A Tribute to Hilda Hayes

The most senior member of the Sunshine Rug Hookers, is a truly wonderful lady. Hilda Hayes was born in England in 1917 and is 93 years young.


She and her husband  immigrated to Canada in 1976 just in time for the birth of their grandson Chas Mugford. She had always been a skilled crafts person, and made wonderful stuffed animals which she sold. However it was in Orillia , at the Young at Heart Workshop that she first became acquainted with rug hooking. In Hilda’s words…once she started, she just kept going. Some of her work included amazing waldoboro sculptured pieces, and fine shaded hooking of rugs and wall hangings, geometrics and orientals. She still lives in her own home (her husband passed away in  1999), and although she is now legally blind (one needs to identify oneself when speaking to her so she knows who it is), and she uses a walker to get around, she is a regular at meetings, and will once again be attending Trent Rug Hooking School this June (where I’m told she is the life of the party). She now hooks with a wider cut and a strong light to illuminate her work, and another member helps with the finishing, as she can no longer see well enough to do the fine work. Yet she has just completed two wonderful matching 10′ long runners.


They are to cover two benches owned by her granddaughter Adele. Adele designed them, and they show the same scene four times throughout the seasons.









Hilda hooked each season separately, then Gail Meuller (a skilled and innovative Sunshine rug hooker) joined the sections, hooked the merging portions and did the finishing.


What a precious keepsake to have from a wonderful Grandmother!

4 thoughts on “A Tribute to Hilda Hayes

  1. Oh how lovely to see my friend Hilda again. I haven’t been able to be at Trent for a few years as i have been teaching in the States.Hilda used to hit me in class (ask Hilda) And make sure you ask Hilda and Gail for their hooking photos!Thank you Elizabeth

  2. Wow! What beautiful runners! Please tell Hilda that I am impressed with her work and wish that I could hook half as well as she does.I’m also really enjoying your blog and learning a lot!Jane

  3. Bravo, Elizabeth to honour Hilda in this way, in a public domaine. When I talk with Gail M. I’ll mention that Hilda’s family members might enjoy reading this tribute by visiting your website. She is in touch with Hilda’s daughter. Cheers, Margaret

  4. My first time at Trent was in 2007 and Hilda was in my class. It amazed me then to see her working on her hooking, using a large magnifying glass. When I attended the party at the end of that week, Hilda was definitely the life of the party in the dress-up (or dress-down!) outfit she was wearing and was absolutely hilarious. She knew it and she was happy to pose for the outrageous photos that everyone wanted to take, too! It’s been a pleasure to see her at Trent each year since then. And the runners you’ve shown here are just beautiful!jill in Ontario

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