As a young girl I was always looking for some craft to keep me busy. I started with knitting, making mittens and sweaters. When I married I decided to decorate my home with all my creations. My crewel work and needlepoint adorned the walls. Each year I entered my current pieces in the Rochester Fair.
Early American Decorative Painting was my next endeavor, followed by cut and pierced lampshades. I started a braided rug in the 80’s but put it away. After my move to Rochester, my sister-in-law interested me in rug hooking which I pursued for several years. That rug remains in a corner, unfinished, of course. My interest always went back to finishing the braided rug I started earlier. Being unable to find a rug braiding teacher nearby, I asked a friend to check when she went to the Common Ground Fair in Maine. Luckily, she brought me back Nancy Young’s information. I would go to Nancy’s and braid away the weekend once a year. Usually I forgot what I learned the prior year and began to call myself “the remedial rug braider”!
After going to a weekend in 2006 called Maine Braids in Cape Elizabeth, ME I decided to look into a rug braiding get-together. The first one in Alfred, ME had only 5 of us. I then worked with Nancy Young to find a venue near the Textile Museum in Lowell MA. After searching the internet I found a retreat house in Methuen, MA called St. Basil’s. It fit the bill perfectly….everything under one roof! We have been meeting there ever since in October for a weekend of classes with wonderful teachers that are the best in the country.
When I retired, one of my goals was to see more people get back in to rug braiding. I’m happy to say that this has been happening. The classes and art of rug braiding has really come a long way.
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