My news

On Friday morning as Alexander and I were jostling along on the train back to Houston, my sister sent me this photo via her phone (left).  My rug, Alexander at Sauder, won the People's Choice Award in its category in the Sauder Village Rug Exhibit!  We were so thrilled we did a gig on the train and when we got home, Wade took us out to dinner at one of my favorite Thai restraurants. 

School starts tomorrow for all of us, so I will try to post my reflections and memories of the Sauder exhibit 2011 during the week.  I have many photos, including this special one of Alex and me in front of the rug.

Kirby Hook In and Seeing Red Challenge

If you are in the area, or around the area, or visiting the area, consider joining us at the Kirby Midsummer Hook In.  The theme this year is Out of Africa: A Rug Hooking Safari.  There will be a rug exhibit and a show featuring the ATHA SEEING RED CHALLENGE RUGS.

Vendors: Cal Creations, Country Gatherings, My Little House Rugs, Red Jack Rugs

June 25th, 9 am to 5 pm at Bethany Christian Church, 3223 Westheimer Road

Registration, $25 includes boxed lunch

To register, contact Lurie McAdow at

Quilt Show Houston 2010

The International Quilt Show is going on in Houston today and this weekend.  Here is a LINK to more information about location, times and tickets.  I have heard it is an amazing show, so I am going to try to make it over there sometime this weekend.  Here is a LINK to an article from the Houston Chronicle previewing the show.  Here is a clip from the article, describing three of the major exhibits.

Bob Ruggiero, a 14-year veteran of the show and director of publications and public information for Quilts Inc., offers some suggestions:

First, make a beeline for the exhibit titled Baltimore Album Review II.

"They are the more traditional quilts," Ruggiero says, "and we'll have the godmother of this art form, Elly Sienkiewicz, here at the show. All of the quilts in the exhibit she made or collected."

"They are the more traditional quilts," Ruggiero says, "and we'll have the godmother of this art form, Elly Sienkiewicz, here at the show. All of the quilts in the exhibit she made or collected."

Another marquee exhibit, Ruggiero says, is the Festival Gallery of Quilt Art. "These are very modern," he says. "These are the quilts people look at and say, 'I can't believe that's a quilt. It looks like a painting.' "

The third exhibit space is devoted to quilts with patriotic themes. Ruggiero says all of them come from Cindy Rennels of Cindy's Antique Quilts in Clinton, Okla., and they're being shown en masse for the first time.

Getting ready for Sauder Village

This year I'm heading up north to visit my sister and we are going to go to Sauder for the rug exhibit. I just pre-registered some of the rugs I hooked this year, and can't wait to see what other people have been doing. And of course Noah's Ark. The exhibit is usually amazing, so I am looking forward to it.

Anyone else going?

PS: Is anyone interested in setting up a blogger coffee get-together? Around 10 am on Wednesday?

Stash Sisters Hook In

I just received the flyer for the Stash Sister's annual hook in in Hankamer, Texas, April 9-10. This event is so much fun. There are great vendors, a handmade table, goodie bags with handmade surprises, door prizes, a silent auction, a rug raffle, hooking for two days, and a rug exhibit. If you are anywhere near, it is worth the drive to Hankamer. Hope you can join us this year! Click the flyer below for a bigger and clearer image of it.

Mark your calendars for the First Annual Midsummer Kirby Hook In

In celebration of the summer solstice and inspired by the words of William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream "The object of art is to give life a shape".

The Kirby Hooking Circle will be hosting the First Annual MIDSUMMER KIRBY HOOK IN, Bethany Christian Church, 3223 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX, June 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Bring a rug to display for our rug show, and consider joining the event's Celestial Challenge by hooking a rug or project featuring a sun and/or moon (approximately 144 hooked square inches) any shape, and exhibit it in our special Celestial Challenge Display.

Hooking all day, Celestial Challenge Display and rug show (1-3 pm), lunch and vendors. $25 for the day, which includes lunch for those who pre-register. So pre-registration by June 1st is highly recommended. To register, or for more information contact Lurie McAdow at

International Quilt Show hits Houston

I missed going to the Quilt Show with my friends today because I am just too overloaded at work. I'm hoping to squeeze out a few hours tomorrow afternoon, but I have to see how much work I can get done between now and then.

In the Houston Chronicle this morning, the winner of the Best of Show was interviewed and her AMAZING quilt photographed (PHOTO OF HER QUILT: from the main quilt show website). It is called "On the Wings of a Dream" by CARYL BRYER FALLERT of PADUCAH, KENTUCKY. It is a personal quilt that took 15 months to complete, showing the creator herself emerging into a new life after a difficult period in her old life. The woman is all piecework created by a technique made up by Bryer herself, then she stitched the bird in white threads over top. Most of the fabric she hand-dyed. The prize: $10,000.

If you can't make it to see these fabulous quilts, at least browse the winners, HERE where are all posted on the website for the show. They are inspiring and boundary-breaking.

I keep thinking about rug hooking and how I feel somedays stuck in such a traditional craft. There are not very many rug hookers who are pushing the artistic boundaries, pushing the boundaries of what can be done with rugs. How can we as rug hookers push the boundaries of our art, open up the art to new avenues of creative potential? I'm tired of hooking pretty pictures, I'm tired of making coasters and purses. I'm tired of making dolls. How can we use new materials to create new effects? Is there any way to overlay, to hook something over something else? Are there other stitches we can incorporate than just the plain loop? I'm open to ideas if any of you want to share your thoughts.

Roosters and hens

Another rug in A Stitch in Time exhibit that I want to mention is hooked by Polly B. Nabors, Clair's Hen Party. When I saw the hens and the great use of texture and plaids for their feathers, I thought how realistic they were with minimal shading.

On our way home from viewing the exhibit, we stopped by the Texas State Park, Washington-on-the-Brazos and visited the Barrington Living History Farm. Out in the barn, Alex got to touch a turkey which made the big red rooster jealous. So he started to crow. Wade shot this photo of him, and all the time I'm looking at the rooster strutting around, I'm thinking about Polly's rug and how well she captured those hens in wide-cut wools. Through the eyes of a rug hooker!

A Stitch in Time

Martha Lowry sent me a postcard (many thanks! - otherwise I wouldn't have known about it) for a fiber arts exhibit that is hung in the gallery of the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, College Station, called "A Stitch in Time". So yesterday, Wade, Alex and I climbed into the car (which we just got back from the body shop after Wade's accident on I-45 when he was rear-ended in slow traffic and had $2800 of cosmetic damage so the car smelled like fresh paint and we had to drive with the windows cracked open in 95+degree heat) and made our way up to College Station, a hour and forty-five minute drive. Believe me, it was good to get into an air-conditioned building once we got there!

The exhibit was mainly rugs hooked by an Aggie guild organized by Loyce Kahil, although there was one needle-felted piece, one small quilt, and several loom blankets and scarfs. Photographs were allowed, so I'm posting here Alex's favorite, an Azeri rug hooked by Loyce.

Azeri rugs are folklife carpets that Turkish women began hooking in the late 80s. A group of women weavers began approaching their work personally, inspired by their own surroundings and environment. The weavers began incorporating small images of themselves and their familes, a stray animal or flower, into the blank areas of their rugs. I learned about Azeri rugs from a book I purchased five years ago when I wanted to try my hand at creating such a piece (and failed miserably - these rugs are much more difficult to execute successfully than they look!). The book is by George Jevremovic, Azeri: Folklife Carpets (Woven Legends, 1992).

Anyway, Loyce's rug is beautifully done and is especially fun because it illustrates her life (?) as a rug hooker in Texas. So rug hooking elements are combined with Texas fauna and flora. Note the bluebonnets and the armadillo (Alex laughed when he saw this) and the Texas flag. Loyce takes us through the whole process of rug hooking, from the sheep in the field to the dye pot to hooking the rug on a frame. She includes all the necessary tools: measuring cups, dye bath and hanger, the rug hook and scissors. It is a remarkable example of folklife carpets.

After seeing Loyce's gorgeous carpet, I am feeling inspired to try my hand at one again. Maybe this time I won't fail.