A Weekend of Rugmaking Workshops

In Western Australia on the weekend of 6th & 7th June there were rug hooking workshops with a difference.  

Participants paid to attend morning or afternoon sessions in two locations, north and south of the city, and rather than signing up for a specific workshop, spent their time watching and taking part in the various on-going hands-on demonstrations.

Things were quiet as we set up – once the doors opened there was a buzz of activity as the participants moved from table to table and gathered close so as not to miss anything.

The techniques advertised were:-

Locker Hooking;

Mandurah_rughooking_workshops_Robin_demonstrating_Locker _hookingRobin Inkpen “in full flight” explaining this technique is quite different from traditional rug hooking.

This group of quilters were deep in thought about the possibility of putting their left-over quilting stash to use!

Locker hook and mesh
Locker hook and mesh

Locker hooking uses the same “canvas” backing as “latch hooking” however the tool is different. The hook, similar to a  crochet hook with a needle eye at the opposite end, is used to thread a length of yarn or string through the long strips of torn cotton fabric hooked into the backing with loops at the front, rather than the short pieces of wool yarn used for latch hooking.

Below is a table mat made by Robin using sari silk off-cuts.


Shown below,  is an excellent example of “Australian Locker Hooking” (the term given to pieces where fleece, instead of fabric, is used to hook up through the backing) discovered by Robin at the second workshop venue, Alexander Park Craft House in Menora.


Here Robin shows Kath the ends of the fleece on the back of this piece

 Naalbinding or Toothbrush Rugmaking;

Mandurah_West_Australia_Judith_Stephens_Toothbrush_RugmakingJudith Stephens with samples of all manner of bags, baskets and bowls she’s created from torn doona covers and sheets made with a tool modified from – yes…. a toothbrush!

The most popular items were the bags, some with a flap, made to hold iPads. These bags were created in “one piece” – absolutely no seams – no sewing required even the handles of the bags were worked into the same piece.

Some of the baskets had a built in base giving them stability to stand and more carrying capacity – also with no stitching required.

Quillies (standing wool rugs);

Mandurah_West_Australia_Quillie_demo_table_ready_for_participantsKira Mead’s quillies have gone viral – everyone was anxious to have-a-go at this technique, new to all.

Great_Barrier_Reef_by_Kira_Mead_Albany_West_AustraliaAt the Craft Fair, after looking at Kira’s “Reef” wall-hanging, a visitor expressed an interest in the shaped sea creatures and signed up for the workshop hoping to ask Kira how to create a bird shape to represent her pet pink & gray galah. She was thrilled  to find Kira had created a small kit in the shape of a bird and already had one made up in pink and gray (shown above on the table)


The construction of “Aurora”  a large wall-hanging,  is featured in an article by Kira in the current issue of Rug Hooking Magazine.

 From over-size to ……..Quillie broochsomething small, this brooch is Kira’s most recent project.




 Proggy and Traditional rug hooking;


All the participants were new to rugmaking – Anna’s brightly Wanneroo_Museum_2015_proggy_rug_made_by_Anna_Wanneroo_Rugmakers_Western_Australiacoloured proggy rug, (left – shown with the backside folded over) attracted much attention and a mini-stretcher frame was used by those who wished to try their hand at proggy, while a selection of locally made lap frames were used for the traditional rug hooking demonstrations.


 The advertised “5 techniques” became “7”

with demonstrations of Stick weaving and the Chunky rugmaker.


Above Gay is working on a toothbrush rug mat as Nita sets up some stick weaving.

The length of firm fabric “cord” formed by stick weaving makes an excellent bag handle or it could be wound and glued or stitched to make a mat.

Nita and Gay also demonstrated the use of the Chunky rugmaker – used by Maggie Whyte (ACT) to create Fabric Necklaces and a different twist on typical mats.

Below, this happy trio participated in a recent workshop making Fabric Necklaces at Wanneroo

April Workshop at Wanneroo

Books & Magazines;

A selection of rug hooking books were available for participants to view and copies of Miriam Miller’s book “Proggy and Hooky Rugs”  with it’s clear illustrations and “how-to” descriptions, were available for sale.

Copies of Rug Hooking Magazine were also available.

Following the workshops

Complimentary comments have been coming in from participants – here are just a couple –

Anne who attended in Mandurah emailed to say

“thanks to all the instructors for their help at the workshop on Saturday in Mandurah – Dawn and I thoroughly enjoyed our time – never knew there were so many ways to use all kinds of materials to craft and create.”

After Menora – Beth said –

“thank you so much for yesterday – it was a marvellous time. I loved it!”

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