Rughooking in Australia

Australia Rugmakers at the Perth Craft Quilt Fair 2013

Australia Rugmakers at the Perth Craft Quilt Fair 2013

Here’s a lovely blog about rughooking in Australia. Wool, paradoxically, is less readily available there as almost all those lovely sheep fleeces are sent away for processing in Japan and Italy, I was told. So, alternative materials are very much the thing and creativity is HIGH!

Jo Franco, Australian rughooker, breaking the art vs craft barrier

Jo Franco, Australian rughooker, breaking the art vs craft barrier

Another post that fascinated me is about visiting rugmakers, addressing the perennial “Art or Craft” question. Can it not be both? We craft/create our rugs and mats with our minds and hands, eyes and fingers, and the creations can largely be classified as art. Here, Jo Franco shows her Totem pieces, at a Perth gallery.

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Business Plans, etcetra

More inspiration from Susan L Feller, plus a lovely Prairie Sunset mat!

Business Plans, etcetra.

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Sharing with you some new patterns for 2015

Sharing with you some new patterns for 2015.

Karen Kahle’s latest rugs – including a romantic one called Jane Austen – lovely!

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Contemporary Fiber work at Schwenkfelder

I wish I could see this exhibit in person but loved reading about it and seeing the beautiful photos.

Contemporary Fiber work at Schwenkfelder.

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Trish Johnson & San Francisco’s Coit Tower

Laura Pierce shares a visit with Trish Johnson to the Coit Tower in San Francisco. Fabulous murals and one particularly nice view, even on a hazy day, out a circular window. It would make an interesting hooked rug. So would many parts of the murals, painted during the Depression by artists paid by government grants, surely one of the nicer stories from that grey and desperate time. So great that they’ve been appreciated and maintained all these years!

Laura's Loop

Coit Tower, a San Francisco icon! Coit Tower, a San Francisco icon!

When Trish Johnson comes to town… we try and get together in San Francisco! This time we visited Coit Tower… a wonderful little spot in North Beach.

Mural of downtown San Francisco, circa 1930. Mural of downtown San Francisco, circa 1930.

The murals inside Coit tower are the result of several artists paid by the government during the depression. it was good to get paid to paint, eh! notice the gentleman getting robbed on the right.

Coit Tower mural; Oarkland ferry Coit Tower mural; Oarkland ferry

The murals depict a moment in time; the 1930’s. Trish and I decide to pay the money to ride the elevator to the top of Coit Tower… and the viewing deck. The line begins around the corner.

Trish merges with the murals of Coit Tower Trish merges with the murals of Coit Tower

Trish and I love the murals of the agriculture in California; the apricots and vineyards and wine!

Coit Tower murals of the area Coit Tower murals of the area

In the…

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It’s October?

I love the colourful trees and cooler nights of fall. It’s the time of harvests and cozy curling up with a mat – currently hooking a Maud Lewis pattern I bought at the Hooked Rug Museum of North America in Queensland/Chester, Nova Scotia. Delightful visit; I got to their September hook-in and met up with email and blog friends, plus reconnected with others. What a wonderful world the rughooking community is! Gene Shepherd was there (a Director at Large of the HRMNA), Lucy Richard (of Wooly Mason Jar Dyeing), Lauri Troutman, Doug Rankin (of Highland Heart Hookery), all the Museum team – totally volunteer! – and so many more. The rugs being hooked were terrific, of course and the people friendly and enthusiastic. A wonderful day.

I also got out on the water for a lovely afternoon sail – and I was handed the tiller for the homeward journey! Lovely. Reconnected with friends and met new ones. Chester is a delightful place to visit; a bustle and freshness that only comes by the sea. It will have to hold me for another year.

‘My’ Maud Lewis is entitled: Model T on Tour. It would make a great wedding gift, I think. Fun to hook, as there is really no shading – just a little variation in the grass; otherwise, solid blocks of colour. Maud Lewis was an amazing woman, painting her heart out everywhere and on everything she could get her hands on. Her little painted house is now in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, NS (Canada) and it’s quite incredible that she painted so much and so often. The tiny house had no plumbing or electricity (in the mid-twentieth century, in Marshalltown, NS) but she and her husband Everett managed to live there for 32 years.

There was a wonderful fundraiser in Yarmouth NS this summer – Maudified Houses were painted by various individuals and groups, then erected around town and auctioned off at the end of the summer. The Friends of Yarmouth Art Gallery pronounced it a resounding success, raising nearly $20,000. Years after her death in 1970, Maud is still making smiles and being a very positive presence in the Canadian Maritimes and further afield. Her art is now highly collectible; though her work goes for many many times more than she ever received for it, her creative light continues to shine. It made her happy to make others happy, so her legacy is fitting. Maud’s folk art is supremely cheerful.

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A month flew by

Where did July go? I was sick for most of it, so I guess that’s where, for me. I did get some hooking done, though. When my copy of Rug Hooking Magazine came, I was taken with the free pattern by Laurie Lausen oLaurieLausen RHM free patternf a little house with big flowers. So, I got out my linen and drew it out a little bigger than the pattern; it still only took a few days of intermittent hooking to finish it. I added a border, so as not to waste good linen, then a slight delay for the whipping and binding, but I pushed on.

I’ve also been busy with the website, Facebook page and newsletter for the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild (OHCG). A little part-time work would be nice, I thought, and I obsess about rughooking anyway… plus it would give me something to show for all the time I spend on the computer and Facebook… It turns out to be a considerably bigger job than I planned on, but it is work that I enjoy, and I get a small stipend, so that helps, too. Here’s an ad I made up, which is in the current issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine. The Guild is Ontario-wide and full of all kinds of rughookers–nearly 1000, with dozens of teachers in that number. From fine, highly detailed work, medium wide, often fairly detailed work, to the really wide cuts that I prefer. Not so much detail as suggestion. Visit the website at

Diverse styles of nearly 1000 traditional rughookers make up the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild. Have a look!

Then we had a visit with the grandchildren in Ottawa, mid-July, up at the camp that they all are at now. Our eldest grandchild is not quite 7 and was thrilled to be at sleep away camp for 3 1/2 a popcorn picnic sort of dayweeks before being joined by the rest of the family for the 2nd half of camp season. Here are the two younger ones, enjoying popcorn before the real food arrived. A lovely day!


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Inspiration for a sunny day

I just love Karen Kahle’s mats and blog – her colours and her unique style make every visit an occasion. The quote here is a great one and reminds me of one of my favourites – “The earth laughs in flowers” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It makes me smile, so expressive and unexpected. Milne had an excellent point, too – taking time to enjoy weeds and wildflowers is time well spent.

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PanAm rug, done!

PanAm rug, done!

Finished rug for the Pan/Parapan Am Games in Toronto in 2015, as a part of the 41 rugs pledged by the OHCG to give one to each participating country. Hope they enjoy them!
This one is designed by Trish Johnson (Toronto), adapted for wide-cut, primitive style, and hooked by me. It’s been nice to be thinking about cottage country and summertime through this nasty cold snap. Mostly wide-cut and hand-torn wool, with some woollen yarn, on linen (pattern donated by Trish).

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Pan Am Games 2015 rug, day 6

Pan Am Games 2015 rug, day 6

Trish Johnson designed this rug and I hooked an adapted version (to accommodate my wide-cut wools vs Trish’s usual #3). Very enjoyable mat to hook.

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