Let’s Party

Tuesday was the year end get together for the Sunshine Rughookers….a day of hooking…a yummy pot luck…friends to visit…..hooking projects to see….and all at a wonderful lakeside location. DSCF5248_2

Mary Lou had a slide show and many wonderful stories from the opening of The Rug Hooking Museum of North America in Nova Scotia. (we had two representatives there…Mary Lou, and Linda Wilson)

It was a perfect day…but oh so hot! I had no swimsuit, but not to be dissuaded by such a tiny detail…I stripped off my t-shirt…and swam in my clothes. Cold water never felt sooooo good. Spending the rest of the day in wet pants and underwear was a small price to pay for being cool.  (no alcohol was involved in this incident)


That speck in the water is me ….perfectly decent with only my head showing. (Gayle couldn’t believe I’d do such a thing., and grabbed my camera to take the picture)

Later in the day we watched a loon swimming by and a great blue heron flying past…..all this within the city limits.

Cynthia and Helen had just returned from taking a course in Cornwall England, and shared their wonderful adventure with us..  Helen, brought her work and told us all about how they came up with their designs…fascinating!  All based on de-constructing and re-creating. Everything was hooked with “as is” found fabrics picked up at used clothing stores….and chosen solely for the colours and effects they could provide. T shirts, skirts, dresses, shawls…anything at all was used.


Helen’s piece…a tribute to her mother….is based on her mother’s Tomato Butter, a family favourite. Helen transferred the actual recipe to cloth and hooked it into the bottom right of the piece. The rest shows the various components or the Tomato butter. What a special memento this will be!

Cheri and Gail have just returned from a trip to the states, where they spent a day with fibre artist Rea Harrell. This was not their first visit to her studio, and they were drawn back again by her wonderful and innovative work.


This amazing “container” made by Rea, was first crocheted, then the hooking was done into the crocheting, with a variety of other techniques, like the coiled wool, yarn and beads etc

Lucky Cheri and Gayle, had a day’s workshop with her and this is Gail’s piece.


….and Cheri’s


Both Gail and Cheri are talented innovative artists in their own right, and used to hooking in the “freeform” style with purposely uneven heights, so the biggest change for them was keeping the loops once again even and uniform in these pieces. They practiced the designing by drawing with their eyes closed.

Jean brought another interesting rug. Here’s the story behind it.


A number of years ago, a gentleman gave her this large, nearly finished rug. It had been hooked by his wife, who had passed away, and he didn’t want it. It didn’t come with any wool, and wondering how best to finish it, Jean rolled it up, put it in a closet and forgot about it.

She doesn’t want the rug, and so once again the Sunshine hookers are debating about how best to finish it and put it to good use.

I took photos of many people’s work, but I know I missed some as well…so here’s a sampling ….and any details I can remember about the pieces…


Isabel’s moose from Wendie’s photo mat workshop is finished. She’s debating on the colour to use for binding it.


This is a stool cover, being hooked by Jeanne.


Barb says her butterfly piece keeps growing and growing.


This landscape is nearly finished.


The edge of this piece is being crocheted with wool dyed in coffee….never tried that…but what a great colour.


The extra “spark ” of colour was added at the request of the hooker’s son.


This lighthouse was on a table, unattended, so I have no information on it.

We have a sister group of hookers in Gravenhurst, a town about 25 miles north, and they joined us for the day. Here is some of their work.




This hooker is making a rug for her dog, who has recently been ill.


This wonderful “muskoka” pine is being hooked from the photo.

…and I saved the best till last…


…our wonderful Hilda…90 plus years young, and unable to see…she still hooks up a storm, and enjoys a day’s outing with friends.

What a great way to start the summer!

Ugly Wool?

There are lots of perks to being a Yahooker, but one of the best is participating in the swaps.

The one under way now is an “ugly wool swap”. A box of wool is sent round, and when it comes to you, you take out and keep whatever strikes your fancy, and fill it back up with your own “ugly wool”, then send the box on to the next person in the rotation. It eventually comes back to the person who started , and the swap is complete.

Of course we all know there is no such thing as “ugly wool”, so it’s like Christmas when the box arrives. DSCF5216

These are the “gifts” I removed from the box…hardly what you’d call “ugly”.



Oh yes….plus these two. I’ve already used them in my memory rug. The pale beige plaid was so perfect, there is only one tiny strip of it left.



I’ve used it several places in the background (wish I had more).



The striped wool makes a nice accent in the corner section.

On the off chance you don’t know about Yahookers…it’s a yahoo group for rug hookers who share both hooking and life…..truly a community of friendly helpful interesting people. There is a chat area, a bulletin board for buying and selling, and extensive archives on every imaginable hooking topic. Although I’ve met very few yahookers in person, I consider many of them my friends. If you’d like to join us…go to Yahoo groups. There are several hooking groups I believe, so make sure you get the right one…the one begun and administered by the amazing Phyllis Linblade. (who I’ll hopefully get to meet this fall as she’s planning to make the trip from Michigan to Ontario for R.U.G.)

A Special Request

Last week I had a special request from my son Mathieu. He asked if I would make a brooch for him. Here’s the story.

Friday he would be attending a family wedding.   Mathieu was escorting his very good friend Scarlet, and wanted to buy a tie to match her dress. However he was unable to find one in the right colour, so decided that a boutonniere to match would be a good option. Soooo would mom make one?

I was delighted to be asked…….a photo of Scarlet’s dress was sent to me, and I got out the dye pots.image

Ummm…I thought…a coral pink….and went and dyed 2 pieces   1/16yd each…one a dip dye, one just mottled. Boy did I get it wrong! The slightly dulled cantaloupe was WAY too orange, so I started again. This time with salmon. Still too orangey….so I added  1/2 in. of a toothpick of magenta…..on the right track….but still not right….I think I did that twice more, until I finally had it.

I thumbed through Gene’s proddy flower book for a refresher on the flower types, and made this. I hasten to add that my camera isn’t very accurate with colours, …so these don’t look the same at all, although they were. I chose the centre to go with Mathieu’s shirt.


I had the whole thing finished, when I realized it would look better with some leaves. I cut half leaves and glued them to the petals, tucking the edge under the felt backing.

Here’s the finished product.DSCF5162

…and here it is being worn…


The wedding was at an absolutely lovely country venue…so why oh why did I take this picture in the parking lot of all places!


…my great niece and her proud dadDSCF5182

…in an arbor of trees…DSCF5172…..and my ‘bunch’.

A New and Improved Baxter

When I originally hooked Baxter, my standard schnauzer, on my memory rug, I was thinking primitive, basic outine, no detail. Well as you know that didn’t last long! As the other animals followed, I realized it was important to me for each pet to be easily distinguished, and to demonstrate a bit of his character. Yes….”his” . It’s been a long standing joke in our family, as the mother of three sons, I was the “Queen” and only female allowed….all male pets too.DSCF5144

This Baxter was too chubby, had the wrong stance (schnauzers are always ready for action and mischief), and I just wasn’t happy with him.

At first I thought I could cut down the chubbiness, so I took out the top half and reworked a skinnier version.  That was better, but I still didn’t like it. The “attitude” wasn’t there…and the schnauzer attitude and intelligence are what give us countless belly laughs each day.

How wonderful is the internet? I googled “profile image standard schnauzer” and up popped a wonderful pencil sketch which was just what I needed. DSCF5155_2So out came the whole original, and I made a new template. (I knew those old teaching file folders would come in handy for something).


The head angle and hind leg stance make all the difference . Now it exudes his character.


I traced this version in red so I wouldn’t get mixed up. (here you can clearly see his three time transformation)


Tah dah! That looks more like my Baxter!

…and here he is in person….


Of course….fixing one thing created a few problems elsewhere…and now I have to move Shingi…the little cat to the left who is now too close to Baxter….and as well, the fill that was under his legs will have to be removed and reworked. ….but what’s a little ripping out among friends.

This and That

My friend Cecelia recently finished her second rug. What a beauty! DSCF5067

It is 3 and 4 cut, and she had it professionally framed.  In the picture, it is propped on the piano in our meeting room, but it’s real home is a place of honour on her living room wall. I love the story she told, that her husband had never commented on it all the time she worked on it, but now that it’s finished and hanging, he proudly invites friends into the house to “come and see what my wife made!”  What a feat for a second rug!

A few weeks ago, we had a mini workshop at Sunshine Rug Hookers on making trillium proddy pins to sell as fund raisers at the Quilt and Rug Fair held in September.DSCF4989

Here is a finished one…quick and easy…and just the sort of thing people like to buy at craft fairs. They are sculptured and thus have a 3-D effect.


Edie had hers underway in no time.

The next week we had a refresher course on making proddy pins. The possibilities are endless with these.


…and they’re also highly popular at sales.

I’ve mentioned several times the rug Aurora Rose that our group inherited, completed, and raffled off at R.U.G.

SAM_1228-1We also had a little sale at one of our meetings, and sold the wool that was left over after it was hooked .SAM_2222

As a result…our president Diane, was able to present a cheque for $525 to Gilda’s Club, a wonderful Cancer support Group. ( I appologize for the sideways picture…try as I might I couldn’t turn it.)

In the meantime, I have been hooking away on my memory rug, and received some great input this week from Bea Grant (a wonderful teacher who specializes in primitives) and who just happens to also be a member of Sunshine Rug Hookers.


Thanks Bea for the tips and the encouragement to carry on and “do my own thing”.