Theme Rugs from the Annual and a Tribute to Judith Auger

I’m sorry to take so long to complete showing all the photos I took last week at the annual…..the weather has been so perfect here, and the wee veggie garden needed to be planted,  the car needed to go to the garage…….etc….but finally here is the next installment of fantastic rugs from Oshawa.

The theme for this year’s annual was “texture” and the display of rugs in the theme category showed a wonderful variety of ways in which using texture can either enhance or define a piece. (texture meaning use of textured hooking materials plaids, sparkly yarns, laces …or anything else you can hook through or attach to  the backing) I don’t have photos of all the entries, but here are the ones I have.DSCF6442


These pieces were fascinating. I’m only guessing, but it seems like a “triptych” hooked perhaps by three different people, each with a different interpretation, and style. (the three different numbers showing that it is to be judged as three entries, not one) . I’d love to hear the actual story , if anyone knows.  PS…. Thanks to Susan Sutherland….here’s more info on these rugs…..they were hooked by three women from the Ottawa area, ( one being Barbara Lukas) and they were featured in an article in Rug Hooking Magazine.





…..and the winner was….DSCF6441

….hooked by Barbara Lukas…. depicting her porch in winter. I’m really bad at remembering numbers….but I think she said she used 70 different colours to capture the snow and ice.DSCF6547It was so great to meet her and have time chatting over both dinner and at breakfast. I’ve still got pictures I took of the various guild group displays for another post.

Meanwhile…..back on the homefront…..Sunshine Rug Hookers were treated on Tuesday to the work of Judith Auger. Judith is a relatively new rug hooker, whose artistic talents are evident as she explores her new passion.

We share her with a group in Florida where she started hooking in 2012.


Her first rug was for her husband, a scene from the maritimes recalling his youth.


….such beautiful work for a new hooker!….her second piece…


her first geometric….Judith isn’t a seamstress, and doesn’t own a sewing machine and she isn’t happy with the finishing on this rug. She plans to redo the binding over the summer. She is assiduous in searching for finishing techniques which will work well for her.

….to that end she has started this rug using Doris Eaton’s finishing method….(well she admits it is not exactly Doris’ technique, but her own interpretation of it)DSCF6557

Judith is so creative that she sometimes likes to just start hooking with an idea, and nothing drawn, and see where it takes her….


….how beautiful is that!!!

….or this….done the same way….DSCF6553

…she calls this one “Lagoon”.

She is still making decisions about her poppies….DSCF6550DSCF6549

….We’re lucky to have her as a member at Sunshine Rug Hookers….even if it is only for half of the year.

Hooking a Vimy Ridge Memorial

2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of WWI and there will undoubtedly be many events commemorating this terrible war in the next few years. In particular, Canadians will be marking the battle of Vimy Ridge (fought in 1917) for many consider it the beginning of Canada’s true nationhood.

Wikipedia has a brief description: “The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first occasion whereupon all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle as a cohesive formation, and thus became a Canadian nationalistic symbol of achievement and sacrifice. France ceded to Canada perpetual use of a portion of land on Vimy Ridge under the understanding that the Canadians use the land to establish a battlefield park and memorial. Wartime tunnels, trenches, craters and unexploded munitions still honeycomb the grounds of the site, which remains largely closed off for reasons of public safety. Along with preserved trench lines, there are a number of other memorials and cemeteries contained within the site.” pic_wonder_vimy_lg

The two towers represent Canada and France, united forever in friendship.  125px-Canadian_National_Vimy_Memorial_-_Mother_Canada

One of the statues is called Mother Canada, or Canada Bereft and represents the nation of Canada mourning her dead. (3,600 Canadian soldiers died at Vimy Ridge)

You might well ask…What has this to do with rug hooking? Let me back up and tell you what happened. I was taking photos of people’s work at our meeting on Tuesday, and came to Ann Hallett, who had two piles of wool in front of her she had obviously been cutting by hand. What are you working on Ann I asked? She proceeded to pull out her “just started” piece and ended up speaking about it to the whole amazed group.DSCF6312

I’m hooking a tribute to Vimy Ridge she told us. My grandfather was killed there you know!

…and what a poignant story…..

Her grandfather had written a letter to his wife shortly before the battle, and tucked it in his pocket. The letter was found on his body, and sent to his wife, who received it two weeks after learning of his death.


As Ann read the letter, there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

…and as if that weren’t significant enough, she is hooking the whole piece using ” used stump socks” from the Canadian army. (woolen socks used to cover and protect the  ‘stumps ‘ of amputated limbs) They are 100% wool in order to absorb any moisture from the stump, and to keep it warm.


They come in various sizes and she dyes them as needed. then hand cuts them for hooking. (cross ways as you do when hooking nylons)



This is the template she used for the two towers, depicting Canada and France.


…and she drew Canada Bereft on a mylar sheet for transfer to the backing…


She has just recently learned that she is actually holding lilies in her right hand that is hanging down, so she’ll adjust the pattern to include them.


When completed, this wonderful tribute will hang in Saint James Cathedral in Toronto. A moving tribute to such an important part of Canadian history, created by a dedicated and talented Canadian fiber artist.

I’ll keep you updated on its progress.



Sunshine Christmas Pot Luck

Linda Wilson once more graciously hosted the Sunshine potluck Christmas Hook In. What a lovely day we all had! Thanks so much Linda for having us .

Here in central Ontario, we have had even more snow than usual, and it was a Christmas wonderland to look out over the fields and enjoy the snowy view. (which you can’t actually see in this picture). Just imagine the perfect Christmas card picture and that was it.


As a change from just the normal ….hook your own work……we decided to have a day of hooking with alternate materials. What fun! Everyone brought a marked 5″ x5″ square on backing, and some alternate materials to share …..fabrics, yarns, roving, lace, nylons, raffia, anything hookable,

DSCF5831These goodies were strung up all over the room. This is one area….with fabrics on the dryer, and yarns, roving etc. on the top of the shelf.

Linda put up some examples of her small Christmas pieces for inspiration.


Everyone drew a little pattern on their backing, chose alternate fibres and away they went.

I tried to get pictures from early in the day, and later in the afternoon….so there are 2 photos of most projects.

There were lots of Christmas trees.

DSCF5836 DSCF5864




Gail works with alternate fabric all the time and is well known for her delightful “wonky” christmas trees.DSCF5852

This rope edging , brought by Isabel, (and used by Gail) caused a lot of interest and makes finishing very speedy indeed. It comes in ropes and is available at Fabric land.

DSCF5840Kathy decided to make a “star” Christmas tree.


However at the end of the day…she declared it hadn’t turned out as she envisioned, and she intended to rip it out.

Some people did a sky of stars.

DSCF5839 DSCF5866

Ann is an expert “star maker” and has made about 60 star ornaments this year…She loves making them.


Of course you have to have snowmen….DSCF5846



Margaret chose to do a wreath…I thought it was a perfect choice, (and wish I’d thought of it)


LOVE these colours.

Linda and I chose to do Christmas words.


Although I must admit I cheated, and took this last photo at home after I had finished it. (the light green in the holly is raffia, the ‘noel’ a metalic check print fabric, the berries are nylons, and the rest is yarn)


Cynthia hooked winter flowers.DSCF5862

…there were christmas balls…DSCF5843

…that pink one was spectacular….looked like solid sequins


….and a variety of other subjects…



…a new hooker….and a first time hooker…bravo !

The food was yummy and plentiful….a true pot luck…with 4 pots of meat balls (one of which was mine)….watch next year there’ll be none!

It was such a fun day with good friends, good food, fun hooking and a wonderful locale.

Happy holidays to everyone. May you experience peace. love and joy, time with loved ones, and and a full tummy.

A Tribute to Cheri Hempseed

Tuesday was Tribute day At Sunshine rughookers, and the featured hooker this month was Cheri Hempseed.

This is one of my favourite rugs. She adapted it from one of Deanne Fitzpatrick’s…adding an extra lady on the right, and then extending the work to include  the whole bodies. It is actually 3 panels, is likely 5 high feet at least,  and takes up a large portion of a wall in her home.


I love the shoes on each woman…they co-ordinate so well with each outfit!

Cheri actually chose not to bring her rugs, (which she felt we’d all seen) and concentrated instead  on showing examples of her other areas of artistic endevour.

I knew you’d want to see some of them, so I found these pictures of some of her work stored on my computer.

This picture of abstract trees was begun in a workshop with Deanne on abstract images.


It is pictured on the back inside cover of the current issue of OHCG newsletter, but is wrongly captioned as a pond with bull rushes by someone else. I hope they print a correction in the next issue.

Cheri designed this pattern herself. She uses all sorts of interesting textiles, and cuts the strips by hand.


I took these pictures quite some time ago, and I think the rug is now completed.


She used a Klimt inspired background …..


and Deanne style closed eyes….of course one looks down when playing hopscotch.


It is a massive piece…..I didn’t measure it but I imagine it is more than 6 feet long. Cheri’s hooking is totally distinctive with it’s wonderful texture, vibrant colours and free flowing form.

(now to show you what she did bring to share with us)

From the giant to the tiny…Cheri is well known for her “lady necklaces” which are only about 2″ x 3″  and they are always treasured by whoever is lucky enough to have them.


She has now extended her necklaces to other symbols.


Cheri grew up in Toronto, and after completing University, went on to graduate from the Ontario College of Art. For many years she was a potter.


She brought a few examples of her work…this large vase…


and other smaller pieces…all very distinctive.


These are flat backed to hang on a wall.


She also made wonderful jewelry…..


for me the piece”s” de resistance were these two Santas


Each one stood about 12″ and the detail was astounding!!!….look at that paint can..


and the names on the stockings……everything is hand made. She has apparently made quite a few for her family.


Of course she is also a quilter


…and a Christmas tree maker….

and does cross stitch…


This panel d
emonstrates various Christmas family activities such as getting the tree shopping, decorating the tree…etc.


Another beautiful cross stitch hanging….


Cheri is a multi talented lady, whose friendliness, kindness, enthusiasm and skill have contributed a large part to my wonderful experiences in the world of hooking. Thanks for sharing with us Cheri.

A Tribute to Kathy Smith

Once again the first Tuesday of the month was tribute day at Sunshine Rug Hookers…and this month, we were treated to the work of Kathy Smith.

Kathy is a native Orillian, and  a multi talented artist.

One of her early rugs was the traditional shaded rose…..


….but  she soon moved on to styles that she found more interesting.


This rug was from a course she took with Deanne Fitzpatrick in Nova Scotia


This too is influenced by Deanne’s style.


This is one of Emily Carr’s paintings…re-interpreted .


This was a shed at her grandmother’s place.


This wonderful piece could be mistaken for a painting.

We all know rug hookers tend to be multi-talented, and we love to see, and learn about member’s work in other genres. Kathy is no exception.

Kathy’s mom taught her to sew, but never thought she would ‘take to it’……Many years later, she surprised her mother with this beautiful quilt.


Growing up on the water in Orillia, she says that water is connected to all of her inspiration and interests.


This memory quilt recalls all the areas of influence the water has had for her.

Kathy never does anything by halves, so once bitten by the ‘sewing bug’…she went ‘all out’ and said she has more than 60 jackets and vests in her closet that she has created. Perhaps it’s only natural that she became a dealer for Pfaaf sewing machines.


This is a wonderful jacket…although Kathy regrets having made it in white…says she’s never worn it….there were lots of offers to take it off her hands from those of us in the room.

The amazing detail doesn’t show up in this vest.


The different details are applied in a woven pattern….it’s exquisite.


This vest is made entirely of jeans…all the different coloured pieces are appliqued, with the tree branches cut, rolled, and stitched to create a 3 dimensional effect. Kathy warns that if you don’t like to be touched…you shouldn’t wear this vest…..people are always wanting to ‘feel’ the trees.


This amazing vest is done with appliqued doilies…overstitched with gold threads.


This is my favourite….a reversible jacket of rich jewel tones, all stitched with with gold thread.


Can you imagine how many pieces were needed to create this batik style pattern?


Kathy said she created this vest for a contest…to demonstrate the capabilities of an embroidery machine. All the motifs are machine embroidered.

Being someone who breaks out in a sweat when I have to sew a zig zag around a rug in order to finish it….you can imagine how impressed I was with Kathy’s stitchery.

Wow what a talented lady.