Tag Archives: hooked rugs exhibit

Premiering Year Study at Sauder

Year Study Journals

Year Study Journals

One month to go! The prep work is administrative now – scanning journal pages, photographing, cropping and uploading images and creating labels for the only public exhibit of all 365+ squares.  The YEAR STUDY will be hung as twelve panels (months) at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in Archbold, OH August 12-15. On Saturday morning I am conducting a gallery talk, sign up for this or enjoy the visuals while at the show.

The variety of techniques, materials and composition styles are sure to encourage fiber artists. Taking the time to educate myself with these elements has been more important than I first expected.  As an artist there are times when everything clicks and volumes of pieces are the results.  The satisfaction of sales and ease in making similar work just keeps flowing along.

BUT I have observed the spark of the artist does not end up in every one of their pieces. Back in my college days when a roll of photographs was taken there was probably only one or maybe two which were great, artists know when the object has a soul.

Working in uncertainty everyday to create a visual record was helpful to learn how to communicate visually.  Besides improving drawing skills I learned to simplify, enhance shapes, use colors and values to direct the viewer. Using a variety of techniques within one square, I have been able to create interest in a small object.

Several themes are haunting me and the studio has been reorganized, purged of clutter and is ready to be used for creativity. While cutting up the panels and adding the finishing to each square is still ahead, knowing they will be purchased and enjoyed by others makes this step enjoyable along with educational.

Contemporary Fiber work at Schwenkfelder

My responsibility as co-curator of the ‘Garden to Table’ exhibit at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center was to collect contemporary work incorporating rughooking.  The pieces contributed by Carolyn Boutilier, Kris McDermet, Mary Jane Peabody and Darlene York  Trout along with several of mine portray a variety of techniques within the traditional rughooking medium.

hooked and sewn pumpkin base, wool stem, stuffed by Carolyn Boutilier

hooked and sewn pumpkin base, wool stem, stuffed by Carolyn Boutilier



Carolyn Boutilier from Harrisonburg, VA hooked and stuffed a 3-D pumpkin which complimented the wax fruit displays of the 1800’s.  Exhibited under it’s own plexi glass box the humble object receives the respect it deserves.  Candace Perry chuckled with glee when she saw the pumpkin.





Luscious Vermont  Kris McDermet 2014  Dummerston, Vermont

Luscious Vermont 
Kris McDermet 2014 
Dummerston, Vermont



Kris McDermet’s braiding, hooking and felting exemplifies contemporary fiber art using traditional crafts.  Living in Vermont the rug represents her generational family homes in a palette connoting the Green Mountain state. Kris is co-author of Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding published by Schiffer Publishing.


Fruit and Flowers, Mary Jane Peabody (pattern by Jacquelyn Hansen)

Fruit and Flowers, Mary Jane Peabody (pattern by Jacquelyn Hansen)


Mary Jane Peabody from New Hampshire was inspired to learn an old technique – sculpting or the Waldoboro style. She began this piece in a workshop conducted by designer,  author and expert Jacquelyn Hansen from Maine. The pattern Fruit and Flowers is by Hansen.




detail sculpting technique by Mary Jane Peabody

detail sculpting technique by Mary Jane Peabody


The 3-D effect is achieved by progressively pulling the loops higher as the shape is hooked from outline to center.  Then the thin strips are each clipped at the loop and gradually TRIMMED to create the shape. Popularized in Waldoboro, Maine in the early 1900’s on rugs, this piece is beautiful finished in a burled frame.






Paisley Bouquet by Darlene York Trout

Paisley Bouquet by Darlene York Trout


Darlene York Trout from Indiana is a designer willing to use any of the fiber skills she has accumulated to make a piece unique. This work was created specifically as a gift for her friend Patsy Jones which made it even more enjoyable to work on.  I enjoyed a week at Cedar Lakes Rug Camp working with Darlene on the Paisley Bouquet and knew it would reflect the fruit compotes in the Schwenkfelder collection.

Embroidery skills are evident in the detailed cross hatch of the central flower and the quilted, appliqué corners.  She also used beads and hooked in sari silk ribbon to highlight some accents and hand dyed all the wool.



Haying Stages, Susan L. Feller

Haying Stages, Susan L. Feller

In Haying Stages I used several techniques to create the hay rolls, mowed fields, and scrabble of grasses. The rolls are made using a pin loom and continuous weaving. An addictive satisfying technique popularized in the 1940’s and seeing a resurgence in the crafts wave of the 21st C. The ends are closed with a plaited strip made from the wool I hook with.


detail plaiting, weaving by Susan L. Feller

detail plaiting, weaving by Susan L. Feller

I used a ragged approach to the ends, cutting them off higher in many areas to depict the grass. In the area where the rolls are there is hand dyed wool anchored by the same yarn used int the roll.

This piece was juried by Jane Dunnewold into an exhibit at Morehead State University, Kentucky titled 7Stitch.


Setting up an Exhibit

Ever wonder how an exhibit comes together for opening day?  Here are some behind the scenes shots as we set up ‘Garden to Table: hooked rugs and art from the collection at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, PA.

Delivery of hooked, sculpted and braided pieces

Delivery of hooked, sculpted and braided pieces

Works from Indiana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia were collected by me complimenting the theme ‘Garden to Table’.  I brought them into the Fraktur Gallery at the Schwenkfelder on Thursday and the fun began.  The previous exhibit was off the walls but still in the room including a wooden cradle, cases and a cart filled with stuffing.

One exhibit down another going up

One exhibit down another going up

Candace Perry, Curator of Collections showed me items from their archives already on the walls including a flower wreath of feathers in a manner not known to her to be made in the 21st Century.  We discussed adding redware flower pots, hand painted china from early 20th C, an oil painting by Walter Baum, Berlin work and Frakturs representing the 19th and 18th Centuries.  Off she went into the archives and I began to intermingle the fiber work with the objects.

Why did one item end up next to another?  Sometimes it is color, could be shapes, maybe subject perhaps it is traffic flow.  All of these options came into play today.  The following two images show how moving an object slightly to the left and on an angle gives more space to the rug and flower arrangement.

Tomorrow we hang the rest of the work, bring in the large display case with four domed wax fruit compotes!, label the objects, sweep the floor and redirect the lighting just in time for the official opening on Saturday.  This exhibit will be up through March 1.  The Heritage Center is open Tuesday through Sunday visit www.Schwenkfelder.com for directions, exhibit descriptions, and hours.

Thanks to Darlene York Trout, Patsy Jones, Kris McDermet, Mary Jane Peabody, and Carolyn Boutilier for contributing hooked work to the collection.

Opening of ‘Hooked Art 2014’

Entrance to UConn Gallery Hooked Art 2014

Entrance to UConn Gallery Hooked Art 2014

Opening Receptions are great opportunities to meet artists and view artwork and Saturday , October 25 was no exception.

Fifteen of the 18 artists were in attendance to discuss and enjoy the 55 contemporary textile works curated by Liz Alpert Fay in the 10th exhibit sponsored by Newtown Hooked Art Shows with Sherry Paisley.

Conversations between artists included topics on process, progress and future studio work while audience members were overheard saying their work would be influenced by the innovative directions they observed on the walls at the UConn Gallery on Stamford, CT campus.

Below are two images of work included in this exhibition of contemporary hooked art on view at UConn Gallery in Stamford, CT through November 29.  Visit if you can and enjoy the scale of each interacting with the others.

See www.NewtownHookedArtShows.com fora  link about hours and directions.  A review in Fiber Art Now magazine Fall 2014 issue includes an interview with Juror of Awards-Lee Kogan, Curator Emerita American Folk Art Museum, New York City.

I am happy to announce receipt of a travel grant from WV Div of Culture and History for my trip to the opening and a luncheon with fellow artists.  The grant allowed me to meet with my peers, view their work and discuss future fiber projects outside of the State of West Virginia.

Collections at Sauder Village

The 18th Annual Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, Archbold, OH is over, preserved in memories and digital snaps.  THE event for fiber enthusiasts will happen again August 12-15, 2015.  Bookmark SauderVillage.org and check in early November for schedule of workshops, vendors and featured exhibits.

Thank you to Rug Hooking Magazine and Sauder Village for sponsoring this show and congratulations to Event Coordinator Kathy Wright.  Look forward to old and new friends next year.

These images capture my digital highlights, the mind is overwhelmed by hundreds more.

Best of West Virginia 2013 at Tamarack

The summer show at Tamarack in Beckley, WV is titled “The Best of West Virginia”.  Juried, 400 pieces were reviewed and 140 selected with awards given for Best in Show, 1st-3rd and Honorable Mention.  The gallery exhibit and SALE is up through August 2.

This year I entered a traditional design inspired by floral Fraktur motifs.  It was selected and hangs as a stunning piece of art right next to the Best in Show photograph.  Guess that is good real estate.  Visit facebook Tamarack WV and look for the photos of opening to catch a glimpse of Caraway Garden Runner over the shoulder of the Best in Show winner.

"Caraway Garden Runner" 18 x 52 designed & hooked by Susan L. Feller  2013

I decided to use a restricted palette of reds and oranges stretching this by including warm and cool members of each hue.  The foliage is dull sage greens, neutral to the flowers.  It has been some time since warm yellow was the background for a design but it lends a bright cheery mood to the feeling of “Caraway Garden Runner”. 

Working from one end to the other, and alternating light and dark values in motifs (sort of), this runner was a delight yet challenging piece.  I found the limiting palette needed some pick me ups and worked turquoise and purples into centers and the central motif.

Originally the edge was going to be a simple 1/4″ of red whipping yarn but that seemed too delicate for the raucous yellow.  Looking back at Frakturs (PA German illuminated manuscripts) I pulled from their border techniques a simple geometric repeat to edge and contain the organic shapes.  Using the yellows and greens I alternated pulling a loop which is a technique called “beading” in rughooking.  It looks as if there are contrasting beads strung around the border.  Still not satisfied that a thin red line would be enough, I played with widths of red fabric, settling on a 1 1/2″ wide one. 

The design is available as a pattern for fellow rughookers at www.RuckmanMillFarm.com Below are some detail images, Enjoy.  Click on the first image to view them larger in sequence.

Painting With Wool

Congratulations to Pat Levin and the Artisans Gallery, 114 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA for coordinating an artistic exhibit (and sale) of hooked works.  The artists representing the full range of techniques and design styles in this Septemer show are: Judy Carter, Peggy Hannum, Cindy Irwin, Pat Levin, Marie Sugar and Margaret Irwin.

Think of supporting these artists by purchasing a holiday gift or art for your own collection and stop in through September 29.  www.114ArtisansGallery.com. Each Saturday from noon until 3:00 there will be demonstrations and an opportunity to meet one of the artists

Zodiac Collection at Sauder Village 2012

The 16th Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, Archbold, OH is over and plans are being finalized for the next one August 14-17, 2013.  Below is the entire Zodiac Collection of hooked art (approximately 18″ x 26″) published in Rug Hooking Magazine J/F 2012 as it was presented for thousands of visitors.  Congratulations to the designers: Aries, Mariah Krauss, VT; Taurus, Patti Armstrong, Ontario,CN; Gemini, Sara Judith, British Columbia, CN; Cancer, Diane Learmonth, WA; Leo, Linda Rae Coughlin, NJ; Virgo, Francine Even, CT; Libra, Yvonne Autie, UK; Scorpio, Susan Feller, WV; Sagittarius, Jennifer Larmour, NY; Capricorn, Natasha Chan, IN; Aquarius, Jo Franco, W Australia; Pisces, Andrea Sheppard, Ontario, CN

Emerging Artists Show at Tamarack

Artists juried into Tamarack’s David L. Dickirson Fine Art Gallery in Beckley, WV in the past 18 months are featured in the exhibit opening with a reception on Sunday, January 22.  The show will be up through March 23. 

This collection was inspired by the shadows cast by objects along the roadway onto surfaces in front of me as I drove the thousands of miles this past year.  One image stayed in my mind of large round hay rolls lined up at the fencerow and 10:00 sunlight. 

There are two sets: one depicting the grassy field and then textured roadway; the other with a light snow on the grasses and roadway showing a slushy tire track.  The fifth image is the view out our kitchen window. Winter now with oak trees retaining their light brown leaves and the other hardwoods barren against a cold white sky.  I incorporated alpaca yarns, spun in Hampshire County at the Capon Bridge Fiber Works into the piece adding a soft texture. 

All the works are 5″ x 13″ mounted on 8″ x 16″ covered stretcher bars   They are priced at $135 each and available directly from the Tamarack-Gallery.

Zodiac Collection Fiber Artists from Around the World

Twelve fiber artists selected by Susan L. Feller for their innovative designs and in some cases young energy, depict the Zodiac signs in hooked works.  The collection is published in Rug Hooking Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue.

Virgo, by Francine Even, CT, USA

Seeing the pieces in the magazine and reading the thought processes is one thing but actually viewing all twelve works and meeting some of the artists can be done by attending Sauder Village’s 16th Rug Hooking Week in Archbold, Ohio. The event is Wednesday-Saturday, August 15-18.  Susan will lead a gallery walk with fellow artists during the exhibit.  See events, workshops or sign up when you arrive.