Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sandra's December mats

Sandra's been busy again - here is a sweet squirrel mat from a free pattern in RHM [RugHooking Magazine, Sept/Oct 2009]: "Miss Sylvia Squirrel - Woodland Gatherer"... likely a play on sylvan, with her leaves and pumpkins. It is designed by Mary Johnson/ Designs in Wool, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

The second mat is Sandra's own design, 'Yankee Peddler', after a photo from a trip to Kings Landing Historical Settlement in New Brunswick. Both are in #4 cut, with lots of interesting detail.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

International Rug Rave for rug-aid.org

We were a smaller group than hoped-for, but four Quoddy Loopers got together yesterday, November 21st, along with rughookers across the world, to hook on a pattern drawn especially for the Rug Rave event by UK rughooker & teacher Heather Ritchie, who has been helping blind and vision-impaired people and their families, in Gambia. She has taught them the craft of rughooking, helped to supply them with 'hessian' [burlap, to North Americans], hooks and recycled T-shirts [wool being scarce there]. Sighted friends, family and caregivers hook outlines and the blind rughookers fill in spaces, or hook abstractly on their own. The resulting mats are sold to tourists. Begging has recently been outlawed in Gambia, so this is a far more satisfactory option for the participants to earn an income.

The aim of the fundraising effort is to help defray cost of materials and to eventually afford the group their own building, so they will not have to lug materials and mats back and forth to the community centre, where they now have occasional space and time for making their rugs.

Each of the Rug Rave participants in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia have given a donation for the use of the pattern. There will be 3 or 4 of the Rug Aid Rave mats by our group raffled off and the funds raised will also be sent to Rug Aid. Ours are being hooked with wool, as usual - both cut strips of woven wool and woollen yarn. We will sell tickets on them all year and pull the winning names the first Saturday of November, at our 4th annual Hurricane Hook-in in St Andrews [NB, Canada], November 6/2010.

It was suggested that we hook blindfolded for 30 minutes to get a bit of an idea of the challenge the blind rughookers face, which we did. Not an easy task! Those who couldn't make it yesterday will hopefully still be on board for hooking a Rug Aid rug for the raffle, so our numbers could improve. It was a good day and a good feeling to be helping people with difficulties we can only imagine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hurricane Hook-in was a blast!

The 3rd Hurricane Hook-in was loads of fun! There were nearly 50 people and we could have managed several more. Many beautiful rugs were on display as well as all the wonderful work that was going on around the room. The parish hall is bright and spacious, and the buzz of friendly chat around the room was constant.

Sande Gunning was there all day with her wonderful wares from the River Gallery, and business seemed pretty brisk. Of course, the wools are fabulous, Joan Kay's patterns were in high demand, and then the tools of the trade, books and accessories were tempting, too.

Visitors came from Fredericton, Sussex, Saint John and Moncton. Hooking seems to be a secondary component of hook-ins, generally - there is a lot of looking and talking about rughooking, but that's all part of the appeal. Rugookers may use the very fine cuts or the wide chunky primitive style, but all appreciate each others' work.

Show and tell of Quoddy Loopers' mats and a few from our visitors.

Here are four of our Quoddy Loopers taking a break from hooking [and talking, eating, etc.], with two of the Church Guild members working on their quilting in the corner, inbetween feeding us yummy snacks and lunch. Nobody went hungry!

There were special visitors to the hook-in - three adorable kittens, looking for a good home. Susan W, one of our group, had a pregnant cat show up on her doorstep. She already has 3 of her own, but couldn't turn away a cat in need. So, she will keep the mother but would like good homes for the babies - with shots, neutred - a deal too good to miss!

Friday, November 6, 2009

last call for Nov 7 hook-in in St Andrews, NB

For any who were wavering, this is your last call for tomorrow's hook-in. We have approximately 55 now registered and there is room to squeeze a few more in--we'd love to have you join us. Do please call or email Mary -- mcjones(at)nb.sympatico.ca or call 506-529-3790 to let us know you're coming, so we don't run out of food! Lunch, snacks, door prizes, good company.... all free! There will be room for show and tell, so please bring your latest mat[s] as well as the one you are working on. The WELCOME mat, above, is one by Mary J. Hard to see the 'bling' bits in the photo, but it is lovely--the fairies do sparkle!

Vendor for the day is Sande Gunning of River Gallery, with her travelling shop, full of wool, patterns, hooking accessories, Cushing dyes and something for the quilters, as always. "Established in 2005, the River Gallery is a southern New Brunswick destination for fibre enthusiasts everywhere. A place where quilting, rug hooking and other fibre arts are celebrated."

So, Saturday, November 7th, 9:30 to 3pm [or thereabouts], please join us for a day of wonderful wools and inspiration, in the parish centre [side door] of the Catholic Church of St Andrew, in St Andrews, NB, corner of Parr and King Streets.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cindy's latest mat from Doris Norman's workshop & call for Hook-in Nov 7/09

On September 26, many of the Quoddy Loopers took a one day workshop with Doris Norman, a Fredericton, New Brunswick rughooking marvel; she does beautiful work and is a patient and generous teacher. This latest session was 'Primitive Shaded Flowers & Leaves". Cindy N was the first one to finish her rose. Mine is nearly finished - hooked and ready to be bound, backed and stuffed as a pillow.

Cindy N's pink rose and Maureen M's blue/yellow version.

As more Loopers finish theirs, I'll post them.

Next on the agenda, our 3rd annual Hurricane Hook-in, November 7th at the Catholic Church of St Andrew [in St Andrews, NB]. All rughookers welcome, but please do let us know you are coming so we can be sure not to run out of food - and door prizes! Lunch & snacks provided; 9:30 to approx 3pm. RSVP to Mary at "mcjones at nb.sympatico.ca". [remove spaces and replace at with @]. Vendor will be Sande Gunning with a full display of River Gallery wools, patterns, quilt cottons and tools.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Aqanu-te, a Malecite welcome

is a Malecite (or Maliseet) welcoming word. Mary J made it for her sister's best friend, in celebration of her 60th birthday. It is an original design.

The wallhanging is done in 4 & 5 cut, spot dyed and as-is textured wools on cotton rug warp. The feather seems ready to lift off the mat, or perhaps it just recently landed. It is bound with woollen yarn and then a teal yarn is overlaid to bring the central background colour to the edges. The Dream Catcher is done with novelty yarn, beads and feathers.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Floral message board

I know Verel is a dirty word to many rughookers, but I thought it would have some practical applications, so have made a few tote bags with small hooked motif and a message board with a hooked padula floral border.

The pushpins are a serendipitous dollar store find. There are loads of interesting options now available, at various price points.

Verel has been used for office dividers and the like before, and while it is a synthetic fabric and not suitable for rugs or mats on the floor, it works fine for smaller decorative items and wallhangings. The 'board' part of the floral message board is 3/8" styrofoam and 1/4" cork, so that the pushpins will stay and not degrade the styrofoam. I hooked the edges, leaving the corners unhooked so I could 'mitre' it and reduce bulk at the corners. The padulas [fantasy flowers in the rughooking world] are done with hit-or-miss like colours, as are the stems and leaves, in various greens.

Once I sewed the verel around the backing material, I connected the opposing sides along their length to make it taut, then lined it and affixed a label with name, date etc.

I haven't 'road tested' the willow tree tote bag, but I am fairly certain it will hold up - the question is not if the Verel will last, but whether, over time, it will abrade the wool strips. I have used a light fabric 'lining', adhered with fabric adhesive over the hooked area only. The other thing I like about Verel is that it comes in several colours, not to mention being economical.

While the weave is rather tight, I find it easy, with a large-shafted hook, to hook up to an 8-cut wool strip, in primitive style. It will take a wider cut, but does buckle a bit. The close weave makes it suitable for a tote bag. Knitting needles would likely pierce the fabric, but they will do that to most textiles.

My other plan for the message board is to make one to display our grandson Ruben's latest art project. He's just coming up to two, and is enjoying daycare in Toronto [too far from New Brunswick, but that's life--thank goodness for webcams!]. I haven't settled on a border pattern to hook, but maybe will use a variation on the Noah's Ark rug I made him.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vincent Van Gogh

.Vincent Van Gogh not only made wonderful art, but this quote from him speaks to those of us who love to create:

"Happiness... it lies in the joy of achievement,
in the thrill of creative effort"
.Room at Arles, 1888, Vincent Van Gogh

Absolutely! Not that I am comparing my creations to his... but the feeling is there, and I would imagine for most rughookers, fibre artists and artists in every field. It feels good to be sharing an emotion with a great man. He put it so well, that feeling of well-being and satisfaction when our hands make something that we love.

Sandra's been busy again

Sandra has just completed two new rugs - "Four for Mirth" by Joan F Kays and "Catnip",
designed by Patti Armstrong. Her favourite brights make these fun and happy mats.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

False alarm... Quoddy Loopers will meet Wednesday this week, as usual

In case anyone was concerned, Quoddy Loopers meeting has been changed back to its normal time of 6:30 to 8:30 on Wednesday this week. The conflict for the hall has been resolved.

I don't have a new rug to show you, so here's one of my favourite photos of Kingsbrae Garden, where I work. I could post one a day for years, with all the great images we have, but I will refrain.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rughooking moved to Thursday this week & thanks for visiting on the studio tour

Quoddy Loopers will meet Thursday evening this week, as the church hall is booked for another group; still 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Two Countries One Bay art studio tour. There was some lively interest in both rughooking and in Ray's unique pictorial quilting method. Some people sat down at the rug frame and pulled a few loops and we may have made at least one new convert!

Home Sweet Home mat by Maureen McIlwain.

Workshop today with Doris Norman

Our group has the luxury of an excellent teacher living nearby, and Doris Norman comes down to St Andrews from Fredericton [approx 1 1/2 hrs] a couple of times a year. She has a busy schedule and teaches around the Maritimes, New England, etc. Just back from teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador, and one of our group actually went for the rughooking camp. The rest of us are green with envy, and would have loved to hop along in Diane's suitcase or Doris' basket. No such luck.

Today our workshop was 'Shading primitive leaves & flowers'. We mostly all used Doris' pattern - a largish double-petalled padula (fantasy flower) with three buds and several leaves. There was a fair bit of unhooking going along with the various hooked versions of the flowers, but we all ended up with something at the end of the day. Visit Doris' blog for more.

Doris also did a demo of marbleizing wools to marry them in the same colour family. She sandwiched a white length of wool between a brightish cerise and a purple/plum plaid, then rolled them from the short end to make a fat sausage, tied it in several places and put it dry into a pot with water and some dishwashing soap [she suggests Ivory as being a gentle one and easy on the wool]. This simmered along for about an hour while we hooked and then Doris added some citric acid to set the colours and simmered some more. Next, the reveal -- the central white piece picked up pink and purple dye in bands so would make a gentle background or some lovely clouds above a pinkish sky. Some wools bleed more of their dye into the water than others, but they all came out looking like they belonged together, which was the intent. The cerise piece didn't lose a lot of colour, but enough that it provided a different value, with a matching piece that hadn't gone into the pot.

If a few of us get our padulas finished, I'll post some photos. Brought the camera today and didn't remember to snap any pics - too busy hooking and yakking. An excellent day.
."Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of travelling" (quote from Margaret Lee Runbeck - an American author, 1905-1956) - another mat to use up spare woolly worms in the border - traditional flying geese quilt pattern [Maureen; original design]. It is not quite a hit-or-miss, as the spare worms are hooked in colour families in the triangles, but it appeals to my thrifty soul, as I can use quite short pieces and group them.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two Countries One Bay Art Studio Tour

The 2nd annual Two Countries, One Bay Art Studio Tour is a great opportunity to see a variety of inspired art work, visit the studios of creative artists, and experience the international cultures of two distinct countries — eastern Maine, USA, and southern New Brunswick, Canada — while enjoying en route the breath-taking coastal scenery of Passamaquoddy Bay. Ferries facilitate completion of the Quoddy Loop.

September 19-20, 2009, Saturday and Sunday
10am to 5pm, Atlantic & Eastern time

Ray and Maureen will be demonstrating and exhibiting their work for sale at the Kingsbrae Garden Visitors Centre*, St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick [Canada]. Ray's work is pictorial quilting in her own style, inspired by the scenery around the province. Maureen practises traditional rughooking with original designs created with woollen cloth or yarn on burlap or linen. Patterns will also be on sale.

Ray Peterson's pictorial quilting & Maureen McIlwain's mats

During this self-guided tour you’ll meet world-class artists in the places where they create their work — their studios. This setting provides a unique opportunity to watch demonstrations or try your hand at techniques, inquire about the artist’s creative process, or experience art in an intimate setting — with the chance to talk with the artist directly. Organized by the Tides Institute and Museum of Art / CulturePass, Bertha Day Art and Craft Gallery and Michael Chesley Johnson and funded by participating artists and sponsors, this juried tour has found the best of the creative work being produced in this international coastal region.

Offering a wide range of media, from painting to printmaking, textiles to stained glass, from contemporary sculpture and jewelry, to traditional crafts, you'll find the unique and unusual — an art adventure not to be missed!

Additional support provided by the Maine Arts Commission, Maine State Office of Tourism, the Province of New Brunswick Department of Tourism and Parks, and East Coast Ferries.

* no admission fee is required to access the studio stop at Kingsbrae Garden, but 2 for 1 Garden admission is offered to Art Studio Tour participants. Pick up a coupon after viewing the artwork on display.

The licensed Garden Café is a great spot for lunch or afternoon tea
or just a coffee and dessert! The Café is open 10 am to 5 pm in September.

Full info on the tour is available online and the poster, as a PDF file

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ten minute rughooking challenge & giveaway - Red Jack Rugs

April DeConick is a rughooker, author and designer living in Texas. She has had rugs featured in the Celebration juried series and Rug Hooking Magazine. She has authored articles for the ATHA Newsletter and Rug Hooking Magazine. Her rugs have been exhibited at Sauder Village and local events.

April decided to house a few rug hooking challenges on her Red Jack Rugs blog "in the hope that together we might support and inspire each other to 'make rugs' even though we live far apart. So my thought is, let's apply that to rug hooking and make it even more fun by including a prize give-away, one of my 10 by 10 pocket packs which I will hook and sew and give to one of the formal challenge participants every January 31st for as many years as this challenge goes on."

This is the first challenge:

Work on your rug at least 10-minutes a day, six days out of the week, except holidays, for at least six months. "Work" includes anything rug-related: designing, drawing, laying out, dyeing, hooking, binding, even shopping for materials and attending guild. NOTE that the 10-minutes is not accumulative, so if you hook for 30-minutes one day, this does not count as three 10-minute days. The challenge is to work on your rugs at least 10 minutes every day. You are your own log-keeper.

Click on the badge or link above to go to April's site to join up!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Scrappy rugs & wonky perimeters

The recycling and 'use it up' nature of scrappy, hit-or-miss rugs and mats is very appealing to me. They are like fun snacks rather than a full meal or formal banquet of a pictorial or fine design rugs/mats. They are less work, requiring very little thought and I find them mostly cheerful and charming. Having just finished my first biggish [2 ft by 4 ft] scrappy rug, Live simply, in an effort to use up my woolly worm leftovers, I was interested to see a lovely hit-or-miss rug on Gene Shepherd's blog. A friend of Gene's wrote in, asking for advice, as her simple oval was losing its regular shape, partially due to the use of different widths of wool strips from her scrap basket. Gene had several very good ideas on how to correct the problem and restore the rug to its original oval shape.

The problem of rugs with wonky borders/edges is one that most of us have probably faced, and this is a great lesson on how to deal with it. I went looking for a hit-or-miss rug from our Quoddy Loopers group to illustrate this, and realized that either no-one else in our group likes doing scrappy mats or else I don't have enough photos, because another of mine is the only one I have--Live, love, laugh.

It illustrates the wonkiness of the outline [now pressed and hung, looking much straighter!] as well as using hit or miss in the log cabin border and to a lesser degree in the background, with different darks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Celtic Knot tote bag

Celtic designs move me - must be my Irish and Scots forebears... and the sinuous charm of interlocking curves and lines. I'd had it on my to-do list for ages to do a Celtic rughooking, and finally found the perfect project. I bought a new to me [and unused] tote bag at one of our local Frenchy's stores [treasure troves for rughookers, with woollen clothes ready for recycling], and used a classic Celtic knot from a book of designs that a friend gave me [thank you, Mary!] -- the Ulbster Stone from Caithness, Scotland.

I hooked the Celtic square with nylons, rather than wool, so as not to add too much weight [as-is, handcut, on monkscloth]. It hooked up quickly. Lots of pockets, a good wide strap and light [until I get it loaded up]. The thing I learned from this first time hooking with nylons was that I don't like cutting rings across the legs [too many ends], but rather cutting spirally, like paring an apple, to get continuous strips to hook with. Also you have to be careful not to twist underneath, just like with wool, but the idea is to keep the rolled edge of the nylon strip uppermost, not the cut edges.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free patterns!

There are numerous websites with free patterns, some specifically for hooked rugs and others that are easily adapted to hooking. Try P&B Textiles - meant for quilting, but many would make lovely rugs. I particularly like Bella's Blooms and there are many geometrics that would be great either in hit-or-miss or in a planned colour scheme. Here's a page with 1295 sites, all offering free patterns, and categorized by theme, holiday or subject [Fish, Frogs & Bugs or Snowmen, for example]. Again, this is a quilting site, so some of the paper piecing patterns might not translate so well, but for anyone who is shy of drawing their own pattern, these are treasure troves!

Donna Hrkman, a talented rughooker, shares a free snowman pattern on her site: at Blue Ribbon Rugs; it may change seasonally. Her Women of the Congo rug was featured in RHM/ Rug Hooking Magazine (Jan/Feb 2006) and is a powerful work of art and compassion.

Stained glass patterns are also ideal for hooking; though this 'fantasy' site has a strong cartoon and juvenile bent, it does have many free stained glass patterns! And yet more, at Spectrum, where you are asked to log in with a password, but it's quick and easy, and free patterns are searchable by category.

For some fun free primitive patterns, Jennie Baer at Homeberries has 'freebies' - just click on the category you are looking for - seasons, ornies, nursery rhymes and everyday (e.g. "A Happy Home is Early Heaven"). They are meant for embroidery but I think would make sweet mats.

Ship to Shore

Well, that was my browse for today. Here's a doodle of mine that you are free to hook, if you like, but as with most free patterns, it's for personal use only, please.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally on the floor! Live Simply is finished

It has been way too long in the making, but I finally finished whipping my Live Simply rug last night. Not steamed / pressed yet, but I couldn't wait to get it on the floor and it did make me smile when I woke up this morning, which was the whole idea in hooking it. Most of my other mats are on the walls, chairs or tables, rather than on the floor, but this one was always destined for the floor by my bed. It did use up a fair amount of woolly worms in the hit-or-miss portions, but not as many as I'd hoped, so I'll be starting another scrappy rug soon.

There are so many wonderful rugs out there, and inspiration at every turn. The first border of this rug echoes the quilt pattern 'flying geese'. There are thousands of quilt patterns and many of them would make great rugs. I've always loved paisley, so the final side borders are paisley-ish. It's been a fun rug to hook; mostly in #6 cut wools, with some #8 and a bit of woolen yarn, here and there, when the colour was right. It's approximately 3 ft wide by 2 ft high, on primitive linen, bound in wool yarn from Cottage Craft Woollens, right here in St Andrews, NB [Canada]. They didn't have any black in stock, so I overdyed some darkish purple with Cushings black dye. It kept looking navy to me, so I added more black and was finally happy with the colour - it actually has some liveliness, rather than being a flat black, which was a happy accident.

I love the feel of the cushy soft wool under my feet as I get out of bed. So long as our cat Katie doesn't think that it is a new thing to scratch at, all will be well.

Christmas in July

Here's a cheery winter scene - Christmas Village, a Deanne Fitzpatrick design, which Carol has hooked in brights (28" x 8" framed). Carol is one of our newer members, and has done some lovely mats. She mostly works in #4 to 6, and also uses woollen and novelty yarns......................................

The striding Santa is designed by Monika Brint; Carol has accentuated the elongated trees and tall Santa with a vertically hooked sky in novelty yarn, with a festive metallic glimmer. He looks like he's in a hurry! (16.5" wide x 14.5" high)

We may not be celebrating Christmas, but we don't seem to be experiencing summer, either. It has been relentlessly cold and damp, and we've had way more fog than we are used to, in the last three weeks or so. It is sunny right now... long may it last.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Super Sandra finishes another great mat!

It's pretty hard to keep up with Sandra. Here's her latest mat, "Washday", designed by Patti Armstrong and hooked in 4 & 6 cut wool, some of it hand-dyed.

It shows how the most mundane subjects can make a great mat. The crows here are rather whimsical, but since crows seem to appear in rugs frequently [especially 'primitive' style rugs] , I thought I'd see if I could find out why.

Wikipedia says: Many mythologies - Celtic, Norse, Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist and North American aboriginal, esp the Pacific Northwest bands - feature crows in their legends. [They are generally regarded as] "harbingers of doom or death, because of their dark plumage, unnerving calls, and tendency to eat carrion. A group of crows is called a murder" - which indicates how kindly crows are perceived by some. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

I liked this WikiAnswer to why crows are so often used in folk art: "Crows and ravens figure largely in pre-Christian faiths and practices, and folk art draws heavily on past beliefs and practices. An artist friend of mine is more pragmatic. Crows, she tells me, are just easier to draw and paint than multicolored birds." So maybe it is neither philosophical or deep; simply convenient.

Then there are the superstitions regarding crows, as collected by CrowBusters. Did you know this one? "It was unlucky in Wales to have a crow cross your path. However, if two crows crossed your path, the luck was reversed. 'Two crows I see, good luck to me'."

Perhaps the crow is considered a lucky symbol and that's why so many primitive rugs have crows in their design, and have had, historically. Plus, they are smart - here's a neat video from Japan.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Golf, anyone?

Here's another of Sandra's delightful mats - this one based on a photo of her sister playing golf. Note the flowers alongside the green and the water beyond... PEI is a haven for golfers.

St Andrews by-the-Sea isn't a bad spot either, for golf or anything else! We've got our fair share of water, the Passamaquoddy Bay off the phenomenal Bay of Fundy, and the Algonquin golf course is laid out alongside the Ste Croix River, overlooking the bay.

There have been more than a few people who have come for the sea breezes, quaint and well-preserved architecture & heritage, the whales, artisans, college, golf or for many other reasons, who have subsequently picked up stakes and moved here for the gentler, more human way of life. The beauty, clean air, safe and comfortable lifestyle are bonuses. We are blessed with well over average services for a town of 1850 people: the historic and beautiful Fairmont Algonquin Resort, Kingsbrae Horticultural Garden, a raft of creative people in many genres... and some of the best cuisine you will find anywhere. Naturally the seafood is as fresh as can be, and there is plenty of choice for delicious dining at many levels.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

in vino veritas

This rughooked mat was done for my sister's birthday. She and my brother-in-law also celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, which surely calls for a party! I travelled up to Toronto/Beeton/Wasaga Beach for the occasion and our brother Colin also made it across the pond from Leeds [England]. Surprised whoops and glee all around, as we enjoyed a festive luncheon at the Globe Restaurant in Rosemont, Ontario. It's a lovely old building, set in charmingly old-fashioned landscaped grounds. There were all ages, from our grandson Ruben at 18 mos to the slightly wrinkly set, and lots of kids in the mix. They had a blast playing outside between nibbles, feeding and cooing at the peacocks, and generally doing what children do, in a happily well-mannered way. Lunch was delicious, our waiter couldn't have been more charming or helpful, and their daughters put on a marvelous party.

The weather up there was delightful and the lilacs and apple blossoms were astounding, everywhere we went, including an area I hadn't explored before - Thornbury and all around the Beaver Valley in the Blue Mountains, Grey County. We were glad to see that there still were loads of apple orchards, despite all the development and building going on. No recession there, it seems!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meeting on the Path... more of Deanne's work, hooked by Cindy

This is another of Deanne Fitzpatrick's designs: Meeting on the Path, hooked by Cindy Needler, the instigator of our group -- we saw the wonderful things she was hooking about 5 years ago and had to learn how! The group has grown steadily since then to include 19 full and part-timers. Visitors always welcome.

Cindy used a Pendleton plaid wool shirt to very good effect in this mat - coordinating the house, roof and path by judicious use of different values stripped out from the plaid. Cindy works in the heavier cuts - mostly #6 and up.

Weekly Quoddy Loopers meetings: Catholic Church of St Andrew parish centre --210 Parr Street (corner of King and Parr/side door) in St. Andrews, NB -- 6:30 to 8:30 pm

News from Deanne Fitzpatrick -

"The Big News is I am on the move, but just around the corner. In early June we’ll be moving the studio around the corner to 33 Church Street, two doors up onto the main street from our current location. We’re growing , making more room for our workshops, a fancy little tea kitchen, where you can make your own cuppa when you come in, and a dye kitchen at the studio.

Dreams are coming true."

It will be just around the corner from 7 Electric Street, behind Mansour's Menswear, where she is now. We have been discussing a road trip to visit her in Amherst, Nova Scotia and Heidi at London-Wul in Moncton [NB], so now we really must, to see the new space.

If we leave really early, we might even get a stop in at our favourite local wool shop - River Gallery. If there's a special spot in heaven for rughookers, this trio of creative and wonderful women must surely be represented there!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Louise finished her 'old mat'

Louise has just finished her first primitive [wide cut] mat and found it goes very quickly. This was an old burlap pattern, inherited from an aunt, that had been painted to indicate colours. Louise kept to the old colour scheme and did it in an 8-cut. The burlap must have been of a good quality originally, as it was still in good shape, who-knows-how-many years since it was purchased.

This is a lovely traditional style mat, evoking a cozy time and slower pace.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rugs, glorious rugs

The Heritage guild's hook-in in Fredericton (New Brunswick) was wonderful last weekend, as hook-ins tend to be. We saw some amazing rugs in the making, and ogled a display of finished rugs that were brought for 'show and tell'.

I apologize for not having names to go with these rugs [or rughookers], but it was a great day of sharing and hooking, buying and looking.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Great hook-in by the Heritage Guild

Six Quoddy Loopers travelled to Fredericton to the Heritage Rughooking Guild's Hook-in -- a day of hooking and looking, eating and shopping from the River Gallery's wares. Sande was off in Saint John at a quilting show today, so her husband David did the honours, bringing a vanload of yummy wools, patterns, dyes, hooks and books... and managed to lighten the load considerably, going home. It seems there is never too much wool; any rughooker worth her/his salt can always find another colour or texture to round out their stash. Two of our group [Sandra and myself] won door prizes, which were pretty little baskets stuffed with... wool! How lucky is that?

There were all sorts of wonderful rugs being hooked today - from little trivets, chair pads, small and medium sized hangings and mats to area rugs - a glorious variety of styles, colours and designs.

This is another of Sandra's many mats - a commercial pattern with shaded flowers and leaves.

Friday, April 24, 2009

More rugs from Sandra

Sandra is one of our most prolific rughookers -- and has been at it for longer than most of us. I inadvertently missed posting some of Sandra's mats, so here are a few for today:

Two different lighthouses, of which there are many on Canada's east coast [both commercial designs: Searsport on left and unknown origin on the right], and a fun SmokeyJak Penguins mat [Pam McIsaac-Adams design].


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"A silk purse from a sow's ear"

Hella has been rughooking for three years... or is it four? In any case, she is a master of the fine work that is so admired for precision and subtlety of colour. But her granddaughter Catrina is of a more vivid stripe, so Hella created this very finely hooked panel to dress up a utilitarian PC tote bag. You would never notice its humble origins. As Catrina is unique, so is her gift from Hella!

Our group is already talking about our own "Hurricane hook-in" this fall, as some of us plan this weekend to attend:

Hooking By The River

St Peter’s Parish Hall

2365 Woodstock Road

Fredericton (NB)

April 25

10 am to 3:00pm

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hair with Flair

Mary J, one of our Quoddy Loopers group, made this lovely mat for her sister Barb's hair salon-- Hair with Flair--here in St Andrews.

Deb Carr designed it, based on Barb's business card. It came out great--#3 cut for details and #5 for background. You could just about pick up the scissors and start snipping!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April is here - and so is the snow...

It is hard to believe that we are a good way into April and Mother Nature has seen fit to give us more snow -- just when we had nearly gotten rid of the winter pile-up, which was unusually generous this year. So, with winter on the way out an spring surely just around the corner, I have just finished a traditional holly mat for a friend [who is doing her holiday shopping very early] and adapted another mat for a much-needed burst of spring and flowers.

Having been 'out of the loop' lately, I don't have any photos from other Quoddy Loopers, but hope to redress that situation this week! I'm sure they've been up to some wonderful work while I've been away.

If you love rughooking and haven't found it yet, there is another relatively new web forum called The Welcome Mat, started by Wanda Kerr, the wool dyeing maven from Wiarton, Ontario [Canada]. Do drop by and take a look - sign up if you are a fibre enthusiast, crafter or artist. Delightful array of rugs, mats and other hooked items - bags, purses, 3D creations, a bit of felting, some great braided/hooked rugs... loads to wander through and get inspired by.

Wanda's website has a full description of her classes, hook-ins, etc. www.wandaworks.ca

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No Quoddy Looping tonight

It's snowing in St Andrews... again... so we won't be meeting tonight for our regualar rughooking group. Hope to see you next week at 6:30!

I was hoping for a couple of new winter mats to post, but that will have to wait for next week. This is one of my favourite winter photos from Kingsbrae Garden. It's not a trick of the eye -- that Adirondack chair is super-sized!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow days are great for rughooking!

Making some more progress on 'live simply... I think the lettering is better now, unless I go to one colour, or one colour per thought.

The next challenge is what hit-or-miss border to use for the third and final border..I am testing two ideas - sort of paisleys on the left [but using a plaid for background, so not using up as many odds & ends as I had hoped] and then a zig-zag hit-or-miss along the bottom. I'll do some more of that and maybe use both borders, or just one. Depends how it looks when I get more hooked. I want to have this done and on the floor before too long - though we're not about to run out of winter weather anytime soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Something to brighten up the winter - and all this SNOW!

I felt like something bright and cheerful to work on, and to use up leftover worms. so this is what I am working on now: the wording is hard to make out in the photo [I think I need to change some colours here and there], but it will say:
live simply, laugh often, love much
The last border will be totally hit-or-miss and I hope to power through my odds and ends that way. The flying geese are hit or miss, as are the big padulas [fake flowers]. It is on primitive linen, mostly #6 cut wools - as-is, marbleized, casserole dyed... whatever I have on hand.