by  Jo Franco;  Guild Editor/Blogger

Jo_setting_up_rug_making_demo_Sunshine_Coast_QLD_AustraliaA family holiday in Queensland provided the perfect opportunity for me to visit rugmakers in the area.

Judi TJudi Tompkins, the Guild’s webmaster and I talk regularly each week on Skype in an effort to maintain the website and bring rughooking news and Australian Guild members together.

Judi facilitates group meetings at the Beerwah Library from 3:00-6:00pm on the 2nd Monday and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

However to fit in with my schedule, she invited members of the Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters to her studio on Sunday 2nd August for an informal workshop and “hook-in” and asked them to bring a recently finished, or favourite rug for Show & Tell. Some of the rugs have been shown before on this blog but there‘s nothing like seeing and touching the real thing.

In a recent post about the SCRC group’s demonstration at the Palmwoods Art & Crafts Show Stella could be seen working on her porpoise piece which is now completed and shown below with its companion piece.


Cetacan Dreaming designed and hooked by Stella Edmundson

Cetacan_Dreaming_designed_hooked_by_Stella_Edmundson_QLD_AustraliaKangroos_on_Mars_designed_hooked_by_Stella EdmundsonKangroos on Mars designed and hooked By Stella Edmundson

This was a day of exchanging information.

I shared Judith Stephen’s method for making bags & baskets using the toothbrush or nalbinding technique (also spelled nålbinding, naalbinding, nalebinding).

Some of the group decided to give the technique a go and make a bag, others opted to make mats – this one started by Bea.

Bea's toothbrush rug started during Jo's demoToothbrush_rugmaing_Landsborough_QLD_Australia

 Sunshine_Coast_Rug_Crafters_gathering_QLD_Australia_Anne_Pat_Jo_Sally_instructing_Cassie_BeaJo looking on as Anne & Pat, Cassie (with help from Sally) & Bea get started with their toothbrush rug hooking.

Judy O_Annette_Diane_Sunshine_Coast_Rug_CraftersJudy_Owen_Annette_White_Sunshine_Coast_Rug_Crafters_QLD_Australia

 (Left)  Annette & Diane studying the iPad bag made with this technique by Judith Stephens

and below, Judy and Annette getting started with their own toothbrush rug hooking projects.

  Below is a bag made by Sally, a new member from Brisbane, who discovered this gathering through the Guild’s Facebook page and decided to join the Guild and attend.

                                  Toothbrush rugmaking bag by Sally Randle

Sally uses the punch-needle rug hooking technique and has worked on Amy Oxford designs which she purchased while overseas. She recently took a punch-needle hooking class with Bec Andersen at Mt. Tamborine, south of Brisbane,

On this day, Judi Tompkins showed her the traditional rughooking technique and how to prod a flower onto the little bag she’d almost completed.

(Below) Sally practicing the new techniques.


Information wasn’t just going one-way;


Sally brought her punch-needle hooked rugs to show, as well as the frame she’d made with a locally purchased substitute for metal gripper strips.

Details of this frame, the gripper substitute and images showing how Sally installed them on her frame, will be in the next Guild Newsletter ‘In the Loop’ emailed to members.

The day was full of conversation with everyone sharing rughooking ideas and asking questions, the only lull coming during morning tea and lunch as we enjoyed all the wonderful goodies everyone bought to share.


I demonstrated some other mat making techniques taught to me by Judith Stephens/ Guild President; Stick Weaving and the Chunky Rugmaker – unfortunately, examples of rugs using these techniques made by Judith and Fibre Necklaces made by Maggie Whyte, V.Pres/Secretary (ACT) using the Chunky Rugmaker were left behind on my workshop table in WA. Thank goodness for laptops and smart phones, I was able to pull up these images to share.

(Above) a hot pad made with stick weaving using recycled sheets and wool yarn. Alongside are the sticks set up to begin a new project.

10005218(Above) A mat being created with the Chunky Rugmaker using carpet wool and soft recycled fabric for the stuffing.

(Below) A Fibre necklace created by Maggie Whyte (ACT) with the same tool using knitting yarn and tiny scraps of fabric – the snippets from other rug hooking projects. Maggie will be at the Expertise Events Craft Fair in Canberra through this weekend, undoubtedly she will have some good examples of this technique on show.


(Below) Diana watching Stella start a stick weaving project extraordinaire – the finished project shown below is destined to be a hanger for one of her rugs.

  Over the chair behind Diana is a mat she completed recently at a CWA workshop. It is similar to the toothbrush rugmaking technique we were using, the difference is it only uses one strip of fabric – there is no cording or base strip.



 Pat and Val opted for trying Stick Weaving instead of the Toothbrush technique.

Not only was I meeting new rughooking friends but I also had the pleasure of catching up with Annette White again. We’d met at Miriam Miller’s studio in Milton a few years ago. Before she moved to the Sunshine Coast, QLD from NSW, Annette was a member of the Narrawilly Proggers and featured in many news reports about their gatherings.

Photos just don’t do justice to the detail in rugs and I was glad Annette had brought her Three Wise Men, which I’d seen images of while posting the blog, but hadn’t fully appreciated the detail and embellishments on this rug – they are amazing.

3_wise_men_hooked_by_annette_white_nsw_australia_57cmX57cm_hooked_with_silky_materials_velvet_wool_ ribbons_bits_of_broken_jewelry_attached_cufflinks_in_crowns_all_recycled

 Below are some happy snaps  taken by Judi Tompkins during our fun filled day


Jo_talking_with_Sally_Margaret_Bea_Diane_Stella_Pat_Anne_of_Sunshine_Coast_Rug_CraftersIt was so good to meet these new, but very talented rugmakers after seeing so many images of the group in action, (Judy Owen, Stella, Diana, Ann, Pat, Cassie, Val, Margaret, Bea and Annette). Judi Tompkins focus in her own rug work is the Waldoborough technique and her rug designs are original and textural.

Judi has departed from the traditional square/rectangular shaped rugs, with most of her creations being free-form in shape and incorporating elaborate frames.  This knowledge has been passed on to the group and they have really picked it up and run with it – there were  no ‘ordinary beginner’ rugs in sight!

I think everyone went home suffering from information overload but very happy and ready for more of these social events.

Sally, who lives and works in Brisbane said – “Should you find other Guild members from Brisbane who are looking to catch up occasionally then please count me in.”

One thought on “EAST meets WEST”

  1. What a wonderful blog. Lots of images showing lots of faces and rugs. Wonderful work being made over there. Thanks for sharing that with us.

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