Saturday, 5 April 2014

Heather Ritchie rugging workshop : )

I had an interesting day today, attending a rag rug technique workshop with Heather Ritchie who has many years experience of rag rugging and who also founded and supports Rug Aid.
Rug Aid allows visually impaired adults and children the opportunity to make rag rugs which they then sell on to tourists for very little, when you consider the effort that has gone into making them.
This stops them however, from having to beg for money to buy food and gives them a sense of achievement and personal confidence.
The blind are considered the dregs of Gambian society but then Gambia is a poor nation and visual impairment is not considered important.

It's worth looking at these pics of some of her work;_ylt=A7x9UncifUBTmS4ALvd3Bwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsZ3ZhODNnBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2lyZAR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-ironsource-fullyhosted_003&va=heather+ritchie+rugs&hspart=ironsource&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003

One of the small mats made by the Gambian ruggers -

Anyway about 20 of us had a great day listening to Heathers delightful Sunderland accent.
Sometimes the obvious is the last thing you think about doing...
like using a rotary blade to slice quickly and cleanly through fabrics to make your fabric strips! duhhh <<< never occurred to me lol

I have made a couple of rag rugs in the past, one door mat sized with floral cotton fabrics which turned out well. I also made a denim larger rug but it got so heavy I lost the will to continue lol
( I donated it to charity, hope someone else finished it!)

Anyway here's a selection of Heathers work - hooky technique and some proddy (shaggy) embellishment you'll notice too.

 loved the little houses and the flower is a pin

smashing wreaths these

Fabulous freeform rugging, love this technique especially

fabulous bags here and one supersized using up small square samples

This natty gadget cuts fabric into thin strips with very little effort but it costs ALOT by all accounts : (

This is my textural effort so far using the hooky technique, hardly inspiring but fun to do ~


  1. That is phenomenal work! I love the landscapes, and the shepherd and dog, on the linked site. And oh my, those floral creations! Very inspiring, And even more so, hearing about Rug Aid.

  2. what a fun day-I am off to check out the link

  3. these are all beautiful-loving the large bags too-are they using wool strips or cottons?

  4. Sounds like a wonderful day! My grandmother used to make rag rugs using many different techniques. I like the look of the freeform pieces here.



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