Narrawilly Rugmakers Celebrate 20 Years 1994-2014

Jacqueline Thomson, ARG SecretaryThe following report was submitted 1 Narrawilly Proggers

by Jacqui Thomson

of the Narrawilly Proggers:

They came from near and far;

43 women devoted to the art of making beautiful but practical rugs and wall hangings from recycled fabric.


They came despite the wind and rain – nothing would prevent them from making this Tractor_to_the_rescue_Muddy_parking_areaoccasion memorable, and it was.

 (Maggie Whyte besides the huge tractor we needed to pull a car from the boggy paddock.   Many inches fell this day while we were inside the Rug Room having a great time.)

 It all began in September 1994 after an advertisement was placed in the local paper. Seven women gathered in Miriam Miller’s home to be shown “how it’s done”, and left very keen to continue on with a meeting on a monthly basis.  Who would have thought then, that 20 years later we still meet on the first Friday of the month and only a few years ago included the third Friday.   We have never missed holding our rug day since inception.  Our meetings are held on the Miller property, in Milton.

Narrawilly, NSW

When thanking all for coming, Miriam outlined our brief history and where rug making has taken us; from small beginnings to being able to invite International Rug teachers to our shores.   Members have been enriched by their visits as they impart new ideas and techniques.  Australian rugs have their own individuality and from slow beginnings the enthusiasm for making rugs has spread to every State, with healthy groups in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, ACT and New South Wales.  We can now boast an Australian Rugmakers Guild formed on 11 October, 2008 with Board members from each State, and meetings held using Skype.  We had “Show and Tell” following Miriam’s talk and saw some wonderful examples of our members’ expertise.

Miriam Miller, teacher, Emeritus of the Australian Rugmakers Guild., Past President of The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers, is a driving force in the promotion of rugmaking in Australia;  she is the author of Australia’s first rug book “Proggy and Hooky Rugs”, and has recently brought forward a revised edition.Miriam_Miller_Australia_rughooker_and_author_of_Proggy_and_Hooky_Rugs

   Her students have traveled from every corner of our country.

Since inception we have diligently kept a record of every meeting and the rugs made by our members. These books were on display for members to look back on and to reminisce – how some of us have changed.

Maxine Keys, who was unable to make the reunion, sent a hand-knitted rug for us to raise funds and the charity we chose was The Gambia School for the Blind in West Africa.   This was hugely successful, and the winner was Florence Smart from North Turramurra.



It’s amazing isn’t it;  from little things big things grow.  Who would have thought that the small advertisement in our local paper 20 years ago led us to where we are today.


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