Storing and Sharing Rug Hooking Images

ISSN 220-001X  12th May, 2017

How do you show your rug hooking projects?

Judi Tompkins from Queensland, is very conscientious about photographing her many creative rug hooking projects and recently learnt how to document and create her own portfolios.

Here is what Judi had to say about the process   …………..

“If you’re like me you tend to take photos of your finished work and store them on your phone, tablet or camera for future reference. This works really well if you actually sort and catalogue your photos to make them easy to find later – particularly if you want to show someone a specific piece which you may – or may not – actually own anymore!

I was beginning to feel like a doddery ol’ lady when it came to finding photos on my phone since I had waaaaaay too many of them stored there and uncategorised. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to find a photo I just know is on my phone and having to reassure my now bored viewer, “I KNOW it’s here someplace, gimme a minute.”

With that in mind I thought I would try to make a more sensible photographic catalogue of my work and at the same time consolidate all the information about each piece. I simply wasn’t doing a good job recording (in one file) all the information about my work (title, date, dimensions, fabrics/techniques used and any “story” associated with the piece.)

I decided to use VistaPrint ( to help me with this since I had used them before to print cotton carry bags, t-shirts, banners, etc. Their quality is good and their 10-day (or less) turnaround time amazing – even more amazing when you consider they are in the USA.

So…I downloaded their editing program for the photo books. The software is easy to use and you can decide on the size and format of the book you want. In most cases the books have a suggested number of photo spaces and text boxes allocated for each book but you can delete, insert or move photos as you like (the same is true for the text boxes).

You can also do any editing function you want through their program so you don’t have to crop or adjust colours before you start – you can do it here.  Also, somewhere (I have it on the flyleaf) you should put the copyright symbol © and state that all text and photos remain the property of the artist (or some such).

There is a option for you to also have photos on the front and back cover of your book, and along the spine. I do think it is worth paying a few dollars more for the high quality photo paper.

There is a preview function so you can review the book as you go along and once you give the book a file name it will remain in your VistaPrint account so you can come back to finish it anytime, or you may decide to reprint the book or make changes for the next edition.

Before you place your order (and in fact, throughout the process) Vista Print will make you aware of problems like low resolution of a photo or text that doesn’t fit in the text box. So…when you place your order you will be told which pages have apparent problems and you can correct them at that point.

I was surprised at the number of pieces I’ve made over the years and didn’t try to replicate every one!    I did however, make two specialised books: “The Tenacious: How to Build a Tall Ship”    and   “Fibre Taxidermy: Bespoke and personal – Realistic hooking of pets or animals”. These two books are an attempt to explain and illustrate how I have done a few of the more complicated Waldoboro pieces. These are the questions so hard to answer when I can’t find the right photo on my phone.

Tall Ship “Tenacious” docked in Belgium (ship photo and rug); 26 x 28 recycled wool blankets, alpaca/mohair yarns, sari silk, sculpted, hooking Adaptation with image of original ship

So…give some thought about signing up for a Vista Print account and get on their mailing list. I have produced several of my books at the 25% or more discounts that they regularly offer so you don’t need to pay the full price. Get your photos ready and in a Vista file and you’ll be ready to order it when they are have sales.

Have fun!       Judi Tompkins

Thanks Judi – I agree, it is nice to have a record (especially one  not subject to disappearing into the ether) of something you’ve put a lot of work into, has meaning to you and perhaps has been given away or sold.

I hope this encourages other members not to feel shy about creating a portfolio of their work and calling themselves a rug hooking artist.

(Disclaimer:   Other companies provide similar services  for creating  photo albums,  the Australian Rugmakers Guild is not officially promoting VistaPrint)



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

Eastern States Award Winners and Shows

A big Winner at the Milton Show

2016_Milton_Show_Champion Award_designed_&_hooked_by_Ilka_Landahl


Ilka Landahl, member of the Narrawilly Proggers gathered many awards for her sculpted wall hanging  1st prize- Shorn Hooky & Proggy ItemSpecial Award & Champion of Show.

When asked how she created such an interesting piece of work Ilka said ….

“I hooked it with normal and partly fancy wool a little bit higher than usual and cut it, sculpting it into shape.

Between the different sections of colours I hooked with a small strip of fabric which helps to hold the wool better and brings more out the effect.

For variety I hooked some sections normal without shaping.

It makes a lot dust and fluff so I had the vacuum cleaner by my side all the time.

I like it because it looks so cosy/cuddly.”


Editors note for overseas readers; Shows are held across Australia in Capital cities and country areas. In general they are a combination of agricultural displays, stock and farm machinery,  and competitions involving livestock, as well as arts & crafts and entertainment – similar to a State or County Fair in North America. They are generally called Pastoral or Agricultural Society Shows or AgFests.

Members of the Narrawilly Proggers have been entering rugs in competiton at the Milton Show for some time.

Miriam Miller said ……

“I cannot remember when the first time was, but it was many years ago and at first we entered in the general handicraft section under Any article made from recycled materials(soft)”    Then we got our own section which was about 6 years ago.

We have 5 categories.  Jacqui Thomson and I provide the prizes. The stewards are Janet Walker and Elke Smith-Hill and we also provide our own judge. We have a different person judge each year.

While many of our members compete in the various categories, some just exhibit their work, demonstrate rug hooking and talk to interested visitors about the craft.”

2016_Milton_Show_Christine_AlexanderAbove Christine Alexander taking a break in a quiet moment at the Show.

The following are images of winners and place-getters in the various rug making categories

2016_Milton_Show_1_1st_Place_Proggy_Floor_Rug_by_Carol Flyn_1st prize winner in Proggy Floor Rug by Carol Flynn

2016_Milton_Show_2_Special_Award_Pat_la_Rance - Copy

Pat la Rance received a Special Award for this piece


Gail Nicholls took 2nd    Hooky & Proggy Wall Hanging for her superb work in this rug.


2016_Milton_Show_4_Chloe_ThompsonThe Santa cushion was hooked by a 14 year old. Chloe Thompson who received a Highly Commended Award.  


This bag by Marilyn Smyth took   2dn prize Hooky  or Proggy item not otherwise mentioned.


1st prize in the Hooky Floor Rug category was awarded to Elaine Kitchner for her floral rug.

1st prize in Hooky or Proggy item not otherwise mentioned was created by Christine Alexander

2016_Milton_Show_2nd_Hooked_Floor_Rug_by_Maggie_HickeyMaggie Hickey  took 2nd prize in the Hooked Floor Rug category.

2nd Prize Proggy Rug  was awarded to Bev Latta for this rug  82cm x 110cm (33″x43.5″)

Carol Thompsons received a  Highly commended award in the Hooky and/or Proggy Wall Hanging category for her hooked and framed rug.


TO THE NORTH, in Queensland, there was a SHOW of a different kind!

Judi Tompkins held her first Sunday “Shed Day“  – it was a huge success – the inclusion of a wine tasting may have had something to do with that.  Jewellery was shown along with some rather unique mens shirts.

Here is a report on the event from Judi Tompkins

13 people attended the “Leap Year Eve” Shed Day and Wine tasting…several other people were also invited to the wine tasting which meant Ron Duggelby was able to show off some great lapidary and wire wrapped jewellery which inspired several people in terms of colour and design.


Several hookers wanted to learn how to locker hook (and thanks to my tuition by Robin Inkpen I was able to show them the basics!).

Margaret_learning_to_locker_hookMargaret’s first lesson in locker hooking.   


Sally starting on a new locker hooking project.

We then we moved on to lunch where Simon Rawlins from Pieroth Wines offered a great range of white, red and dessert wines form South American and Europe.


Finally, Jacqueline Rawlins brought in a selection of her shirt design work, she uses Aboriginal print fabrics (designs approved by the Aboriginal elders) and turns the fabric into high-quality men’s shirts for the Australian climate.


It was a day of fun for the senses; colour, taste, texture and folks! It was especially nice to have virtually two “visiting artists”!

More from the Editor: 

There will be another Show report in the  next News – the exhibition of rugs at a NSW Quilt Show.

Are you thinking of setting up a Rug Show? Watch the ARG News Blog coming soon  – for an article on “Judging Rug Shows” – where our members  will offer their suggested guidelines for choosing a judging panel as well as the criteria for judging rug submissions.

Jo Franco

International Rughooking Conference 2015

TIGHR Logo RSTIGHR members from Canada, USA, UK, Japan and Australia,

Inn at Laurel Point Victoria BC180 in all, some accompanied by spouses, met in Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada, at the Inn at Laurel Point on Sunday 4th October.  After the Sunday registration and meet & greet the following three days were packed with panel discussions, talks, workshops, excursions, a rug exhibit open to the public and culminated with a FibreFest where members demonstrated many different rug making techniques and displayed and sold their creations.

The exchange of themed Friendship Mats during the Welcome & Opening ceremonies is a tradition uniting this group whose Board and Host Country changes every three years. This years Canadian theme, Back to Nature, reflected the natural beauty of the island, and the city of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia and gateway to many outdoor pursuits.

Friendship Mats

Members include their name and contact details on the back of their 5 x 7 inch mat, making it a very personal connection with a new rug hooking friend.

Exchanging these mats early in the proceedings gives members a chance to seek out their “fibre pal” and get to know them during the conference.  For those who had attended other conferences it was a busy time catching up with old friends.  We met up with many of our friends who had travelled to the Conference in South Australia in 2012.

What squeals of delight there were when we bumped into Fumiyo and her friends from Japan in the street on the evening of our arrival.

Day 3 TIGHR Approaching a Design, Fumiyo Hachisuko work on camera

At registration members were presented with a green goodie bag containing a Program of Events, local tourist information and an array of small items that came in handy over the next few days.    These bags, a nice keepsake of the meeting, were large enough to carry around cameras, wallets, phones/iPads and information collected from session to session.


The general gathering place at this boutique hotel on the water-front was the Terrace Ballroom, an open area bathed in natural light shining through a high glass ceiling – the sun shone on queue for the Conference.  Light also streamed in through the glass walls of the Ballroom overlooking the gardens and the harbour shared by pleasure craft, ferries (big and small) and seaplanes! It was quite an experience to be in a boat that not only had to navigate the channel marker buoys but also had to stay clear of a landing strip.


Events were planned allowing time to  meet up with friends and do things like walk along the waterfront path into town – yes some went shopping and others visited the museum and galleries .

If you found yourself  too tired to walk back, you could jump into a water taxi which looked rather like a toy boat in a children’s story book. These hop-on-hop-off small yellow craft which can carry about 12 people (shown in the left of the image above), motored around the harbour stopping at the various hotels and points of interest.   One being Fisherman’s Wharf, a picturesque area of houseboats and eateries.

Tourists weren’t the only ones lookinMarine_visitors_to_Fishermans_Wharfg for something to eat at Fishermens Wharf.

There was no lack of good eating places around town and the hotel meals were excellent.

Excursions had been arranged to take in a host of activities.

By day a hospitality table was set up in the Terrace ballroom where meals were served and the panel discussions took place.  A lounge adjoining this area was set up with coffee and tea and provided a place for the night-owls to gather and talk or compute without disturbing room-mates.

The Conference began Monday with panel discussions and workshops in the morning and the afternoon, as well as a rug display for attendees.

Panel discussion and workshops continued Tuesday morning. The TIGHR General Meeting followed a luncheon and Keynote Presentation by Michelle Sirois-Silver “Intersections: the place where the handhooked surface and contemporary art meet”.

To learn more about Michelle’s journey into exploring ways that combine surface design techniques with hand hooked surface click this link to go to her website.  You can read “A Stitch in Time Creates Art.  Evolution of an Art Form”  by clicking Read more…    or to actually listen to the June 2015 Interview with Aletta de Wal (Artist Career Training) click on the following link Listen to the full interview ..

Wednesday’s Panel Discussion “What is rug hooking in your part of the world?” was moderated by Miriam Miller, President Emeritus of the Australian Rugmakers Guild and one of several workshops scheduled for the same period was Judith Stephen’s and Jo Franco’s toothbrush rugmaking class.

Below; Class participants admire the eco dyed fabric (pieces of cotton sheeting which Judith had wrapped around eucalyptus trees and left to “weather” for a year) before tearing it into strips to use to make the eco baskets or mats.

Toothbrush rugmaking

For some it was very hard to tear up these wonderful pieces of dyed fabric and there was much discussion as to which trees in the northern hemisphere could be wrapped to give this result.  This workshop grew by six from it’s registered 20 participants after members saw the fabric they’d be working with.

Toothbrush rugmaking class results

Some in the class decided they would rather make a mat than a basket – and some decided to make both.

Toothbrush rugmaking Jane LaBaron

During the Wednesday luncheon, Kerry Mason, art historian, curator and art consultant who teaches in the Dept of History in Art at the University of Victoria and recently worked with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to develop the major exhibition on Emily Carr, and co-authored the companion book, Emily Carr on the Edge of Nowhere spoke on “The life and art of Emily Carr”


the FibreFest – an Expo of Fibre demonstrations filled the afternoon,

Excursions had been organised for each day – taking in a Guided Walking Tour, Emily Carr House, the Royal BC Museum, Robert Bateman Gallery and a Fibre tour (more stash building).

The only downside to all this was choices had to be made.  However those of us who were on panels or giving classes still managed to catch up with things we’d missed by talking with others in the down-time or at the FibreFest.    Personally, I found the FibreFest to be the highlight of the events.

The panels were also extremely interesting and provoked much discussion, especially when the panellists came into the audience, each took a seat at a different table, they then proceeded to swap and move from table to table – this close-up personal contact was an excellent way to create conversation and get feedback.

The panel discussions were videoed and are to  be available soon on the members area of the TIGHR website.

Presentations were given in the evenings.  The first by Sylvia Olsen (a well known local knitter and author) her subject was a Coast Salish Legacy:  the women whose knitting made and saved their lives.  Even though this was a rug hooking event – knitting featured prominently in it and the travels of the 3 “J’s”. They’d been told to detour  to Lake Cowichan on their way to Victoria to learn about the famous Cowichan knitting. However, there wasn’t time for a detour and as it turned out – Cowichan knitting came to them in the form of a wonderful presentation by Sylvia.

Gene Shepherd who many of us in Australia know,  has an active blogsite, runs an internet rug camp and has filmed many rug hooking related instructional videos. Gene is the Director of Cambria Pines Rug Camp and was Co-Director of the 2013 ATHA Biennial. Gene has published many articles in Rug Hooking Magazine and three books on rug hooking and dyeing. Gene made a dynamic presentation at this Conference on  Colour in Your Rugs.

Dr. Robert Bateman’s Gala Dinner Key-note Presentation as Nature in Art.     Dr Bateman is a world renowned Canadian naturalist and painter.  His work is described in the Conference Program of Events as fusing realistic style with dynamic compositions, and capturing both the particularities of nature and his conservationist spirit. Bateman’s honours and awards are many, including Officer of the Order of Canada.

report by …   Jo  Franco, Editor/Membership Chair



Aussie Rugmakers visit Canada

Font: Elke Smith-Hill, Anne Schafer, Judith Stephens, Miriam Miller, Maggie Whyte Back: Jo Franco, Jenny Andersen, Jacqui Thomson

This happy band of Aussie Rugmakers attended the 2015 Triennial Conference of The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers (TIGHR) in Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Their travels took them literally around the world.

Maggie left first headed to Montreal to spend time with her son and then on to Toronto where she used to live to visit friends.

Miriam and Jacqui had an adventurous time staying with friends in Israel, famiy in Belgium, more friends in Uist in the Outer Hebrides off the Scottish coast and continuing on to family and friends in the USA before arriving in Victoria by ferry and walking a short distance to the Conference Hotel.

Anne took a coach tour of Nova Scotia which included Cheticamp and Prince Edward Island and a visit to Deanne Fitzpatrick’s shop/studio in Amherst, New Brunswick and

Elke and her husband took an Alaskan cruise and mountain train ride before their arrival at the Conference.

The three “Js” Jo, Judith and Jenny met in Vancouver and travelled by car and a series of ferries on a four day tour up the Canadian Sunshine Coast across to Vancouver Island taking in the scenery (wonderful Fall colours) and visiting fibre artists along the way.


Yvonne Stowell’s FibreWorks Gallery in Madeira Park was their first stop. TIGHR member Michelle Sirois-Silver, who gave the Keynote Presentation (“Intersections” the place where the hooked surface and contemporary art meet) at the Conference Luncheon, was one of 25 BC textile artists sharing their stories through creative expressions of their version of mending in  mended”  a  travelling exhibition of contemporary textile art (Surface Design Association BC+Yukon)


Yvonne’s gallery is housed in a complex of yurtz – these buildings are a modern take on the felted dwellings originating on the Mongolian steppes.  To read more about these simple, elegant and portable buidings check out Yurtz by Design. The manufacturer’s claim that these affordable buildings are durable holds up as Yvonne’s complex had been in place for nine years in a area that normally receives a relatively high rainfall – plenty of moss on the trees but none on the yurtz, inside or out.

FibreWorks_Yvonne_Stowells_Workshop     Yvonne, a spinner & weaver, graciously treated the trio to a tour of her workshop and studio. All those wonderful yarns spun with silk, alpaca and merino wool which she dyes using natural dyes were irristable. Being knitters as well as rug hookers they just had to purchase some of her beautiful yarns.

FibreWorks_Yvonnes_Japanese_Indigo_ plantThis plant growing in pots around the yurtz caught everyone’s attention. Yvonne explained it was Japanese Indigo which she uses in her dye pot – apparently its very easy to grow – Judith was taking careful notes, so it will probably show up in her garden soon.  Yvonne sells yarn, gives classes and hosts a spinners and weavers group but doesn’t sell knitting needles. Everyone was eager to start knitting with their newly purchased yarn, so she directed the travellers to Great Balls of Wool,  at Powell River, for the needles and patterns needed.  If you’re traveling in this area FibreWorks is a “must stop”,  you’ll find Yvonne most hospitable and very knowledge.

Visiting Great Balls of Wool proved interesting for the three “Js” – they’d travelled half-way around the world to be asked if they’d like to attend talks and workshops by an Australian knitter!    Jude Skeers, currently the resident artist at the wool shop. My online search indicated Skeers was previously associated with the TAFTA Forum in Orange.

Reading more about TAFTA  Orange Forums I came across this article in a local newspaper .  Apparently a main feature of that event was Perth artist Martien van Zuilen’s Mongolian yurt, used as a time-out and meeting place for the students. What a coincidence – I’d heard Martien give a presentation on yurtz at a WAFTA Talk in Perth a few years ago, and here I was now so far from home coming across yurtz and Martien’s name again.

Fish_ladders_Stamp_River_Vancouver_Island_BC_CanadaThere was more to this trip than just textiles – heading for a couple of nights in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the travellers heard about the Salmon Run on the Stamp River near Pt. Alberni. A walk in the woods with the sun shining through the drifting golden leaves alongside the fish ladder where the salmon could be seen swimming upstream, was magic.  Although there were a few disquieting thoughts about bears maybe sharing the area, as there had been reports that morning of bear sightings on the riverbank opposite the main area of town.

And in Ecluelet, a small fishing village not far from Tofino, a very pleasant hour or more was spent speaking with the Polish owner of Rubio a family owned jewellery shop, learning all about Baltic Amber and how this family came to be in business there.

Saturday on the way to Victoria, Jo, Judith & Jenny followed the Polka Dot Trail in Chermainus Valley.  Val Galvin’s rug studio was their first stop


followed by a visit to Colleen Wilke’s Sage House Rug hooking Studio and Lorraine Taylor’s studio to see her colourful silk scarves.  By mistake we visited  Fred Law’s wood workers studio where Jo purchased a fantastic wooden spoon – it’s to be hoped it will get through Customs in OZ

By they time the 3 Js arrived in Victoria the rest of the Australian contingent was there and much swapping of travel tales began.

With so much to see and do in Victoria and so many  old and new rug hooking friends to connect with, it will take me another blog or two to report on the actual Conference and the great time had by all.                Jo Franco




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.”

Rughooking News from Queensland


 The Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters had a busy day

at the Palmwoods Arts & Craft Show

on Saturday 18th July.

There was a lot of interest in this craft from visitors to the event and many took cards and expressed an interest in learning this craft.Anne_&_Stella_discussing_the_merits_of_different_frames_Palmwood_QLD_AustraliaJudy_Owen_demonstrating_rughooking_Palmwood_Arts_&_Crafts_Show_QLD_Australia

All members of the group did a great job engaging with the visitors to the booth and explained and demonstrated what this was all about and how to do it!

Below Diana demonstrates and then allows a visitor to work on her rug.



I was so proud to see how far this group of “young hookers” have come in the last year particularly.

The group now has on offer to the public a wonderful range of diverse styles, techniques and approaches that can be used to demonstrate how individual this work can be.



Many thanks to all for their help ……. it was a long day!

Report by Judi Tompkins


More rughooking events are coming up in Queensland

in July and August – take a look at the Current Calendar of Events

Rughooking comes to Surf Lifesaving Club

Who’d have thought they would be discussing rug hooking at a Lifesaving Club! 

In Bermagui a coastal town 380k (about a 5-hour drive) south of Sydney, the Bermagui & District U3A Rug Hooking group has undertaken a challenging project to create a 7m (23ft) hooked piece to be hung on the wall of the clubhouse of the Bermagui Surf Lifesaving Club to help absorb noise.

Dawn Hollins a member of this group has sent in these images and an explanation of the first stages of the project.

Rona Walker, our artist, with part of her design on paper.

Rona_Walker_artist_her_design_7m_wall_hangingThe 7metre wall hanging will be done in 1 metre panels and each hung close together but separately.  The weight will be considerable, however now the construction of the elevated wall section has been assessed the design is about to be transferred to the hessian panels.

Rona explains the process while rug hookers look on.

Rona_Walker_artist_explains_transfer_process_Here is the Surf Club building sketched in.


and Rachel Colombo’s “Tree” gives an idea of the “look” of the finished hooked panels.

Rachel Colombos hooked tree

Below are some of the Bermagui & District U3A rug hookers who will be working on the wall hanging for the Surf Club  [Rachel Colombo (seated second from the left) Rona Walker (seated centre) and Rug hooking teacher, Lyn Potter (back row on right)

 Some of Bermagui&Dist_U3A_Rug_hookers working on project for the Surf Club

Dawn says:

We continue to attract new members and may even get a couple of men involved.

It’s clear that a community project gets people motivated.  If we had just advertised it as a craft group we’d be lucky to get half a dozen.  This way we get people hooked on the craft on a personal level but committed to creating something bigger than all of us to benefit the community.

We meet every Friday afternoon at the Bermagui Country Club but once we have built a large storage cupboard at the Surf Club we will need to meet there.

Hanging odd shaped rugs?

Rose Gelato
Rose Gelato

       Kira’s “Quillie” (standing wool rug) 

     Rose Gelato

weighs approximately 3kgs the dimensions of the work are approximately 85cm x 77cm and it’s odd shaped

– so how does one hang such a creative piece – especially something that should be “standing”?

In a light-bulb moment Kira came up with an idea and raced off to that big green n red hardware warehouse and purchased some PVC garden trellis and a section of        “Clever Closet Hang Track” !

Here’s what Kira Mead from Western Australia says about creating and using her   hanging technique “Grid Back”

“What I liked about the Clever Closet Hang Track is you can use the holes for wire or art track hooks under the track.

I am planning on making the mesh a permanent fixture, but a quick unpick would make easy work to remove it all without damaging the rug. With the backing I can see it being used hung or as a floor rug.  I would put something non-slip underneath for use on a hard floor.

Rose_Gelato_Quillie_rug_by_Kira_Mead_Albany_West_Australia_Grid Back Framing

 Rose_Gelato_Quillie_rug_by_Kira_Mead_Albany_West_Australia_hung_with_Grid_Back_FramingPlease excuse the lighting and background on the hanging image – it was the only wall I trusted to take the weight.

The two other rugs I have made are for the floor and I used a fabric appropriate liquid nails to attach to vinyl.

The backing makes the whole work more stable, but this rug (Rose Gelato) was never made as a high traffic area rug.  My purpose was as an artistic object.   The original “Accidental Carpet” was made to decorate a very large concrete floored building for epileptic children to cheer up their surroundings.

The most comments I received from people on seeing my work was that they would like to see it on a wall, hence my exploration of different ways of hanging without compromising the work e.g. I didn’t want it falling apart because of the weight. I could see this being a problem if the work is stitched or glued.

I used blanket or button-hole stitch with doubled thread because I wanted it to be very secure and to cover the PVC trellis, also as it would look more attractive as a permanent fixture, not that it’s the side anyone will be viewing.

I didn’t go down the Velcro route as I was concerned it would not be strong enough to hold the work, but I could see that you could make a Velcro sheath that could slip over the Clever Closet Hang Track and it could easily thread through the back.  The Clever Closet Hang Track just weaves through the trellis, so easy removal, unless you have hung with wire. That would need to be removed first.

For a thinner and lighter rug, I could see that slip stitching would work and would stop rug curl down the bottom.  Possibly just slip stitching a strip of PVC trellis across the bottom would be enough.

One last handy dandy hint – Picture triangles can be screwed into the holes of the Clever Closet Hang Track”


ArtFest Exhibition


Milton-Ulladulla Artfest 19th Sept – 5th Oct

Annette White_NSW_Australia

The following report was forwarded by Annette White of New South Wales.

As part of the annual Milton-Ulladulla Artfest, the Narrawilly Rugmakers entered a substantial variety of rugs made by members of the group for Exhibition in Miriam Miller’s rug room and picturesque surrounds.   The Proggy banners made by Coral Christina, were a great help in directing people there.

NarrawillyThe beautiful spring weather couldn’t have been more favorable.  Even the setting up of the venue was fun to do; rugmakers equipped with hammers, nails and string, decorated the timber walls of Miriam’s cottage in vibrant colours, patterns and pictures hooked and progged into beautiful rugs.

Hand_hooked_rugs_Narrawilly_Milton_NSW_AustraliaRugs were hanging from trees, flowing in the breeze on the washing line, and draped over the kitchen garden fence.


As one stepped into the famous rug room, they would be greeted by ever more rugs, including two rugs made and donated by Canada’s Karen Kaiser.   A couple of items made by blind people in The Gambia were also displayed.

People had a chance to see some rug making in progress, and also give the craft a try on a stretcher frame set up outside.  It was a pleasure to see how keen and interested our visitors were, especially some young boys who showed considerable talent.

Your couldn’t miss the sign to the tea & coffee stall.  Delicious homemade cakes were served and then enjoyed on the veranda; decorated with more beautiful creations of the rug making trade, together with a stunning view over the surrounding landscape.   It was nice to see happy people lingering and relaxing over their refreshments.  A nice amount of money made from selling these and the raffle tickets recovered the cost for entry of the Expo into Artfest and a donation to the Blind Ruggers in The Gambia.

The flow of visiting people was steady, and it seemed every one was impressed with what can be produced with up-cycled discarded clothing, old blankets, yarns, never ending resources.  The atmosphere was great, and hopefully people went home inspired to be creative.

Before the “big rush” on Sunday morning, Miriam drove a small group of us to Granite Falls to admire the lush abundance of the Boronia flowers and the spectacular view of the water falls.  A much appreciated treat.


Granite Falls_NSW_Australia

We are very grateful to Miriam for initiating such wonderful events and opening up her beautiful home and surrounds for all to enjoy.

Miriam Miller, rughooking instructor, NSW Australia_photo, Gillian Lett Milton Ulladulla Times
Miriam Miller, rughooking instructor, NSW Australia_photo, Gillian Lett Milton Ulladulla Times