The International Ploughing Match 2014

Yesterday I spent  the day at the International  Ploughing Match. It was a very special experience and this morning I received an email and these great photos from Margaret Kennedy, who has graciously let me post them here .

Following are Margaret’s comments and photos:

“It was a glorious day at the IPM, the sky filled with clouds that would delight any rug hooker. Cold, windy yes. We needed lots of layers, even gloves, but we were not deterred.

Here are some photos of the day starting with dignitaries including Premier Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horvath speaking.

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Lots of school children arrived and were given special attention by Cheri and Marie.

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And of course we would be lost sheep without exact instructions from our devoted leaders, Linda Wilson and Diane Audia.

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Isabel’s IPM (International Ploughing Match) rug won praises that would reach the heavens.”

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The rest of the photos were taken by Margaret, but the comments are mine.

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The Traditional Hooked Rug sales booth was full of wonderful items to purchase.

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The Barn Project was on full display.

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Margaret said that four photos towards the end are of Louis Gervais’ work who is a wet felter, and I hope these are the right photos.

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Margaret sent a photo of one quilt  entitled roughly, ‘Heading Home’.

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Tomorrow I’ll post some of the photos I took. They’re not nearly as good as Margaret’s, but will show the immense tent we were in,(one of dozens) more of the quilts and some of the grounds.

The Ploughing Match is on until Saturday (Sept 20th) so if you’re in the vicinity of Ivy Ontario there are hundreds of acres to explore .

 

 

Borrowing an Idea

Signa Meus Vita is now steamed and lies flat and ready for the next step……the finishing.  (the variations in the background are not nearly as extreme as the photo makes them seem.)DSCF6775

The steaming itself presented a bit of a problem because of the “silk tears”. I didn’t want them to be squashed down , so I very carefully worked around them with the iron. However there were spots where they were too close together for me to steam the hooking and avoid them.  Luckily I found that if I quickly flipped the piece over and puffed the silk up with my fingernail, no harm was done.DSCF6778

They still stood nicely above the hooking.

The decision needed now was how to finish the edges. I knew i didn’t want a border, a whipped edge, or a frame. I want it to be a “hanging” as in “tapestry” style, as opposed to a framed “picture”. …..so on Tuesday at our first fall meeting of Sunshine Rug Hookers, I sat down with Cynthia (one of the most creative people I know), to ask her advice on how she had finished a rug I had seen and admired.

This picture of it doesn’t do it justice, but you can see the effect of the beautiful slub silk border, which has been lightly padded.

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….so with her information in mind I headed off to Fabricland, and found this beautiful slubbed silk which perfectly recreates the picture I had in my mind

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….once again the colours aren’t true….they go together very well in reality.

….as I said to Cynthia, I’m nervous to start the edging procedure, so I’m procrastinating by writing a blog about it instead. The plan is to create a type of “show binding” by cutting  bias strips of the silk which will be lightly padded with a small strip of quilt batting . ….just have to get up the nerve to start..

I’ve been hooking a bit more on “Dream Big” …less than two weeks now to the Ploughing match, so I should have some left to hook while demonstarting.DSCF6788Thanks for stopping by.

 

Dream Big

I’m demonstrating for a day at the upcoming International Ploughing Match, and obviously have to have some hooking to do. Having just completed my last project, that meant I had to get something underway quickly. Hmmmm  what to do???  Cheri and Gail came to the rescue.  They’re both investigating “graffiti” which  is the theme for next year’s annual….and were amazed and excited about the scope and intricacy  of this “street art”. Sounded like a great idea to me.

…..something simple and not too big that I can get working on quickly…..this caught my eye. Not the colours, or the text but the style.

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…… then out with the pencils to sketch ideas. When I was satisfied with the lettering, I traced it with a sharpie,

DSCF6759then used my printer to enlarge it to 8.5 x 11,

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added some “extras”DSCF6761

….then headed to the Copy Shop and had them double the size to 17″ x  22″

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I don’t have a light table, but this is a small project, and I was anxious to get it underway, so I used the window method to transfer the pattern to my backing.DSCF6770

All this involves is taping the pattern to the window, then (having drawn the dimensions on the backing), taping the backing over top, and drawing the pattern directly. It’s not as accurate as my usual method, but great for a simple project. (just don’t save money by buying your green paint tape at a dollar store as I did….it didn’t stick well and kept slipping).

So now it’s started.DSCF6773

Now my only problem is to go slowly enough that I still have some to finish while hooking at the ploughing match…..or I could begin planning my next project….

 

More Hook-In Photos….and DONE Hooking!

 

Here are some more photos of the pieces people were hooking on at Linda’s.

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Cheri is making her famous necklaces.

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I love Mary’s pastoral scene. It is so restful.

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….creative hot pads….

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Cynthia’s whimsical work….

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Liz has finished her owls.

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Ann was doing lettering on her Vimy Ridge piece

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….and an abstract by Gail.

….and on Friday, I pulled the last loop in Signa Meus Vita.

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….now out with the steam iron and press cloth….(if I can tear myself away from the sketches I’m doing for my next project).

Thanks for stopping by.

Medonte Hooking

No, Medonte is not an unusual new hooking style. In the winter the area is home to numerous downhill ski resorts, and in the summer it’s a wonderful place to hold a summer get together for the Sunshine and Huronia Hooking groups. (It’s actually a township between Orillia and Barrie in central Ontario) Many thanks to Linda for organizing and hosting this hook in / dyeing / plowing match collection / day.DSCF6729

On this perfect summer day, some hooked outdoors, DSCF6752 ….and some worked inside.DSCF6725

…but everyone….like Mary Lou and Ann  enjoyed visiting and catching up on the latest news.

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Linda helped introduce dyeing to a number of hookers…

and then they produced some dyed wool of their own.

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Charlene was thrilled with her results.

New hookers had the advantage of many skilled people to ask for advice.

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Here Gail was being consulted on a new hooker’s first rug.

While we all had a wonderful day, the real reason for this gathering was to collect and tag items to be sold or displayed at the upcoming International Plowing Match. It is expected that there will be about 20,000 visitors each day of the weeklong event so many have put in an extra effort to have plenty of items for the sales tables.

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Linda is an “organizer par excellence” and had a separate room set up and all the tags prepared for the job. Liz is putting the tags on her work…

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Cheri and Cynthia are doing the same. (Love how they are both peering over the top of their reading glasses.)

Many display items were brought (here’s a few)

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Cecelia’s amazing lion (only her second hooked piece)

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Ann’s pig….DSCF6747

Cathy’s maritime village… and for me the biggest surprise of the day…Isabel’s rug celebrating the plowing match…..not quite finished…but will be in time for the event. I hadn’t seen it before, and it took my breath away.

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She designed this herself.

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…the detail is amazing…DSCF6722

….and the team of horses are so realistic, they look like they could plow that furrow right off the edge of the rug!!!

More to follow in the next post.   Thanks for stopping by.

Another Mea Culpa

It’s been awhile since the last post because (here’s the mea culpa) I went to an art show with dead batteries in my camera! We were at the delightful A La Arte gala last Saturday in Beaverton (the opening of their “Big Bite” festival), which for the first time included fibre art pieces. It was wonderful, but you’ll have to take my word for it. The best I can do is show you my three pieces that were included, with apologies to Sunshine rughookers Cynthia Young, Gail Mueller, and Liz Edwards, as well as a number of other wonderful fibre artists….and of course the traditional artists and sculptors as well.

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Sir John was there.

DSCF2137….and Emma Sue, who likes to travel…DSCF4059

…and “Black and White” made its first public appearance.

In the meantime, I’ve been working away on the background of “Signa Meus Vita” . The flash emphasizes the variation in background shades, they are not nearly as pronounced in real life.DSCF6719

It will be touch and go whether I have enough wool to finish it, since I used over 1/2 yard when dyeing the original darker corner colours.

I’m looking forward to a get together next Tuesday.  It’s a day long hook in and collection of both sale and display pieces for the Plowing Match. I have fresh batteries already loaded in my camera!

Don’t Do As I Do

Yes. My ugly habit of “packing” has reared its ugly head once again. It looks so beautiful while stretched tightly on the frame, but take it off and hang it up and it has buckles and bows in it that weren’t meant to go on shoes! For anyone who wonders what “packing” is…it’s pulling either the loops or the rows too closely together so that the hooking doesn’t lie flat when it is off the stretched frame. This can usually be corrected with a good steaming, but I want to fix most of it by re-hooking the problem areas.

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So after slapping myself on the wrists since I should know better, I’ve been fixing it as I continue to hook the background. In this photo I’ve already adjusted the scroll of the cancer sign, but there is still buckling in other areas, as you can see.

When I hooked this section of the background and hung it up, I wasn’t pleased with the outcome (quite apart from the packing). Let me back up and explain. I’m very much a visual learner. (which surprised me when I discovered it, because I have spent the majority of my life as a singer and vocal teacher.)….but I am not an auditory learner, I learn primarily by seeing. That’s why, many of my hooking decisions are made after I hang my piece and look at it for a period of time. I had been merrily hooking away on an echo background, letting the echos merge where they would….but in  this part, the background was all wrong…..whereas this part….DSCF6707

….the background was right. As I looked at it I realized that what I liked was the rippling out effect from the main body of symbols….It seemed to add life and vitality to what symbolically  was me. Now my hooking of the background is no longer without specific direction, and I will redo large parts to enhance that ripple effect.

These two supervise my every move and were obviously disgusted with my packed hooking…..Hopefully they’ll approve of the finished version a little more.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Decided and Done

I just reread the last post, and I realize at that time, I said I was going to try a very very light yellow to outline the zodiac signs……nope! That’s not what I did. I went  a bit darker (dyed over Dorr natural) , and liked the effect…..too bright and green to use a background, but just right to use as an outline. I removed the overdyed darker wools altogether (oh my ….what a pile of worms!)

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The final outlining is a lot lighter than the “marker” rows I had hooked, but they look almost as dark with the flash. In reality they show up, but don’t stick out….just what I wanted.

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Now it should be clear sailing as I complete the background. I’m already planning my next project in my mind.

Thanks for following along.

On The Edge

Today’s musings revolve around how to hook the edge ….I wanted more depth of colour at the edges but I wasn’t sure how to merge the corners so that the whole piece looked cohesive and didn’t draw the eye away from the central motive.

Lacking any brilliant ideas, I plunged in to see what would happen.

I gathered up some off white pieces, some pale greys and oatmeal and dyed them with golden pear to extend the range of colours I had available.

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In the picture they look nicely graduated, but in reality, the gap between the lights and the darks is quite extreme. I went ahead and used it on the corners thinking I could merge back into the lighter colours  but I still needed an intermediate colour to blend the two areas. I tried dyeing a darker version over natural wool, but that was too bright, and too green. DSCF6693

I tried “dulling” it down….one piece with “grey”, the other with “clay”, and ended up with pieces that were just as dark as the first batch. I tried various ways of blending the light and dark, but nothing looked right. Frustrated, I hung the piece up where I could see it as I watched TV, and contemplated what to do. DSCF6692

It finally hit me that the dark corners were doing exactly what I didn’t want….they were drawing my eyes away from the central motives. They had to go.

I grabbed the hooking from the wall and set to work on the “pisces” corner…..ripping out the dark and the pale outline, and then re-outling the symbol in the very lightest of the dark colours .

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My plan now is to use the light colours all the way to the edge,….dye some wool a VERY light golden pear to outline the zodiac symbols (I don’t want them to stand out as much as this ) and see how I like that. My pile of worms and unusable wool from this project threatens to swamp me….but I’ll stick with it until I’m happy with the result.

 

 

Creating a Secret

I guess it isn’t really much of a secret if I’m telling about it here, but I’ve had some fun this afternoon creating it and now it remains to be seen if I can pull it off.

Once agin I’ll just relate my thought processes. I didn’t like the fact that there are large empty spaces at the four corners of Signa Meus Vita….a lot of dead space. On the other hand, I’ve gone to a lot of care to make sure the background would enhance the symbols and in no way compete with them. So my question was…how can I make the background more interesting without taking away from the central part. I had already decided to increase the depth of the golden pear colour as it went to the outside, but could I add anything more? I know….I could “hide” symbols at the corners by doing them in a wee bit different colour of golden pear than the surroundings.

OK….good idea…but what symbols could I use? I thought of hiding some symbols of the negative aspects of myself, but quickly discarded that stupid idea and went searching the internet for inspiration. I settled on zodiac signs …myself, my husband, my three sons and my only sister .( who died a year ago of cancer)…that required four signs…perfect!

After some thinking, some sketching, some measuring, and some drawing, here is pisces.DSCF6677….representing my two youngest sons.

Cancer……DSCF6674

….representing my eldest son and myself.

Virgo……DSCF6676

…..representing my husband

….and aquarius ……DSCF6675

…representing my sister who was my best friend, confidante, and craft mentor.DSCF6678

I’ll leave it to you to find them when the hooking is completed.