PERFECT!!

I know this one looks a little boring compared to all the beauties…it just might be a good place to start.  I could make this and get the hang of it.  Then go on to make more and make each tread different.  I liked the idea.  Then if that all goes well I could make a bigger one on the landing.  It sounded realistic to me.

But I wanted to look more…



Rugs were big and small…just amazing.


Aren’t you amazed too??  Let me say, just like quilts, these are even better in person!!

This was about six feet long….



I ended up leaving with a hook, frame and monks cloth…Kelli got a hook and monk’s cloth.

I didn’t buy any wool.  I have some here I can start with.  My wool isn’t the wonderful rich colors but I’m a beginner and will need to start somewhere.

I have a plan that once I get to the house in town I’ll take a little more time to do some crafts to decorate the house like the rug hooking….oh I love the look.  I just really want to love it too. are you wondering about the cross stitch shop that we originally went to find.  It was in the same building in an adjoining room.  We walked through and then walked straight back to the rugs.  It wasn’t that the cross stitch shop was bad or anything like that at all.  It’s just that the rugs were like magnets to us.  We just love them.

As we drove away Kelli and I were again in awe of Sandy’s (the lady who owns the shop) passion for her craft.  It was such a unique experience talking and listening to her.  Oh we love Iowa but we wish we were just a bit closer to this shop.  Both of us would love to go to a class with Sandy and learn all there is to know about rug hooking.  In the mean time, until we put this quilt book of ours to rest, we’ll be dreaming of the awesome rugs we saw at The Old Mill Stitchery in Missouri.

10 thoughts on “From Cross Stitch to Rug Hooking”

  1. Jo, did you ask why they did not have some sort of welcoming sign outside? I probably would have assumed they were no longer in business. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!!!!

  2. Oh my! Those rugs are so beautiful! So many, and so many sizes! Sandy is quite the talented woman. I love the smaller rug that has stars all over it. Now I want to see a rughooking tutorial to see how it is done.

  3. Go for it–you won’t be sorry. I saw rug hooking 2 years ago and I am “hooked”, my quilting which I loved dearly is taking a back seat. It is so relaxing, can easily watch your favorite show on TV while hooking. There are some great online store to buy “off the bolt” wool to use “as is” (want to know my 2 favorites email me) or over dye.(which is another adventure). Have fun–your going to love it.

  4. My mother-in-law recently showed me an antique hooked rug that she had found that she really was crazy about. She would probably faint away looking at all those beautiful rugs! Thanks for taking us along on your new adventure!

  5. Brenda MacLellan

    So glad you enjoy my mom’s shop. It’s actually called American Whatever, and is at Corbin Mill in Liberty, MO. Sorry you didn’t find the outside inviting — your first pic is actually the old building the store is built around, but the main entrance is on the opposite side of the building, due to handicap restrictions. Old Mill Stitchery is another business in the building, along with Bead Browsery.

  6. Sandy’s American one of the best places ever and you are right Sandy is great and helpful. A good place for beginners as well as someone like me who’s been hooking for 40 years. It’s a 3 hour drive for me but it’s my go to place. Sandy and Brenda are both always ready to help you find just what you need.

  7. Lyda Loehring

    I use to live in kc north. I purchased a drawn pattern from you in 2000 I loved it. So am now finishing it finally. It is of a rabbit in a garden of carrots and cabbages. I’ve moved to the east coast and hard to find wool. So hit the thrift shops. But now I finely found a wool shop in Middletown. De. Lil country shop. So am getting my fix and meeting other rug hookers. But I still love your shop the most. Thank you for your little shop.

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