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A Newfoundland Story

Canadian Connections

A Beach to Comb, 33 1/¼" x 36", hand-torn recycled wool on burlap.  Designed and hooked by Caaren Batten, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 1941. 

Telling a story from the floor? It can be done. This was the challenge: illustrate a poem telling the story of a Newfoundland grandmother’s life through the eyes of a grandchild. With a pile of fabric, some textured yarns, and a hook, the creative excitement began.

This project resulted in a collection of 22 rugs portraying the rugged countryside and difficult life on the island of Newfoundland in the early 1900s. A book, Emily, A Song of Newfoundland, was published in Spring 2012 and illustrated with photos of my hooked rugs. Denise Batten wrote this book about her maternal grandmother; as Denise’s mother-in-law, I was pleased to be the illustrator in fiber.

This article is from the June/July/August 2013 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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