The basket and the vase of flowers motif inspired artistic production from the late 17th to the early 19th century.
In Quebec, the vast repertoire of old French religious motifs, omnipresent in church decor, also influenced the floral designs of hooked rugs. Even today, the vase of flowers remains a highly popular motif for hooked rugs.
There was also an abundance of geometric designs, as well as crests, pennants, and animal designs, with the same motif often repeated in different combinations.
It is possible to distinguish between the irregular patterns of traditional rugs, and rugs dating from the beginning of the century: with the arrival of printed canvases, patterns lost their originality. If a rug hooker could afford it, she would buy pre-printed canvas; if not, she traced a pattern from printed canvases and copied it onto her own. By combining different designs, original patterns could be created that allowed more room for the artist's imagination.
Hooked rug designs can be classified into a number of categories:
Geometric designs were very popular, since they were simple to execute. Floral, abstract, and star designs were blended in various combinations, and floral patterns mixed in with geometric figures. Designs such as stars, hearts, and leaves frequently adorned the corners of the rug, regardless of the central theme.