Thursday, 26 December 2013

Next meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

What a busy time of the year it is. Everyone running to and fro, here and there. This is supposed to be a time of relaxing, but often it is not. It often tires us more than anything.
Let's make it a time to gather our thoughts, and truly relax.Take some time out to smell the roses, do a little trip and enjoy other people's talents.
As you have probably read in the previous post,  there is an exhibition of beautiful pieces of fibre art handcrafted by Isabel Foster: The Challenge of Colour. From 14 December 2013 – 16 March 2014, in Burrinja Gallery in Upwey. 
What fun it would be to have our next meeting there. At the same time we can wander around the gallery and admire Isobel's beautifully, bold and colourful textiles. 
It would also be an opportunity to promote the wonderful art of Rug Making to a public mostly ignorant of this interesting craft. 
If you have been thinking of attending a meeting why not make it on Saturday, 11th January, 10.30AM at Burrinja Gallery, Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Drive, Upwey, at the Burrinja cafe.

See here for directions on how to get there.
I truly hope you can come and join us. Please come and say hi if you're in the area. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Isabel Foster Retrospective on Saturday December 14th at Upwey

14 December 2013 – 16 March 2014
Burrinja Gallery in Upwey

Isabel Foster: The Challenge of Colour

Explore delightfully bright, bold and bizarre textiles created by 92-year old artist Isabel Foster.
Isabel’s extensive body of work shows her lifetime’s devotion to needle and thread, colour and the ingenious use of the finest materials.
As a child born between two world wars, Isabel was raised in a time where thrift was given and home furnishings were handmade. This upbringing planted the seeds of resilience, independence and creativity, which have become the hallmarks of this remarkable textile artist.
Isabel’s passionate works highlight the ability to break with conventions and push her creative boundaries.

The exhibition will feature signature pieces from Isabel’s long career spanning 45 years.
EXHIBITION OPENING | Saturday 14 December 2pm
For more information click here

Isabel is brilliant! Her rugs are a wonder to behold, from humble Proddy's to extraordinary crocheted, wild things. A must see.

Monday, 9 December 2013

December meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Hi from Loch in beautiful South Gippsland. 
Even though there were only three of us the weather, as well as the conversation, was warm and cosy. We were indeed fortunate to be able to celebrate Anne's birthday with her on that very day. We even had an inpromptu birthday cake and candle and sang happy birthday.

Joy showed us her beautiful adaptation of a new rug she is working on, showing all the homes that are featured in the  'Anne of Green Gables' book series. She designed and drew the pattern, then transferred it onto a Monk's cloth backing. It will be gorgeous when finished.

By lunch time she had already hooked most of the fist house and by day's end had also completed some of the greenery around the house. 

Anne continued to work on her Santa rug which may or may not be finished before Christmas.

Even though Lis couldn't be with us on Saturday, due to another engagement, she left us a photo of her wonderful 'Healthy Tree' rug. Her explanation is that the branches and the fruits represent her  healthy lungs after her giving up smoking.
It is indeed a wonderful memory and reminder for her.

Chris has started on her new portrait rug of grandson number two, Jacob. The face is mostly finished but she is have difficulties dyeing for blond hair and finding enough contrast between the skin and his hair . She got stuck into the dye pots today, but is still not happy with the outcome. Using onion skins and dyeing over natural and pale yellow wool the results were less than ideal. The floaties in the water are a combination of onion skins, teabags and coffee bags. Here are the results
Since then she has overdyed them with a very weak brown which seems to be better.

In January we hope to have our meeting at  Burrinja Gallery, Upwey, which is showing an exhibition of Fibre Art works by the talented  92 year old artist, Isabel Foster. Please come and say hi if you are in the area. We would love to see you.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Monthly get together for the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Just a reminder
Our next get together for the Yarra Valley Rug Makers is on Saturday 7th December in Loch.
All welcome. Just bring yourself, a friend and some food to share.
Looking forward to seeing you there. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Isaac rug is bound

My finished rug, bound and all.
I finished the rug with purple wool piping, a method that Wanda Kerr teaches on the Welcome mat.
I used about 10mm thick cord, which I encased in a long strip of wool about 10cms wide by the length all around the rug plus some extra. You then sew your cord into the wool strip on your machine with a zipper foot, the whole length of your strip, leaving about 5 cms undone at each end.
You place your piping so that it sits nice and snug against your last row of hooking on your rug, with your loose flap at the back.  You then just sew it with a running stitch placing the stitches between your loops all the way around, easing in at the corners. When you get to the end, you cut the cord so that they but snugly together and overlap the fabric and sew it down.
You then sew down the access at the back as you would any binding. Voila, done. Quick, easy and a nice finish.
Here is a photo of the front and the back.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

November meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers group.

Hi friends of Yarra Valley Rug makers.
Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, I've got a wonderful feeling, Everything's going my way.
And it was all of that.
We had an extra guest today. Joy brought her mum from Rockhampton along  to share in our wonderful day. Jo was also there, as were the old faithfuls.
We talked about the Stitches and Craft show and about how we could be involved in Rug Making  awareness next year. It was mostly decided that next year we would try the Craft and Quilt fair in June as it suited most people better.
Most of us worked on projects we brought along. A lovely lunch was had by all in the wonderful setting of Anne's lovely home in Warrandyte.

Joy's wonderful mum from Rockhampton, working on her cross stitch embroidery

 Everyone discussing Jen's adaptation of her daughter's bedroom carpet

...and here it is

Wow, isn't Lis' tree great. It has a wonderful story to tell. Ask her about it,
when you come to one of our meetings.

 Anne is continuing her Christmas Rug, hopefully in time for the festive season

 Joy and Jo discussing the hows of rug hooking the easy way. :)

                                                   and another close-up of Jen's carpet adaptation

Chris' finished rug of grandson Isaac

And that's the way it was....on Saturday 9th November in Warrandyte.
Next month we meet on the first Saturday at Chris' in Loch, beautiful Sth Gippsland. 
Thanks for looking...come along if you can, you'll love it.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Isaac with hair

Some hair has finally been added. I'm getting there. Since this photo I have started on the background. Had some difficulty getting the right color. Finally settled on purples, from light in the top right hand corner to very dark on the bottom left. I hope it will be OK. I will post a photo soon.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Yarra Valley Rug Makers meeting

Our next meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers is upon us once again. We will be meeting at Anne's home in Warrandyte next Saturday 9th November.
Just bring yourself, a project to work on and some food for lunch to share. 
If you have always wanted to have a go at Rug Hooking but haven't had any support, now is your chance. We will help you get started. Don't be shy, everyone is welcome. 
If you saw and chatted with us at the Australian Rug Makers Guild stand at the Stitches and Craft show, feel free to join us and make some new friends.
We are not strangers, only friends you haven't met.
Email us at for more information or use the 'contact' link on the right of the page.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne

We had an amazing extended weekend at Caulfield. It was the first time Rug Making was represented in the Guild area of the Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne. Interest was constant, with our girls demonstrating for most of the day, every day.
Many, many people were surprised to see the rugs, especially Anne's Proggy rugs. "Oh I remember these!" was heard often. A nice memory.
Lots of folk remembered the day when they all sat around cutting or prodding or collecting rags for the rugs. 'Clippy' or 'Peggy' or 'Proddy' rugs, depending on where they were from. One gentleman said his mother covered the whole house's floors. One alone covering the entire lounge floor! He and his siblings had to cut the strips as well as muck in. Even the father's were involved.
Perhaps we'll find that some of the interested ladies will come and join our little group.
It was obvious that a spark was lit in people's imaginations and that's how we feel.
Demonstrating Proddy Rug all day over the weekend, on Hessian, I discovered how easy it was myself! I'd been using Latch-hook Canvas (an Op Shop find) and now I'll never use it again. Hessian is so much easier. No wonder I thought Proddy's a bit difficult. The Hessian is pliant and user friendly and I can't wait to get to it!
Don't forget to email us for your free 'Blossom' pattern!

This is the first day. All is neat and tidy. The vacuum cleaner man forgot our corner and by the second day, our space looked like our workrooms do after a day of serious hooking


Joy was inundated by people wanting to see how rug hooking was done. Some had a go, and with Joy's encouragement they were soon pulling loops like professionals

 Lis, also spent time showing interested people the ropes, while Anne chatted about backings, hooks and wool

This lady shared her vision of adding a hooked border to her current nancy knitted rug project.

Lots of fun was had by all.....

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Stitches & Craft Show, October 24 - 27 2013

The Victorian Rug Group, as representatives of the Australian Rug Crafters Guild, will be at the: Stitches & Craft Show, Melbourne, October 24 - October 27, 2013, Caulfield Racecourse, Station St, Caulfield East. This is the first time Rug Hooking will be displayed and demonstrated at this annual craft fair! Judging by the reception in the show at Perth, Western Australia, we expect to be run off our feet. Our group is very excited and hope to inspire as many people as can be to take up this interesting and enjoyable craft. There will be lots to look at and you might like to have a go yourself. Ask questions, share stories or just come to see what we're banging on about the whole time! Come up and say Hi! We're situated on the top level, up near the coffee.

Special Show Offer, email us at for a free pattern.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

 Here I have started to add some hair. I needed to get the skin tones below his hair sorted out. Too dark and you wouldn't be able to differentiate between his hair and his face. Too light and there would be no hair shadow. 

Here I have added a shadow line to the left side [his left] of his face.
I still have some tweaking to do but I will wait and see what it looks like when finished, so I can have a good look at it.
I like to take lots of photos. You tend to see more on a photo.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

My Love Rug finished

My love rug is finished, finally. It has taken me 9 1/2 months. Instead of whipping an edge I just hemmed back the excess hessian, which looks OK I think. Sorry about the photo, it's not very clear. I'll take another later and replace it then.

Monday, 14 October 2013


In this, my second portrait rug, I have decided to implement April deConick’s   way of doing portraits, based on value rather than colour alone. April says; “It is based on the concept that the eye focuses on differences in value and intensity, more than differences in color.”
Within  each area of value I am using about 4-5 colours of the same value, rather than just one skin toned colour. The colours may include, pinks, purples, red, blues. As long as they are of the same value I will use them in that one area. It is also a great way of using up your stash.
A good way of knowing whether your colours are of the same value is to sort them into groups- i.e light pinks, creams, blues, mauves and so on in the light group. Do the same for light mediums, mediums, dark mediums and darks. Then take a monochrome photo of each group. Any that are not of the same value will easily show up as either darker or lighter. Put those with your other groups of values.
In the photos you will see this colour combination. I am very happy with the way this is working and will keep you up to date with photos. 

 My pattern traced onto the backing

 I start with the eyes, then the mouth.

 Once I have the main features hooked, I hook the light values first, then the dark, and finally the medium values.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

October meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

What a most wonderful day we had. The weather was great, the company was great and the rugs were especially great.
We all arrived at Anne’s in Warrandyte around 10AM. We were welcomed by Anne and introduced to our visitors- Miriam and Jacqui, followed by a lovely hot cuppa.
We also welcomed our newest member Jo, who was very keen to learn how to hook a rug.
After showing off all our beautiful rugs, which were brought along for the upcoming Stitches and Craft show at Caulfield, we were shown a most wonderful large rug by Jo, who picked it up at a garage sale. It was owned by a lady rug hooker who had been hooking for many years. It is an unfinished project and hooked with all sorts of different fabrics. Lots of ideas were thrown around regarding a suitable background for the ‘Leaves’ rug.
Joy talked to us regarding the S & C show and our part in it. That finalised we talked about a name change for the group and settled on the ‘Yarra Valley Rug Makers’, or maybe, ‘The Yarra Valley Group’ as an offshoot of the Victorian Rug Makers parent group, the Victorian rug Makers. We then had a wonderful lunch and lots of socialising. Some of us even did a bit of hooking.
There was so much to see and so many people to talk with, it was just wonderful. With such lovely weather we took the opportunity to sit outside for a time.
Around 3pm we started to pack up, looking forward to the S & C show in a fortnight.

 Jacqui holding up a wonderful little rug hooked by one of her protoges in Africa

Miriam in deep discussion with one of our group

 Lis' gorgeous circle rug

 Jacqui's project that she brought with her to work on. An adaptation of a painting.

 Our newest member Jo, working on her very first rug. Great to have you with us Jo

 Jo's first rug

 Chris' portrait rug of her eldest grandson

 Discussing how to finish Jo's garage sale find

 Joy is hooking up a few small motives for her Christmas tree

 Anne, working on the background of her Santa Rug

 Our wonderful group enjoying the sunshine at Anne's

Close Up Of Bound Edges

I used my excess fabric to cut strips and bind the edges of the rug. I love it. It's a tiny weenie bit tedious but fits right in with the colour and texture. I tucked the ends under the top at the start, then the back for the finish of each worm.
The curved edges flute a little and next time I'll tack the hem first, however, it's fairly flat so I won't do another thing to this rug excepting stand on it!