Val Galvin’s Bird Rugs

Christine here.  First, thank all of you who wrote to me and wished my mother well.  She did so beautifully after her knee replacement that I couldn’t believe it!  For an 80 year old lady with heart disease and poor circulation, she is healing up very well and  already striding around with a (hopefully temporary) walker.  She’s sharp as a tack and still beating me at word games… that’s the part I was worried about; in my former life I saw some post-op strokes.  And, I watched my grandmother become demented at 80, so I always fear the loss of my mother’s intellect and personality.

Enough of that.  This post is about something else entirely!  This post is about a collection of rugs that are so sweet and so pretty that I got permission from Val Galvin to write about them.  I meant to put them in the newsletter, but I had trouble with fitting everything in, so I decided the blog here would be best.

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Val Galvin’s hooked chickadees and leaves surrounded by braiding.

Aren’t these birds just adorable?  The chickadees are my favorite birds, with their little black caps above white feathers.  Val has hooked them to look very cute, but I think the frame of braiding makes this a really beautiful rug.


More Chickadees surrounded by lovely blue braids, by Val Galvin.

The next in the chickadee series has a cream background with blue leaves.  I like the way the braids transition from the cream color to the vibrant blues.

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More Chickadees and leaves in a wonderful “poison green” background, surrounded by a woodsy green and brown. By Val Galvin.

I think this one might be my favorite, in part because I love that yellow-green or “poison green” of the hooking background.  The birds turn topsy turvy, and the green and brown evoke the forest.


Robins in a Row, and the middle one got the worm! by Val Galvin.

We leave chickadees and go to robins, all lined up.  Look at how the rusty braids point out the proud red breasts of these birds. While I love the hooking, I think the braided frame is what really “makes” this rug.

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Val Galvin’s hooked and braided rug with quail family

Here Val branches into quail — a family of quail with two little chicks.  You can’t help but laugh at the ridiculous top feathers these birds wear.  The brown and teal braids are a perfect frame.


Val Galvin’s hooked birds and braids

OK, my parents (avid birdwatchers) would be embarrassed by my being unable to name what bird this is, but I can tell you that they are pretty in this rug!


Hooked seabird (black oystercatcher?) in a serene coastal scene, surrounded by soft grays in the braids. By Val Galvin.

Here’s the last one:  isn’t this a calm rug?  The soft grays and greens make you almost hear the waves against the rocks and the fog over the water.  An oystercatcher hops along the rocks looking for mollusks.

I really enjoy seeing when an artist is so captivated by a subject that they explore it again and again, tweaking this aspect or that, changing colors to change the mood of the piece, and bettering their arrangement or portrayal each time.  Val has clearly done that in this Bird Series.

Val has a studio, “Renditions in Rags,” on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.  I’ve heard about Val for years from my friends Dianne Tobias and Kris McDermet, who I believe met her at the Thetis Island fiber gathering, but I haven’t yet met her myself.  Please take a look at her Facebook page, Renditions in Rags.  She offers classes in both hooking and braiding there and seems to have a lot of fun at whatever she’s doing!

Finally, let me just say that here I am in just an absolute disaster of a house, running back and forth between Lancaster (Mom) and Pittsburgh, trying to get a newsletter and handouts done and teach a class last weekend and everything else…. and Dianne taunts me by sending a photo of where she was on Thetis Island.  Makes me wish I had Star Trek’s transporter up and running.


Dianne Tobias sent me a photo from Thetis Island, British Columbia, Canada






6 thoughts on “Val Galvin’s Bird Rugs

  1. great article Christine! thank you! had a fun time on Thetis with Dianne. Hope you and Kris can make it some day. I bought one of your BUTT books from Dianne. I’m hoping I can master THE BUTT, soon. Happy braiding!

    • Neat Val on the book. I enjoyed the article and photos on your wonderful birds rugs. So creative and the borders frame the art so well. Keep it up on the bird specialty.

    • Dianne here…..Glad Christine made a post of Val’s rugs. She is a treasure. After spending a few days with her at Thetis I am still smiling. Was lucky enough to visit her studio after Thetis as she has talked about it for years. She is such an enthusiastic Braider and Rug Hooker that it is infectious…..I am still on the road but will do a blog post on Thetis…it was great!

  2. Val, I love your rugs and use of a theme yet all different, colorful, sweet, and reminds me of beautiful sounds of birds and their feathers!

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