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Triennial Registration Opens Jan 8

Emily Carr Red Tree by Sunny RunnellsRegistration begins this Thursday, January 8, 2015 for the 8th Triennial of TIGHR to be held in Victoria, BC October 4-7.  The Triennial will be upon us before you know it. Excited? Looking forward to face-to-face meeting with your online friends? Register beginning January 8.

Visit  2015 Victoria, BC the Triennial main page for links to panel and workshop descriptions, 8th Triennial Registration Form  and a full schedule of events to prepare your paperwork.

For those who can write a check in Canadian dollars or acquire a bank draft in Canadian funds complete the registration form and submit your payment and form with a postmark beginning JANUARY 8.

IF you will be paying using the online options of a Credit Card or PayPal account the payment process opens on January 30. BUT you are encouraged to still fill out the form with your choices of workshops (up to three), and any of the panels and/or excursions you are interested in and MAIL IT IN beginning January 8 also.  Circle the $400 member’s fee (and guest fee if applicable) and indicate on your form you will be paying online as of January 30.

The postmarks will be used to prioritize assignments of workshops.  You will be emailed when your form is received.

Questions, email the Registrar, Sheila Mitchell at

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Four years with this web format!

Wow!  It has been four years since Australians Jo Franco and Judi Tompkins and Susan Feller from the USA upgraded the static website to this new format at .  Our learning curve was, as the TIGHR motto at that time said ” The Sky’s the Limit”.

International Members in South Australia 2012
International Members in South Australia 2012

Thank you Jo and Judi for problem solving and great ideas.  A reminder to TIGHR members, this site is a reflection of your international talents and features work and articles submitted to our Editor and on our private site’s photo gallery.  Keep uploading images and contributing to the groups.  Hope to meet many at the Tri-Ennial Oct. 4-7, 2015.

Audience listening to Yvonne Dalton's presentation, 2012
Audience listening to Yvonne Dalton’s presentation, 2012

We plan to have descriptions for the presentations and online registration posted under Our Tri-Ennials/2015 Victoria which will be another first, making attending from ‘Down Under’ or ‘Over the Pond’ easier than before.  Twenty years old, The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers looks toward the future using cyberspace to connect with members.

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8th Tri-Ennial details coming together

The Inn at Laurel Point, Laurel Wing and pond
The Inn at Laurel Point, Laurel Wing and pond

New details for the 8th Tri-Ennial of TIGHR, October 4-7, 2015 have been posted on this site Tri-Ennials/ 2015 Victoria

Daily events and the international session leaders are listed along with the host hotel site : The Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria, BC.  Return to this page and the others which will be added describing sessions in detail along with the registration process.

Members receive the first notices describing the session projects and opportunity to register through our newsletters.  We hope you review this information and decide to JOIN The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers for the long term.  This triennial event is only one of many benefits of joining.

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What’s in a Name? a lifestyle? hobby? traditions? Contemporary?

Words influence the attitude one assumes when discussing their craft. Is it a profession, hobby, social/psychological/creative outlet? We are educating in casual conversation even with an initial title……. rugger, fiber artist, rug hooker, matter, hooker, textile artist, traditional rug hooker. Recently our international membership responded, many describing their mindset for the terminology:

Susan Sutherland, Ontario, Canada
“If someone asks me what I do, I generally say I’m a fibre artist and I use traditional rug hooking as my preferred method of creating my art. If I want to have someone ‘stop in their tracks’ I tell them first I’m a “hooker”, and then I qualify it and say I’m a fibre artist and I use traditional rug hooking methods that our pioneer mothers did.

There is so much misconception about rug hooking with strips of fabric that I find I’m always clarifying what I do. I sometimes say ‘I don’t knot nor do I use short pieces of wool yarn’, especially if someone says ‘Oh yes, I did that when I was a child or in school’. Most of those who say this in Canada are remembering latch hooking.”
Fritz Mitnick, Pennsylvania, USA
“I imagine most Americans say “I am a rug hooker“. I do proddy also. I also thought about our guild name. I never say the full name. I say the international guild or the international guild of rug hookers. Maybe I should start doing it right!
Of course my husband always introduces me saying, “This is Fritz. She is a hooker.”

Judi Tompkins, Australia
“Obviously I’m a “hooker”….and I usually explain that to be a great hooker means that I am a good stripper…..ah how I luv the ashen looked faces I see!  Clearly I am the crazed, white-haired ol’ lady…. Sometimes – when I’m trying to be “nice” or “professional” I’ll ID myself as a “traditional fibre artist”….which means I don’t fall into an immediate category of “hooker” (many think of latch hooking) and opens the dialog about the spectrum of how these 3 words might be defined/applied.”

Heide Brown, British Columbia, Canada
“I say “I’m a Hooker.” Which always gets giggles or weird looks till someone, me if I’m alone, qualifies the term to — “Rug-hooker.”
I like “Rugger”  — my friend here calls herself a “Matter” and our weekly hook group “Monday Matters”. (NOTE: TIGHR’s newsletter is called “Hooking Matters”)

Jenni Stuart-Anderson, Herefordshire, UK
“I call myself a rag rug maker or designer/maker depending on where it is.
I have not heard the term “rugger” here in UK, maybe rug maker but that could be a weaver. Of course everyone sniggers when I say hooker, even if the term is American.”

Lynne Hunt, British Columbia, Canada
“I think we all struggle with the term hooker. I find here on the Coast most folks think of latch hooking and the shag rugs of the seventies. I tell people I am a fibre artist (gulp). It is a fine art practised at many levels. Whether you design your own work or work with the designs of others, there is so much more in what we do. I tell people I make mats, for the wall, the floor, chairs, tables- only limited by your imagination. I explain that I use a backing of burlap or linen, strips of fibre, mostly wool, new and recycled and a hook similar to one used centuries ago. I explain that the process involves colour planning, maybe some dyeing and choosing textures and materials for your work.
So I am a mat maker in the tradition of our pioneer sisters, creating something functional and beautiful.”

Elizabeth Soderholm, Virginia, USA
“My husband loves that I call myself a hooker and it always grabs folks’ attention.  Gives me a chance to talk about this wonderful fibre/fiber art.  My boss (who is from Mississippi) will ask me on a Friday, in his lovely Southern drawl, “You goin’ hookin’ this weekend?”  It’s probably the best way to bring attention to our craft outside of schlepping our rugs and other projects around with us.”

Liz Alpert Fay, Connecticut, USA
“I call myself : a textile artist or sometimes just an artist.
I make: hand hooked rugs and mixed media sculpture.”

Sarah Province, Maryland, USA
“I call myself a “fiber artist” and our medium “hooked fiber art”.

Jane LeBaron, British Columbia, Canada
“I variously call myself a hooker and braider, a quilter and bookbinder and general fibre freak. I am fully confident that upon one brief look at me people understand my intended context in use of the term “hooker”…

Rachelle Leblanc, Alberta, Canada
“I tell them that I am a fiber artist and I make fiber hookings.”

Mary Watson, Washington,USA
“I say, “I’m a fibre artist and paint with wool”.

Dianne Tobias, California, USA
“Since I came to hooking through braiding I introduce myself as a fiber artist then say I am a braider and a rug hooker. That seems to somewhat limit the usual jokes!”

Sheila Stewart, British Columbia, Canada
“I use the term fibre artist and then say I am a rug hooker.”

Linda Rae Coughlin, New Jersey, USA
“I tend to work with this statement, the response changes depending on who I am speaking with, i.e. fellow artist vs. a layperson.
I am an artist whose medium is textile. I create with the technique of rug hooking/stitching using recycled clothing and materials.”

During the 2009 Tri-Ennial held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA we asked attendees the terminology they used to describe favorite fiber techniques. Miriam Miller, an Australian is a rugger and spinner; Susan Feller West Virginia, USA a fiber artist specializing in rugmaking techniques; Kim Dubay, Maine USA fiber artist; Jacqui Thomson, Australia a rugger and spinner; Iris Simpson, Ontario Canada a Hooker; Yvonne Muntwyler, Ontario Canada a Fiber Artist in rughooking medium.

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Happy Thanksgiving Worldwide

October 13, 2013 is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.  We extend thanks for our fibre friends around the world.  The photo of fall tree line and crisp blue sky above was taken by Don Hill in Ontario.

hooked pumpkins, real stems
hooked pumpkins, real stems

In keeping with this term’s theme “Back to Nature”, we feature a collection of seasonal treats created by Susan Sutherland of Ontario, Canada.  The pattern and article by Mary Ann Goetz about making these creations can be found in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine.

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Video Interview – Why did you Join TIGHR?

For the first time, a video was created archiving several members participating in the Tri-Ennial in Australia. The questions asked were: Why are you a member of TIGHR? and What are you doing with rugmaking?

Two versions were edited, the shorter one has been posted here under Membership (Why Join TIGHR) and the full length edition will be on our members’ only site.  By searching on YouTube for Rug Hooking, International Rug Hooking, the public can also view the video and be directed to

Perhaps you too want to answer our questions. If not a member of TIGHR, consider joining or comment on what you are doing with the rug hooking techniques in your toolbox.

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Off to OZ

Our bags are packed, E-Tickets printed and off we go to OZ, Australia.  Members from Spain, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States are flying around the world to meet with the Australians in Strathalbyn, South Australia.  The Tri-Ennial officially begins Monday, 15 October and continues through Friday.  The weekend will be filled with workshops at the EXPO featuring international instructors and members and friends of the Australian Rughooking Guild, at Strathalbyn Town Hall.

Our new Board will be transitioning into action, and be in full swing as of January, the month for RENEWALS of membership.  After 19 October check our Membership page for the details.

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Australian promotes rugmaking

We are proud of our members promoting the art and craft of rugmaking.
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Now it is really close!

Editor of TIGHR news and traveler Australian, Jo Franco has been on the West Coast of the United States with her husband, Ted for a few months.  We can see they are enjoying their trip by visiting   The September 12 post includes smiling faces and a report from Gene Shepherd, a fellow TIGHR member, presenter at the Expo after the Tri-Ennial in Strathalbyn and co-chair for the ATHA Bi-Ennial next year in Long Beach, CA besides teacher, artist, business owner.

Yes the members of TIGHR are ACTIVE contributors in promoting the traditional art/crafts of rughoooking techniques worldwide.  We hope you too will be interested in joining for the next enrollment period 2012-2015, renewals and new membership will be taken as of January 2013 officially and the form available immediately after the conference in mid October of this year (one month from this writing).

international membership rug hooking travel rug hooking

Coming to an end

The term for leadership of TIGHR is three years. Unique to this organization that means our voice, accent you may say, changes. The Australian term is coming to an end with the Tri-Ennial Conference and General Meeting October 15-19, 2012 in Strathalbyn, SA.  Surely the board members are looking back and saying where did those three years go, and how can we get all needed done in the upcoming three months!  We will be announcing the new region of focus for 2012-2015 soon.

Members planning on traveling from the UK, Spain, Japan, several Canadian provinces and States in the US along with the far and wide within Australia are all eagerly piling up items for our luggage.  NEW THIS YEAR we will be making Skype video conference calls to the members who are not able to travel the distance.  This effort is coordinated by Judi Tompkins, who has stepped so many of us through to using cyberspace communications and is one more example of how TIGHR meets its mission “spreading friendship around the world of rugmakers”.

Join us in the new term 2012-2015, for three years of friendship, learning and networking with rugmakers truly WORLDWIDE.  Membership forms will be available mid October onsite.