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All good things end

Last day of the 8th Triennial.  Excellent coordination by board, wonderful friendships formed by 182 members, more workshops, lecture about Emily Carr the rughooker/treasured artist, fibre demonstrations.

The Gala Dinner with featured speaker Robert Bateman whose message was “be authentic to yourself.. break the stereotype” and the Founder’s Cup was awarded to Susan Feller.

TIGHR Founders Cup
TIGHR Founders Cup
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Day 3 Triennial

The triennial continues with more workshops, a panel discussion “Approaching a Design”, luncheon speaker Vancouver textile artist Michelle Sirois-Silver, General Meeting, evening lecture “Colour” by Gene Shepherd, rug exhibit take down.

Village Ladies Matmaking by Heather Ritchie, Great Britain   Original design hooked recycled and dyed fabrics wooden hooks attached
Village Ladies Matmaking by Heather Ritchie, Great Britain Original design hooked recycled and dyed fabrics wooden hooks attached

Acceptance of new board headed by Heather Ritchie, based in the United Kingdom. The theme for 2016-2018 is “Returning to our Roots”.

Afternoon wanderings, dine out, develop friendships and plan for Day 4.

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8th Triennial Begins in Victoria

180 of the nearly 300 members have converged in Victoria, BC. Sunny weather, beautiful Inn at Laurel Point, colorful welcoming committee and instant friendships abound.

Our Meet and Greet included the exchange of friendship mats resulting in new friendships. The rug display includes the mats, special theme Emily Carr and her influence and a wide variety of techniques, sizes and designs.

Monday will be filled with workshops, panels, guided museum tours, meals and friends.

Follow along on the Facebook page TIGHR the International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers and/or sign up on the right side here for more posts from the event.

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Canadian Greetings to World

In recognition of CANADA DAY –July 1, 2015 — the TIGHR Board members send greetings to our global membership and all exploring rugmaking techniques.

Historical note: 2015 is the 50th anniversary for the Canadian flag design.


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Portraits gather in Gallery

"Portrait", Val Flannigan, British Columbia, Canada; wool fabric, photo of self
“Portrait”, Val Flannigan, British Columbia, Canada; wool fabric, photo of self

TIGHR members’ work were reviewed to create the new gallery theme PORTRAITS at   Countries represented include Australia, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States. Juror Lori LaBerge describes the process in her statement:

“The jurying process can be an intimidating one. The reason I enjoyed jurying the TIGHR Gallery page is that it was a different procedure than usual. Whereas artists usually apply to have their work juried and shown, this procedure was based on my looking at all art photos on the TIGHR site. The process did away with artists having to worry about entry procedures, professional photo costs, jurying fees, and possible letters of refusal, yet allows their work to be part of the jurying process.

In choosing work for “The Portrait” I looked at skill, composition, creativity and how the artist communicated a sense of emotion for the viewer to experience. A further goal was to include a variety of work. I wanted to include artists who portrayed the portrait both traditionally and in a non-traditional fashion. The reason for this was to show the public the various ways the portrait can be presented as well as inspire artists to think differently about how they could portray the portrait in their own work.

I looked at whether a piece drew my eye to it or not. A clear intention for the creation of the work was taken into consideration. Did the work lead me to think about what the artist was trying to say? In creating a portrait, the eyes are everything. Are they expressing or hiding emotion? Could an abstract piece still convey expression? Could I look into the eyes and feel something?

Thank you to all of the artists who display their work on the TIGHR members site. There is a vast amount of talent within the group. We all learn from each other. TIGHR is a great venue to allow rug hooking artists to interact with and learn from others while introducing rug hooking as art to the public. “

Thank you,
Lori LaBerge

Lori has juried work for entry to gallery sales and shows. She has had her own work juried and chosen by university professors and curators of The Textile Museum, The Racine Art Museum, The American Folk Art Museum, The Turchin Center and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Her work and process can be viewed at

Exhibitors (names highlighted, link to websites) Anne Boissinot, Canada; Diane Louise Cox, UK;  Susan L. Feller, USA; Val Flannigan, Canada;  Peg Irish, USA; Diane Learmonth, USA;  Rachelle LeBlanc, Canada; Laura Pierce, USA; Heather Ritchie, UK; Amanda Rosser, Spain; Sunny Runnels, Canada;   Judi Tompkins, Australia; Dianne Warren, Canada; Molly White, Canada;

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In Memory of Emily Carr

Emily Carr in Studio
Emily Carr in Studio

On March 2, 1945 Emily Carr died. Vancouver author, artist (fine and craft including rug hooking and pottery) she was born in Victoria, BC, the site of our Triennial in October. Her birth house is a heritage site at

During the Triennial we will celebrate Carr’s modernist style with hooked works inspired by her paintings and subjects of First Nations’ lifestyle, spiritual nature landscapes featuring the forests and lonely trees of the region in a members’ exhibit with details at Theme Exhibits.

Some pieces worked by members are:

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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

Members in News

Members write for Rug Hooking Magazine

The November/December issue of Rug Hooking Magazine includes several articles by TIGHR members.  See excerpts of these along the left sidebar of their home page

Ask the Experts…. Shirley I. Bradshaw, Nova Scotia diagrams the elegant finishing technique of a herringbone whipped edge.

Advertisement on page 9 for TIGHR promotes the Triennial, speakers, and joining the organization to “Connect with other rug hookers from around the globe.”

Ebb and Flow design by Jo Franco, photo by Michael Kelly Star Creations
Ebb and Flow design by Jo Franco, photo by Michael Kelly Star Creations


Australian Connection… Josephine Franco, West Australia describes the garment designed with 100% recycled materials and hooked by a local group as entry to Common Threads Wearable Competition.  The piece evokes the ‘Ebb and Flow’ of the sea and was selected as a finalist.

Camps and Workshops…. features an article by Susan L. Feller celebrating TIGHR’s 20 year history.


Rose Wirtz… written by Linda Rae Coughlin, New Jersey, USA is inspired by nature in her designing and colorings.  She exclusively uses natural materials to create a subtle palette.  Rose was a presenter during the Louisville 2009 Triennial.  Her  description of natural dyes can be found on our private site under Education.

Working it Out… Donna Lees Bleam, Virginia USA writes about finding a four panel Oriental pattern and challenging herself to complete it. Then working with a local carpenter to create a screen.


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Busy Week Ahead

It is countdown time this week anticipating December 4 and International Hook-In Day. We have listed many plans on our special Calendar page Dec 4 Hook-In and you can read about some of the events in the November 22 blog entry at

Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes by Rosemarie Hutchins, USA Original design hooked using hand dyed and as-is wool
Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes by Rosemarie Hutchins, USA Original design hooked using hand dyed and as-is wool

As noted on the blog, there is a way you can participate in promoting an event.  People are encouraged to post directly to Rug Hooking Magazine’s Facebook page on Dec 4

The page will be monitored by staff. Approvals of posts throughout the 24 hour period from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom then across the Atlantic to the Canadian provinces and United States will appear chronologically.

If you are not near a fibre friend to talk face-to-face, call them, Skype, or sit-down and write a note.  The world is looking forward to the many creative mats, rugs, artwork, jewelry, purses, clothing, and objects we create with our craft traditions.


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December 4 Int’l Hook-In Day

Twenty years ago on December 4, 1994 the formation of The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers (TIGHR) was proclaimed in England.  In celebration of this anniversary and to further our mission statement “come together in friendship to share ideas, and to explore the different techniques of the art of rugmaking using a variety of fibres” we have declared DECEMBER 4, 2014 as the International Hook-In Day.

Let’s spread the word to fellow rugmakers and plan a local event to publicize our traditions in the 21st Century.  Comment below on your plans.  Create a display at a local library and demonstrate at a community center.  Take your project to work for lunch break, bring a mat to be whipped while watching your child play a game after school, go out to tea with a friend and talk about a new project.

Rug Hooking Magazine will be featuring this event during November on their blog and on Facebook December 4.  We are looking for people to post images from Sydney, Australia across that continent to Perth on to Tokyo, Japan to the United Kingdom and Spain then across the Atlantic to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, the Eastern United States all the way to  California and  Victoria, British Columbia the site of our 8th Triennial October 4, 2015.

Comment below if you are willing to upload an image on December 4 or before.