Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week – the show!

Wow! What a great time I had at the epicenter of rug hooking last week at Sauder Village. Classes, rugs, wool, fun people, rugs and more rugs….

The show was wonderful and full of all sorts of mini shows and exhibits. Let’s start with a rug I was DElighted to see in person – – – The Conspiracy by Marion Sachs. I’d seen it in print but nothing compares to viewing the real rug. The rug is adapted from a painting by David Galchutt. Do check out his website to see more incredible work.

The Royal Couple was designed by Pris Butler and masterfully hooked by Sibyl Osicka. I’m not sure which tickled me most – the authenticity and realistic hooking, or the fact that she hooked sheep faces!

And isn’t this rug charming? Gypsy Mice was also hooked by Sibyl Osicka and designed by Pris Butler from a painting by David Galchutt! He must be the new darling of the rug hookers and with good reason.

Alexander and Stuart was designed and hooked by Patricia Merikallio. I am really drawn to the colors and the wonderful paisley border. Patricia said in her description that she started with a painting from 1810, substituted her granddaughter’s face and added Stuart the cat.

Off the track of antique-looking rugs, here are two travel ones. I adore this one – the colors, the car, the maps! I’m sure many of us remember these days… (We had a station wagon and I as the littlest sat on “the hump”.) The rug is called Red Lodge and was designed and hooked by Anne Bond of Visions of Ewe.

The second travel rug is by Shawn Niemeyer who designed and hooked Life is a Beautiful Ride. The rug has such rich colors and the circles all along the border are a fun touch, and probably not very easy to finish!

I will end with this rug, terrifically different from the previous rugs. There were so many different sorts of designs to admire in the show.  Martha Rosenfeld created Cafe Shadows. It seems quite elegant to me.

Hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite rugs. I’ll be back with more of my week in Ohio with the other hookers….


The Grove Fest

The Grove Fest is an annual event held in Glenview IL. You can read about the history of this beautiful former farm on their website.  This is the second year that we have demonstrated and we Foxy Ladies again teamed up with the Loopy Ladies rug hooking guild. And, just like last year it was really cold! We have a lovely space under a roof and there is a big fireplace there, so it is a great spot to get warmed up. We had quite a good show of hooked pieces! In going through my pictures, I noticed that there are a lot of Foxy Ladies finishes. Barbara finished her amazing fox runner and Pam brought a foxy rug that she had made as well!

Pam completed her lovely Oriental rug. Isn’t it impressive-looking? I’d love to see it in her home.

And Karen finished her matrix design runner, though at least half of it is missing in this picture….. The rainy day ladies above Karen’s piece were hooked by Diane (I think!). Click on the photo to see the details – they are very fun.

Susan is working on another partially hooked piece by her mother. This is a really pretty bird design.

Here is what a Loopy Lady looks like! {;-D} This woman is working on a portrait of her mother from an old photograph – it is amazing! Ann (?) is also a quilter so we had a good day of chatting about  the may crafts we love to do.

This is always fun – to see the same pattern hooked in entirely different styles. The one on the left was hooked by Linda and I believe the one on the right is by Beth.

Here is Leslie, on the home stretch of hooking a great floral rug. Can you see how many layers she is wearing? There was a mighty cold breeze blowing…

I believe the floral rug was hooked by Diane. I don’t know who Calvin’s owner might be! Isn’t he dear?

This is a great grouping, really highlighting the variety of hooking designs and styles.

Santa belongs to Susan and was very popular with the kids. I saw one pair trying to carry him off!

This is just a sampling of the rugs on display and being hooked. The people who attended the fair really got a great overview of the craft of traditional rug hooking.

My apologies to the Loopy Ladies and anyone else I did not credit! If you would like me to add your name to your rug, please leave a comment! I am bad with names and did not actually know who hooked each piece….

More Rugs From Indiana

There were some great rugs to admire, both in the Woolkeepers Hook In show and in the process of being hooked. This was a vendor piece. I was admiring the bright lollipop-like flowers and then I saw the bunny! Can you see his whiskers?

And while we’re talking about animals, here’s a very cute flock of sheep. It’s a DiFranza design hooked by Angela Thomas. The sheep colors and textures are really good.

And more animals. There was a group of ladies discussing backgrounds, as you can see. I really like this design with a farm animal on each edge. And the size of them is quite large so the hooker can play with some fun texture.

Another animal with vegetables! This show rug was probably hooked in a 4 (smallish width) and had wonderful detail. I particularly like the border of Fall leaves and bittersweet. It’s called Harvest Blessing, designed by Kaye Miller and hooked by Jyl Clark (?).

This woman was hooking a 3 or 4 cut Oriental. It’s going to be magnificent when she’s done. I asked if she had a spot for it and she said in her entryway. But she was worried about her dogs ruining it. I do put rugs on the floor and use them but not in the entryway! I hope hers is large enough so that visitors can walk around it with dirty shoes!

This snow family rug was in the show and I bet it really is her family! It was a cutie. The design is Let It Snow by Barbara Carroll and hooked by Becky Chenault (?).

Here’s a fun way to finish a hooked piece – as a neck roll.

Oh – just one more! This piece is going to be lovely! The flowers and perhaps the leaves are being hooked using dip dyed fabrics. That sort of dyeing gives a water-colory, batikish look. It’s a bit fussy to hook, but is well worth the effort. It makes me want to get my dyepots out….

I hope you enjoyed this hooking show and tell. The result of all this is that I want to do nothing but hook!!!

A Room Full of Hookers!


This was the scene on Saturday at the Woolkeeper’s Hook-In in Camby Indiana!

The photo above is of the hooking area, but what struck me funny, was that it was pretty empty all day! There was so much to do – classes to take, the show to admire,

and most importantly, lots of vendors –

and more vendors! This was my first hook-in, but they are fairly common events. They are organized by rug hooking groups or shop owners and rug hookers from miles around attend. Groups set up at a table and spend the day talking and sharing rugs and hooking away. And shopping.

Rug hooking stores are few and far between. Because of the need to order on the Internet, we all get pretty excited to see wool and patterns and supplies in person. This vendor had some wonderful rug patterns. I saw the washer woman several years ago at another rug show and really admired it. The colors are lovely and it’s quite realistic for a rug done with wider cut wool strips.

Most of the booths featured dull colored primitive wools and designs, and of course lots of fun Fall pumpkins and witches, but this lady was into brights! I thought this was a fine-looking rooster.

Bev Stewart is the show organizer (on the right), pictured with her niece. She has a business called Whispering Pines Designs, but has no website. This is definitely a show to remember for next year if you’re within driving distance of Indianapolis. There were more rug hooking vendors there than I have ever seen and I got into a good bit of trouble…

More photos coming…

The 6th Annual Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair

The Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair is a great Summer event in the Northern Illinois area and though I could not teach for them this year, my rug hooking group had a booth so I was still a small part of things. This year the guild areas were front and center and people literally bumped right up against us. It’s fun to chat with people and explain rug hooking. Whether or not people actually want to learn to hook, they are always so taken by this lovely craft. Each day our booth was manned by different guild members, so those who are at the fair all weekend see a different show each day. We had lots of goodies on Saturday! These are some small things.

This is Barbara’s tree of life and a portrait done by Karen Maddi Perks, I think.

The top rug is the first rug I hooked many, many years ago. I am not sure whose work is underneath.

Karen’s Catfish rug was a big favorite and one lady wanted to buy it. I wonder what she might have offered had it been for sale…

The Foxy Ladies meet in a small room with a lot of tables and chairs so we have trouble seeing large rugs. Saturday we were able to spread out and admire Barbara Gaynor’s wonderful fox runner…or maybe it’s the running fox runner!

The Lake County Fairgrounds building was full of wonderful vendors!

There were so many beautiful fiber things to look at but I did so quickly so that I would not be tempted! Thanks Carol for another great fair.

Seeing Red: The ATHA Biennial

I have been saving this post for February for obvious reasons! At the ATHA Biennial last Fall in Lancaster PA, there was a large show called “Seeing Red”. And it was all for a good cause as the pieces were sold or auctioned off for ATHA’s education fund. There were a lot of very wonderful and clever entries and here are a few for you to enjoy.

Sun Bonnet Sue by Sibyl Osicka

Summer Reds by Sarah Province

Baaa…it’s Cold by Stacey White

Poppies by Marcia Kent

Red Bird by Lynn Ruedger

This display makes you want to pull out seem red fibers and start a project, doesn’t it?

The ATHA Biennial: Animals!

Hello! I am back home from all my meandering in Pennsylvania. I had planned to post photos of the wonderful ATHA Biennial show while I was there, but had second thoughts. As I was taking photos, I realized that I had groups or themes and that a grouping would make for a more interesting post; I am not fond of blogs that have many, many pictures with no comments. Also, I was using my iPad and I was having to go back and forth between WordPress and my photos, which was not convenient. So, here is my first “report”! It was a very nice gathering and show and I do thank all the people who planned it.

There were a great many animal themed rugs and so I thought I would start with them. This very beautiful cat piece was at the entrance to the show area. It had no information with it, which was too bad as it is such an amazing piece of work! If I had to guess from among the big deal hookers, I would say that it might have been done by Elizabeth Black. It was hooked in a fine-cut (3/32″?) on a background of wool. Please notice the wonderful whiskers!

Tuxedo was designed and hooked by Tracey Gillman. I particularly enjoyed this mat as Gizmo is a tuxedo cat as well. The background is hard to see because of the lighting, but it was a great texture.

Floral foxes was designed by Heavens to Betsy (they sell wonderful wool) and hooked by Marian Hall. It had great colors and movement. The blue background is a compliment to the oranges in the foxes and really makes the piece sing.

This charming piece is called As Good As It Gets and was designed and hooked by Elizabeth Marino. Look at the sweet face of the dog – doesn’t she capture his happy personality and love for her? And the shading with all those pale values is not easy to do and was skillfully done.

And I saved my favorite from the whole show for last! This piece is called The Thinker and was designed and hooked by Therese Shick. It is amazing – so realistic and full of rich colors. I liked the background as well, which also had a variety of colors but did not detract from the design.

I have found, when I am looking at rug designs, that the kind that appeal to me the most are the personal ones. When one is hooking their cat, or their home or using an old family photo as inspiration, their passion for the subject comes through. Kudos, ladies!

The Wool Studio Fall Festival

Today I am very close to Lancaster, but the event on my calendar was The Wool Studio Autumn Festival in West Reading PA. TWS is an Internet business selling the most beautiful “textured” wool for rug hookers. When hookers say textures we mean that the wool is plaid or striped, which when cut and hooked gives a rug a wonderful texture.

Rebecca Erb, the owner, invited some vendors and you can see the rugs hanging at the other end of the room. stacks!

The event is being held in her warehouse and I must admit that I was curious to see it. Look at all the bolts and ripped pieces of wool stacked up. It’s enough to make you want to sew a wool skirt, as well a start hooking a rug! Many people hooking rugs or doing wool appliqué don’t want to dye (yes,ha,ha!) and this very beautiful wool is designed to use as is. I do overdye the lighter colors but I love the darks for backgrounds; they are so rich.

(Please excuse the little hiccups in this post. I am using the WordPress app for my iPad and though it is much improved, I am still having some formatting issues. Here is the link to find out more about the Wool Studio)

A Pattern for the Fair- and one for you too!

There’s lots of rug hooking news today and a free pattern too!

Last Sunday my rug hooking group teamed up with another local guild and demonstrated at a nearby fair. After days and days of cool weather and buckets of rain, we had a lovely day. And a great display!

These photos were taken with my iPhone and I hope you can see what a great variety of work was displayed.

I had to take a project to hook and I am very tired of the clamshell rug. As it turns out I have to (really) make two small projects for a class I am taking at the ATHA show in Lancaster PA. We need to make a circular and square design and then we will learn how to attach braiding for the edge. I am very excited! It’s a technique you see a lot in hooked rugs from New England and I have long wanted to know how it’s done. Here’s the 6″ round one.

I thought it would be fun to make holiday designs and here’s the progress on the snowman piece. You can see lots of lines drawn on the linen as I can’t quite decide if he will have two lumps or three. With Schminky the quilt, it was all about the eyes. For a snowman, I am discovering it’s all about the carrot nose! I have started hooking a bit of background to see how the nose looks….though I am not sure what color background I will eventually use. I want the hat to be red, and perhaps the words as well, so the blue-green background may not be the final choice.

If you would like a copy of the Halloween pumpkin design, leave a message saying so and I will send you a PDF. For you hookers, I used a 4 cut as I wanted to get a lot of detail in. Obviously the design can be reduced for punch needle, or enlarged for a wider cut wool.

And to continue on the rug hooking topic, I taught primitive rug hooking on Saturday to 5 very fun ladies! They are seemed very anxious to learn this wonderful craft and had chosen some wonderful wool colors for their project. The first class is always crazy as there is so much information to go over and the technique to learn! I am hopeful that they may be “hooked” on hooking. Nancy’s grandmother was a hooker, so she has been thinking about really learning the craft for a long time.

Peggy was playing with colors to see what she liked.

Look at the fun orange plaid that Brenda is using!

A Class with Susan Quicksall

I learned how to hook may years ago when we lived in Massachusetts in the late 1980’s. The class was at the Worcester Center for Crafts and met once a week. I was taking classes there to be certified in Fiber Arts and was there many days each week, so it was easy to attend. Then we moved to Pennsylvania and I continued to hook. When we moved to Singapore, I took my supplies with me and did a bit of it, though since Singapore  is 50 miles from the Equator, it was a very hot activity. Then I stopped. I started up about 3 years ago because the director of the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair asked if I could teach a beginning class and I am so glad she got me hooking again. (Interestingly enough, someone asked me in a recent class what my favorite craft was at the moment and I said “rug hooking!”.)

Barbara Sleeper was the name of my first (and only) instructor and she was a very accomplished colorist and dyer and I learned so much from her. But until last week, I have never taken a class with anyone else. I looked through the classes offered at Sauder Village’s Rug Hooking Week and saw a pattern I really liked filled with wools of the most wonderful colors and I signed up for Susan Quicksall‘s class. The description said that we would be learning some fun hooking techniques, several of which I have been longing to know how to do, so I ordered the pattern and the wools for the design area and background.

Here are some photos of Susan’s work in the show and I think you will see why I jumped at the chance to learn from her. This one is “Courting Sampler”. Look at the very bottom of the sampler at the very darling mouse! I took some detail shots of this one but they were too blurry and very dark… Check on her website for much better photography!

And this one is “Cow Lady Sampler”. Isn’t the border nicely designed with the vine dividing the two colors?

Susan calls her work “refined primitive”. The designs may lean towards primitive with not a lot of shading but her colors are wonderful! Primitives tend, as you saw in the last post, to have very low contrast. Susan definitely has contrast and she uses lots of colors – I think there are 24 in my kit!!! Take a look at the table of hand dyed wools that Susan had for sale! Is your mouth-watering??? (Unfortunately the lighting skews the color and even when I tried to edit it in iPhoto, it’s not right, but you get the idea!)

The project we were all working on is called Seed Basket. One of the techniques we learned was two color beading, which means hooking with two colors at the same time. You can see it in the basket and around the flower’s middle. The technique I was most anxious to learn is called Waldoboro. That is the wonderfully fat and juicy middle of the flower. You hook, hook, hook with a fine-cut of wool successively higher and then trim it. A bit daunting, but if the shape doesn’t turn out well it’s easy enough to pull it all out and start again. Mine probably needs to be trimmed more, but I’m going to see what the whole piece looks like. Here is what I completed in class. Very fun!

Here is something Susan is working on now; perhaps she’s using it as a class demo. The pattern is called “Fantasy Garden Mini II” and I did buy it. Look at the sweet little bird with her striped belly and skinny legs, and you’ll see why I couldn’t resist. Love those flowers too!

Thanks so much for a great class, Susan!