New England Braids – Classes October 21-23, 2011

Create a family heirloom! New England Braids is excited to announce a special weekend of rug braiding to be held at St. Basil’s Conference Center from Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23, 2011. This weekend of workshops is open to all levels, including those who have never tried rug braiding.

Although a braid seems like such a simple thing at first, the braided rug design options are endless — fabrics, textures, colors, patterns, rug shapes, number of braiding strands, and more. New England Braids’ weekend of classes offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in a traditional art, meet new people, relax, and improve skills. Attendees who are new to the craft usually start by making a small oval mat and then graduate to a larger project. Experienced braiders may choose to master advanced projects such as special shapes and corners. Everyone benefits from observing the skills of others as they learn the craft.

New England Braids is a 3 day weekend devoted to promoting Rug Braiding and teaching the many techniques involved in this historic craft. In 2010 we were privileged to have Delsie Hoyt of Kingdom Moon Rugs in Vermont as our guest speaker. In Fall 2011 we will have Delsie back again, but this year she will be a teacher! Delsie braids beautiful scenery into her rugs. They are considered family heirlooms and are all “one of a kind”.

In fall of 2010, New England Braids had 15 states represented by 60 women that attended. It was a beautiful weekend with lots of fun and camaraderie. St Basil’s is a wonderful facility with everything under one roof. The beautiful campus is very conducive to taking a long walk to stretch one’s legs between classes. And the time of year is perfect. Currently, it is the largest gathering of Rug Braiders in the country.

New England Braids teaches the basic techniques in making a traditional braided rug from planning to completion. Participants will be guided step-by-step through the process of making a braided rug from strips of wool fabric. Learn about types of materials, tools, and how to figure quantity of materials needed. Our classes included multi-strand braiding, butting the rug, designs in your rug, beginners classes, braided baskets, using different materials to braid, and hooking a piece and then adding a braid around it.

New England Braids at Methuen, MA will be held at St. Basil’s Conference Center, 30 East Street, Methuen, Massachusetts, October 21-23, 2011. This weekend is open to all levels of rug braiding abilities, including those with no experience. A fee of $225 includes: 2 nights lodging, dorm style, 6 meals, 3 days of Rug Braiding classes. For more information please call Carol Broadbent at 603-332-9038 or email