Reprinted from the Camellia City Rug Hooking Guild newsletter
By Dianne Tobias
When my two friends were asked to curate the special exhibit on rug braiding at this year’s Sauder Rug Hooking Week, they were offered a vending opportunity. Knowing I love to dye stretch velvet and taffeta for hooking and braiding, they asked me to be the vendor.
That was last August……I was grateful….and then intimidated….and then grateful and said a wavering “yes.”
I had heard Sauder was the biggest rug hooking show in the country, attracting wonderful rugs, the Celebration finalists and this year a Celebration Hall of Fame for those who have won Celebrations more than 5 years.
As an inexperienced vendor but passionate about my velvet, I was ‘in.’ I began making small braided items like snippet baskets, putting them in a covered bin and asking a few braider friends to make small braided items I could sell. And I dyed about 150 pieces of velvet, strips and taffeta. When it came time to open the bin, I was surprised at how industrious I had been!
Since I was flying and my two friends were driving with many of the commissioned braided rugs for the exhibit, they brought some props for my booth. At the last minute I asked Christine to bring her large braided fish in case we needed height in the booth. It ended up being a hit and covering the white wall which we could not attach anything to! A trip to the Dollar Store to get two mop handles and wire and we hung the fish. I learned one needs to be flexible to be a good vendor!
Dianne Tobias in her vendor booth a Sauder Village 2018
Jeremiah, designed by Karla Gerard, hooked with mixed fabrics by Dianne Tobias.
The show was amazing; I only have ATHA to compare with, and this was much larger, perhaps 500 rugs hung in a huge Founder’s Hall.
In addition to the special rug braiding exhibit, there were smaller special exhibits: “Healing Mats,” Maud Lewis, a famous Canadian folk artist whose life was portrayed in the film Maudie; a couple vendors have licensed rug hooking patterns for some of her paintings, Jessie Kinsley from the early 1900s who braided landscapes with silk and embroidery and I am probably forgetting others.
Goose Girl, designed and hooked by Jessie Kinsley.
Fddleheads by Cathy Winship
Sauder is in Archbold, Ohio, somewhat near Toledo. There is corn, corn and soybeans. The town is small. Sauder Village is a historical recreation of an old village with a spinning house, weaving house, blacksmith house, etc. There is the huge Founder’s Hall which hosts many events such as Rug Hooking Week during the year. If you get the chance I would recommend a visit! Ω
Dianne is a member of our guild who enjoys hooking with velvet and other fabrics. She hand dyes alternative fabrics and sells them via her website at http://www.thevelvethook.com.
Kaleidoscope designed, hooked and braided by Mary Bird