Narrawilly Rugmakers Retreat

Mapping visitors to Narrawilly Farm Studio
Mapping visitors to Narrawilly Farm Studio

The following report and images were submitted by Jacqueline Thomson a member  of the Narrawilly Proggers

1 First-night-dinner

Narrawilly Rugmakers Retreat; 28-31 March, 2014

Forty participants were present at this, our second Rug Retreat held at Narrawilly Farm, Milton, New South Wales

On Friday night 28th March, friends from near and far gathered in Miriam’s Rug Room where we held our “Welcome Dinner” and although it was a very wet evening, it did nothing to dampen the spirit of conviviality as we greeted one another.

All had dressed for the occasion and there was much anticipation in the air which soon filled with stimulating conversation, lots of laughter, as we gathered to enjoy good wine and food by candlelight.

Miriam Miller welcomed those present and outlined the format for the next two and a half days.

On Saturday morning the rain lifted and by 11am the sun had completely taken control of the situation. Rugmakers from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland were represented and four rugmakers traveled from Japan: Fumiyo Hachisuka, Yuko Iwabe, Michiko Aoki and Eriko Hashimoto.  It was a full day of activity as we worked on our rugs and those who desired had the opportunity to attend two mini workshops.   One, “fun with fabric” with Judy Stephens was very popular

Judith Stephens class - Fun with Fibre as was the mini workshop tutored by Maggie Whyte teaching how to make Flanders Poppies.   The red and black felt looked particularly striking.

Making felted poppies
Making felted poppies

Jacqui Thomson demonstrated punch needle work as taught to her by Sybil Mercer.   Miriam made her now famous cheese scones for morning tea and these were eaten under the autumn coloured grape vine or on the front verandah, while soaking up the view of the rolling hills and farm lands to the north.

Morning tea at Narrawilly Farm
Morning tea at Narrawilly Farm

 At 5pm everyone drove to Narrawallee so that those who wished could walk along the beach, look for shells or just paddle in the surf, and I believe one brave soul actually had a swim.

Rughookers at Narrawallee Beach
Rughookers at Narrawallee Beach

We sat on a grassy bank facing the ocean and here we ate fish and chips specially provided in individual boxes by our local fish shop; drinks were available too as we sat relaxing, talking and enjoying our crumbed fish, followed with slice, chocolate brownies and juicy grapes.  It was just on dark as we left to drive home to rest before starting another day.  The ambiance of sitting by the beach was appreciated by all and a little of our district was seen on our drive to this destination.

 Fish & chip dinner at the beach

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday with lots of rug work being achieved.

Three Wise Men by Annette White
Three Wise Men by Annette White

 

Hooked Wall Hanging and Vest by Carol Treloar
Hooked Wall Hanging and Vest by Carol Treloar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were again mini workshops as per the day before.   The highlight of this day was undoubtedly the Fashion Parade organised by Pat LaRance and Miriam.   Our much sort after models were Elke Smith-Hill, Anne Schafer, Christine Pearce, Jenny Harber and Carol Treloar.  They really entered into the spirit as they modeled the trendy outfits.    All clothes were for sale at the end of the parade for 50 cents per item.   Funds raised will be donated to aid Heather Ritchie’s Gambia Project.   This was established by Heather some years ago now and assists the blind and partially blind to make rugs which Heather takes back to the UK where they are sold and the money returned to the Project.  No begging is allowed in The Gambia and work is hard to find as you can imagine.

Models Christine Pearce, Anne Schafer, Elke Smith-Hill, Jenny Harber, Carol Reloar
Models Christine Pearce, Anne Schafer, Elke Smith-Hill, Jenny Harber, Carol Treloar

Our Japanese friends learnt to spin and knit, and to our delight ate scones, jam and cream with chopsticks.  Although their command of the English language was limited, no one had trouble communicating with them and many new friendships were formed.   They joined in all activities and demonstrations.

Fumiyo - scones with chopsticks
Fumiyo – scones with chopsticks

 

Fumiyo teaching Janet how to use chopsticks
Fumiyo teaching Janet how to use chopsticks

 

In the evening we had a barbeque superbly cook by Robert Miller.  A little light rain made its appearance, but did nothing to worry us as there was plenty of room in the house.

The following morning we had a brunch on the front verandah where we had freshly squeezed orange juice, muesli, yogurt, tea, coffee and for those who wished, individually cooked scrambled eggs.   Farewells were said with a degree of sadness and we all felt stronger bonds for having spent this special time together.

Work in progress by June Weatherstone
Work in progress by June Weatherstone
Jacqui Thomson
Jacqui Thomson

Editors Note:

If you missed the Narrawilly Rughooking Retreat and the workshops given by Judith Stephens (SA) and Maggie Whyte (ACT), think about traveling to Strathalbyn, South Australia this October where they will both be giving classes.  Judith will show how to make fabric baskets using the “toothbrush hooking or naalbinding technique and Maggie will be creating wonderful fibre sculptures with a “chunky rugmaker”.

Miriam will join them at the  Rughooking Expo giving classes in the proggy rugmaking technique, and the very creative Judi Tompkins from QLD will be at the Expo passing on her knowledge and experience of 3D hooking.

 Chris Noorbergen from VIC will give classes on how to hook a portrait from a photograph and from Western Australia, Kath Smith & Barbara Phillips will pass on knowledge gained from Kris McDermet’s class in 2012 – how to add a braided finish to a hooked creation, while  Jo Franco will teach beginners how to pull loops in a traditional rughooking class.

For more information contact Judith;  studioblue20@gmail.com

or Jo; rugcraftersaustralia@yahoo.com.au

 

2 thoughts on “Narrawilly Rugmakers Retreat”

  1. Thank you Jacqui for your wonderful report of the Rug Retreat.
    It was such a fantastic event, the second time around, and I’m still thriving on the lovely memories, the hearty laughter we had together and all the inspiration gathered.
    The individuality in everyone’s work is making this craft so interesting.
    A great big Thank You to Miriam for making this happy event happening and her generosity in opening up her beautiful place and surroundings to all of us! And to both of you, Miriam and Jacqui, thank you so very much for all the hard work you did to organize the 2014 Rug Retreat again.
    Annette White

  2. Thank you Jackie for such a great article on the Narriwilly Ruggers Retreat. Sonia and I had a wonderful weekend even if a few pounds heavier.
    Thank you Miriam for sharing your home for this weekend. It is so inspiring to meet up with rug makers for everywhere and share ideas while enjoying beautiful surroundings.

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