Needlepoint Inspiration & the Pervasiveness of Ideas

Originally posted 2009-05-10 06:21:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

taznakht moroccan rug

Jan F is getting ready to do her third adaptation of a Moroccan rug and wrote about it in this post. The inspiration post is also pictured above.

I’m intrigued by this rug because I think it shows some universal graphic ideas. The colors in both rugs she shows remind me of the colors in her other Moroccan adaptations, so I’m considering them to be typical.

But then I look at the patches themselves and I can see Navajo and Persian Rug motifs. Many of the motifs look like Navajo and Persian rugs I’ve seen. The diamond motif on the orange background is one of these. And that star against a dark background practically screams Amish quilt to me.

What’s interesting is that none of these would be done in these colors.


The rugs might be done in a typical Navajo color scheme, like the rug above, in red, black, gray, and white. If you want to learn more about Navajo rugs, try out this book, Navajo Rug Designs. It has paintings of many rugs done for an Arizona Trading Post.

tribal and village rugs book cover

For the Persian motif, think about those rich, dark jewel tones we associate with these rugs. Put a navy and white diamond against a “Turkey Red” background and it will look as if it was lifted from one of these rugs.

I’ve been reading this phenomenal book on tribal rugs, Tribal and Village Rugs, which I love because the drawings of the motifs are so clear.


Amish quilts are one of my great passions and I am particularly fond of the star motif. Take this basic eight-pointed star, expand it, and use the typical Amish palette of green through red and you get a lovely quilt.

This book, World of Amish Quilts, has pictures of many lovely ones.

The motifs are simple and graphic. They appear in many different cultures. You could even make some “fantasy” pieces if you picked one of the motifs and used a different color scheme. Why not a Swedish interiors one using white, pale grey, and icy light blues? Or an ancient Egyptian one with gold, rusty brown, bright lapis blue and turquoise.

Looking at this, it’s easy to see that it’s the colors that define, to a large extent, the “style” Use a universal motif and the right colors and the design fits.

Try it, you’ll get some great needlepoint!

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