Tag Archives: “rug camp”

Traveling Inspirations

On the road again teaching, lectures and just because the weather is nice and making a point to visit all the state parks in WV. Coopers Rock State Forest was just three miles off the Interstate on my way to Cedar Lakes last week.

Cooper's Rock State Forest WV CCC construction

Cooper’s Rock State Forest WV CCC construction

A breathtaking view of undeveloped forest and valley atop a massive ROCK.  The CCC program instituted by President Roosevelt employed thousands and left structures built with native materials which decades later are treasured.

Cooper's Rock State Park, WV

Cooper’s Rock State Park, WV

Birch Catkin

Birch catkin


The birds were singing, sun shining and wind blowing trees with bright new leaves and catkins. Picked up a book with trails described, will be sure to return in other seasons.


Arrived at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley for week long rug camp directed by Tomorrow’s Heirlooms. Always enjoy the early morning fog lifting off water surface and structures. How could this view be interpreted using fiber techniques? The reflecting light is what fascinates me.

early morning light

early morning light

Traveled to Charleston and visited the Capitol Market. Plants in all sizes, colors and leaf shapes.  Inspirations everywhere if you pause to see what you are looking at.

Charleston Farmers Market detail

And finished this stop with lunch at Soho which uses Homer Laughlin Fiestaware (WV company) for serving dishes along with local ingredients for fresh salads.

Fiestaware at SoHo

Fiestaware at SoHo

Inspirations collected depict space, scale, color, value, contrast, depth, texture, nature and history. May I encourage you to experience new visuals and sounds and add them to your work.

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 into the Mountains 2012

Retreat into the Mountains 2012

  24 great energetic and creative souls came together this year for the 5th RETREAT INTO THE MOUNTAINS at Peterkin Camp and Conference Center, Romney,WV.  We are gathered here on the expansive porch in our colorful array of dress. The new officers of Mountain State Fiber Artists make up the first row. 

Great weather for the weekend including the foliage which was gradually coming out after the extreme heat in March, allowed us to keep our minimal schedule including hiking up to the waterfalls and hemlock grove, driving out by caravan to Ruckman Mill Farm for dinner prepared by Jim on Saturday evening and hours of hooking on the porch and in the lounge space into the wee hours of the night. 

2012 group at the waterfalls, Peterkin

             The theme for this year was to react visually to the phrase: “everybodyneedsfiber” Several participants came with designs in a small format (8 inch or so squares).  One was a combination of different sized printer’s blocks creating a composition of the letters.  This will be a study in value and depth using materials and techniques to enhance the subtle tones of the wood blocks. A jar of Metamucil was another interpretation:  Every BODY needs Fiber.   

         Another was Betsy Warner’s energetic lady happily lying in a field of color, prodded butterflies hovering above and her hair wildly flying in the green field.  The variety of fibers and techniques accented the phrase ” EVERYBODY NEEDS FIBER!”


The trip to Ruckman Mill Farm included showcasing the beef cattle raised here in Hampshire County:  Angus, Herefords and even Longhorns. Yes Texas Longhorns are raised here for the lean meat, and seem to enjoy a steady diet of green grasses.

  Visit other blogs for their interpretations of the retreat:Lauren Fuqua from Ohio: www.rugsandpugs.blogspot.com  

Donna Bennett another Ohioian: http://www.CrowsontheLedge.com 

Susan Hoekstra, New Jersey our presenter this year on the topic Color Theory www.Foxview.com and www.Needlefest.com

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

Feet wet in the Pacific and fun at Cambria

Susan and Nola and the Pacific

A week on the Central Coast of California in early June extended our Spring weather right when it was 100 degrees and humid in West Virginia!

Cambria Rug School is held at Cambria Pines Lodge and filled with wonderfully talented people.  Seven instructors with a wide range of experiences, and 90 students with guests filled classrooms and dining areas from Sunday evening until Friday at lunch.

Gene and Nola Heidbreder looking at the Pacific Ocean

 Gene Shepherd coordinated a great week with teaching, as auctioneer and as tour guide.  The Pacific Ocean was very cold, but exhilarating as Nola and I got our feet washed, and warmed again on the dark black sand on Wednesday afternoon.  We saw pelicans bathing and flying overhead along with seagulls of all shades.

We also squeezed in a trip to Hearst Castle after classes on Thursday.     There is a view!  Thankfully the family and state have preserved 13 miles of coastline with conservation easements. 

Hearst Castle Pool and view

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.

Two workshops with openings

Butterfly detail from Conatined Garden Friends

There are a few spaces left in two great workshops this Spring: Contact the directors quickly to get your deposits in– love to see you and spend time working with you.  Check out the Calendar page to see where else we could meet.

May 1- 5 teaching at Laurel Mountains, Ligonier, PA Design a Rug with Folk Art motifs, Learn the History of PA German Frakturs Shirley Engel director contact Shirley for details at shirlet@zoominternet.net see Barb Carroll’s site for more about Laurel Mountains… http://www.woolleyfox.com

May 8-13 teaching at Cedar Lakes Rug Camp, Ripley, WV
Open class:Folk Art to Design whatever you want to concentrate on this year. In its 46th year this camp is a wonderful relaxed experience. Nancy and Fred Blair directors  email thhkrugs@alteco.net  or call 616-895-6378

Designing Challenges in Indiana

Bev and Susan

The  last week of October took me out to Indiana, and Bev Stewart’s Whispering Pines Designs in Clayton.  Bev coordinated two wonderful classes filled with talent and eager people. In three day sessions they worked through the Basic Elements and Principles of Design.  The classes included three generations of fiber artists, and another mother, daughter pair along with people who were pulling their first 1000 loops to those who had spent thousands of hours enjoying wool.    

Bev and the locals coordinate a very successful hook-in the second Saturday of September, bringing in a wide variety of vendors and over 300 eager rugmakers.  The efforts of this organizing group validates the passions thousands have for pulling loops through backing whether the fabric is wool strips, yarns or plastic bags.

The wonderful Arts and Crafts home of Jim and Bev Stewart welcomed me along with its inhabitants.  Jim was “treated” each morning to a bowl of oatmeal I had prepared and the animals seemed to enjoy another person around. 

Kit Cat in Studio at Bev Stewart's

I will be back in May of 2012 to teach two more workshops. Interested students should contact Bev ..at Whispering Pines Designs 6583 S CR 400 E, Clayton, IN 46118 or see Calendar under About Susan Feller

Fall Fiesta in Vermont

Stephanie Krauss of Green Mountain Hooked Rugs created a great event: four days in beautiful Vermont during the height of Fall Foliage Season.  The first Fall Fiesta was Sept 22-26 and I advise you mark your calendars for just the same times in 2011.  I was one of three instructors (others were Jane Halliwell Green and Lisanne Miller) along with a store, retreat session and fabulous food prepared and served by the New England Culinary Institute students.  Located on the campus of Vermont College of Fine Arts just up the hill from Vermont’s capitol, Montpelier this event had everyone attending smiling and calling each other friends in no time.

Fraktur Workshop at Fall Fiesta, VT

 Our class stands outside of College Hall, a massive elegant building housing the workshops for the weekend.