Posted by: Laura Pierce | May 28, 2023

Creative Rug Maker – Laurie Wiles!

Creative Stitches Seagull by Laurie Wiles
‘Not So Fishy Stitches’ designed and hooked by Laurie Wiles

During Covid, ATHA Chapter 11 offered a Zoom Rug class on Creative Stitches with Barb Powell; many of us signed up! Barb had designed a pattern with a fish to learn and try out several different ‘creative’ stitches. As Laurie is a very creative soul, she made up her own design and employed all the Creative Stitches that Barb introduced. Viola! A creative Celebration Finalist! Yes, Laurie’s seagull was selected for Celebrations 32! You can certainly see why; the various stitches seem perfect for each part of the bird in a fun way! Waves and fog in the background! The colour palette and values create depth and separation… it all works!

'Cinder' rug by Laurie Wiles
‘Cinder’ designed and hooked by Laurie Wiles

This amazing rug by Laurie was selected for Celebrations 27! The black cat… lazing on the back of the old couch… thinking about something. Cinder is checking it all out… and is well loved, apparent by the heart… but I think there may be mischief about to happen! Laurie’s cat is so believable… shadows on the couch, highlights on that black fur, those green eyes! purrr…

Colourful Crow designed and hooked by Laurie Wiles

A great black eye! and beak in the air with attitude. Another great example of Laurie’s abilities with creating gesture and attitude in her animal portraits. I always appreciate a little shadow… this crow is squarely on the ground!

Laurie's cat portrait
‘Klinger’ by Laurie Wiles
‘Clover’ by Laurie Wiles

During our yoga zooms, I noticed Laurie’s framed pet portraits on the wall in her home. Delightful! Not very big, but so well done. I need to hook some of those for our home. hmmmm…..

Felix 2002 rug by Laurie Wiles
‘Felix’ 2002 designed, loved and hooked by Laurie Wiles

I hadn’t seen this rug until I asked Laurie for ‘Animal Rug’ photos… it’s so sweet! When you look close, you see that the window framing is unhooked linen. Each square seems to be hooked somewhat independently, but all together it’s a lovely portrait!

Laurie responds: “In the window Felix, each block was hooked using a different design element. The blocks were hooked one at time to completion, they were not put together until every piece was finished. You had to trust it would all come together at the end!”

‘Felix’ 2015 designed, loved and hooked by Laurie Wiles

Felix as an older horse… that watery eye has seen a lot.

Laurie is teaching at Little River Inn Rug Camp this October 22-27, 2023! It’s a great opportunity to study with this creative fiber artist, no matter what your project might entail. Laurie’s teaching style is fun and inclusive, her abilities are endless and she can conquer any challenge!

Visit my website for information about Little River Inn Rug Camp, then send me an email to get registered. We’ll be happy to have you join us!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | April 14, 2023

Flying into Puget Sound to teach a class on ‘Light!’

Mt.Shasta in California, March 15, 2023, shadows in the snow illustrate the flow of the volcano.

Flying out of ‘Snoopy’ Airport… or Sonoma County Airport… makes the trip a little less difficult. It’s a small airport in Santa Rosa, just a few miles north of Petaluma. I recognize many of the landscapes as we fly north along the same route as Hwy 5. Flying into Sea-Tac was exciting as we made a big circle over Seattle to approach the runway!

Flying past downtown Seattle and starting our turn around

Lots of water in Seattle, including the lake visible beyond downtown, where the ‘Boys in the Boat’ trained! I love a window seat, and taking photos with my i-Phone… as the plane made it’s 180 degree turn, it looked like we would fly right over downtown!

Descending and turning… downtown Seattle coming up! See the orange top of the Space Needle just above the wing!

Sea-Tac is a huge airport… with trains to get you to/from your terminal. Following the crowd, it’s easy enough to find the baggage claim and your way to the curb to await your ‘chariot’! And my chariot did arrive… with Michele Wise and Janet Conner… it was so good to see them! After dinner out, along with Sara Judith, we settled in and got our classrooms ready for classes. An optional ‘hook-in’ on the first day was quite pleasant and gave us a chance to visit and reconnect with friends. Sara was busy with a single-day class on Punch Hooking.

Sunset Dumas Center
Sunset at Dumas Center, Federal Way, WA. March 16, 2023

Puget Sound Rug School meets at Dumas Bay Center with views of Puget Sound, the Cascades and the lush rain forest surroundings. It’s a stimulating and exciting rug event each spring, in this magical place, and an annual gathering for rug hooking artists through out the Pacific Northwest. It’s wonderful to be included in their enthusiasm and generosity.

Opulence II design by Emma Webber
‘Opulence II’ – design by Emma Webber, hooked by Lynn Reed

It was lovely to reconnect with Lynn Reed and Ros Noble at Puget Sound. Both of them are previous members of my local ATHA chapter, Wine Country Rug Hookers. Lynn had purchased this pattern from me that’s based on one of my mother’s rugs. Lynn really did the pattern justice; keeping in my mother’s style, but using her own colour palette!

Nice to have a photo visiting with Tanya, but hard to smile into the sunshine.

The grounds of Dumas Bay Center include walkways, benches and a broad meadow, which are enjoyed by everyone. The Dumas Bay Center building, in the background, reminds me of San Francisco’s old ‘Jack Tar Hotel’; it had similar turquoise panels and windows, was many stories high, and had a grand entrance at Van Ness and Geary! It was a modern icon of the 60’s, but is gone now.

Towering firs and pines surround the grounds at Dumas Bay Center which overlooks a quiet bay, filled with birds and water fowl.

A walkway around the grounds includes several garden features and is possibly 1/4 mile around. It offers an easy and pleasant way to get in your daily walk and commune with nature, too. It’s also a great way to stretch out after a day of pulling loops!

Back lit Star Magnolia

This magnolia tree starts blooming in March, when Puget Sound Rug School is here taking place. This particular afternoon it was catching the light on it’s soft fuzzy bud scales and the creamy, almost pink, magnolia petals. Light outlines the cascading branches against the blue panels creating an abstract composition of light and movement.

A class on ‘Light’… we had a lively class at Puget Sound… with 18 different projects. Light can be illustrated with light colour, such as white and pastels, as needed… the light of a candle, a light line across the water, sunshine on buildings, a pearl earring or a silver cup. Reflections are an important indicator of light… such as that little light in your eye… a reflection of light on the surface of your eye. Reflections on water, a shiny table or in a mirror create a sense of light! Shadows and silhouettes indicate light, but they’re dark and can only be seen along with light.

‘Beauty Buick’ designed and hooked by Laura Pierce

After 3 years hiatus from teaching, I felt a little rusty. I decided to start off with a review of all of our projects together, one at a time. This way, everyone could get the benefit of each other’s projects. There were some fun prim pieces, some complicated pieces, some adaptations, some combinations, and some ‘finish it up’ projects! All with light and lessons to learn.

Ritchie easy grip hooks
Ritchie hooks I like: 5mm, 6mm & 8mm; easy grip handles.

Flying to Rug Events restricts what you can bring… of course. Janet Conner flew with 2 huge suitcases… not I. Her classroom looked spectacular when she was done fixing it up! Meanwhile, one checked bag, one carry-on and one personal item is enough for me! I brought a small project to hook on during the first day hook-in; it didn’t take up much room. I selected some wool that seemed appropriate for the projects, along with a few hooks and patterns. I carried on some rugs to show various techniques and brought my mother’s rug book, ‘Evolving Design’. I asked my students to bring noodles to spare, as I like to have those extra bits of colour. A bit of colour can be just the right nudge needed to make things right. Thanks again for sharing those bits!

‘Evolving Design’ by Emma Webber

My mother, Emma Webber, started hooking and braiding rugs when she was pregnant with her last child… me! Many years later, when she was ‘coasting down her 90’s’, we put together a few books. ‘Evolving Design’ is the second of her 2 rug books. We self-published them through and used Emma’s photographs for many of the rugs. She was not a photographer, but she did start to document her rugs in the 70’s. Emma loved to sell her rugs, and those that sold were repeated, but since Emma used the supplies she had on hand, every rug was unique.

You’ll see Emma’s versions of Opulence I, II and III in her book. Opulence I was inspired by a class on Geometric Rugs by Katie Rainwater, sponsored by our Wine Country Rug Hookers guild. Emma drew out her design on graph paper, as I remember. After Opulence sold, Emma had to hook another… Opulence II! Yes, I have more of Emma’s books… and also my ‘Caswell Impressions’ book. Both are listed on my website: Also available are the Ritchie hooks in the 3 sizes, illustrated above; contact me.

As usual, a wonderful long weekend at Puget Sound Rug School! They are taking registrations for 2024… try it, you’ll like it!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | November 3, 2022

Little River Inn Rug Camp 2022

The rug show is up by Monday afternoon

It was good to be back at Little River Inn for rug camp! My top priority is getting all the rugs that are brought by the campers, up on the wall. Yes, I get to nail the rugs onto the wall; the nails are very tiny and the holes from many years of rug shows are hardly visible. I type up rug labels for the show and a rug list for the rug camp booklet. Trying to be professional, I wish we had museum lighting!

The other big wall for our rug show.

It can be a little overwhelming when all the rugs arrive; how will they go together? With Tanya Graham’s 3 dramatic rugs, I could use each one to anchor a group of rugs. Lots of white and grey on this wall. Each teacher had a couple of tables for their wool and wares on the rug show walls; so I have to interrupt their process until I get all the rugs up. To cause as little disruption as possible, I hang the show from one end to the other without any back and forth. With only 61 rugs, it’s not too hard.

3 dimensions on the fireplace mantel

Michele Wise brought many of her 3 dimensional creations, some of which had to go on the mantel! ‘The Ramparts’, above, is a landscape created by Sara Judith with many different techniques and materials. ‘Madam’ is a portrait by Michele Wise in the style of Mondrian. ‘Little River Inn’ is a composite landscape created by Sarah Province, celebrating the many times that she and Phil attended Little River Inn Rug Camp! Sarah couldn’t come, but she was happily hooking at Hallowood Rug Retreat in Maryland.

Sara Judith leads a discussion on ‘Colour Charting’ out on the deck.

Sara brought colourful T-shirts to involve her students in a discussion and demonstration about colours and their effects on other colours. At the end of the discussion, Sara shared the same information on a colour wheel, showing the usefulness of that tool.

Bill Phoenix shares his Alpine Horn with us, after class.

Kathie Phoenix came out from Idaho Falls to attend rug camp, along with her rug hooking friend, Jana. Both gals live in an area of few rug hookers, and it was fun to share our rug camp with them. Bill and Kathie drove all the way and were able to bring the 12 foot horn, so Bill could practice everyday.

Michele Wise’s class at Little River Inn Rug Camp 2022

We used round tables this time, to create more space between folks. Not sure we were any less close, but everyone liked the layout better; there was more circulation and socializing. We didn’t have any mini-classes, but we did have 3 slide shows.

Sara Judith’s class at Little River Inn Rug Camp 2022

It was a great group with lots of sharing, lots of laughs, lots of great rugs and inspiration, and wonderful weather all week long!

Michele Wise, Laura Pierce and Sara Judith: Little River Inn Rug Camp 2022.

It was wonderful having Michele and Sara teaching at Little River Inn Rug Camp, again! It was great fun to be rug camping again, after such a long time! I’m making plans for next year… stay tuned.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | October 7, 2022

Little River Inn Rug Camp V

‘We can do that!’

‘Wedding Rug’ designed & hooked by Pat Merikallio

Pat Merikallio was back! taking Nancy Miller Quigley’s class and brought this big wonderful ‘Wedding Rug’! Another story rug, about a wedding, with one of her fabulous borders!

‘Gypsy’ design by Laura Pierce, hooked by Cai King

I love all the Mother Earth connections Cai King hooked into this little ‘Gypsy’ pattern; night and day, rainbows and earth lips! The tweed corners are delightful as they ‘use it up’! Cai and friends came up from southern California, along with their teacher, Sharon Saknit. It was great having Sharon teach and a bonus having a new group of campers. By the end of the week, Cai, Debbie, Charlene and Gail, all members of the Wool Poppies, figured they could run a rug camp, too! It’s called ‘Hooker Hill Rug Retreat’.

Another group of campers came down from the Redding area, to take a class from Nancy Miller Quigley, and brought many beautiful rugs for the show.

Nancy Miller Quigley and Katherine Perry show off Katherine’s completed ‘Eugene Magnolias’, design by Jane Flynn.

Katherine studies rug hooking with Nancy in Sacramento and they developed this colour plan together. Magnolia blossoms are a challenge to create and these are amazing!

Members of Sharon’s class show their project progress

Pat Merikallio’s project in process… I love the little purple dude… with the sunglasses!

We usually do our ‘show & tell’ on the deck, but sometimes we stay inside, depending on the weather.

Morning sky over the inlet at Little River from Little River Inn.

I find the mornings magical at Little River Inn, with wisps of fog, pink light and reflections. Not usually up so early, I make a point to rise early enough to watch the day light up!

Datura blossoms peak over the railing at the front of Little River Inn’s main building

The gardens at Little River Inn thrive in the moist ocean air and are well kept all year long. These days the special garden behind the restaurant has been turned into their outdoor dining area, all under one big tent. It’s fabulous!

Little River Inn Rug Camp 2022 is coming up! It will be a little different, as always, and I’m looking forward to all of it!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | February 21, 2022

Fine Tuning the camp experience ~ Little River Inn Rug Camp IV

Barbara Benner suggested we should have our group photo in the garden… Yes!

Folks came from near and far; Little River Inn Rug Camp was starting to get known. Nancy Miller Quigley is a popular teacher and helped me promote the new little camp. Ann Taylor taught my other class, but let me know it would be her last; “Give some other teachers a chance.”, she said. Rug Art Supplies was there as our store again, but with new owners; Shelley Flannery & Barbara Hanson.

A small portion of the Rug Art Supply store at Little River Inn Rug Camp 2007

Shelley and Barbara put a lot of creative energy into their store, and seem to have everything and anything a rug hooker could desire. The store is no longer running, as life got complicated for our 2 wonderful store keeps.

Barbara Benner gives an introduction to punch hooking

I replaced the dividing panels between the 2 classes with a couple of tables and chairs. The tables served as extra space during classes for spreading out projects with the teacher and mini-classes and events after regular class time.

Barbara Hanson needle felts a heart, as Barbara Benner and Chris Friedman look on.

Barbara Hanson and Shelley Flannery, team taught and shared the magic of needle felting. The possibilities are curiously fun and appreciated by all.

Nancy Miller Quigley presented a class to make folded roses to attach to scissor fobs.

Nancy is wearing her folded-rose scissor-fob; the retracting fob keeps the scissors handy. The class was popular; who can resist a dip-dyed rose?

Sunset at Little River Inn, October 2007

My room was in the northern annex with a fireplace and a ‘filtered view’ of the ocean and inlet. I love looking through the pine trees and watching the waves.

LRI seagull looking for a hand-out.

The local seagulls come by and check out the porches, just in case there is something good to eat. I don’t share my Chardonnay with them… ha! but the view and ambiance is there for us all.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | December 12, 2021

Little River Inn Rug Camp III – with Rug Art Supplies

2006 Little River Inn Rug Camp campers!

Bringing in teacher, Ann Taylor, from Calgary, Alberta, was a wonderful experience. A dedicated and talented teacher and I felt lucky to have her join our little camp. By this 3rd camp, I realized that a camp store is also desired, so I also asked Suzi Jones to come and bring her store; Rug Art Supplies. She brought her store and her mother, Pat Horn! Nancy Miller Quigley was back again to teach her class while Norman signed up for Ann’s class.

Emma shares her rug braiding expertise with some of our campers, Little River Inn 2006.

My mother, Emma Webber, agreed to come again and give some instruction in making braided rugs. She always enjoyed combining the colors and textures for the braids that become the rugs. First she coached the campers on making the braid, then she demonstrated the binding technique. When you’re going around corners, it is easy to bind too tight and then your rug will take on a 3-dimensional form. Making chair rugs is all about going around, so you must master binding with just the right amount of give and take.

Ann Taylor, Suzi Jones and Pat Horn enjoy the ocean view at Little River Inn Rug Camp.

We often have our Thursday throw-down and rug review on the deck over-looking the ocean. Sometimes, rug campers move their frame and chair out to the deck to enjoy the sea air and views.

Beautiful leaves and deep throated flowers at the ‘throw-down’…

Going over the photos, I was struck by the beauty of this project. It’s been a few years and I didn’t know who was working on it, so I searched back through the photos to see if I could find out.

Ann Taylor demos fine shading.
Ann Taylor demonstrates fine shading to Lona Gabree with other students gathered around, Little River Inn Rug Camp 2006

Lona was studying fine shading with Ann Taylor, who was generous with her instruction; showing her students the mechanics of laying in values and creating roundness and depth. Even one petal can have several different planes, catching light in different amounts.

Layers of fog create dramatic views of the ocean, the island floats away in the mist. Staying at Little River Inn is a visual treat!
Amazing sky with the sunset over the ocean, Little River Inn, September, 2006

Posted by: Laura Pierce | October 31, 2021

Second year at Little River Inn Rug Camp

Little River Inn Rug Camp 2005

The second year for Little River Inn Rug Camp was hard to fill; we were still getting the message out about this special camp. Much to my delight, Pat Merikallio and Sarah Province were coming and would bring rugs to share in our rug show. I invited all the campers to show rugs and asked them to tell me the name, designer and maker so I could make labels ahead of time.

Big fabulous rug show as backdrop for Nancy Miller and her some of her class, September 2005.

With Pat Merikallio coming to camp, I asked her to bring as many of her rugs as she could. I knew about Pat’s rugs from Rug Hooking Magazine and Celebrations and looked forward to seeing them in person.

‘Alexandra & Stewart’ adapted from an anonymous painting, designed and hooked by Pat Merikallio, 1996.

I saw this rug in Celebrations VII; Pat’s rendition of her grand child is amazing! Blues and lavenders create depth in that soft baby flesh; pinks and corals add liveliness… and loveliness! When Pat arrived with her rugs, I was completely surprised by their sizes; BIG! Despite the small group of campers, the rug show was grand with lots of rugs.

‘Homecoming at Fairfield Church’ adapted, designed and hooked by Sarah Province, 2002.

Sarah brought some of her rugs including this rug that was featured in Celebration XIV. (Sarah is the little blond girl in the red jumper on the right.) More colour and more liveliness!

Emma Webber works on her braided chair rugs.

My mother, Emma, picked a nice sunny spot to set up a little place at the windows to work on her braids of wool. (If you have a pile of chair rugs, you can use them as a booster seat.) I enjoyed having her company and input during the week.

Little River Inn Sunset over the Little River inlet. Watercolour filter applied to the photograph.

Beautiful weather, crisp mornings, fiery sunsets; a lucky beautiful week on the coast! Since we all enjoyed the week, we planned to do it again, next year.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | October 28, 2021

15 years at Little River Inn Rug Camp

LRI'04 hand hooked rug of Little River Inn. by Laura Pierce 2004
Little River Inn rug; by Laura Pierce 2004

A quick little rug for my rug camp advertisements… back in 2004, when I was planning the 1st rug camp at Little River Inn. Located in Mendocino County, California, the Inn was the home of a lumber king back in the day. Still in the family, the Inn is a popular spot on the beautiful Mendocino coast.

All of us at the 1st Little River Inn Rug Camp, October 2004!

Nancy Miller and Susan Higgins were our teachers and the campers came from near and far! I talked my mother, Emma Webber, into coming, too. It was a great gang and we were off to a great start!

Little River Inn rug camp 2004
Rugs in the background; mostly by Emma Webber.
hooked rug; 'Not so Wild' by Emma Webber
‘Not So Wild’ by Emma Webber.

A nice photo of Emma; she sold this rug to a couple at camp! She always liked to sell her rugs. This rug came back when the couple downsized; which Emma enjoyed. She changed the eyes… and enjoyed it even more!

A storm blew in and we got a bit of rain, but it didn’t last long and was very exciting!

It was a good start with help from my friends at the Inn and my teachers and campers! Yes… we’ll do it again!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | July 7, 2021

A Little Rug – Just for Fun!

a little sketch… perhaps a rug pattern?

I like to pull loops in the evening… while I’m ‘watching’ TV. I mostly watch my loops, not the TV… but a comfort in the evening. I was working on a double portrait… a challenge, for sure. I pulled loops less and less… so I realized that I needed a different pattern… something just for fun! After looking through my UFO’s, I decided to transfer this little sketch to linen.

‘Fishes under the Sea’ – ‘Outline & Fill’ fun!

This was fun; no pressure, a bright green in fine cut for an outline. A dip-dyed blue green for the leafy things, some bits of purple for plant bits, and some beautiful plaids worked well for the various backgrounds. Contrast was desirable until I finished the bottom bit with my initials.

Finished, but there’s more room on the linen… for borders! (Besides… I’m not ready to go back to the double portrait rug.)

More linen = borders.

I’ve always wanted to do some of those classical waves you see in ancient tile work… with extra on top and bottom, 2 short borders with waves. Plus room for a 1 inch border all around. we can see where it goes!

plain fishes and wave borders

These little waves were hard to replicate on the other side… and I wondered if I should reverse them; oh mercy! Now I wondered what colour in the border would spark joy!

‘Fishes in the Sea’ by Laura Pierce

I decided on the sea blue but only found a piece slightly brighter… it works well! Then I used the dark strips from the orange plaid for one final outline! Now I’m whipping the edges with a bright variegated punch wool… with all the colours and a caste of burnt orange. It’s almost done… and I’m wondering what I’ll work on next!?!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | June 22, 2021

Hiawassee Workshop at the LBHookery!

Beautiful ‘transcolour’ flower pins created by Linda Bell

Last time I was in Hiawassee, at Linda Bell’s place, she showed me these fabulous little flowers! She makes them with her beautiful ‘transcolour’ swatches; they remind me of dahlias! Linda has a big studio space for her rug hooking classes and workshops. Shelves line 2 walls with a rainbow of colourful wool. Glass windows overlook the lake! and a kitchen/work area completes the space. There are photos on her website:

1st view of Lake Chatuge with Bell Mountain in the background.

The Bells have a lovely home on Lake Chatuge, a TVA lake in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. The view through the trees, the light and reflections changing throughout the day; you can watch it for hours.

It was a great group of folks at the workshop in May 2018, and we decided to do it again! Our plans were scuttled by Covid, but we’re back on track for the second workshop; September 10-12, 2021. There a few spaces left, so if you’re interested in joining us, please let Linda Bell know; Linda also has information about places to stay; several on the premises and next door.

Linda with the tour map at John C. Campbell Folk School

An extra day to play included a visit to the John C. Campbell Folk School; a wonderful campus of old buildings full of eager folk art students. Visit their site: Only a half hour from her home, Linda often teaches Rug Hooking there.

View from Bell Mountain looking over Lake Chatuge with graffitied rock in the foreground.

The trip is not complete without a drive to the top of Bell Mountain. A mining operation from many years ago was unprofitable and the mountain top was turned into a park. The exposed quartzite is quite decorated and layered with 50 years of graffiti paint!

I’m looking forward to getting back to Hiawassee! Linda is a wonderful host!

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