Category Archives: hooked rug workshop

Retreating in the Mountains 2015

The 8th Retreat into the Mountains weekend is over with resounding “YES let’s do this again” from all.  Coming in over the mountains fog slowed the progress into Peterkin Camp and Conference Center on Friday.  Gathering with friends, settling into our nests, sharing the projects we wanted to spend our time on, and learning a variety of finishing techniques were how Friday was spent.  Of course there was food in the dining hall and in-between, all with a healthy approach. Last person left the workroom at 12:30 Saturday morning….

Keri Sue Brunk lead two yoga sessions on Saturday.  The first before breakfast and the second one introducing the practice just before lunch.  She also loosened up the neck, hands and back muscles while we sat in our seats.

The finishing techniques we covered were triple whipping with cording conducted as a hands-on session by Nancy Parcels. Stumbles, success, and appreciation were the compliments we shared with our samples.  Lori LaBerge showed the layering involved to present her work for gallery sales by stitching the hooked work to gray herringbone, stretched onto art board with clean wrapped corners, cloth covering the back all of which is then inserted into a gold rimmed shadowbox frame. A whipped mitered corner was demonstrated from handout by Germaine James of Canada. Debra Smith showed how a picot crocheted edge enhances a whimsical design.

Collection of pin looms

Collection of pin looms

The Falls

The Falls

We played with pin looms ranging in sizes from 2 inch square to 4″ x 6″ and using a variety of yarns and ribbons.  The March/April/May 2015 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine includes an article about continuous weaving incorporating pieces into hooked art. The annual hike to the glen with waterfall and hemlock grove introduced the property at Peterkin to the new attendees on Saturday afternoon.

Jim, Paul, Andy, Rick and Joe

Jim, Paul, Andy, Rick and Joe

Saturday evening we stayed at Peterkin and all of our senses were exposed to a new experience.  Within Hampshire County there are dozens of musicians who jam weekly playing old-time music. I called Paul Roomsburg and he networked with four others. Jim Morris brought instruments made from common objects telling us the history of music. Joe Hypes and Andy Agnew brought along their Rebel Union CDs and played guitar, fiddle and banjo during the evening.  Rick Pegg played the entire three hours standing up with the bass. To say we had a good time would be far from enough compliments to this group of talent.  By the end wooden spoons were tapping away on body parts, our clapping and stomping added to their strings. We all joined in with a rendition of John Denver’s ‘Country Roads‘ and ‘Amazing Grace‘.

Taking photos, studying

Taking photos, studying

2015 attendees

2015 attendees

Sunday was filled with conversations including critiques; suggestions for equipment, material and other workshops; and several successful completed projects.  We “throw down” works onto the wide porch each year and then get together for a group portrait.  Lunch and packing up came too quickly but the dates are set for 2016 and cyberspace will keep us connected until then.

 

Class topics in 2014

I just reviewed photos from workshops this year.  Many lessons were taught, dozens of lessons learned, and plans were made for next year ….  all reasons why I teach.  See the calendar for workshop sites in 2015.

Alta Vista Golf Course, site of workshop

Alta Vista Golf Course, site of workshop

 

I flew to Mesa Arizona in January right in-between the coldest spells in West Virginia.  People came down from South Dakota to escape the cold and others ‘wintered’ in sunny Arizona.  The projects were colorful and three days went too quickly.

 

 

The class at Cedar Lakes Rug School was filled with sixteen eager students.  Some had finally signed up with me after a few years of seeing work by other students and others repeated with new projects and goals.  At the end of the week, I complimented them all, referring to this session as a Masters Class.  I was challenged, they contributed and every project was well on its way to being a great piece.  I am teaching here again next year, email Nancy Blair at  thhkrugs@altelco.net   for details.

The topic at Green Mountain Rug Hooking School in Vermont was the Moods of Color.  We did get to hooking designs based on a mood the participants brought  but began the three days with several exercises.  On the blackboard each posted a word under one of six colors.  Before looking farther what would you say about Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple?

Manistee Rug School in Onekama, MI is coordinated by a guild rather than a business.  Volunteers for every job join together bringing in the new members and adapting each year to the needs of all.  This was a repeat for me, the first time was in 2011.  I made a point to dine with a different instructor each evening, making new friends and delving deeper into old friendships.  The class included beginners, pattern designers, experimenters, folk painters and abstract artists.  Diverse and challenging, their projects evolved well over the week.

Sauder Village Rug Week is in Archbold, OH is in its 18th year.  Ruckman Mill Farm vended again right next to Dorr Mill Store in the Exhibit Hall where we enjoyed the Celebration rugs and special collection of Esther and Judy Knipe.  The workshop I taught covered a wide variety of ways for Finishing Hooked Rugs, (title of new book by experts in each technique… including a chapter on finishing work for gallery exhibits by me).  We used the exhibit to explore finishes, talked about the appropriate new technique for students work and using a small sample “learned” three techniques.  Response from the students was to offer this again.  Look for class schedules at SauderVillage.org in early November.  I will be teaching several different classes all week.

Susan L. Feller, Ruckman Mill Farm

Susan L. Feller, Ruckman Mill Farm

 

RETREAT 2014

2014 participants at RETREAT INTO THE MOUNTAINS sponsored by Susan L. Feller, Ruckman Mill Farm

2014 participants at RETREAT INTO THE MOUNTAINS sponsored by Susan L. Feller, Ruckman Mill Farm

Seventeen personalities, piles of fibers, loads of tools and 1,400 acres to wander and be inspired means another RETREAT INTO THE MOUNTAINS of West Virginia on the grounds of Peterkin Camp and Conference Center, Romney, WV.

Our topic this year was the Design Process. Karen Larsen of Crows Foot Farm Designs described her approach as a graphic designer —  simplify and tell the message boldly.  As an example she used an organic shaped rug for her granddaughter depicting a fairy village, sharing their mutual memories.  Also her interpretation of the ‘Star Barn‘ outside of Harrisburg is bold while Nancy Parcel’s design evoked days gone by as a charming pictorial.

Karen Larsen explaining design process

Karen Larsen explaining design process

conversations about designing

conversations about designing

Casual learning sessions occurred throughout the weekend.  Lori LaBerge introduced us to working outdoors (Plein Air Hooking) with a few pointers. We do not have to sketch the design; rather locate a scene, arrange shapes of objects in a pleasing composition, draw in shadows and start selecting colors.  Get to work quickly responding to the environment which in our case was a creek rushing, birds singing, people chattering, winds blowing and sun all around.

capturing an inspiration for later

capturing an inspiration for later

 

appreciating friendly critiques

appreciating friendly critiques

Questions on process were exchanged; music inspired conversation and movement; the bell rang and we ate or traveled to visit the studio at Ruckman Mill Farm and enjoy a meal created by Jim.

Amazing how everyone’s talents combined for a wealth of fun, learning and friendship. Same time, same place next year.

Retreat again into the Mountains

For the 6th year our RETREAT INTO THE MOUNTAINS was a rousing success.  Friday through Sunday in mid April is a beautiful time to wake up your creative juices with SPRING bursting out all around at the Peterkin Camp and Conference Center in Hampshire County, West Virginia.

The theme this year was COLOR… Participants selected their color of the weeeken and developed a small design evoking the hue with motifs and selection of fabrics and techniques.  This gallery shows works in progress throughout the session. 

During the weekend we participated in a yoga session sitting in our seats which focused on the tight back, arm, hands and eyes.  Music and levity loosened us up too as we moved our extremeties making letters and pasta shapes in the air.  We sat for a group photo, reviewed finished pieces on the porch and listened intently to Beth Tembo’s talk and display about African fabrics.  Several jumped into a dye session on Saturday and we all caravaned out to Ruckman Mill Farm to visit Jim and the chickens.  We were well fed by our host.

Summer Vacation and Study in Ontario

Square Bales in Ontario

 Ready for a vacation and yet don’t want to travel too far?  Think learning about rughooking would be fun too?  Canada is a great destination for many New Englanders and those in Northern NY.  Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario is a great setting for both of these goals.  The Summer Arts Program includes three different sessions with rug hooking artists, of course I would recommend July 16-20 with me! See the full catalog here Summer Arts 2012 Loyalist College, Belleville, ON  Registration begins April 13.

Trip Memories in Fiber

When there is not too much time to hook… but you need to record a memory, make a 5 inch square.  The following are vignettes of three great destinations where I have taught this summer.

Pacific Ocean, Central Michigan Sand Dunes, Prince Edward County, Ontario

Waves crashing on the black sand

  

 The Cambria Pines Rug Hooking Schoolwas site of my Pacific Ocean experience.  Thanks to Gene Shepherd this East Coaster has stepped into the cold, Pacific.

 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Vivid memory of Sand Dunes Lake Michigan

  Central Michigan is bordered on the left by Lake Michigan, there are giant sand dunes on the coast and inland they are covered with trees and grasses, hidden monsters.  This scene was during the Manistee Rug Hooking School in late June.

Square Bales in Ontario

While teaching at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario I travelled to Prince Edward County several times.  One visit caught their technique of stacking the square bales of hay into small pyramids prior to pick up.  Went back three days later and the field was empty.  Goes to show you, carry your camera and a journal to catch memories.

Manistee Michigan – whirlwind tour

Just a quick note, and I will update this post with images later in July.The Western Shore Ruggers of Manistee and Onekama areas in Central Michigan, hosted another successful weeklong rug hooking camp.

The work which came out into the hallway to be viewed on Thursday from the five classes proved there were very serious teaching and learning going on. 

Since this was my first time as an instructor, not to be my last  (coming back in 2014), I was thrilled to spend evenings with the others and our tour guide.  We visited the 95 tall Giant Sequoia, the sand dunes and Lake Michigan and numerous lakes along the way.  More details to come.

Cambria Designs

This gallery includes a few of the 16 students’ works, more to come as they are completed.  Also views in and around Cambria Pines Lodge June 5-10

Cedar Lakes in 2011

Again a great group of students and wonderful weather for the 47th Cedar Lakes Rug Camp in Ripley, WV.   Registration for 2012 is open now. Contact Nancy Blair at thhkrugs@altelco.net or call 616-895-6378. The dates are May 13-18, 2012.

Seems the theme for rug designs included birds, flowers and geometrics. Wow! Must have had some inspiration from the FRAKTURS.  They sure did.  We also learned about the elements and principles of design and used these lessons when looking at the rug exhibit on Wednesday.

Laurel Mountains 2011

Becky Headley’s Family Tree

 Family trees, Floral Bouquets and Spring Rabbits were popular subjects for the Fraktur patterns created by students in the Laurel Mountains workshop.

 
This was the first time I had come to Ligonier, and truly enjoyed the town and Ramada Inn where Shirley Engel and her crew coordinated another successful workshop.
 
The other instructors were Jayne Hester and Barb Carroll working with wide cuts and wonderful textured wools.  And Nancy Blood instructing fine cuts using values and detailed drawings.