A Tribute to Marion Brumwell

As I was originally preparing this post about Marion’s work, my only sister lost her long battle with cancer. It has been a difficult time…..relief that her pain is ended, and her struggle over, and a deep sense of personal loss. I no longer have that ever constant friend to share the large and small details of everyday life. Even last night as I was uploading the pictures, and couldn’t remember the correct name for some of Marion’s techniques, the thought passed through my mind….I’ll call Audrey….she’ll know what it’s called. Although not a rug hooker, she was the finest craftsperson I ever knew. So my heart is sad, and I’m two weeks late posting about Marion’s beautiful work.

Regular readers of my blog will know that on the first Tuesday of the month , the Sunshine Rughookers meeting features a “show and tell” of the work and life of one of the members.  January’s featured member was Marion Brumwell.


This is a friendship rug, and although hooked by a number of artists(including Marion), there is wonderful unity in the colour scheme.

Marion is first and foremost an embroidery artist, although she also loves rug hooking. She explained that although the majority of her time is spent on the intricate and delicate historical forms of pulled work and embroidery, she knows that her eyes will eventually force her to give it up, and she will then have rughooking to fall back on.


We all like to see each hooker’s  first rug….Marion’s was a German street scene done in latch hook.


She likes to do small pieces, mostly pillows, since she only hooks at meetings. I love the colours in these geraniums.


She designed this pillow at a workshop on fractors.

She showed mostly examples of her amazing embroidery. The intricacy and variety boggles my mind. (I can happily tackle a hooked piece that is huge….but I’m all thumbs even trying to thread a needle). Marion explained each of the various styles, and told us how they were done, but with the stress of the intervening time, I have to admit my memory is now sketchy….so I hope you’ll enjoy the photos, and forgive any errors on my part.


I think this is called white work. The threads are drawn out to create the spaces, then the design is worked by combining the remaining threads she has also done raised work on top of that. If you look carefully at the picture, you can see the 3 dimensional aspects of it.


The detail in this small portrait is amazing.


This is also raised work…this is quite tiny, and soooo intricate….done with gold threads.


I think this is a more in the style of embroidery that I have done with a variety of stitches.


The work in these last three photos simply took my breath away. They are so wonderfully tiny and detailed. This one is a needle case, again done with pulled white work. Each thread is counted and specific ones removed then the spaces knotted or tied to create the patterns


This was my favourite of all….a little sewing kit with needle case, pin cushion scissor holder, all of which fit into the beautiful box. It was so tiny and delicate, from where I was sitting, I couldn’t believe it was all embroidered, and had to get up for a closer look…it looked like a fine porcelin painting.


…another sewing kit…..which all fits into the little box. Marion’s skill and knowledge seemed unlimited. She is continually taking courses both online and by extensive travel… learning the historical methods of this wonderful work done in great variety of methods in a wide variety of countries….and she has taken this all up since retiring as a school administrator. I never cease to be amazed by the skills of our Sunshine members.

5 thoughts on “A Tribute to Marion Brumwell

  1. I’m so sorry you lost your sister.Cancer is a terrible thing. My only sister is twenty years younger then I am and she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer now. She is a nurse and discovered her cancer while taking a shower. I pray she discovered it in time. Marion’s work is beautiful, so very talented in all she does.

  2. Thanks so much Peggy. I hope that your sister has a full recovery. They have made great strides in treatments,especially with early detection.

  3. Elizabeth, when I hadn’t seen a post from you here in a little while, I started to wonder if perhaps your sister had lost her battle against cancer, so I’ve been thinking of you often these days. I’m so very sorry for this great loss and my heart goes out to you.jill in Ontario

  4. Yes Jill that was the reason for the gap in posts. Thanks so much for thinking of me. The support of friends is such a great help.

  5. Elizabeth – I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister and closest friend. It’s heart-wrenching to be sure, and something I can relate to. I lost my own sister 5 years ago and still miss her terribly. I posted about her on my blog last Sunday. She too was a very creative soul. Please know that I’m thinking about you and hope that your family and hooking can provide you some comfort through this difficult time.

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