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Guild News & Events

This Month's Meeting

April Meeting – Friday, April 21, 2017 – Please note that our April meeting is a week later than usual due to the timing of Good Friday. It will be at our normal location – the Administration Building (Building #1), which is part of the Hunterdon County Complex, on Rt. 12 outside of Flemington. The street address for a GPS is 314 State Highway 12, Flemington, NJ 08822 although there is no street number on the building. The meeting runs from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Guests are always welcome

Program – Jan Cole will teach proddy flowers for the April Program – both on a stick and antique bedspring. She will provide written instructions and a template for the flower and leaf (at no cost).

The following supplies are needed to complete the April program project:

  • ½ yard fabric – 2 or 3 colors/textures that go well together (to save time, individuals can tear 3/8 yard into 3” strips – the leftover 1/8 yard will be reserved for the back of the flower).
  • Proddy tool – Jan will have some for sale at $29/ea. If individuals think they want to purchase a proddy tool, they should notify Jan NOW (Home: 610-967-5773, Cell: 610-349-7585, or ) so that she has time to order more (from the UK).
  • Scissors
  • Backing
  • 6” x 20” piece of dyed blanket wool for leaves
  • Stick (for stem of flower) – One possibility is curly willow wood.
  • Antique bed spring – Jan will bring her supply for sale (large and small).

Show & Tell – Please bring and share your current projects.

Hospitality – We thank in advance the following members who have volunteered to bring snacks and treats to the meeting – Cindy Boults, Sarah Gerding, Carol Kindt, Amy Korengut, Jean Laurence, Linda Reitz, and Jeanne Surdi, Our meetings are enhanced by their contributions!

Guild Members Shine in Rug Hooking Magazine – The March/April 2017 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine includes two articles featuring current and past Guild members. “Rug Hooking Serendipity -- A Discovery of Parallel Projects” by Cathy Heilferty chronicles the evolution of her rug of the New York City subway map and how it parallels Weezie Huntington’s rug of the Paris subway map. It all started at the 2015 Hooked Rug Festival when Debra Smith, Editor of RHM, overheard the conversation between Cathy and Weezie discovering their similar projects. Members who attended our January Retreat had an opportunity see Cathy’s wonderful rug. Weezie previously shared her rug at a Guild meeting last year. Great story. Great rugs.

“A Love of Wool – An Artist Interprets American Primitives and Antiques” written by Chris Coslet features Jeannine Happe’s journey as a rug hooking artisan. Jeannine’s Two Old Crows Studio is a favorite of many Guild members.


Hunterdon County Guilds Celebrate 40th Anniversary – In 1977 under the leadership of Josephine “Jo” Knobloch a series of craft guilds were established by a cooperative effort between Hunterdon County Adult Education and the Office of Aging. Through this project, art and craft courses were taught across the County. This led to the creation of several guilds for rug hookers, bakers, quilters, knitters and embroiderers. (More information on the early history of our Guild can be found on our website by clicking on the Contact Us tab.) The guilds will join together to celebrate the 40th Anniversary with a day demonstrating their artisanship at the 2017 Hunterdon County 4-H & Agricultural Fair in August.

Barb Perry is working on the 40th Anniversary celebration and is organizing a hooked mat challenge (12” x 12”) to do with Hunterdon County. Examples might be the covered bridges, mills, farms, animals, rock walls, barns, restaurants farmers’ markets, hotels, the famous Flemington Courthouse, or anything at all that might be important to you. The mats could be entered into the 4-H Fair show under the category 40th Anniversary Festival Viewers’ Choice.


Teri Dabrowski Scholarship Winner Selected – Congratulations to Linda Woodbury whose name was drawn as the winner of the special 2017 Rug Hooking School Scholarship.

Thanks to the generosity of Teri Dabrowski the scholarship was awarded to a member who was registered to attend Rug School. The drawing was made at the March meeting.


Guild’s Demonstration Season Begins – Volunteers Needed - Supporting local community events by demonstrating rug hooking has been a long standing tradition of our Guild. It is one way we give back. Our demonstrations not only support the community but also help educate the community about our 19th Century craft and spread the word about Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild.

Each year our first demos often are part of the spring ritual of sheep shearing at local historic sites. The shearing of sheep’s winter wool coat and the wool we use in hooking our rugs go hand-in-hand. This relationship provides a natural platform to tell our story. Our first demonstrations for 2017 are at Sheep Shearing Day at the Peter Wentz Farmstead and Howell Living Farm.

Guild to Demonstrate at the Peter Wentz Farmstead – April 22, 2017 – We will begin at the Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester, PA on Saturday, April 22. Reenactors and other traditional craftspeople will add to the activities. The paint decoration in the Wentz home and summer kitchen is unique and can be seen in books on 18th century Pennsylvania German architecture. Visit the Farmstead’s website ( for more information.

The staff at the Farmstead goes out of their way to make volunteers feel welcomed. Snacks and beverages are provided throughout the day; lunch featuring 18th century recipes is prepared on the open hearth and shared with volunteers. It is a fun day.

Pat McDonnell is a member of the Farmstead Board and is coordinator of our demonstration effort. You can reach her at 610-584-8844 or if you want to be involved or have questions.

Guild Demonstrations Continue with Sheep Shearing at Howell Living Farm – May 6, 2017 – The Guild returns to Howell Farm on Saturday May 6. Howell Living Farm is a 130 acre living open-air museum ( located off of Route 29 just below the Golden Nugget Flea Market, Lambertville, NJ. Our demonstrators will be set up in the barn annex adjacent to the Visitors’ Center. Lunch is provided. Contact Karl Gimber at 215-297-0803 or if you want to help.

Participating in our demonstrations is an ideal way to support the Guild for members who are not in a position to serve as an officer or chair an activity. New members are encouraged to join our demonstrators for a fulfilling and relaxing day. It is important to recognize that even if you have only been hooking for a short period of time, you know more about rug hooking and pulling loops than those who come out to these events. The feedback from visitors is gratifying and reassuring. Demonstrators are welcome to come for a couple of hours or the entire day.

Our event coordinators welcome your questions and can tell you more about what is involved. A listing of coordinators can be found on the just click on the Demonstration tab.


Brandywine Guild Sponsors Jen Manuell Workshop (May 4-6, 2017) – The Brandywine Guild has invited Jen Manuell to teach a workshop on her “Matrix Rug” (see photo below). The workshop will be held at the Hankin Library in Chester Springs, PA. Details are available from Louise Tietjen at 484-524-8813 or


Guild to Sponsor Hook-in (June 3, 2017) – Our first hook-in for several years will be held at the fire house in Three Bridges, NJ on June 3, 2017 from 9-4. The Three Bridges Fire House is located off the Three Bridges exit from Rte. 202 less than three miles north of the Flemington Circle. The registration fee is $15. Participation is limited to 120 so early registration is encouraged.

A full day of events is planned including the following:

At the present time, the following vendors have been confirmed: Additional information and the registration form are available here.


Hooking Retreat (April 21-23, 2017) - We will gather at the Hampton Inn in Flemington, NJ following our April meeting on Friday April 21, 2017 and work on our hooking projects until Sunday afternoon. The fee for the weekend is $45 – a real bargain! Gail Ferdinando is coordinating this fun event. Checks made payable to HCRAG should be sent to Gail at 4 Bonnell Road, Pittstown, NJ 08867.


May 2017 Meeting – Felted Appliqué & Pictorial Hand Embroidery – Debora Konchinsky of Critter Pattern Works ( will present a three hour workshop on felted applique and embroidery at our May 12, 2017 meeting. Felting tools will be required that you can bring or buy via the Guild or from Debora. We will be creating a 12-inch square New Flock of Sheep kit incorporating felted applique and embroidery. Jeanne will be distributing the Clover pens and items purchased through the Guild to members who missed receiving theirs at the March meeting. The class is at full capacity and is currently closed. Jeanne will take any new participant's name for a waiting list. Questions can be directed to Jeanne Surdi (908-995-2142 or who has organized this special program.

Debora urges our participants to especially be mindful of the need for speed in choosing their background and roving items given the size of our class and our 3-hour time frame, that this is a practice piece to learn the technique. She is dedicated to providing an enjoyable experience for all which can only happen if we are ready to begin in a timely manner. If you are participating, please note the below items to bring to the May meeting.

Guild members should bring the following supplies or they may purchase from the teacher (see below):
  1. Pins
  2. Small scissors to cut out appliques
  3. A felting tool
  4. Piece of felting foam (6”x8”x2”)
  5. Embroidery pearl cotton #8 thread (DMC Floss is fine too) in the following colors: natural outdoor colors of greens, browns, grays, flower colors. (Debora carries 50 colors of Presencia size #8 to sell)
  6. Embroidery needles (a variety pack of embroidery needles will work just fine.) The threads need to navigate the hole easily.


Lucy Walsh to Demonstrate at Bouman-Stickney Museum (April 2, 2017) - Our Featured Member for this month, Lucy Walsh, will be demonstrating rug hooking at the Bouman-Stickney Museum open house in Readington Township on Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 1:00-4:00. The GPS address for the Bouman-Stickney Farmstead is 114 Dreahook Road, Lebanon NJ 08833.


Friends Visit Charter Member Virginia Sutton – Virginia Sutton, one of the founders of our Guild, recently enjoyed a visit by her rug hooking friends – Barbara Lugg, Mary Schenck and Karen Fides. Virginia will celebrate her 101st Birthday this year and “is fantastic!” according to her friends. We thank Barb Perry for sharing this photo.


HCRAG Website - Our Guild’s website ( is an important source of Guild and rug hooking information. The site includes a wealth of information for rug hookers that is updated monthly.

In order to have a rug added to the site, send a photograph to Karl Gimber at The photo needs to be well focused and identified with your name and the name of the rug


A Yankee Rug Designer – The August 1940 issue of The Magazine Antiques included an article by William Winthrop Kent entitled “A Yankee Rug Designer” that explores the life of Edward Sands Frost, the first commercial designer of hooked rug patterns. The fourth and final portion of the article is reproduced below:

“R.H. Gay of Waterville, Maine, has stated that H. Pond of Biddeford sold Frost’s patterns for a time after their maker had retired in 1876. I have been unable to find a trace of any pattern books that Pond may have published, and I doubt that he ever originated any designs. The late R. W. Burnham of Ipswich, Massachusetts, issued an interesting catalogue of old rugs and stenciled designs which are quite different from those by Frost, Ross, or Garrett.

“Frost has been criticized for imitating oriental rugs, which he termed Turkish. Doubtless he would have done better to hold to the sturdy, simple Scandinavian, English, Irish, American, and Acadian designs – the latter I consider the best ever made. What we owe to Frost is not his designs, some of which are superlative though others are quite ordinary. But thousands of rugmakers throughout the world are indebted to this Yankee designer and tinware peddler for his invention of the process of stenciling designs for rugs, and for keeping alight the torch of hooked rugmaking.”


HCRAG Library – Kathy brings a selection of books to each meeting. A listing of the resources available to members from the Guild’s library can be found on our website ( If there is a specific item you want from our library, contact Kathy by 12:00 noon on the day before our meeting and she will bring it to the meeting. Kathy can be reached at 908-755-1670 or

Members who borrow books are reminded that they need to be returned in a timely manner, so that the books will be available for other members.



Please submit any items to be included on the Classified Section of “The Loop” to Mary Passerello at or 908-782-1765 by the 20th of the month prior to when you want the item included. The classified section is refreshed monthly so please resubmit repeat ads.

The following information must be included with each submission:


"The Loop" Newsletter

"The Loop" is the newsletter of the Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild (HCRAG). Click here to see an archive of back issues.

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