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.

A Final Tribute to Hilda Hayes

On Tuesday, March 4th our dear Hilda passed away peacefully at home in Orillia in her 97th year.


She was an inspiration to us all. In spite of near blindness, she continued to hook, to encourage, and take great delight in “seeing” what everyone else was working on, to joke, and to live life to the fullest. She has left behind many memories for attendees of Trent School of Rug Hooking, which she attended faithfully until just a couple of years ago. She broke her hip in the fall, but within days of leaving the hospital, came to a Sunshine meeting in a wheelchair to say hello and see what we were up to.

Her last large project was a pair of bench covers depicting the four seasons designed by and hooked for her grand daughter Adele. DSCF2447

Although I have had a long connection with her family through music (having taught singing to 2 grandchildren, her daughter, and her son-in-law) , it was as a hooker that I got to know and love her. She will always serve as a beacon to me in the art of graciousness, enthusiasm, and loving kindness. I will miss her sweet smile, kind words. funny witticisms, and unfailing vitality.

Rest in peace my dear friend.

People, Places, Passion..A Tribute to Margaret Kennedy

The Sunshine Rug Hookers were treated on Tuesday to a wonderful talk and the reminiscences of Margaret’s life , particularly through her rug hooking. She began by explaining that as soon as she developed the ability to design and hook her own patterns, she was moved to create pieces significant to her in one of the three “P’s”….people, places, and her passions.

…But of course, before she got to that point, she started with the (then) obligatory shaded flowers. She didn’t like the pattern, or the flowers or the colours, and joked that it was a wonder she ever finished it…but finish it she did,,, and now she loves it, and it lies beside her bed where she happily steps on it every morning as she gets out of bed.


Deanne Fitzpatrick was an early influence…


….and she was beginning her own expression by adding Ontario symbols around the border. She laughingly recounted that she had read about Deanne’s suggestion of the staggered outline, and that was why this dear lady has large black freckles on her body.


She eventually travelled to Nova Scotia for a course with Deanne, and by now her style and subject matter were firmly her own. This is her son and their Standard Schnauzer ivy.

She  was very interested in her ancestors who had settled in western Canada, and did several small pictures copied from old photos.


A large version of one of these is on her ‘to do’ list.

Margaret is an avid hiker and loves nature, so these maple leaves ar very close to her heart.


Her sister and their activities together are  frequent topics for her rugs.


….it looks like a very happy memory….

This piece of the two of them skating as children, is hooked entirely from ‘as is’ blankets cut by hand into strips about 1/2 inch wide.


She had to set it aside until she found a blanket the right colour to complete the ice at the bottom. This has recently been found, so she can now finish this wonderful memory rug.

She showed us the original pattern she drew for this rug, and you can see that it evolved into something quite different as the planning progressed, eventually losing many of the background details and even many of the people.DSCF6020

This wonderful rug was hooked for her husband, who wanted a rug to go on the floor and to be only neutrals.  It is entitled “The Fen” and contains outlines of plants and animals found in a marsh near their country home.


Margaret paid a lovely tribute to the Sunshine group, who she said, were not only a wonderful and supportive group of people, but she so appreciated the many ideas that she was exposed to through the workshops presented by the many talented teachers  in the group.

Her bird….taught by Linda Wilson…


….an introduction to needle felting….DSCF6017


This is a cosy for her coffee pot which wraps around the pot and fastens with the loops.

….a workshop on special stitches….


….(which she says she can’t finish since she wouldn’t then be able to see the back and know how to replicate the stitches),  and many other small projects done through the inspiration of the group…

DSCF6004Margaret keeps a file of ideas and inspirations, and draws her patterns from these pictures. She shared the germ of several future rugs with us….these wonderful japanese designs….


….and this inspiration of a cross country skate style skier.


Margaret is an avid skier, and in fact had a skiing date right after our meeting.DSCF6018

….as you can see here on the left, she is appropriately and elegantly dressed for a rug hookers meeting, but with one swift movement…..DSCF6028

(sorry that it’s blurry….I was laughing too hard to hold the camera steady) ….off comes the dress……..on goes the ski jacket……


…and she’s ready to go! Thanks Margaret for a wonderful morning.

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… 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.

A Tribute to Helen Brown

I have been so remiss this fall in recording the monthly tributes we have at Sunshine Rug Hookers Meetings. I have managed to be absent for every first Tuesday so far. Fortunately, another rug hooker took some photos of Helen Brown’s hooking and sent them to me so I can share her lovely work which was featured on the first Tuesday in December.

Helen hooked with a group in Toronto until moving to Orillia a few years ago, and we are so happy that they decided to move north. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She has a daughter living in Halifax, and travels frequently to the east coast, often taking classes with Deanne Fitzpatrick in Amhurst. She says much of her hooking reflects Deanne’s influence. These playful, colourful maritime houses and the treatment of the water all reflect the Fitzpatrick style. (as well as the high freeform hooking which I seem incapable of doing….although I have tried).


This was Helen’s first rug. She told me she ordered the pattern ( by Ann Hallet) from Rittermere’s because she liked it so well, never realizing she would one day be hooking with Ann in the same group. I’m sure Ann was pleased to see this lovely interpretation of her pattern too.


A striking wall hanging with the faceless people so characteristic of Deanne’s style, as well as the skillful use of so many colours and shades of green to create the grass. Helen is also a skilled knitter, and made the beautiful sweater she is wearing .


The piece on the left is a closeup of a portion of a red trillium, inspired by another workshop with Deanne Fitzpatrick.


Her ‘in progress’ abstract piece which at first glance seems to be in blue…..but…..


On closer inspection, has a myriad of related colours.


….even the youngest present was fascinated and needed a close up look.


Regular readers will be familiar with this unique piece. Last June Helen travelled to Cornwall and took a week long course with Dianne Cox and Sue Dove. This is the result….a deconstructed version of a favourite recipe of her mother’s (I watch the Food Network, that’s how I know the term “deconstructed” ). The recipe itself is written in the bottom right. Her story of the creative process they went through during the course was fascinating.

Helen is always ready to try new and different techniques. This one for her milk weed pod combines her hooking and knitting/crocheting abilities.


She started by crocheting the shape of the pod into the backing. She then picked up the crocheted loops with a circular knitting needle on one half, and knit the shape of the pod. This was then stuffed with “fluff” and then knit down to create a 3 dimensional milkweed. It was finished by hooking the top with “curly locks” yarn.  I wish I had another photo to show the full effect and the wonderful 3 D milkweed pod.

Our Christmas Pot Luck and Hook In will be on Tuesday, and we’re all going to experiment with hooking alternate fibers. I’ll make sure I take my camera!

A Tribute to Erma Newhouse

After a two day scare when I thought I had lost my camera forever… dear husband found it and the sigh of relief could be heard all over the house! Soooo I am delighted to be able to share these photos of Erma’s work, after fearing they were lost and gone.


Erma is a multi talented fiber artist, with rug hooking being just one of her many skills.


A striking pillow. My favourite lamb is that off white one. I think he’s the leader of the flock!


This Waldoboro rose is hooked on verel, and was done as a part of her course requirements for the Georgian College diploma in fibre arts.


Erma brought a sampling of the many forms of work she has done…bear making…


….print making…


…silk dyeing….these were sooo beautiful…


weaving ….towells and..



blankets. …and crocheting…


I was intrigued by this blanket…one side has a multi coloured highlight…the other side is green. I’ve never before seen reversible crocheting.


Erma is also a skilled basket weaver…


This little one is actually made from pine needles.


Erma not only made these moccasins, but did the traditional beadwork as well.


You can see on the table examples of her photography and print making as well. My photos of those didn’t turn out.

Thanks Erma for sharing your work with us… are a very talented lady!

and thank YOU for stopping by to see her work.

All About Liz Edwards

It never ceases to amaze me when I learn about the wonderful and diverse lives our Sunshine Rug Hookers have led.

Liz Edwards was raised on an island in Lake Simcoe which had few amenitites, and later lived in many locations throughout Canada  from the west  to the shores of Newfoundland, finally returning to her roots in the Lake Simcoe area at Beaverton.

As a child she learned sewing, knitting , and embroidery, and along her life’s journey had a number of businesses selling unique hand made children’s clothing.


This example is now the family christening gown, worn by successive grandchildren.


The beautiful smocking on the yoke reminds me of special dresses I wore as a child. Does anyone smock any more?


Liz became an avid spinner, spinning her own wool and using it to create unique, one of a kind garments, like this fanciful shawl.


Both warm and elegant!

Liz is such a creative artist. She had knit this vest (again from her own wool) and debated how to finish the front.


It was hanging near this completed scarf, and she decided to combine the two. How ceative is that!

When she was first introduced to rug hooking, her instructor gave her a piece of burlap, and said draw some lines.


This is her first rug hooking effort.


Her wonderful personal style developed with successive rugs.


The sense of something about to happen pervades this piece, while the eye is immendiately drawn to the pink dragonfly.


The feeling of movement and beautiful colours make this one of my favourites.


Her flowers are blowing in the wind. Now what is that pig up to?


There is a wonderful depth of colour in all of Liz’s pieces.


Again the movement in the water catches my eye, as well as the colourful undersea creatures.


I love love love this piece. I’m always partial to hooked lambs, and this Sheilagh Klugescheid pattern is on my “want to do” list . The beautiful blues, mauves, and pinks give it such depth. Thanks Liz for sharing your creative journey with us.

I must end with an apology to Mary Wiles. Her special day was in January, and I was not at my best during that month. I was at the meeting when she presented, but with no camera, and only half a mind, so I was unable to share her story . Please forgive me Mary.

Now back to Althea and curling. (I just realized yesterday that for years I’ve been spelling it BRIAR when in fact it’s BRIER..never to old to learn something new!)….and if you don’t know what I’m talking about…chances are you’re not a Canadian. We love throwing rocks and sweeping ice.

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.

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.

Monthly Sunshine Tribute Day….My Turn

Once again, it’s the first Tuesday of the month…Tribute Day at Sunshine Rughookers, and today was my day to tell my life story, and show my rugs. If you’ve been following this blog since I started it, you’ll have seen all these rugs at one time or another, but here they are again.


My first rug was given to me by my father in the 70’s. I had no idea about rughooking apart from what my father had seen demonstarted when he bought it. After a feeble beginning, it languished, barely begun, in a closet for about 30 years. It now lives over a rocking chair in my sister’s living room.


My second rug ( begun during my 2nd try at hooking in the mid 90’s) is Peonies from Rittermere Hurst Field. My sister kindly whipped it for me just this week, and I sewed down the binding last night….20 years in the making! It too found a home in a closet for many years.


Beginning my third, and final attempt at rug hooking in 2006 This is also a Rittermere pattern…Canadian Mosaic….a semi-oriental rug which features the wild flowers of all the Canadian provinces. I hooked this rug while watching the Tour de France. I was still hooking only with #3 and #4 cuts, and hadn’t yet begun to dye my own wool.


On a trip to Cape Breton in the early 90’s, I picked up this Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern, and attempted to do it in the Cheticamp style with yarn…..hated it….and it too spent years in the closet. I took it out and hooked it with strips in 2008


Another early, uncompleted rug..(finished many years later).This pattern was found in a girl friend’s closet,probably had belonged to her mother, and I believe it was from Eaton’s in the 1920’s. Not knowing any better, I hooked the old burlap, and it’s still holding up just fine.


This stained glass pattern is from Sheila Klugescheid, and is someday destined to be framed.


I began hooking in earnest in 2008, and Women in Hats (another Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern) was my first effort after recouperating from heart surgery. I was not yet dyeing my wool at this point, and used what was available in my (then small) stash.


My name for this is Severn Sunset, although Sheila Klugescheid (it’s designer) calls it something else.There was a sandy section which I removed since there were no sand beaches in the area of the Severn where I spent so much time. I painted the dye on the wool  in the sky and water sections


Emma Sue came to life in a workshop with Anne Boisonnot. I always feel that this piece marked a turning point in my hooking ‘life’ . I dyed all the wool, and stepped out of my box with colour and texture.


This is my non-penny penny rug. I did it in a workshop with Bea Grant, but decided I would rather hook than sew pennies, so my version is VERY unlike the others. I did do applique for the cornucopia and the leaves, but did a hit and miss border instead of pennies.


This will be  my table centre piece next weekend for Thanksgiving. It is the pattern in Gene Shepherd’s book on proddy.


This little bird was a free pattern in RHM and I hooked it with nylons. ….a great travelling project….I took it with me on a trip to see family in Regina…no cutter needed.


Adele is from my Klimt phase… which needs further exploration. I’m still fascinated by his work.


Hygieia, my other Klimt piece, now hangs in my stairwell. I’d
love to do another really large piece, but I only have one such spot in the house.


Fat Cat, a pattern by Heidi Kramer, is adapted to resemble my fat seal point Akuma. My first really whumsical piece, and I loved hooking it.


My two hall rugs were such fun to design and hook. I haven’t dared put them down on the floor yet though.

You can just see the un-upholstered footstool on the table …my latest piece. Ray has completed the box for it, the legs have been purchased, so now it’s up to me to get the foam padding and finish it.


Black and White adapted with permission from Dahlov Ipcar…I struggled so much with the background colours. That’s what drew me to her work in the first place, but I’m still not convinced about my choices. I reserve judgement until I have it up in my living room with the rugs on the floor which influenced the colour choices. Hopefully I’ll like it better then.


My one and only attempt thus far at lettering. I made these large coasters for my sister.


“Charlie” was the free pattern given out at this year’s annual in North Bay.


Ever helpful friends mounted many of the rugs on the two large bulletin boards in the room where we meet. It made them easy for everyone to see.


This is one half of the 2nd board….


….and the other half. I was actually surprised that I had so many rugs…most done in the past three years.

It was a fun experience, but I was really tired when I got home. It’s exhausting to talk about yourself for an hour!