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Lobsters, Scallops, and Mackerel, Oh, My!

Hooking and Quilting on an Island in Maine

By: Story and Photography by C. Susan Ferraro

Margaret’s Mackerel, 23" x 31". Designed and hooked by C. Susan Ferraro, Bailey Island, Maine, 2018.

Every year, Bailey Island holds a fishing tournament. Any child who wants to participate in the tournament gets a hat and a fishing rod, compliments of Casco Bay Tuna Club. Margaret’s catch was a real nice mackerel. This hooked piece captures her pride—and her squint as she holds that mushy fish!

After 25 years of making contemporary art quilts, wall hangings, and clothing, my eyes were no longer able to easily see intricate details. I needed to another kind of fiber art. My first venture into hooking on linen with yarn, strips of wool fabric, and other fibers was instant love, and hooking is now my passion.

I haven’t totally given up quilting—now I hook with my quilting. I have kept the same style from my sewing days into my hooked rugs: each piece shows dimension, includes a unique element, and tells a story. 

While thinking about making a new piece, I’m envisioning the process of building layers that will eventually become stand-out features in a completed piece. How to recreate those features is the challenge.


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