Rugs on the Wall not the Floor

ISSN 2207-001X  6th June 2017

The Sunshine Coast RugCrafters in Beerwah, Queensland have added glitz to their rugs so are hanging them on the wall ……

Stella Edmundson,  researched Mewar (Indian) painting online before coming up with her rug  “Mewar Dreaming”.

At Stella’s suggestion, I went online and discovered bright and brilliant colours of red, orange, green and blue are a feature of these paintings. Small hillocks and mounds are inserted into the paintings which are typically of the birds, animals, ornate trees and bunches of flowers, depicted in Persian style.

Stella began her rug  which is just under 2 m wide, by drawing templates for her motifs and drawing around them directly onto her backing. She said she had fun with this piece, using “Q” tips for the stars.

Judy Owen is also a member of the Sunshine Coast RugCrafters –

It’s finished …..  not only that, it’s hung!

We see rugs by members of our various groups during the design and hooking process and we’re sometimes asked for help or offer a suggestion here and there – so it’s great to see the finished project.

Now “There’s a Unicorn in My Garden” is hanging in place, the size of the rug designed and hooked by Judy can be appreciated.

Judy used bainia (Aran) wool, knitting and rug wool, dyed wool yarn, blanket, fabric strips and metallic thread to hook this piece.

I’m travelling to Queensland in July; looking forward to meeting Stella and Judy again when I visit Judi Tompkins group.

Judi and I plan to bring you video interviews with Australian rug hooking artists; Stella and Judy will be our first!   Jo Franco, Editor

Rughooking Calendar Updates

ISSN 2207-001X 26th May 2017

Question:- 

If I don’t use Facebook – how can I find out about rug hooking events  around Australia before they happen?”

Answer: Subscribe to receive notice of this Blog by email, then you can easily click over to “Current Events” without having to remember to actually go to the website.  Need help to [subscribe] using your iPad or computer? click here.

In Strathalbyn South Australia  – this weekend  (27th/28th May) is your last chance to visit Judith Stephens Open Studio.

This Exhibition of hooked rugs and items made using 10 different rug making techniques by members of the Strath Matters rug hooking group; a collection of old SEMCO rug patterns and “Have-a-go” proggy demonstrations; is part of the South Australia’s History Festival.

The theme this year is “Transport”, which lends itself to  thoughts of “magic carpets” or the magic of rag rugs.

President, Judith Stephens, SA

From Judith :

“The History Festival lasts for the month of May, and there are hundreds of activities throughout the state – some major and many small projects of all varieties.  It’s a great idea, and people really get into the swing of attending heaps of activities, so it is worthwhile. 

We’ve had about a dozen people each day we’ve been open – lots of chat about ‘I remember my grandfather ….. etc etc!’  One lady saw the old tools and exclaimed ‘is THAT what it’s used for!”

Open Studio  –  13 Old Bull Creek Rd, Strathalbyn, SA 5255.     For times and more details email  Judith   studioblue20@gmail.com

Speaking of “HISTORY”, check out the History of Australian Rugmakers on the Guild Website.

Many thanks to Corinne Ball, Curator, who retrieved the rugs from the archives of the South Australian Migration Museum, to photograph and for her permission to show the images on the Guild website.

The Migration Museum, at 82 Kintore Ave, Adelaide, South Australia 5001 is Open Daily from 10am-5pm Mon-Fri and 1pm-5pm Weekends – Admission is Free.

Looking ahead in South Australia – the Strath Matters will be demonstrating rug hooking at the  Kym Jones Craft Fair   –  Adelaide Showgrounds  on the 14th/15th July – for details email Judith Stephens studioblue20@gmail.com  and on 18th & 19th August the group will be at the Strathalbyn Antique Fair & Crafts .

ALSO HAPPENING THIS COMING WEEKEND …..

Tasmania – Joanne Wild of the Happy Hookers in Deloraine, will facilitate a traditional hooking workshop “Small Hook Rug Workshop” on  Saturday, May 27, 10 am – 1pm at the British Hotel  80 Emu Bay Rd. Deloraine, TAS 7304 for information contact Joanne Wild (03) 6368 1373

 

For the next six weeks at the Bendigo Bank in Deloraine there will be an exhibition of hooked rugs by the Happy Hookers and Rowdy Ruggers .

The following description is shown at the exhibition –

“Deloraine & districts has a healthy latchhook rug making community who gather regularly in public places to work wool together and share.

Joanne Wild founded the “Happy Hookers in 2002 and many works have been completed at her gatherings.  Initially people met in each other’s homes then the groups became larger so they met in bigger spaces e.g. ETC bakery’s meeting room.

Currently two groups meet regularly and this exhibit represents some current members finished pieces.

The “Rowdy Ruggers” meet at Deloraine House on Wednesdays from 1-3 pm and welcome children.  Peter Burns from this group took more than 500 hours to complete his rug and he has almost completed a matching  NEFERTITI !!!!

Happy Hookers” meet on Mondays from 10-12 noon in the back room at the British Hotel. They welcome other woollen textile artists and according to Joanne Wild are rowdy too!!!!”

VICTORIA – in July – Plan a full weekend in Wangaratta  ……

8th – 16th July, the 14th Stitched Up Textile Festival & Community Textile Exhibition; “Stitching a Story”  will be held at  Gallery 2 at Wangaratta Art Gallery, 56 Ovens St Wangaratta

Bobby George, VIC
Maggie Whyte, ACT

Australian Rugmakers Guild members, Bobby George, from Victoria  and V.Pres & Secretary, Maggie Whyte, ACT will be presenting “The Story of Rughooking” and demonstrating the craft with the public invited to “have-a-go” at rug hooking.

Sun 9 July, 9am – 3 pm

 

Designed, hooked and photographed by Bobby George, VIC

The Stitched Up Festival celebrates all forms of textile art & craft in and around Wangaratta in North East Victoria. www.stitchedupfestival.com

Email: info@stitchedupfestival.com

Designed, hooked and photographed by Maggie Whyte

Also in Wangaratta – on Saturday 8th – Opening Day for the Festival the Wangaratta Woollen Mills are having a one day SALE !

In Queensland  –

Bec Andersen, Textile Artist, has a full calendar of events – you can see her workshops and rug hooking gatherings for 2017  here

 

A LONG WAY TO GO IN JUNE ……….

Alice Springs, Northern Territory  –   Beanie Festival  23rd  – 26th  June

Is this Rug hooking News?   Yes! definitely, several of the beanies created by the Wanneroo Rugmakers where made using rug hooking techniques and are for sale at Beanie Central, with a couple (not shown) entered in the Competition.

This year I’m attending the Festival – really looking forward to it, I hear they have over 4,000 beanies catalogued!    More news from Alice Springs.

Happy Hooking   Jo Franco/Editor

 

A Framed Finish

ISSN 2207-001X 28th April, 2017

Have you ever hooked, or been presented with a special rug hooked piece and wondered what you were going to do with it?

Sally from Brisbane had occasionally visited Judi Tompkins “Shed Days”  in Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast. These were special occasions at Judi’s home, as the Sunshine Coast Rugcrafters  group usually meets at the local Library in Beerwah.

As a tribute to Judi, Sally hooked this piece “Shed Girls” using pieces of woollen blankets from Judi’s famous stash of recycled blankets.

Because the hooked piece is representative of those special days and the fun times the group has had, Judi wanted to display it at her new residence, so she framed Sally’s work complete with a piece of Colourbond from the shed built in 2010, along with some of Judi’s collection of hooking tools.

The beauty of Colourbond (as the manufacturers advertisements will tell you) is that it retains its colour. Historically Aussie sheds were made of corrugated iron which rusts with age, creating an interesting patina, like the shed at Strathnairn, ACT where the Guild held an Exhibition last September.

There won’t be any more Shed Days, as Judi’s property is on the market. The shed for the new residence has already been built, but in future, special days will be held not in the new Shed but the soon to be built Studio.

As can be seen in the last couple of posts, apart from making works easier to hang, framing gives more of an art, rather than craft appearance to a hooked work.

Looking forward to more rug hooking news from Queensland.       Jo Franco, Editor

A HOOKED MANDALA

ISSN 2207-001X  20th April, 2017

This mandala, 80cms x 80cms, was designed and hooked by Robin Inkpen, of Donnybrook, Western Australia.  It’s framed, without glass, so is quite lightweight.

When Robin started this project her life was in a state of flux with many changes happening in her personal and artistic life. It seemed to me, creating a mandala was a big challenge to take on at that time.  However, as I remember, Robin said she was using this project as a point of focus.

and she forwarded this image of her new project with the following comment   

“Mandalas aren’t as easy as they look, they are geometrically exact and you need compass and protractor and ruler to draw them. That’s fine when you are drawing on paper but, as I found when you draw them out on fabric with a warp and a weft it adds another dimension of difficulty because you have to line up the perpendicular and horizontal with the warp and weft grain.”

WHAT IS A MANDALA?  I had an idea, but decided to do a Google search anyway  – discovering a website which said –

“a mandala is a complex abstract design that is usually circular in form. In fact, “mandala” is a Sanskrit word that means “circle”. Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point, from which emanates an array of symbols, shapes and forms. Mandalas can contain both geometric and organic forms.  Drawing and coloring a mandala can be a highly enriching personal experience in which you look inside yourself and find the shapes, colors and patterns to represent anything from your current state of mind to your most deeply-desired wish for yourself, for a loved one, or for humanity.”

This link  “Art is Funtook me to step-by-step instructions showing how to draw a mandala.

From yet another website comes these words, with a set of instructions for creating and colouring a mandala and the benefits of doing so; 

“observing the mandala allows the busy mind to take a break while the creative mind is allowed to run free”. 

Now I understand why focusing on creating a mandala was a way for Robin to centre her thoughts and feelings, also the complexities that arose when she attempted to transfer a drawing to a woven fabric backing. 

Robin is about to embark on another mandala, this time on hessian,  interested to see how precise she can be with circles and angles on hessian. Her first mandala was hooked on monks cloth.

Robin shown here with one of her earlier hooked creations, says this about the mandalas :

“For the moment, I like the contained and structured space of the design. The only variables I add are the variably dyed fabrics and yarns.

Also, as it is so difficult to be so geometrically exact on a woven fabric I like that each quarter is not an exact replica.”

 

 It would be interesting to know if any other members have attempted to design and hook a mandala.  If you have and would like to share, please leave a comment below or send to rughookingaustralia@gmail.com        

As always, it’s interesting to see where rug hooking takes us.        Jo Franco, Editor

 

 

CREATIVE RUG HOOKING

ISSN 2207-001X 16 April,2017

Creativity! there must be something in the water in Queensland; two Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters share their latest projects.

“Craig; The Poker Master”  created by Judi Tompkins –

Judi’s story –

This piece was by way of a “thank you” to a publican (he owns a number of pubs in NSW) who has been extremely generous in his support of one of my friends. She owns a barber shop and needed to move locations, Craig made her a great deal on a new shop, paid for the renovations and added a toilet for her all for free. I really appreciate his doing all this for one of my very good friends so I thought I would make something as a “thank you“.

The piece is reminiscent of the “Godfather” motif but I couldn’t (and didn’t try to duplicate it). Craig is apparently quite a good “Hold ’em” Texas poker player (Craig is in a wheelchair so card games are something he can do in addition to running his pubs) so I thought I would make him the “godfather” of poker (without using the “godfather” term of course!)

So … what you see is a hand manipulating the various card suits (they are “swinging” so the puppet strings deliberately don’t hang straight). I got a man’s ID bracelet, had it engraved with his name and added it to the wrist of the “puppet master” manipulating the cards.

The piece is about the size of a dinner plate (I haven’t measured it yet) and was deliberately made in black and gold so that the embellishments would stand out. I used wool yarns along with Cashmere roving.

 

Annette White shares her latest project which also has a story;

Annette  says :

 My latest little rugging project is finished, well in use, and I’m happy with it. It’s on Greg’s chair (a rescue object from the kerbside [the chair, not Greg]) he likes to sit on when working at the computer. The rug  on the floor we bought about 12 years ago from a sheltered workshop in Namibia. It was a beautiful experience to meet the person who designed and wove it as well as the other people working there. They dyed their local Karakul wool there as well and had a whole pile of skeins there. When I looked closer I noticed a pair of little bright eyes in a black face shining out of that pile of wool, it was one of the workers’ baby having a nap in there.

When we had chosen our rug, all the people started to chant in happiness. – Seeing the rug on the floor always reminds me of that beautiful experience.

The only bit of wool I had to dye to match the colour is the pinkish one. For the reverse side I found a bit of perfect matching furnishing material in an op shop.”

Both Judi and Annette belong to the Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters. The group meets at the Beerwah Library, Beerwah, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm on the 2nd Friday and 3rd Tuesday of the month.

Newcomers are always welcome

Jo Franco, Editor

Rug Hooking Visitors from Near and Far

ISSN 2207-001X 10th April 2017

The April issue of Miriam Miller’s newsletter “Connecting Us” has arrived in my email inbox, in it some interesting news about visitors to the Narrawilly Proggy Ruggers group in Milton – shared here with Miriam’s permission.

On the last Rug day (7th April) they had several visitors.  Miriam said they were thrilled that Maggie, Guild Vice President, accompanied by Sonja and Janet from Canberra made the 3 hour journey each way to join in for the day….. that’s the “near”.

From a further away came Irene Bruninghausen, who lives in Darwin, in the  Northern Territory, but spends some of the year in Sydney. Irene brought her nearly completed first rug.           

Irene said –

“My Rug was conceived in Ormiston Gorge Central Australia, physically commenced under Miriam’s tutelage at Milton N.S.W. Contributions were made at roadside stops in Queensland and it was almost completed in Darwin N.T. Now back at Milton trying to get a lesson in corner edging. It’s been a scenic journey for us. One thing I have learned about rugging you have to be comfy. In hot sweaty Darwin, I stripped down to a cossie, and set the stretcher frame down on a day bed. Then set up an enormous pedestal fan behind me.  Fantastic – it blew all the loose threads and scraps all over the house.”

 And from very FAR away ……. Sally Gilbert from New Hampshire USA, came to visit and met with some of the Narrawilly group on Saturday 11th March. Sally draws inspiration from her travels for her rug designs, she hooked this rug (21in x35in ) after returning from a trip to see the puffins in Maine. She used #4 & #6 size strips of new and repurposed 100% wool.

Chair pads designed and hooked by Sally using a combination of new and repurposed 100% wool strips – show the Australian influence which Sally says “is very strong in our house!   

When asked about her rug hooking in the United States, Sally said –

“I hook with the Wolfeboro Rug Hookers, a sub group of the Wolfeboro Newcomers Club. There are usually 6-8 members who come regularly and several other “sometime hookers”. Some are brand new to the craft, others have been hooking many years.  We meet once a week in a local church, and welcome all who are interested. Occasionally we go on a trip to a rug hooking supply shop either in Maine (Camp Wool, Kennebunk, Maine) or western New Hampshire to Dorr Woollen Mills.”

Sally (second from the left) with members of the Narrawilly Proggy Ruggers;- Sue, Sally, Miriam, Miriam, Margaret, Christine, Judy and Janet and

Jacqui & Sally

Miriam and Irene in the Rug Room at Narrawilly

Miriam’s newsletter contains more news and  images of rugs made by her friends from overseas and around Australia, it can be seen in full archived under the BLOG on this website. 

Thanks Miriam for sharing your news

Jo Franco, Editor      

Deconstructed Fibre: It’s a Puzzle

ISSN 2207-001X  March 19 2017

This Puzzle was hooked by the Australian Rugmakers Guild Webmaster Judi Tompkins from Queensland who shared her ideas and progress with Editor, Jo Franco, in Western Australia via Skype.

Now the ambitious project’s complete (even has it’s own special storage box with a hinged lid and an image of the completed piece on the inside of the lid) Jo asked Judi if she would share with the members, the techniques used and problems encountered.

Here’s the storage box sitting on the puzzle with a couple of the puzzle pieces on top.

and here’s the finished decorated lid of the storage box.

lift the lid and you have an illustration to follow

Here’s what Judi had to say about the process;

This was supposed to be an “easy” project when I first started thinking about it, I mean after all, I was merely going to produce 16 small rugs that would nest together neatly and create a large colourful mat with some beads and bling.  

     Hah!     Just goes to show how the best laid plans can change directions rather quickly.

(Please Note: some of the videos in this post are slow to load)

So, for any of you wishing to try a similar project, here, not in any particular order, are some observations and things I learned along the way. 

 Glue is not my friend! And believe it when they say “hot” glue – You betcha it is!

It took me a while to figure out a few things about hot glue: 

         You don’t have to touch it immediately (and in fact you shouldn’t) … give the glue 3-4 secs to lose the immediate heat before you manipulate your fabric or embellishments.

         After burning my fingers eleventy-two million times I discovered that some crumpled up oven paper/baking type works as a great substitute for your finger. The glue won’t stick to it and you can use it to push and adjust the fibre. You must use it crumpled though … then it acts as a buffer between you and the hot glue. 

Glue is still not my friend but we have come to an “understanding” at this point.

 Make your design easy to cut apart. I left space between my pieces but I think more would have been better. Just think about how you will cut the shapes once you are ready to glue the edges and how much space you will need to manipulate the glue gun.

 Once I finished hooking the pieces I used PVA glue to stiffen the edges a bit and to pull the stray fibres out of the way of the cut line.  

 If you are making a puzzle or some such thing that needs to be reassembled in a particular way … number your pieces on the backing and TAKE A PHOTO OF IT!

Then when you finish the pieces I suggest that you put the corresponding number on the back of each piece (ie. 4/16…piece 4 out of 16) so you can match them up yourself …  believe me you will be very glad you did this!    

 Because I am so bad with glue, I “over glued” the edges with hot glue before I cut the pieces apart. So … my suggestion is that if you have already used PVA glue to secure the bits … cut your pieces apart and then hot glue the edges & backing.  Believe me cutting through “set” hot glue is an ugly job and I broke a pair of scissors trying to do it! 

 I don’t hook in neat straight lines and I tend to use a lot of different fibres so my work tends to be lumpy and shaggy. That works well for hiding the rough edges but I found that I still needed to “outline” each piece with some 8ply rug yarn to clean up the edge. I would be interested to see how this looks if the pieces were hooked with cut wool strips and a consistent loop height (which I can’t seem to do!).  I think the pieces would nest together better than mine do.

 Never, never, never, never, ever use self-adhesive backing on your pieces! Ahhhhhhggggg! What a nightmare! When trimming the edges of this stuff my scissors were gummed up within seconds and I had to constantly stop to wipe them off with turps! And an exacto blade was even worse!

Awful stuff …. but again … it’s a “glue” thing with me perhaps? 

This is an extra puzzle piece included in the box as a “mystery” piece just to give people something to think about …..  “now where should it go?”

(it goes nowhere because it’s piece No. 17 of a 16 piece puzzle).    Hah!

 Good luck to all who try this … I’ll be interested to see your results! 

 Let me know if you have questions.                           Judi Tompkins

 

Members of the Sunshine Coast Rugcrafters group attempt to put this puzzle together for the first time – it looks like it would be fun!

Thanks Judi for sharing your thoughts as you worked through this process.

Jo Franco, Editor

 

Coat of Arms with Unicorn Rug

ISSN 2007-001X

What do these items have to do with a rug inspired by a coat of arms?

Read on and learn a new finishing technique.

Stella Edmundson, a member of Judi Tomkins Sunshine Coast RugCrafters group, is relatively new to rug hooking however, her background in art, and a classical education, stands her in good  stead when it comes to creating designs.

Stella has learned more than just rughooking techniques from the very creative Judi, a self-taught rughooker, who has worked in different art mediums.  Judi encourages members of her group to think outside the box when it comes to framing their hooked pieces.

Here is Stella’s latest hooked work, a commission piece, destined for the USA.

In her own words, Stella’s description of her commissioned work:

” My latest hooked rug is being sent to America by request of my sister who is a close friend of Germanic Kenesbeck descendants.  It is inspired by the Kenesbeck coat of arms. I did not attempt to copy this family crest; for my hooking is not suitable for replicating anything.    Instead I chose the unicorn which dates back to 1172!

The unicorn on the family crest is a realistic long legged colt with a lion’s mane and tail (this imbues the unicorn a lion’s strength and power). I also wanted to have some kind of border suggesting the elaborate exquisite filigree scrolling greenery on the bottom of the crest. Alas, I had to make do with a more simple pattern. I have found that including trees in my hooked rug adds energy so I searched the net for a drawing of a Germanic looking tree.

So, that was the idea I started with. The rug made itself. The unicorn turned out to be not realistic but heraldic (ditto with the rabbits). Unicorns are truly magic beasts representing innocence, sincerity, cleanliness, wisdom, peace and joy. Rabbits are often depicted in medieval unicorn tapestries for they share a reclusive nature with a deep love of nature.

The time is early spring now in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. The setting is a deep dark night in a grassy wood lit by a radiant moon.”

Stella has invested in a new way of finishing hooked rugs which are to be hung; to give them a firm even edge, without the need of a frame.

Stella says   …………

“Here’s a  step by step approach with images – these items were used during the finishing of a previous wall hanging.

 1. Cut off excess backing fabric (foundation cloth) but leave enough to cover the rug

 2. Place a mounting board the exact size of the rug on the back

 3. Surround the mounting boards with cut dowels just under the width and length of the mounting board. Connect each corner by plastic tubing. This means there is no needs for nails and the corners are rounded.

 4. Fold foundation cloth over the dowels and mounting board. Fold down from top & up from bottom first and then fold the across sides to cover the whole piece then sew all sides together.

 5. With wool yarn matching the piece do rug stitch/whip stitch over the dowels and between the mounting board. Having a dowel in place insures even stitches.”

(Editors Note: The whip stitching should be done after “assembly” while the piece is laying on a flat surface;   it helps to have the far edge weighed down – you can see Stella has a couple of very accommodating weights!

Below is Stella’s final comment regarding her technique. I might add, this finished back also provides a good surface to add an Artist’s Statement or at least (Name/Size of work, Name of Artist & date completed)

” 6. I like to cover the back with fabric which gives a polished finish.”

Well done Stella!

and thank you for sharing your technique with other rugmakers.

Jo Franco, Editor

 

 

Guild member receives Australia Day Award

ISSN 2207-001X

DAWN HOLLINS has been named  BEGA VALLEY’S SENIOR CITIZEN of the YEAR

Photograph provided by Bega Valley Shire Council

While following the Bermagui Surf Life Saving project we’ve read much about Dawn’s “abundant enthusiasm” and dedication to making a difference in the community.

An article in the Bega District News – “A Lifetime of Service Spanning the Globe” gives an instight into Dawn’s early family life and her involvement with orphaned and abandoned children throughout Asia, increasing her own family of 3 to 6 with adoptions from Thailand, Sri Lanka and South Korea and her work with the Adoptive Parents Association.

How, after moving to the Bega area 20 years ago, this background as an organizer saw her become an active member of the Rural Women’s Network and a key member of the Bega Valley team hosting the 2005 Rural Women’s Gathering.

As reported in the Bega District News article, Dawn’s passion for learning and teaching led her to the Bermagui and District Branch of the University of the Third Age – a group that looks to create and foster educational opportunities for people in retirement. In this group Dawn helped broaden the variety of courses to 80 subjects available through local presenters.

One very active Bermagui and District U3A group, the rug hookers created seven amazing rug panels now hanging in the Bermagui Surf Club.

Dawn Hollins and Bermagui & District U3A Rug Hookers with Bruce McAslan President, Bermagui Surf Club.  Photographer Ben Smyth Bega District News

After the hanging and dedication of the hooked panels on the 15th December, 2016, we decided to create a Guild Video of this impressive project.

On learning Dawn was to receive the Australia Day award, it was decided to wait until 26th January, Australia Day, to publish the video – to honour Dawn’s leadership on the day of the award.

Bermagui & Districts U3A Rughooking Group members describe Dawn as a shining example of the ideal that one person can make a difference.

Congratulations Dawn

from the members of the Australian Rugmakers Guild