Category Archives: Meetings

Getting together for International Rug Hooking Day

Dec. 4 , part 3 – Connecting in person and on-line defines three words of our celebration – INTERNATIONAL, and RUG Hooking, prodding, punching, braiding tomorrow and everyday.

Thanks to the five years we have been promoting this day, Rug Hooking Magazine’s facebook event will be filled with photos from the celebrations held all week.

Traveling chronologically, Australia will bring in the day with end of year celebrations in New South Wales and Queensland, three time zones later in Western Australia. Follow these groups in 2020 by signing up on the Australian Rugmakers Guild’s blog. Then Japan and on to Abu Dhabi where Ti Seymour and the UAE Rugmakers are demonstrating punch and hooking at Costa Coffee Al Muneera Island. Håkon Grøn Hensvold, is in Skreia, Norway. His work is included in Rug Hooking Magazine and several books. The UK groups gather in London, the Yorkshires, Penzance and many villages in Great Britain, Scotland and Wales.

Friends getting together

Crossing the “pond” all of the Canadian provinces will have events. As we noted in a previous post, Newfoundland and Labrador have a long history of mat making. This is also the host region for TIGHR through 2021. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the many rug hooking businesses will be open for drop-ins. Lucy Richard told me she is going to visit Della Ackles Rug Hooking in Amherst for the first time. And looks forward to the colourful creativity at Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Studio on Church Street in Amherst. Richard has created a dyeing system with extensive formulas after a simple set-up called The Wooly Mason Jar. (I will mention another service of Lucy in part 4.) Carol Harvey-Clark, a founding member of TIGHR, has a shop listed as an EcoMuseum in Mahone Bay called Spruce Top Rug Hooking Studio. Christine Little’s Encompassing Designs is also in Mahone Bay, filled with rug patterns, beautiful dyed wools, and supplies. I am going to mention one more shop but you would be best planning a week or more exploring these provinces for rug making beauty. Jan Steele operates River House Rug Hooking Studio in Petite Rivière Bridge (just have to visit to see the village). A community project to experience is in the Eglise Historique de Barachois, New Brunswick where 200 hooked cushions were contributed from across Canada and abroad.

Quebec and Ontario chapters are part of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild. On the 4th, Beaconsfield Hooking Crafters Guild and Marlintown Wild & Woolly Rug Hookers join together for their annual celebration in Williamstown, ON. Martina Lesar hosts a hook-in for the public in Brampton, ON. And with dozens of chapters around the province of Ontario I am sure there are other meetings. Crossing west through Canada there are many groups, with a concentration in British Columbia around Vancouver and Victoria.

Ruckman Mill Farm, now @ Green Mountain Hooked Rugs

Historically New England is the oldest rug hooking region of the United States. A trip to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine for rughooking enthusiasts means meeting 5th generation pattern makers, (Green Mountain Hooked Rugs) second generation wool manufacturers,(Dorr Mill Store) and over a century old institution filled with patterns, wools and supplies (W. Cushing & Co).

Check out the events and advertisers at if you are traveling. Or better yet subscribe to the only magazine dedicated to the range of techniques, styles and regions of the craft/art in 2019.

Tomorrow – December 4 will be the final post of this overview. Introducing readers to some of the networkers and the artists using these techniques in their unique styles.

TIGHR Skype to Australian Board

Gathered around the screen "talking" to Australia

The first international communications between TIGHR members was conducted at the Sauder Village Rug Hooking Event.  Coordinated by “web savvy” Judi Tompkins, Jo Franco and Susan Feller, five members of the TIGHR Australian Board were conferenced into the pictured group in Archbold, OH.  While the noise level made actual hearing and speaking on the US side almost impossible, the logistics emboldened many to become SKYPE -ees.  Plans are for a quieter place in the Sauder Heritage Inn next August. 
Conference calls to non-attendees of the Tri-Ennial in Stralthalbyn, Australia such as this will connect our worldwide membership with the events in October of 2012.  Visit to learn more about The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers.  Join and visit Australia from the comfort of your own home.  Meet fiber artists from around the world talking about their version of rughooking.

Mountain State Fiber Artists Meet on Farm

October 16th dawned a beautiful FALL day. 

MSFA meeting Fall 2010

By noon 22 members and guests of the Mountain State Fiber Artists had arrived at Ruckman Mill Farm.  They unloaded with desserts and salads (note the desserts were listed first, and were the most in both categories contributed).  And also brought along finished hooked , needle work and quilted, items which were displayed on the front porch during our show and tell. 

Leaf Peeping Season by Susan Feller

  We have accepted the ATHA challenge to make  a 9 x 12 mat inspired by the color RED.  Completed pieces will be shown at the Morgan County Fair next August and then contributed by members to the ATHA Bi-Ennial in Lancaster, PA October 19-22 to benefit the Education Committee.

Way Up North

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada- A total of 63 hours from farm to event to farm again and what an intense experience.  The 44th OHCG Annual Conference “Hooked on the Waterfront” was held in Cobourg, Ontario April 29-May 2, 2010.  Attended by 305 of the 863 members from chapters around the province of Ontario and members at large. includind one day workshops, mini sessions, general meeting and an awesome exhibit of over 600 rugs surrounded by thirteen colourful vendors this event was coordinated by five of the chapters along the northern shore of Lake Ontario.

I picked up Deb Smith, Editor of Rug Hooking Magazine early on Friday, just outside of Harrisburg, PA and we continued the easy commute (but long) up I81 crossing the border at 1000 Islands Bridge and hooking up onto the 401 going West to Cobourg.  We arrived and checked in to an organized and cheerful group.  The evening ice breaker was a mini lighthouse sketched on burlap with precut strips, which we hooked while chatting with Yvonne Muntwylier (Past President of TIGHR 2000-2003) and a brand new member/rughooker Karen.  Yvonne is full of creative juices and her excitement along with our encouragement assured Karen she was on a great journey as retirement loomed next year.

There were many familiar faces and the large name tags helped make the personal connections.  Deb was introduced to the entire audience the next day, as the members at large were asked to state where we were from.

We were off to the exhibit and vendors by 10:30 entering the show with open mouths and cameras flashing for hours.  The display system is cumbersome to assemble using chains dropped from the top rod, and sliding dowels through the links with balanced rugs. The final effect is a great exhibit.  This year the backdrop used black drapes, and each chapter was responsible for their section.

I was looking for works which caught my eyeto include in the upcoming book and took many photos to hunt down the artists.  Many of the students at Loyalist College last summer had completed their fraktur designs and hung them.  It was so much fun to come across each while looking at the full exhibit.  Even a design by Nancy Jewett, of Fluff and Peachy Designs was there, and I took a photo to send off to her.

A tribute to Germaine James included almost twenty of her works and a photo collage.  Terri James attended the full weekend, talking with friends and enjoying the close friendship.

The vendors were busy all day, filled with colourful wools and supplies. 

Andrea Sheppard and I took Patti Armstrong’s workshop “Working with Alternatives” which was an economical dip into the recycled materials way beyond just recycled woolen clothing.  Since Patti is allergic to wool, it burns her skin on contact, she tries any item which can be pulled through the backing, from shoe laces to pantyhose (dissecting even the heavy waistband into two strips sometimes).  It was a fun quick study for an hour, jumping into the small kit she had assembled for us with plastic bags for the sheep bodies, layers of a jacket, from outside to lining each giving a different effect.  And in the end even the shiny candy wrappers ended up peeking through the branches of our trees as fruit.  A tiny 5 inch square shadow box for $1.25 at the DollarRama gussied up with a green layer of paint by the disabled community she works with finished the project for under $10!  

Keep in mind Patti has been a past recipient of the Rowan Award (Best in Show) using alternative materials.  Her work is avant-garde yet set in the traditions of rughooking.  This leads me to comment on why I continue my membership and attendance in this group, the respect for tradition is strongly felt, yet in the displays at least 80% or even more are original designs.  Beginners are encouraged to use templates or just draw out their own first design.  The OHCG Teachers Branch certifies instructors and continues refresher courses annually on a specific topic.  As someone from the United States (we who are brought up to believe we are the best) I was humbled last year, at the first annual I attended, to see the heritage, tradition and contemporary art encouraged here in just one of the Canadian Provinces.  Wake up “Americans” we are not the only ones in this rughooking world!

Now off my high horse.  I really felt welcomed as a fellow member, and look forward to continued friendships, and many more through OHCG, cyberspace and at the next annual in London, ON. Interested in joining the fun visit