Floating Blocks and Sunshine at Work

I’ve been playing this week…..with my new smaller hall rug. At least for now I’m calling it “Floating Blocks”. DSCN1121It’s been fun hunting up all the bits and pieces from past rugs, and hooking them into the 6″x 8″ rectangles to start.

Some in reds…and some in yellows….and more to do….DSCN1120I’ll be adding other colours as well, but they will be further back, since I want the reds and yellows to be dominant.

I did encounter a slight problem that was new for me. While drawing the pattern, I discovered that there were several flaws in the backing….3 places where the thread had broken. One had been woven back in both ways…so no problem there. But in two spots, the break had been repaired by only tying the two cotton threads together in a knot.  I was really concerned that with the tension of the wool strips, it might eventually pull apart.

I consulted with my friend and expert Jean, who suggested that I weave the area  around the break with strong upholstery thread to prevent any possible break in the future.DSCN1117You can see some of the repair at the bottom right. It’s been a very long time since I did any darning, but that long lost art came in handy. The outside edge of this block was hooked through the weaving with no difficulty.

Meanwhile….it was a busy morning  at the Sunshine Rug Hooking Meeting. It was called a “work day”…i.e. working on items which the group will have for sale at the Annual Quilt and Rug Fair held each September. It is our only fund raising opportunity  of the year so members pitch in to help make it a success.DSCN1101This hit and miss table runner was hooked by many members……and will be won in a raffle…as will this beautiful pillow…DSCN1102 These coasters were hooked by many members as well.DSCN1100….other sale items already completed include….DSCN1099Santas…DSCN1098…tree ornaments…DSCN1096….hooked broaches (I realize now that some are made to be ‘point up’ so they look ‘off kilter’ the way I’ve photographed them).DSCN1097….here’s the back of one…DSCN1105…necklaces to set off any outfit…DSCN1107…and available in a variety of colours.

and many more items underway…DSCN1092Christmas tree ornaments…DSCN1110…little Santa boot pins…DSCN1108…a variety of goodies….DSCN1109….and more broaches…this one having beads sewn around the edges…

It was a productive day and I know when September rolls around the sales table will be loaded with wonderful hooked items.


A Work Day for the Plowing Match

This September, the International Plowing Match will be held near the village of Ivy , not far south of where I Iive in central Ontario.  The annual Quilt and Rug Fair is to be included as a part of the plowing match, and will run for a week (instead of a weekend) and have exposure for our work to many many more people than we could normally expect. This is a big deal for rughookers in our area, so we’re busy preparing for it now. (of course rug hookers need little excuse to get together for a hook in!!!)

Last Tuesday we held an all day hook in to get sale items underway.DSCF6086

Wearable art/jewelry particularly brooches are always popular.


Margaret is making a variety of small waldoboro pins for different seasons.

Proddy brooches seldom lie on a sales table very long.



Cynthia, ever creative, has devised these beautiful pins .

DSCF6070I was fascinated by how she made them. The silk had holes cut out for the hooking , then was  decoratively sewn on both sides of the linen, allowing the hooking to be done on the linen with the silk background already there….here they are in progress….

DSCF6072…this is the back side…and this….

DSCF6071….is the front. The strip was inserted into the hoop to hold taut for hooking.

Hot pads are another favourite sales item, and we have a variety of them in progress.


Jean  is doing a series of animals (appropriate for a plowing match).


Helen found this article on how to create a spiral, and is trying that.DSCF6082DSCF6097

I’m doing some which use Klimt motifs.


Christmas articles are also always popular, and we will have a nice variety.


Cathy is making lots of these sweet hanging Santas.


…and perhaps my favourite….Jean has made one little bag, and plans on making more.


DSCF6058Gail couldn’t resist and so we have our first sales…

Edie found these patterns which had been tucked away for a long time. They too will make lovely hot pads.


It was a fun and productive day.DSCF6090DSCF6085

….and just to put the icing on the cake…..2 curling gold, and 2 hockey gold for Canada. I am a happy hooker indeed!

A Tribute to Diane Audia

Diane’s mom Doris Graham, is a long time rug hooker, and member of the Sunshine Rug Hookers. ( a tribute to Doris was posted in May 2011….check the archives, or the Tribute categories to see her work).  As Doris’s health failed, and she was confined to a wheel chair, Diane began bringing her to the meetings each week, and staying with her. Rather than just sitting  for the morning and watching, she decided that she might as well learn how to hook.

That was five years ago. Her mom, now living in a nursing home, is no longer able to hook, but Diane has taken up the torch…in a big way. She is past president of the group, is currently treasurer and for the past two years she has been the organizer for the rug hooking portion of the Quilt and Rug Fair at the Simcoe County Museum in September.


….her lovely first rug.

Her interest was really aroused when she attended a workshop given by Jennifer Manuell. She said she chose the very smallest pattern available, but ended up loving hooking it.


A friend who had once given hooking a try, gave Diane the pattern and wool for a rug that they had never done. Diane was a little taken back by the size, but decided it was a good opportunity to learn about shading flowers.


What a wonderful job she did!

On a trip to Nova Scotia, she discovered the Cheticamp style of hooking. It uses specific colours and generally depicts flowers all hooked with yarn.


She was so pleased that the yarn didn’t slip and loved hooking this.

She has hooked a variety of proddy broaches…DSCF5972

….and mug rugs…..


But her biggest project to date was her first pictorial, hooked for the Barn Project. It is a bird’s eye view of her mother’s family farm. (…and if you are a member of OHCG it is one of the rugs featured  in the article about the barn project…..in the latest issue). Of course she didn’t have it with her (the project rugs are in the hands of the museum now), and the picture I took of it at RUG was when my batteries were dying so it is hardly visible, but I’ll post it anyway.


As she was hooking it, she would take it to her mother to show her, and her mom was so thrilled with it, and the memories it evoked, that Diane seriously thought of not entering it in the project, and giving it to her mom. However she realized that her mom wouldn’t leave it out in her room for fear of it getting damaged or lost, so she took this photo of it and had it framed….to sit by her mom’s bedside….

DSCF5968…and the actual rug went off to the Museum.

Diane’s hand skills before taking up hooking were in crocheting…..





DSCF5961….and knitting…


Thanks you so much Diane for sharing your wonderful work with us , and thank you too for your continuing contributions to the smooth running of the Sunshine Rug Hookers.

Sunshine Rug Hookers Meet Again

After the summer, Sunshine Rug Hookers always meet for the first time on the day after Labour Day. We get off to a running start since the Rug and Quilt Fair is held on the 3rd Saturday of September at the Simcoe County Museum and there’s lots of preparation necessary.

It was great to see what everyone had been working on over the summer., or  starting as a fall project.


Someone had started hooking this polar bear with nylons and decided that nylons weren’t for them…..gave it to Luise…and she is now going to do her magic


Edie is just beginning this piece called A Yard of Chicks.


Hilda continues with her project…..well into her 90’s and with very little sight, she is an inspiration for us all.


Jeanne’s project is applique rather than hooking. She is making a fall table centrepiece. This woman is a wizard with a needle and thread.


Jan is working on a Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern which she started while taking one of Deanne’s on-line courses. It’s called Poppies on the Edge of Town.


Mary  is working on  a pattern by Deanne’s sister. (what a talented family)


At first Teresa didn’t want me to take a photo of this, but she relented when I said what a good story it would make. She had watched the video of the Doris Eaton method of finishing, and liked it on the first rug she did it on. (black tape and a black background). After getting part way through this piece, she realized she didn’t like the white tape against the grey background, and is now deciding how to fix it…..the grey will come out, and it may end up all white, or at least white around the edges….final decision still to come…..learning point….the background and the tape need to match for the best results of this technique. (she points out that what she really should have done was dye the tape to match the background before applying it.)


Diane is making coasters to sell at the Quilt and rug Fair….but it looks more like wearable art here.


Kathy didn’t bring a hooking project, but in fact was doing the most important chore of the morning….preparing the sign-up sheet for coffee and goodies for the year. (We hookers need sweets and stimulation to keep going).


Helen has finished her unique memory rug of her Mom, which even includes the recipe for her Tomato Butter.

DSCF5429Ann says she’s getting to the end of her pile of unfinished projects. She had to make adjustments to her turkey when she realized that “she” was a “he”. Don’t you love that unique background.


Over the summer, Lynda completed this wonderful Sheila Klugescheid pattern. She hooked the sheep with wool which came directly from Scotland. The vertical hooking of the background is really effective .


Jackie is finishing this inherited fine shading piece. She has a wonderful silk cording to go around the edge of the pillow.


Cynthia’s wonderful creativity runs in the family. Her sister sent her a box of “goodies” with a note saying use this to make something,,,,and “make something” she did! This amazing mixed media quilted hanging is a work of art….with applique, and hooking with wools, yarns, silks etc, and topped off with a binding made from beautiful fabric which had belonged to her late mother-in-law. Just wow!


Linda’s Pan Am rug is really taking shape. I marvel at how her stick figures so accurately represent the various sports.


…and now to veer totally off topic….I want to share this monster with you. It grew unbidden and uninvited just in front of our compost box, and is rapidly taking over that corner of the yard. The compost box has completely disappeared. Ray and I have been eating yellow zuchinni nearly every night (I’ve been searching for different ways to cook it)……We’ve no idea how the seed(s) came to be there in the first place….I haven’t bought yellow zuchinni in years. Manna from heaven!

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”.

A New Background??? Maybe 3rd try will be lucky

Antique black has always been my background colour of choice. So getting this light background right has been a new adventure. I searched through my dye collection again, to see what I could come up with for the new (green only) background colours. I chose the Cushings ‘mint’ I had used before, Majjic Carpet ‘moss green’,  and Prochem ‘drab olive’. I used 1/2 yard Dorr natural, and 1/2 yard oatmeal (each torn in half ).


This time I decided to dye each piece separately and each with just one colour. I used 1/64th tsp of dye in 1 CBW for each 1/4 yard piece, putting 1/2 of the dye bath in the pan, and spooning 1/2 over the wool for the mottled effect I like. I did the moss green and drab olive over the natural wool, and the oatmeal wool I did with the mint and drab olive dyes.


It was interesting that when the drab olive dried, it was way too light (really just off white) , so I re-dyed it  using another 1/64th tsp of drab olive. This time it definitely has blue in it….I think I can still use it, but the blue isn’t noticable on the oatmeal piece that was died with drab olive.

The small bits of background showing through the ribbons, I decided to try with just one colour (moss green), and I like the way it pops the reds out.


Then I thought it was too much contrast with the rest of the background, so I took parts of it out, and did it with several colours of gree…..that was just nasty!…so I rehooked it with the light green. I will have to do a gradual transition to the mottled background. The dip dye I’ve used at the border also doesn’t work….so that will be replaced. I feel that I’m doing more reverse hooking than regular hooking right now, until I get this background settled.

I worked for 2 days on this ‘all green’ background


…but the fact is ….I don’t like it either. I don’t think it enhances the main hooking, and it draws my eye to it far too much. It is also sadly far too much like what I disparagingly call…’public washroom green’. I want something that enhances the figure, but doesn’t call attention to itself.


How I wish I had an ‘artistic eye’, that could envision these things in advance!

Rather than pull anything out at this point, I decided to try just the colours dyed over the oatmeal…they are much duller and more subtle than those dyed over the Dorr natural.


Then I hung it up and I’ve been looking at it now all day. I’m still honestly in a dilemma, not sure how to proceed…..my motto right now….when in doubt….wait…

The Quilt and Rug Fair is coming up quickly,(September 17th) so I spent a day hooking more ‘proddy pins’. The Sunshine Rug hookers are selling them , and we’re each asked to donate some since this is our main money making event for the year.


I’d like to provide a dozen to sell, plus a few to keep to give away as gifts. I don’t mind making them, but I’m not fond of the finishing (surprise surprise). Since I’m temporarily halted with Hygieia, I have no excuses for leaving them undone!