Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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
in the thrill of creative effort"
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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
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.
Friday, July 10, 2009
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.
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......................................
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
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
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
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
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.
News from Deanne Fitzpatrick -
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
This is a lovely traditional style mat, evoking a cozy time and slower pace.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
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
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
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
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
10 am to 3:00pm
Saturday, April 18, 2009
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
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.
Wanda's website has a full description of her classes, hook-ins, etc. www.wandaworks.ca
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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
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
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: