Five Minute Studio Tour with Deanne

Katie Allman from Ohio has asked that we post a video with a welcome to the studio for her group that is coming for a workshop next fall.

Welcome to the Studio…..A  Five Minute Video Tour

So come join us for a workshop… see them here…Workshops 2014




Mystery Pattern Club…Mystery Bundle Club

We have had lots of people join and I am excited about the idea that all across North America there will be people getting inspired each month by our mystery pattern club.. Each month I will create a unique pattern on linen inspired by what I am working on or  from one of my original rugs. We’ll send you a new pattern each month. If you like we can also send you a bundle of wool that will be designed for hooking the pattern. Each month it is a new inspiration and it is always a mystery

Join the pattern of the Month Club

Join the Bundle of the Month Club

Take the year to create beauty everyday and join our  pattern of the month club.

$34 each month will deliver a new inspired pattern to your mailbox.

As I hook away on my own designs I will take time each month to create a unique and beautiful pattern for the club.

Each month you will be sent a  pattern on linen (15 by 15 inch or equivalent, each month we’ll have a new size and shape) that is inspired by what I am currently hooking, or by one of my original designs.

Imagine receiving a new hand drawn pattern every month in your mailbox. Imagine the fun that would be.

All you have to do is hook it from the  stash of wool you already have on hand,

or you can opt into our coordinating wool bundle of the month to hook your pattern.

Think of having these hooked designs ready for gift giving, to create pillows, to frame as art for your walls.

Join the club, and receive special club membership bonuses and treats.

You can also add our Bundle of the Month Club so that you will get a special bundle designed each month to go with your pattern.

We will charge your credit card each month.  You can opt out anytime, just call or email to let us know before the 15th day of the month.  We will send out the Mystery Pattern Packages on the last day of the month.

Join our Mystery Bundle of the Month Club and receive a new bundle of wool each month that coordinates with our Mystery Pattern Club. Each month we will build a beautiful inspired bundle of wool using our best and most interesting wools.

Each month you will receive a coordinated bundle of wool for $49.95 (regularly $54.95).

We will charge your credit card each month.  You can opt out anytime, just call or email to let us know before the 15th day of the month.  We will send out the Mystery Wool Bundle Packages on the last day of the month.

Build your stash of wool over the whole year with our beautiful cordinated bundles that are inspired by the creativity around the studio, and a new pattern design each month.

Our large bundles have a combination of wool cloth, fleece and yarn that are guarenteed to create a great colour plan for any pattern you decide to use it on. The bundles will be inspired by nature, the seasons, and whatever interesting pattern of the month that Deanne creates.

Imagine building your stash a bundle at a time over a year. Seeing it grow so that you always have the right colours and textures at your fingertips.

Our regular shipping charges apply .

You can also join our Pattern of the Month Club, where we will create a pattern to go with your wool bundle.

Keep in mind, the Mystery Bundles will contain different colours than the bundle pictured here.

Book Launch in Halifax on Saturday; Please Come

Book Launch for Singily Skipping Along

Saturday October 26 at 1pm, Sheree Fitch and I are going to be at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia for our Book Launch! If you are in the Halifax area please come and bring little ones to celebrate with us. There will be food and fun and happiness. Come if you can and please share this with your friends and bring them along.


For those of you who cannot come but want the book. It will be available on the website in November as we are waiting to receive it from the printer.Fundraiser for L’ArcheTo see the rugs and maybe even purchase one you can visit the website at
he rugs are being auctioned off with all proceeds going to L’Arche. L’Arche Communities are places where people with and without intellectual disabilities come together to learn from each other, discover lifelong friendshipsand work to create a more passionate world.There are more than 100 of these peace- making communities around the world and five right here in Atlantic Canada

To bid on rugs and Donate to L’Arche go to:

Sheree Fitch book - 04


Wool Stories Number Three

This is a continuing series of tiny fiction stories….


” Maybe, it’s the postman, or one of the delivery guys.” I said to Mel

“You mean who Evie slept with?”

“Yeah, there are only a few men who come in here. Where else would she meet men?”

“Well she bowls, she has a big family, maybe someone introduced her to some one. You know Hope she only works here a few days a week.”

“I suppose. When I ask her she says, “Hope , it is not that I don’t want you  to know. It is just that I enjoy your desire to know so much.’ Kinda mean that one, she got me wonderin’ like a fool. I am going to put the whole thing out of my mind.

It was just as I was working to put it out of my mind that our bell rang as the door opened. In walks a woman in a bikini. I raised my eyebrows to Mel. She quickly rushed to the dye kitchen about to explode with laughter., leaving me with no time to pull myself together.

I smiled as I walked to te front of the shop, and then I could not help it, I just blurted out,  “Why are you in your bikini?” I just had to know why someone would come downtown in their bikini. Given the cast of characters on out street, you would have to be new to town.

“I learned how to hook rug twenty minutes ago at my neighbours’ pool. She said you close at four so I was afraid  if I took the time to change I’d miss you today. I have to have my own hook. I know I am gonna love this. My neighbour gave me a pattern and some wool but I need a hook and frame. I know I am gonna love it. ”

Sure but what about a cover up, I thought. “Ok, lets get you settled away. I know what it feels like. You get hooked from the minute you start. But I have one question, where did you park?”

“Just up on Prince Arthur, a block away. ”

“You walk a block in downtown Atherton in a bikini? Did you run into our local characters Daryl and Bernie?”

“A  rather rough looking man sitting on his step did invite me.” she smiled. “I told him maybe on the way back”

Well at least she is comfortable with our local yocals and has a sense of humour.

I chuckled, “No wonder” She chuckled herself. Quietly I thanked God that she knew this whole scenario was ridiculous. I was worried at first.

I said, I have an idea for you. I’ll make you some barbie clothes and you can cover up to get back to your car. Ussually we offer people an oatcake and a cup of tea but this woman was in need of something with a bit more substance.

I took a wide yard of wool and cut two holes in it for arms. Then I ripped a long strip off the bottom of it for a belt. I said, “Here stick your arms through here and she did, like it was a house coat.” Now fold down the lapels and wrap this around like a belt.I admire your enthusiasm and getting down here but I cannot have you walking around with town with a hook and a frame in a bikini.”

By this time Mel had come out of the dye kitchen and pulled herself together, “Yes, Lord knows, we have to endure enough hooker jokes as it is.”

I smiled at Mel, and explained to her that I dressed Miss  Rug Hooker Bikini 2013 that I used to dress my barbie dolls when I was a kid so she could get to her car with out to many odd looks.

Miss Bikini smiled and said, “I am new to town.”

“Yes love, and it is only because of that that I am not going to take your picture and put it on my blog, but be warned, if you come again in your bikini, it’s candid camera time.”

We all laughed and knew I was n’t joking and that it was really hard for me not to take her picture in the hot pink sale wool barbie outfit. I so wanted too but you got to be good to the new rug hookers until they are securely ladened down with a stash of wool that means that they have to hook rugs for at least forty years to justify their last five years of collecting. It is an unspoken rule.


IMG_2051“i’m going down there right now and get a rug hook.”


blooming rugs

Roberta Hancock cheticampRoberta Hancock recently sent me this vintage image of women hooking in Cheticamp. It is a tiny image but still worth a peek I think because it reminds me that women have been gathering to hook for generations and in that gathering have made friendships, told stories and grown together. Yesterday I started a little story on the blog. It may be that this story , just an introduction , is all there is but I think I want to play with the idea for awhile and see how it develops. It is just a chance for the imagination to run away. So don’t count on me for it, as I am not sure I can keep it running but I will start it with no promises to finish it. That is not much of a promise but it is all I have. I just want to play with fiction writing and I thought here might be the place to do it.

June has passed and so has my garden. It seems I just have a June garden as most of my blooms are finished. I do have some roses around the front that are looking lovely and I have planted nasturtium seeds so there will be blooms to come. A good gardener plans better I think so that the blooms come and go all summer long. I guess I have to get some black eyed susans in there.

School out now and it seems that we have lots of travellers on the go this week. We ordered up a few extra batches of oatcakes to keep the place homey. We like to have a little something to offer people when they have trekked so far to get here.

Work on my new book is going well. The writing is a bit slow but I have to say the rugs are flowing nicely. I was out with friends on Friday night and saw a beautiful pillow in a flower shop. It was a floral design but it was glued wool that looked as if it was hooked. It was a manufactured pillow, but thought to myself, How much more beautiful could that be. I came home a hooked my own design, clearly inspired by  that one. I made more many changes, using five flowers instead of eight, changing the style of the flowers, and changed the colours of the flowers. The pillow I made also used many different textures, including sari silk. There were probably forty changes. Yet I still feel disappointed that the inspiration I found remains so identifiable in the pillow I made.It is beautiful, but when someone tells me so, I feel that my own inspiration could have been stronger. Forty changes were not enough! So the next step is to make more floral designs. Right now I am making a rug that takes it initial inspiration from the pillow rug I made. I will take the design I created and change it again but this time I am trying to move away from the initial ideas because I want my inspiration to be my own. From there I plan to make more floral pillows. It is July, and though my garden is not blooming like did in June, my rugs are.

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the tourist route

I am lucky to say that we are the first town in Nova Scotia if you are coming here by car and the last town in Nova Scotia on your way out. At the main visitor information center coming into Nova scotia you will see one of my rugs, called “The Gold at Cape D’or”. It hangs over the fireplace.  You will also see a cheticamp frame that you can sit and hook for a bit if you like put there by the studio so that people can try their hand at rug hooking.  Over the years I have really appreciated the people who work at the visitor information centers. They send along people to the studio who are intrigued by rug hooking and treat their guests really well. This year I had the pleasure of giving two groups of VIC employees a tour of my studio. It was a pleasure to have them come and explain what we are up to here.

In the summer we are glad to see tourists come to Nova Scotia from all over the world. The town I live in though is not a real tourist destination like some places in Nova Scotia. It is what I like to call a real town, where people live and work. It is a very authentic place with warm , hardworking people. I am sure even tourist towns have these qualities. Amherst is a what you see is what you get kind of place. We are the centre town for a surrounding area. People come her to see their lawyers, doctors , dentists and to get their groceries or their driver’s licences updated. We are a practical place, which really is quite livable. I remember travelling through Ireland and seeing lots of touristy places, then landing in a town called Ennis. All of a sudden it felt like I had hit the real Ireland, a place where real people were doing everyday stuff. I really liked that. I think Amherst is a bit like that.

The other nice thing about Amherst is it’s proximity to cottage life. Many people in Amherst have cottages at the shore. Some families bought them fifty years ago for $500 and they are still in the family. Little bungalows nestled on red sand beaches  with the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. Cottage life here has been part of the summers of families for generations. Each summer we also get hundreds of people who return from away to the shore to rest and restore themselves. Many live in cities across Canada and the United States and come here every summer. They too come to Amherst for the necessities, and many make a special to visit or two to the studio each year.

We are worth the trip. Amherst is the real deal, a good community, warm hearted people.
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new catalog and a retake of Helen

Dear Diary,

It was storm day here today, though really it turned out not to bad. I spent the day here in the studio working quietly away on our new catalog and on the Hooking People Course. The new catalog are all rugs that have been inspired my originals. Though we have added many patterns to our stash here over the last few years we have not had a complete new catalog. I am excited to see your response to some of these modern and contemporary designs. Of course there are a few cats, people, and gardens thrown in there as well. How could I  not. I love them too. You can get a sneak preview here. It should be ready in a few weeks.

I have added as many of the studio recipes to it as I could as well because I like cooking as well as hooking. It has been a fun project though drawing all the little pictures has taken me quite some time. When we do things by hand we are used to things moving along slowly so it has not mattered to me that it is taking so much time. We are coming out with a pattern based on Standing Before the Monument which many people have asked for over the years. I keep the original as the original so the pattern is different but it has the same sensibility.

This afternoon Helen Dyer dropped by who I had featured on the blog last week, and showed a terrible picture of her , so here is a retake of her as well.






Phyllis Lindsay’s Cabbages

Dear Diary,
Phyllis Lindsay is working on a pattern of mine called, Woman with Cabbages and last week she sent me a picture of the progress she has made on it. I really like the pink she is using in hers. I think it looks great and I thought you might enjoy seeing them. The progress on my cabbages is on the studio facebook page if you want to take a peek. One think I like about having a studio page is that I can show you quickly the work in progress in the studio. Thank you to the many of you who liked the page. We are getting near 300.

I will put a little special offer or something there for you sometime, maybe a contest, or a bit of fooolishness odf some sort.

Take a good look of her use of colour in the back field behind the woman. She is not shying away from a little drama. I think she is doing a great job. Thank you for showing me these last week . Between you and Kaffe Fasset, you got me wanting to cook up my own version! No that was not a typo!

IMG_4242-1 Phyllis Lindsay IMG_4241-1phyllis Lindsay’s Cabbages

Only Two Days Left to Register Hooking People Online Course


Register or find out more information here:


 Hooking People Course starts March 18.

It will be a five week course but will you will have access to it until mid April.

If you need materials we have also created an:

Online Course pack for Hooking People which includes wools needed for the course and four patterns


or choose


online course pack for faces and skin tones



Amy Ruck hooks rugs from her spirit

Amy RuckI am sorry this image is small. I think I may have saved it wrong but I wanted to share Amy Ruck’s rug with you. Four seasons under the same tree.  It is done in a very playful way. I think we forget that we can reinvent ideas like “four season”. I think each of these has a very joyful presence about them. Amy has come to many workshops over the years from her home in Missouri, and I always enjoy seeing her completed work. She has a good imagination and hooks like herself! Amy really hooks rugs from her spirit and I wanted to show you one here.


Work and the Inspiration Comes

Dear Diary, Sometimes I start a rug with exactly no idea where it is going. I make a few marks on the backing and off I go as is the case in the beginning of this rug here. I knew I want to use these lovely skeins of wool that Maile brought me from Seattle and I wanted to use that purple silk. That was the day after I cleaned my studio and found some gems that I had not been seeing as well as I might.

I was feeling not creative, which is a poor excuse for not working. Even when I do not feel inspired , I get a rug on the frame. I find the process of hooking inspires me and I am usually lost in the rug before long.

Inspiration.  If you have it, sail with it like the wind. If you do not have it, just find something to work on. I have made the most beautiful rugs because I hooked with out particular inspiration. Work and the beauty comes.

Create Beauty Everyday.

If you just sit with a project, doing a bit every day all of a sudden the momentum takes over and before you know it, something beautiful is on it’s way. I may lack inspiration by times but showing up day after day to the frame, I am sure to find it again.

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Every Thursday it’s Fibre Arts at the studio

thursday group Ad



So here is the story. I have a beautiful workshop studio in back of my shop that is just not getting used enough and I want to see it brought to life every Thursday. We would like to invite you to join us for our weekly Studio Hooking group. I spoke to the Tuesday Night group that I go to and many agreed that our community needs a day time  rug hooking group.

I have been thinking about it for quite a while. I also thought that if some of you are travelling through you might like to come hook for a while on Tuesday. It will give you a day that you know there is something going on at the studio and another reason to visit. Perhaps you cannot make it every week, but you can make it once a month, or even once a year. This will be an open group with everyone welcome to come hook for the day.

I just want to see our back space used well and people enjoying it.

There is no fee but we will collect $2 from each person for the local food bank. Come whenever you can.

If you are local and would like to be a regular or semi regular member come and join us.

Come Bring your Rug Hooking, or Your Wool Fibre Art and join us:

at Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio 


33 Church Street 

for our Weekly Hook In Every Thursday

Starting 10am, bring a brown bag lunch if you like.


Call 660-3220  or email us at for more Info



the pond


The world of winter here on seven acres revolves around a small pond that was dug in our backyard for skating. When the light shines on that pond at night, it makes me want to watch the skaters gliding about. That clap of skates on ice, swoosh, swoosh as it scrapes lines in the dusting of snow is like music. Our house is about the pond in the winter. We wonder if the cold will hold. They will spend hours scraping piles of snow off it only to have fill the very next day, then they will do again, just so they can go for a twenty minute skate and draw circles with their blades on the ice.

Old ice skates lie in front of the wood stove waiting for tomorrow.

Wool socks and mittens beg me to pick them up and put them away once they dry.

Touques and parkas hang from hooks against the back door waiting to be  worn again to brace the cold.

There is a big light in  tree beside the pond that shines down on it making it like some kind of amphitheatre from our back room.

It is beautiful and still and it makes the winter prettier because it is there below us on a soft wet piece of land at the bottom of the field.

It brightens the night, makes the winter warmer, to watch the cold under the stars.


pond5 pond6 pond7 pond3 pond4

Free Rug Hooking Course: A How to Guide for Beginner Rug Hookers Online

How to Hook Rugs
from Start to Finish

A  Free Beginner How to Course in Hooking Rugs

compliments of Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio

Hooking rugs is easy. You can even teach yourself. You pull strips of wool cloth, usually recycled clothing, washed , dried , and torn apart through a burlap or linen backing loop by loop. There are no hard and fast rules. The simplest way to learn is to pick out a kit at our online shop or you can start from scratch.  We have a free instructional video to teach you how to hook. Either way these are the basic steps you will need to know:

My very first hooked rug created in 1990.







Getting Started

The rug above is my very first project. I went off to a meeting of the Nova Scotia Rug Hooking Guild at the Tatamagouche Centre  and Marion Kennedy sold me a kit and and taught me how to hook rugs. As I was hooking, she pointed out some mistakes I was making and I asked her, “Should I pull it out and start again” She said, “Don’t do that you will learn as you go along. Finish it, that’s your job, finish it.” With less than three square inches of the rug hooked this seemed like a dauntingly  job but it wasn’t. It turned out that as I kept at it , I learned as I went along. I kept her voice in my head, “finish the mat” and I finished this first project with in a week, and quickly moved on to design my next rug.

Rug Hooking is a simple craft that you can easily teach yourself. I recommend a kit for beginners because you have everything you need to get started.Here are some basic instructions for rug hooking. You can also learn lots more through our online courses or studio workshops.

1. You first fasten your pattern, which is a piece of burlap with a picture drawn upon onto a frame such as a heavy duty quilting hoop, or a stretcher bar.

2. Cut a strip of wool cloth about one quarter an inch wide, and about eight to twelve inches long.

3. Hold your hook in the hand you use to hold your pencil, and the strip of wool in the other hand. Put your hook down through a hole in the burlap backing, and catch the piece of wool, pulling it up thru the burlap. Bring the first end right up through, then continue the hooking pulling it up loop by loop.

4. In primitive hooking , you generally start by outlining an area and then filling it in.

5.Continue hooking until the whole mat is done. Bring all your ends of wool to the surface and clip them evenly with your loops.

6.When you finish your project, cut the excess burlap away from the edge, leaving no more than two inches all around. Use this to bind the rug by folding it and sewing it along the backside of the rug. You can also use cotton twill tape to bind it along the edge.

7.The final stage is to press you rugs with a wet cloth and hot iron on both sides to even out the loops and give your rug a finished look

Videos and How To That Tell You the Basics of Hooking Rugs:

  1. A How to Hook Rugs Video Step by step
  2. Rug Hooking Instructions for Beginners How to Hook Rugs ….Step by Step
  3. Kits and Frames from the Studio
  4. Frequently asked Questions for Beginners

  5. How to Finish and Bind a Hooked Rug  Video

  6. A Lesson on Binding and Finishing Rugs by Brenda Clarke

  7. How to Assemble a Cheticamp Frame

  8. How to Hang a Hooked Rug

  9. The Art of Rug Hooking Video


Some of the kits from our online shop






You can also learn on our  online courses or studio workshops.