Friday, October 28, 2011

1500 Hookers

Last week I was fortunate to attend the ATHA (Association of Traditional Hooking Artists) Biennial.  It was in Lancaster, PA-- one of my all time favorite places to go ;-)
It was my first rug hooking convention, my first major rug show, and my first time to take a rug hooking class. The two ladies on either side of me are ((L) Gail DuFresne and (R) Cynthia Norwood.
They are giants in the rug hooking community.  I took an all day teacher training class from them and I learned that teaching rug hooking isn't a lot different than teaching quilting or punch needle.  The medium is slightly different but I approached it in much the same way as the other two and these two ladies validated my perception so I think it's going to work out fine ;-)))
They were a fun team and were perfect for this class.  They shared everything rug hooking from A to Z and even brought in a few other teachers who also had good insight and amazingly, none of them said the same thing so it was a win-win-win-win-win!!!!  YAY!!!

I met up with so many internet friends so I was able to put faces to names and even managed to make some new friends as well.  The rug hooking community is still relatively small and the talent in this small pool of artists who offered their work for display was exceptional to say the least.  The rugs in the show were some of the best examples of textile art I have ever seen.
I am going to post a few of the rugs from the show... ok, a lot.  hahaha!
They were all so amazing-- these photos don't do them justice.
My favorites of course were the primitive ones-- what can I say?  I love love love the purposeful art over the decorative and fine art but can still appreciate the latter.
You might even recognize a couple of mine in the mix ;-)

This first photo was one of 4 of the same design.  All four were different but this one was my favorite.

Here are the others--

The larger rug in this photo has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  How lucky it was that my two entries were in such good company ;-)

The next two pictures are close-ups of my entries that were also designed and hooked by me. 
This rug is "Bless Our Home" and it was my 3rd hooked rug made a year and a half ago.  It's still one of my favorites ;-)

This is my rug that was featured on the July 2011 cover of the Wool Street Journal magazine ;-)
I named it "Friendship's Offering".
It is the May angel from a calendar series I did as a "Block-of-the-Month" quilt collection.  You can see the entire quilt calendar collection on my Handmaiden Designs website.  I am now doing them as hooked wall rugs with a few design changes due to the fact that sometimes the quilt details don't translate so well to hooking.  So far the April, May, June, and July hooked angels are done.  Only 8 more to go ;-0!! 
I am also continuing the collection into Punch Needle patterns, again with a few design changes but this time, to keep it interesting ;-)

This ottoman was done by one of my new friends, Linda (I can't remember her last name now but it will come to me and I'll make the correction then).  
She purchased this ottoman from Lazy Boy I think is what she said and then recovered it with a hooked rug.  This is one of those pictures that truly doesn't show how fabulous the item was...  but take my word for it-- AMAZING!!!

My roommate at the convention was Allie Barchi who I met a year ago at a Brandywine, PA hook-in. This is one of her entries in the show.  There are so many things I love about this rug-- color, style, subject, etc., and her hooking was beautiful to boot!

This is a chair that someone hooked the back, the seat, and the arms!!!  It was stunning.  
The note on the seat is explaining to please not touch as it was broken en route to the show and unstable.  I sure hope it can be fixed.

I loved the colors in this rug and especially because the design was primitive and whimsical to me.
Karen Kahle is one of my favorite rug designers and I think this might be one of her designs.

This rug in progress was a true highlight.  I first met Judy at a Mason-Dixon Guild meeting in July of this year.  She is delightful and her rugs were breathtaking.  She has done mostly African animals and she works in a fine cut and is a low hooker.  Her rugs looked and felt like it would as if you actually touched the animal and petted it.  Her style of hooking isn't anything I would ever do myself but it literally brought tears to my eyes to see this again.  The first time I saw it, she had three of the eyes done.  She is going very steadily and for her work I have no words to express how beautiful and amazing it truly is.  These eyes are lifelike with soul.  The designer of the rug is Lenny Feenan.  Please take a look at his site (this particular rug is under the "Eye See You" tab) to see how this rug evolved and the canvas Judy started with.  (I looked for a website for Judy and couldn't find one but I did see that some of her work is on Lenny's site) ;-)  If you click on the photo, it gets bigger ;-)

Here are more photos from the rug show...  I'll post these and more in a later blog post.   ENJOY!!!
(PS-- I can tell my photography skills are seriously lacking as I look at these photos ;-0!!)

Is this the most fun and majestic bird?!  Love the crown!!

I LOVED this ottoman!!!  There were about 3 or 4 of these in the show and I actually was taken with all of them ;-)

I have got to do one of these!!!!

This is a baby giraffe against it's mother.  You can see the fold of skin on the mother's leg to the right of the baby's neck at the bottom right of the rug.
I don't know if this is one of Judy's rugs or someone else doing this same canvas-- still beautiful work!!! ;-)

Someone else also did some eyes ;-)

The poppies on the rug below, I am realizing are gorgeous!!!  I wish I had taken a photo of that entire rug as well ;-(
Instead, I was focusing on Lincoln's Inaugural address.  Oy...
I am a HUGE Lincoln fan and I was impressed that someone would hook the entire text of his Inaugural address.  WOW!
Since first writing this post, I have learned that a sort of "watermark" of Lincoln is actually hooked in behind the text of his speech.  That makes this rug even MORE amazing!!!
If you look closely, you'll see it.  It's right in the center.  ;-)

How could I ignore a flying Americana fish?!

That's all for this post--

Debra <3


  1. Your photographs are a wonderful insight to the ATHA show. TY. Look for Mr. Lincoln's face behind his words as Ivi magically placed him there!

  2. OOOOOOOOOOO!! I never noticed that!
    I am going to zoom in on that one and see what I get ;-)
    Thanks leLoops for the info!!

  3. OH WOW!! I saw it!! It is right in the center, smaller, and facing you.
    I didn't know this was Ivi's rug either-- great job, Ivi!!
    I am a HUGE Lincoln fan and I was so impressed with this rug because of the entire HOOKED address ;-0!! Now I have another reason to love this rug!!