Meetings 2015-2016

Mayflower Chapter of ATHA

Welcome back meeting, September 19, 2015

Our September meeting is always a great time to reconnect with old friends and see what everyone is working on. We also got to see our wonderful new meeting place at the St. Agnes Parish Center at 186 Woburn Street in Reading. Members displayed their completed mandala challenge mats from Ginny's workshop at our April 18 meeting. Jenna Sleeper began the meeting with a special thank you to member Elizabeth Conrad who made all new member nametags this year. They are the plastic insert style with a clothing clip. Please leave them behind so they will be available to you at the next meeting. Wearing a nametag is important. Signing in also helps the board track attendance for any given month.

Bring Your Own Work, October 10, 2015

Announcements: Saturday, October 17 , 9-2pm Reading Craftsmen group are holding a show and sale at the U.U. Church in Reading. Our next meeting will be member Peggy Ricker teaching a workshop on needlefelting a design onto wool for a scarf. The kit is $10.00. The weekend at the Franciscan Guest House is this month Ania Knapp asked for attendees to sign up with her today if they wanted to take a yoga class while there. The Concord Piecemakers are having a show soon, as well as the Wakefield Craftsmen. Additional info was made available. There will be wool vendors open to the public at St. Basil’s in Methuen, October 17, and 18.

It was mentioned that it would be grand to have someone organize late spring 2016, for the Topsfield Fair in the fall. Rug entry deadlines are earlier than our Sept. meeting dates, so sometime in August to early September. A volunteer is needed to alert and encourage members to participate by exhibiting their hooking, and or demonstrating a few hours.The fair likes demonstrators for rug hooking for the First week of October as well. Demonstrators get free parking and admission for the day.

Show and Tell: Pat Iverson showed a flower piece, Ania Knapp won a special Topsfield Fair ribbon for her Peacock Tiffany, and Betty Travers finished a large mat, “This is Wildflowers”.

Felted Scarves with Peggy Ricker, November 21, 2015

President Jenna Sleeper welcomed everyone at 10:30 am. She reminded everyone to pick up their nametag, sign in, and vote for the next challenge theme. Twenty four ladies signed in.

Announcements:There were books and other rug hooking related items for sale at modest prices . Jenna Sleeper collected the monies from the sales. The next meeting, December 19 is a potluck luncheon and bring one or two Holiday gifts for the gift exchange. Participation is optional. Handmade gifts will be exchanged separately from “other” gifts. This meeting will be held in the lower hall. There is a little less lighting, so bring a lamp if necessary. Jeanne Fallier announced she has many patterns for sale. Please contact her if interested. Jane Sittnick announced that Deanne Fitzpatrick has now allowed former online studentsaccess to her current class offerings. Members have asked that perhaps another weekend can be arranged at the Franciscan Guest House soon, as they had so much fun in October. Jenna will research the possibility. There was no secretary’s or treasurer’s report read.

New members: There were two new/returning members: Anita Flood of Wilmington and Barbara Weinz from Reading.

Show and Tell: Barbara Weinz shared a large primitive rug she has nearly completed. She is glad she has found our group. Betty Travers displayed an eagle in the primitive style completed for grandson. Ginny Shannon completed a Sampler type mat with a garden theme and colorful yarn finish. Heidi Lee showed her Nubble Lighthouse rug and shared her extra finishing steps. Cynthia Dembrowski shared a large antique rug of flowers and scrolls perhaps made by Florence McKim of Manchester, Ma. Cynthia asked for information regarding Florence, but no one present knew of her. Ann Lange shared a bright pillow of paisleys, and fancy fibers, finished by her daughter into a pillow. Carlene Iudiciani shared a beautiful mermaid rug. Her teacher was Michelle Micaraelli and the designer was Leonard Feenan. Carlene also has her Tiffany Peacock almost completed, teacher, member Ania Knapp.

Today’s program was a hands on program by member Peggy Ricker on making a needlefelted wool scarf. Foam Blocks, wool rovings in pretty colors, and needles were available. Lots of pretty scarfs worked up fairly quickly and ladies enjoyed the chance to explore a new wool technique. Ten or more ladies participated. Thank you Peggy.

Christmas Party, December 19, 2015

Our December meeting was a great deal of fun with the socializing, food, and the gift exchanges. We have a new member – please welcome Judy Cianciolo. Jeanne Fallier graciously donated her Santa silk screen, with the idea that someone in the group will volunteer to make up kits for chapter to use as a challenge piece. This is a great idea. Please let Jenna know if you want to coordinate this project (maybe 2 or 3 people can do this).

Bring Your Own Work, January 16, 2016

We have a new member – please welcome Sue Sweetser.

Donna Allen and Ann Lange have volunteered to run the Spring and Fall hook-ins at the Franciscan House in Kennebunk, Maine. The Spring Hook-in will be the weekend of March 4-6 (Friday thru Sunday). Options are for two nights (Fri/Sat) or three nights (Thu/Fri/Sat). Please see Donna Allen’s email for additional details.

Marcia Kent and others have indicated an interest in doing a second challenge that would involve picking a relatively unknown artist and hooking a rug or a work by that artist. The outcome would be a finished piece that each hooker could show, giving a brief history of that artist. More to come on this idea.

Jeanne Fallier has graciously donated her Santa silk screen, with the idea that someone in the group will volunteer to make up kits for chapter to use as a challenge piece. This is a great idea. Please let Jenna know if you want to coordinate this project (maybe 2 or 3 people can do this).

Michelle Micarelli, February 20, 2016

Michele Micarelli spoke to us about a variety of topics, and included a Q&A session. She demonstrated how she would help a student (in this case, Carlene) select appropriate colors for a rug.

She told us she does not like to completely plan out her rugs. Things change as you work on it, and it’s important to take your time. As she put it, “Slow down, Bitch!” meaning it’s important to enjoy the process, not just get to the end. It took her 6 years to complete her Ship rug. She prefers to cut her material as she goes, to prevent excess cut noodles that occur if some of the material doesn’t get used. She mentioned that “Distance steals color and clarity” when it comes to landscapes.

She showed many of her completed pieces, which often symbolize something special. The rug where the woman is riding a dragon reflects Michele who is riding the dragon (Anthony) on her way to save someone. Anthony is carrying all her stuff.

Michele described ways to transfer designs, including one that uses Crack Stop, which is a 36” wide mesh that can be found in professional paint stores. Michele conducts one day dye classes at her home in New Haven, CT. Please contact her if you are interested in attending one.

Rug Journeys by Jane Sittnick and Ania Knap, March 19, 2016

We had two of our members share their personal rug journeys. Both Jane Sittnick and Ania Knap had us glued to our seats!

Jane Sittnick

Jane Sittnick delighted the Mayflower group at the March meeting with her unique rug journey. She started hooking in 2004 and first got "hooked" at the Alfred Maine Retreat. Her first piece was a handmade log cabin design. She finds herself drawn to primitives, and describes herself a "daughter of darkness" because she prefers darker colors. and gets many of her ideas from her 97 year old mom.

While she's not really into formal teachers, she has taken several on-line courses, and subscribes to the Welcome Mat, a social network for rug hookers. One of the classes was a year long class on color. She recommends the book, "Interaction of Color" by Josef Albers. Jane explained how important values are and how they can affect the outcome of your rug. One of her pieces was a portrait (eyes) where she used values 1 through 9, regardless of color, and this resulted in a very effective portrait.

Another source of inspiration is Jude Hill, a stitcher, cloth weaver and quilter. She has also taken two on line classes with Deanne Fitzpatrick. As for dying wool, Jane has tried using a fry pan, snow dying, ice dying and natural dyes, such as sumac.

Jane has traveled in her quest to learn about rug hooking. She described how she spent a week with Guatemalan women. One of the women helped her design the rug she later finished. Making and selling handmade hooked rugs has helped these women develop, become self - sufficient and support their families. Maryanne Wise first promoted the effort to teach these women a craft. To keep things simple in terms of design, Maryanne conveyed six simple rules to the women who designed their rugs: make it Guatemalan, don't make it trite, use repetition in the design, use variation in sizes of symbols in the rug, make it an internal design, and make a border that is varied and "interrupted".

If you visit multicolores Guatemala on Facebook, you can see the rugs and other items made by these women.

Jane has not followed a traditional or formal rug hooking path. And she doesn't feel the need to "follow the rules". Instead, she has developed her own unique style. She uses all types of materials - wool, cotton, and polyester, whatever is available. Looking at her bunny rabbit rug, you can see where she used a cashmere sweater to add texture and interest to her rug. In another rug, an abstract piece started from the outline of her hand which evolved into a woman's face with birds in her hair.

Ania Knap

Ania Knap began rug hooking in 2008 after she attended an Adult Education Show and Tell in Reading, MA. A self described "geek" scientist who worked at a biotech company, she found herself fascinated with both punch needle and traditional rug hooking. She took a class with Marcia Kent and her first rug was a small round chair pad. She also worked a fine cut floral rug in Marcia's class. Wool for her pumpkin rug came from Salvation Army and leftovers from Marcia's class. Ania showed us her tulip rug which displayed yellow and apricot color tulips, and one red tulip which stood out- her way of saying life can always throw you a curve ball.

Ania likes drawing and her first design was of forsythias. At one point she beaded flowers, and she showed us a forsythia branch with beaded buds. Because of her science background, she looks for symmetry in many of her rugs. But she also loves nature and has experimented with alternative fibers such as yarn and ribbon. At a Michele Micarelli workshop in Rindge, NH, she used different fibers to hook two Klimt design pillows. She also showed us a cow purse she made for one of her daughters.

Ania has an obsession with color and stated she needs visuals - dye samples. She explained about how dyes have been used in the medical field (brilliant blue) and that understanding chemistry helps her with symmetry. She is challenged when using muted colors because she really likes colors.

She taught a Tiffany Peacock rug workshop at Franciscan House in Kennebunk, Maine. Her rug included Waldoboro style grapes and boat sails. When she dyed the wool for this workshop, she left areas of white on the dyed wool to give it more contrast. She also incorporated her self developed metallic wool which gives the peacock a very unique look.

Ania has won several awards for her work and encourages others to enter their pieces in Topsfield Fair and the Big "E". This encourages the hooker, as well as those who see the pieces and become inspired by them.Ania now has her own website and is a McGown certified instructor.

Susie Stephenson, April 16, 2016

Our group enjoyed a lively and humorous talk by Susie Stephenson. She shared her history and showed off many rugs. She had some beautiful fibers for sale, as well as unique potholders and figures.

Show and Tell: Barbara Churchill showed off a small round “broken glass” piece with colorful reds. Diane Deroche showed some primitive rugs.

A thank you gift was presented to Jane Sittnick and Ania Knap for their wonderful rug journeys last month.

Big Bee, May 21, 2016

The Mayflower Chapter enjoyed a fun and colorful Big Bee. Michele Micarelli and Ania Knap participated as vendors, selling a large variety of wools and patterns. Pat Weimer acted as Auctioneer for a highly successful auction, providing entertainment for the group. Proceeds benefitted Mayflower.

Strawberry Festival, June 11, 2016

Our final meeting and tradtional strawberry festival was held at Jenna’s lovely home in Groveland.