Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ruben's mat

This is a name mat for our grandson, Ruben; the most adorable baby ever (as all grandchildren are, I'm sure!). I've done them for most of my great-nieces and nephews, and this one is a little bigger than the others... once I decided on a Noah's Ark theme, it needed to be a goodish size to get a few of the animal pairs in. [post edited with finished photo of Ruben's rug]

If I'd only known that Ruben already knows how to say 'moo' for a cow and 'quack, quack' for ducks, I would have tried to work them into the rug as well!

In this photo from his first birthday party (in Ottawa, which we couldn't get to... sniff... sigh...) Ruben is exploring... and found an interesting set of shiny ribbons, connected to balloons!

Then there was cake, with chocolate icing--I'm sure you can imagine the glee! And presents, of course, and cousins, great grandparents and loads of other family. But not us; I've made the trip up to 'Upper Canada' six times since Ruben was born, but couldn't get there for this event. I'm saving my pennies for next year!

We did visit over the holidays and had a lot of fun. Living on the east coast, many hundreds of miles/kilometres away is getting to be harder and harder, the older he gets. Thank goodness for the internet and its facility of sharing photos; we don't feel quite as separated as we might have.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Day give-away... free!

Here is a very generous offer from a rughooker on her blog: just click on the wreath to take you there for a chance to win goodies! Trudy will pick a winner on Christmas Day, right after dinner.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hella's chickadees on a sunflower

This lovely mat was a gift from Hella to her grandson Alex and new granddaughter [in-law], Jennie as a wedding gift. She did an exquisite job, carefully keeping the strips of painted wool for the sky in order, so that when worked in reverse hooking it would make a lovely background for the main motif. By hooking from the back and skipping several holes [4, I think, in this case], being very careful not to twist the 'worms', a flat basket weave effect is produced. Painstaking, but absolutely worth the effort!

It is a beautiful expression of love, something to treasure always. Jennie has now joined our group and is doing really well. Our circle grows and we have a lot of fun seeing what each other is working on.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Getting set for the Ross Museum open house

It is time again to be getting ready for St Andrews' winter festival, "A Season of Lights & Wonder'. The Quoddy Loopers decorate a room in the Ross Museum each year... with rugs, of course! Their open house is one of the highlights of the season, always the first weekend of December. Different individuals, groups and families take turns decorating each of the rooms of this exquisite small museum, which houses the furnishings and decorative arts collected by the Rosses many years ago. It is a delight.

This is their 25th anniversary year, so the theme is silver. Not a lot of silver in our mats, but Mary Jones made a lovely dolphin mat for one niece

and fairies for another! Both of these were designed to order by Deb Carr, so they are one of a kind. Mary works in mostly #3 cut wool on linen.

Also, quite a few of our group have done or are working on the "Fill in for Fall" challenge from Searsport - and we will have those on display, whether completed or not. Most of us take turns sitting and hooking in the room as well, so visitors can enjoy the demonstration of the art of hooking rugs.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another successful day -- great turnout!

Sandra Palmer, one of our guests at the 2nd annual Hurricane Hook-in, kindly took this photo of our group. Great to see so many smiling faces - nearly all our group managed to be there on Saturday. We have added a couple of new members lately, and looks like one more from the hook-in, which is great. There were nearly 50 of us, altogether and it was a great day. Inspiring to see the mats & rugs that everyone else is working on, as well as some finished ones for show & tell.

The ladies' guild of the Church of St Andrew did a terrific job again on the lunch, which we are very grateful for. Sande Gunning's travelling 'River Gallery' shop was wonderful, as always. The positive energy was palpable, with rughookers chatting, hooking and admiring all around the room. Everyone left with a little gift, and the pleasure of meeting with like-minded rug buffs.

Hopefully we will have some photos of our guests to post soon.

All are invited to come next year, the first Saturday of November--same place, same time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A really cute mat!

Here's a fun mat for the upcoming season - an original by Cindy Needler, one of the leading lights of our group.

Nov 1st hook-in in St Andrews

I forgot to stress that we would really like to know how many people are planning to come to our hook in on Saturday so we will be sure not to run out of food -- that would never do!

So please email kinghort @ if you are coming - the more, the merrier! [you'll need to remove spaces from email address]

I had a look at the NS rughooking guild website ( and they have our hook-in listed as 1 Nov, 08, so it might look, at a quick glance, as if it is the 8th but it is definitely the 1st of November -- next Saturday! Please let us know if you plan to come!

Pillow to the right is a Rittermere design, with an added geometric border. [6-8 cut wool on burlap]

Sunday, September 28, 2008

....and more of Sandra's work. On the left, a Deb Carr design, and on the right, one of Deanne Fitzpatrick's [which, if you have a little time and want to see more of, visit]. Deanne has a unique style and her rugs are inspiring!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you to the people who took the time to visit our Two Countries One Bay Art Studio tour stop at Kingsbrae Garden over the weekend. The two days spent rughooking, along with Ray Peterson and her beautiful quilted creations, were a pleasure. We greeted about 65 people on Saturday and 50 or so, on Sunday.

The weather was lovely and the hours flew by. There were about 60 artists around the Passamaquoddy Bay, in Maine and New Brunswick, doing demos and displaying their wares. Some sales were made, many thoughtful questions were answered and hopefully our visitors enjoyed it as much as we did.

Door prizes were given to Betty Tucker and Nancy Carson.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We're back on track for Wednesday nights

Things have been resolved at the Church of St Andrew parish hall; the other group kindly moved to Tuesday nights, so Quoddy Loopers will continue to meet on Wednesday nights as usual. Come on over to 'our house'! Visitors are always welcome.

Here's another of Sandra Lewis' mats - a Patti Armstrong design. Sandra has fun with her rughooking and lively colours, as you can see. Cute kitty! Bottom left flowers are done in proddy, a 3-D effect, and the whole is done in #4 cut wool on linen.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Change of Quoddy Loopers' meeting night

Change of nights for Quoddy Loopers:

From September 24 to November 5th, the Church of St Andrew parish hall is booked for a church group. So, we will meet on Thursday night for those 7 weeks, still at 6:30 to 8:30.

Here's another view of a winter covered bridge, this time by Sandra Lewis [commercial design, designer unknown]. Sandra works in 4 cut on linen and binds traditionally with wool yarn.

Here's an update on Sandra's St Andrews Water Street mat in progress. It is to be one of a series designed by her sister, Heather Lewis, depicting the shops & historic buildings along the main business district of our little seaside town.

Friday, September 5, 2008

2nd annual hurricane hook-in

On November 1st, 2008, the Quoddy Loopers will hold our second annual hook-in, 9:30am to 4pm, in the Catholic Church of St Andrew in the town of St Andrews, New Brunswick. All are invited to attend, but we hope not to actually have hurricane weather that weekend. Last year, the weather was wild and woolly, somewhat appropriate for all us wool addicts. It did keep some people at home, unfortunately, so they missed the day of fun, a great lunch put on by the ladies' guild, prizes and a chance to purchase [or be lucky enough to win] some of Sande Gunning's River Gallery goodies.

PLEASE, if you are planning to come to our hook-in, let us know so we can be sure not to run out of FOOD!! thanks.

All rughookers are welcome, the newbies, the experienced and all those seriously 'hooked' on this great art form. Our group has recently added four new members, so it's growing in variety and colours, just like our ever-stretching stashes of yummy wools and yarns.

It's terrific to see everyone's work, so don't forget to bring some show-and-tell, if you have it.

Here is Louise McGrattan's charming covered bridge with birch trees, in winter. She is a relatively new rughooker, and is doing a great job.

This is another name mat — this time for the cherished adopted daughter of friends, with her 'Canadian' name, her Chinese name and some flowers for fun. Sadie will soon be three and is bright, lively, curious and indomitable. A tiny enchanting force of nature.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

more on the St Andrews pictorial

We have made the first turn of the St Andrews pictorial at the Quoddy Loopers rughooking group. There are approximately two more turns to go, and I hope we will finish it by the end of the year. It is a very loose representation of the town, with the windmill representing Kingsbrae Garden, the Pendlebury Light house, and at the top, the bathhouse on Ministers Island. Churches and trees in the middle, and then more to come as we turn the work on the frame—the St Andrews Blockhouse and the historic Fairmont Algonquin Hotel, among other sights. This is my first try at a big rug, and it seems odd not to be able to see it all at once, but it is too big for the frame we have, which is one that Susan Waddy, one of our group, inherited from an aunt who was a rughooker. Rughookers are great people--sharing and caring!

Before that, I am participating in the Two Countries, One Bay art studio tour, Sept 20/21, so am doing more hooking for that than on the pictorial, lately. Ray Peterson will have her beautiful quilts and ingenious quilted wallhangings and small items and we will both be demonstrating all day Saturday and Sunday, 9am—6pm, at the Kingsbrae Garden Visitors Centre [no admission required for the show, but 1/2 price entry to the Garden is offered to all studio visitors!].

"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."

more mats & rugs

Karen Eagles finished her beautiful job on Jane McGown Flynn's "Birdland Bed & Breakfast", by adding a faux wood border/frame and whipping the edges in the traditional manner with woollen yarn. Very generously, Karen is donating her great mat [approx 3 x 3.5 ft] to Wesley United Church, here in St Andrews, for its fall sale: Labours of Love. A wide variety of items from members and friends will be on silent auction for the last two weeks of August and the first week of September.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

a work in progress

Art is Life -- Life is Art

At our weekly hooking sessions, we are working on a group project -- a St Andrews by-the-Sea pictorial. It's fairly large and we only work on it at the group [Wednesday nights, and only one or two of us at a time, so it's going to be quite awhile before it's finished]. I took a photo of it just before we turned to the next section, so I thought I'd share it. It is 3 1/2 ft by 4.75ft , I think, on primitive linen - mostly as-is wool, but I dyed some, too.

Hella Haun hooked the windmill [and she's only two years into her hooking!] and Jan Hunter did a masterful job on the lighthouse. I work in wide cuts, so most of the rest is mine, with a couple of people doing a tree or some rocks, here and there. This picture was taken just before we turned to the middle third 'panel', and it is coming along. I was particularly pleased with the wool I dyed for the church stained glass windows - it worked - though basic multi-colours, it gives the effect I was looking for.

We are going to do the lettering later and finish the sky when we have the main hooking done.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

more mats and rugs

The group has been busy, and here are a few more mats we've made or are working on:

Water Street shops, in the National Historic District of St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, as designed by Heather Lewis and hooked by Sandra Lewis [as yet unfinished].

Lighthouse by the Sea [hooked magnificently by Jan Hunter; 3 cut on linen] Jan generously donated this beautiful piece to the Green Point Light in Letete, NB.
Jumping Katie Cat.[Maureen McIlwain, original, 6, 7 & 8 cut on Verel]

Mary Jones crafted this lovely made-to-order wedding mat for a friend; 3, 4 & 5 cut on linen. [it was designed to order by Deb Carr, including the wedding flowers of lilies, calla lilies and very green 'Kermit' mums!]

Sunday, June 22, 2008

summer's here in St Andrews

Six Quoddy Loopers went to the wonderful hook-in in Fredericton, hosted by the Heritage Guild in May. The hooking was fun, show-and-tell gorgeous and inspiring, and the lunch was lovely. Sande Gunning was there with her River Gallery goodies, so shopping rounded out a perfect day.

The city and outlying areas were starting to recover from the scary flooding of the St John River, and we took a walk afterwards to see the swollen, fast moving river, with huge old tree trunks, roots and all, beached on the shore as the waters receded, inch by inch. A sobering look at the unkinder aspects of Mother Nature, though it pales in scale against some of the disasters in the US and elsewhere.

The Quoddy Loopers meet all year long and welcome visitors - no matter their level of rughooking experience - any Wednesday evening. The group tends to be a little larger in the cold months; now that everyone is gardening or just enjoying warmer weather, there is competition for hooking time. Once the heat of summer gets stronger, the lure of a cool bright space to hook in brings a few more back, but there are always a few die-hards, each week.
Inspiration for rugs comes from so many places, but for me, at least, nature provides a wealth of ideas, and looking at others' rugs and mats is also inspiring - everyone has a different palette and way of putting colours together. One of the rughooking online groups I visit frequently is: -- even for those who are far from a 'real' group, online visiting, displays, encouragements and advice are always available. Being part of a virtual group is another joy of rughooking, meeting people you would likely never get to know otherwise. There is also a list of rughooking groups in the US and Canada, and a list of blogs.

The Fairmont Algonquin Hotel, golf course & the Town of St Andrews, NB,
Canada's premier seaside resort town
I just had a great visit at: Trudy's daughter and friend are working at the old and beautiful [Fairmont] Algonquin hotel here in town this summer [above]. It's just a few steps from the superb 27-acre Kingsbrae Garden, where I work.
Kingsbrae Garden windmill with lupins--the popular maritime wildflower--and Cora & Lily with the armillary in the Knot Garden [on a visit from Leeds, UK]

Kingsbrae Garden: under a horse chestnut tree in the Perennial Garden and Alice & Angelina [alpacas]
These are two of our four alpacas at Kingsbrae Garden, mother and daughter. We also have two males, Alfie [cream] and Albert [black], so when the experts from Legacy Lane and the Scenic Valley Alpaca Farm, where we got our alpacas, come to shear them later this month, they will have different colours of wool to make into yarn and roving for us. Several of us who work at the Garden are looking forward to the products to use in our own knitting and special hooking projects. At the environmentally responsible Legacy Lane mill [near Sussex, NB], they use alpaca, merino, soy and bamboo fibres, for strength and sustainability.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Will winter ever end?

The Quoddy Loopers have been busy over the winter, still meeting weekly, and enjoying each others' mats, large and small.

We are looking forward to the Heritage Rug Hooking Guild's hook-in in Fredericton on May 3rd [10 am to 3pm], by which time surely winter will be over. Can't count on anything, though; snow could persist into May. Hopefully not!

Quoddy Loopers are planning our second annual hook-in, the first Saturday of November, Nov 1/08, 9:30 to 4pm.

Roll on, spring!

Karen's "Birdland B&B" by Jane McGown Flynn, top left, Nancy's Easter Eggs
(yes, we know Easter has been, but we're thinking SPRING!)
and my bluebirds, at right .