Setting Up at Sauder


Kris McDermet is up on a ladder hanging rugs for the exhibit

Well, Kris McDermet and Dianne Tobias and I got to Sauder Village on Sunday to set up the rug exhibit.  Actually, Dianne is here for manning the vendor booth for braiding stuff + her own business, which is “The Velvet Hook” (  But Kris and I are here to teach classes and most importantly, to set up the Contemporary Braided Art Rug Exhibit.

We are finishing the exhibit set-up later today and it will be on display through Saturday late afternoon.  Over 5,000 people are expected to stroll through the exhibit, which also includes exquisite hooked rugs from “Celebrations,” and several other exhibits besides ours.    But ours is the “special exhibit” this year and the braided rugs have a place of prominence within the exhibit hall!

We have a bit less space available to us for display, in part because a few of us went way over the size restrictions for the rugs, so we have a slanted board taking up some display area (darn it!)  We’ll still have everything up, but it will be a little more cramped than we hoped.  However, all of the braided art rugs will still be up, plus the chair pads.  I think we may have to sacrifice a few of the antique rugs, though.

It turns out that hanging rugs for an exhibit is a LOT more complicated than I realized.  Sometimes you hang two rugs next to each other and it just absolutely makes both rugs look bad.  The colors not only have to work with adjacent rugs, but also with the “flow” of color across the exhibit.  Then the space issues further restrict placement.  Then there’s also the matter of making the overall display interesting.  I guess I thought that we had, on each panel, room for one rug on top, and one rug on the bottom.  But if we had them just stacked like that all across the display, it would be boring.  We have some things hung at an angle, some square things we tried on point… all to make it look good.  And to fill the spaces, so that we have room for everything.


Kris in our sunroom

Placement of the rugs within the exhibit is just so much more complicated than I realized!!

But, back in the hotel room, we have an exquisite suite for the 3 of us.  Kris had reserved the room 2 years ago in anticipation of having the three of us stay here, and I think we have the premier suite.  There’s a sun room, and a living room, and a kitchenette/dining area, plus sleeping areas.  It’s huge, and sun-filled, and the only problem is thermostat control among the three of us (ie, I’m having hot flashes, and they aren’t).


Walkway to our suite on the second floor

Here’s a view of the area where our room is located.  It’s just a lovely place.

Today I’ll get some photos of Dianne working on setting up her vendor booth, and some more photos of setting up the exhibit.

8 thoughts on “Setting Up at Sauder

  1. We all are so grateful for the generous spirit and unbounded energy of the three of you! Thank you!

  2. Hi everybody…I can identify with what you are going through with displaying the rugs. Years ago when they did a show for my stuff at the fiber arts here in Maine, all they wanted me to do is bring down some of my rugs. I chose a variety and just left them there. When I went in for the opening I could not believe that the exhibit was of my rugs, it was so well done…they actually did not used all the rugs….just some of them and it made everything look quite artistic and special. And that one I eventually had framed, and thought little of, they had hung on a brick wall and I could not even believe that what I thought of as a “rag”…was viewed by the artist who did the display ( the one with the studio upstairs) as a “museum piece”…I could hardly believe it, but must admit…it did look good. And from that time on I treated it with more respect and as you know, I paid over $200 to have it properly framed and it hangs in my apartment. So good luck with this whole thing…it is a lot of work. Bobbi Mahler and I are meeting for lunch next week and of course she will tell me all about it. ( I can’t believe that she actually talked her husband Gary into driving out there with her} And I know Mary Bird is driving out there by herself to take some courses and rooming with Donna ( from Florida). And just a word here…don’t be discouraged if you do not get all the accolades you rightfully deserve….sometimes the effect of these special events take time for it all to bear fruit. Years ago I took part in an event in Harrisburg sponsored by RUG HOOKING MAGAZINE….and I realized then that HOOKING is the big big craft… least at that time….and rug braiding a poor sister. But a lot has happened over the years, and perhaps the credits may be a bit fairer to us. Cause now we have you and kris and diane who are giving it a lot more presence. They also had a big hooking exhibit here at the museum in Maine, devoted to the “waldoboro hookers”….who at the turn of the century were using tin stencils peddled by an itinerant metal smith to make their rugs. They were really quite ugly….but like the quilters and the Gees Bend rugs, were thought to be unique and therefore worthy…but certainly not beautiful. Anyhow, time will give each its proper place. I am glad I survived to see some of it. But enough of this…say hello to everyone out there for me. Wish I could have come. love, Nan PS…is there any way to get that old antique rug with the triangles dated?

  3. Looks like a choice suite to relax in before and after the exhibit and classes. Go you three gals! All looks so nice and professional.

  4. Greetings to you, Kris, and Diane! From the pictures you posted, it looks like you all accomplished your mission of creating an interesting and special display. Keep those pictures coming! Best of luck at your table, Diane!

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