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"My Canada": 38 Canadian Mats Hooked by the Heritage Rug Hooking Guild of New Brunswick

By: Heritage Rug Hooking Guild of New Brunswick
Updated August 20, 2018

The Heritage Rug Hooking Guild of New Brunswick challenged their members to hook a 9" square depicting what Canada meant to them. Each mat was meant to have a red whipped edge. The rugs fell into four themes: Canadian icons, diversity, landscapes, and travel. Here is a showcase of the complete collection of entries, showing the full spectrum of what Canada is all about!

Souvenirs de nos hivers canadiens - Childhood memories of our Canadian winters

Souvenirs de nos hivers canadiens - Childhood memories of our Canadian winters

Souvenirs de nos hivers canadiens - Childhood memories of our Canadian winters, 9" x 9", wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Therese Arsenault-Leger, May 2017.

Winter has always my favourite Canadian season. I took advantage of this group project to outline a childhood memory of one of those special winter activities. I think it's wonderful that every little mat will be part of one big hooked rug. It reminds me of our great country, how each one of us does his or her little part to keep our country united. I am proud to be a Canadian.

The Sleeping Giant

The Sleeping Giant

The Sleeping Giant, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Elizabeth Bastin.

The Sleeping Giant, an iconic peninsula in Lake Superior, can be seen from Thunder Bay, Ontario. This geological formation resembles a reclining man. An Objibway legend tells of Nanabijou turning to stone when the location of a rich silver mine was disclosed to the white man. The peninsula is home to a provincial park of the same name and boasts steep rock cliffs rising sharply from Lake Superior. Visiting Thunder Bay, the Sleeping Giant is visible from many vantage points. One can’t help but feel inspired by its majesty. This image is a reminder of the drawing my 10-year-old granddaughter from Thunder Bay gave me in 2016 when she visited Fredericton.

One Tree, Four Seasons

One Tree, Four Seasons

One Tree, Four Seasons, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed by Angela Black and hooked by Sheila Black, 2017.

My One Tree, Four Seasons mat was my second completion, and I was looking for something easy. I chose and discarded a number of ideas before I settled on just one of the many attributes of Canada, our four seasons. I love camping in the forest in summer, apple picking in the autumn, snowshoeing on a wooded trail in the winter, and maple syrup in the spring. All of these activities involve trees. My inspiration came from Pinterest, and my daughter Angela came up with the design.

The Lone Tree

The Lone Tree

The Lone Tree, 9" x 9", Briggs & Little wool yarn on linen. Designed and hooked by Carol Bray, May 2017.

My Canada has vast wild areas, mainly rocks and trees, often near water. The black spruce grows naturally from north to south, except on the prairies and the western coastal area. These very old trees grow around homes in my area. Returning to Canada on a Polish liner after 15 months in the UK, I felt these trees lining the shore were the essence of a vast untamed land which was my home. In the south of England, no matter the weather, people always appeared on our hikes. The image of The Lone Tree reminded me of My Canada. The design was originally a batik with green background, some white and rust swathes of colour painted freely with wax.
 

From Sea to Sea

From Sea to Sea

From Sea to Sea, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool and sea glass on linen. Designed and hooked by Sharon A. Collett, May 2017.

My love for the ocean inspired me to complete this project. The sounds of the ocean have a very relaxing mood for me, and looking for sea glass treasures is soothing and very exciting feeling when these treasures are found. The Pacific and Atlantic can give us many pleasures in our lives.

Baker Lake

Baker Lake

Baker Lake, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Gladys Connely.

One of my favourite Canadian eastern province scenes: the hills at the edge of our blue pristine lake, changing to their autumn colours, as seen from our cottage at Baker Lake, New Brunswick. The flag flies from the end of our dock, reminding us of our freedom and good fortune of belonging to such a beautiful and great country.

Now and Then

Now and Then

Now and Then, 9" x 9", yarn on linen. Designed and hooked by Linda Derrah.

This is a wonderful time for each of us to take stock of our lives and thoughts and be very proud of our fantastic CANADA. I feel that the theme of “My Canada 150” tells its own story. I am very passionate about Canada and proud that I am Canadian. It is a wonderful honour to celebrate 150 years. The British flag is where we all started from many years ago. Showing the “new” Canadian flag in the corner is where we are at now.

Beaver

Beaver

Beaver, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool, felt, and metallic cord on linen. Adapted with permission from the Sobey's cartoon character and hooked by Norma Fage, June 2017.

The beaver, which is one of Canada’s symbols, reminded me of Canada’s hard-working population. We all know how hard beavers work. I borrowed the idea for this project, with permission, from the Sobey’s cartoon character used in their birthday celebration. This cartoon beaver symbolizes Canadians’ wonderful sense of humour and good nature. Who wouldn’t be proud to be Canadian?

Blomidon

Blomidon

Blomidon, 9" x 9", wool fabric, wool yarn/fleece, and sari ribbon on linen. Designed and hooked by Lynne Fudge, 2017.

I have spent many hours sitting on the porch of our cottage, just staring across the Minas Basin at this wonderful view of Blomidon. It changes constantly, depending on weather and season. The old spruce tree is prominent, surrounded in June with lovely lupins, and in July with spectacular wild roses.

After the Ice Storm

After the Ice Storm

After the Ice Storm, 9" x 9", wool and other fibres and embellishments on linen. Designed and hooked by Mary Grant, spring 2017.

The sparkle of sun coming through ice-encased branches is one of those fleeting, magical scenes that can be seen from coast to coast in Canada. There are just a very few moments in which the sun catches the frozen setting and sets the visible world on fire. Although looking fragile, the effects of an ice storm on wires, trees, and roadways can prove devastating in its power. Hooking this piece took me to Toronto taking pictures with my father; to Alberta as even the air turned to ice and here in NB. Canada – beautiful – magical – powerful.

From Sea to Sea

From Sea to Sea

From Sea to Sea, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Connie Haddad, 2017.

I was very excited to be part of the Canada 150 mat project through the HRHG. After a great deal of thought on what Canada means to me, I chose as my theme “from sea to sea.” As a young girl, I was able to travel across Canada with my parents on several occasions, both by train and plane, to visit my sister in British Columbia and my brother in Manitoba. My fondest memories by far were the trips by train, and I feel that my life was enriched by this wonderful opportunity. We would get on the train in Plaster Rock and travel by coach for 4 days and 3 nights from the east to the west coast. So many things come to mind when I think about those trips: changing trains at Windsor Station in Montreal, lunching in the dining car, seeing the many lakes of Ontario and the long expanse of wheat fields across the Prairies, the majestic Rocky Mountains as seen from the dome car, going through the spiral tunnel, just to name a few…and of course, the happiness of reconnecting with family. It made such an impression on me that I vowed I would take my children and husband across Canada, which we did in 1990. My wish for every Canadian is to be able to travel from coast to coast and to know how blessed they are to be living in such a beautiful country.

Fishing at the Elbow

Fishing at the Elbow

Fishing at the Elbow, 9" x 9", new wool and some dyed wool on linen. Designed by Sandra Palmer and hooked by Lorna Hughson, July 2017.

The Miramichi River is a famous salmon river. I have enjoyed many happy hours on the river and have met many people from different countries who have come to enjoy relaxing on our river. “A bad day on the river is still better than a good day at the office.”

Canada, Her Finest Hour

Canada, Her Finest Hour

Canada, Her Finest Hour, 9" x 9", wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Faith Hunter, September 2017.

This project is very dear to my heart and soul regarding our great nation of Canada. The leaf itself rings out a clarion voice to the nations around the world that this country is one of safety and peace to all who dwell within the borders from sea to sea. I chose all the colours of the Canada 150 symbol as it really depicts the vast tapestry of just how our nation has always been an icon of truth and justice and diversity. We are free to worship God as the founding Fathers of Confederation penned the words that the Dominion of Canada will stand as Sir Leonard Tilley wrote from the scriptures of Psalms 72:8. God keep our land. Glorious and free O Canada we stand on guard for thee!

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Mary Jones, 2017.

My mat is a very personal expression of “My Canada.” As a retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces, having served for 25 years, my profound respect for those who have served and are currently serving our country, both at home and abroad, is reflected in this small mat by the silhouetted figure honouring a fallen comrade. This memorial silhouette is one that makes me proud and sad every time I see it. It is one that pulls at the heart strings of us all, while at the same time reminding me (us) of why and who we serve. “Lest we forget.”

Canada 150 Tulip

Canada 150 Tulip

Canada 150 Tulip, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Gisele Leger-Drapeau.

I chose to participate in this project because I support the initiative of our hooking guild. I also loved the idea of each member making an individual piece that would become one unified work of art. It reminded me of our great and generous country that welcomes different cultures and has more than one official language. Together, we stand strong, by ourselves, we are little. It is such a privilege to be Canadian. HAPPY 150TH CANADA!

Canadian Icon

Canadian Icon

Canadian Icon, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Shirley Lewis.

I chose the iconic RCMP horse and rider symbol as it is a world-renowned symbol of Canada. I also chose this symbol to hook as my husband was a former peace officer with the RCMP, and my two children are current peace officers with the organization.

CBC is for me!

CBC is for me!

CBC is for me!, 9" x 9", hand-dyed wool as well as reclaimed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Ellen MacIntosh, 2017.

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) was chosen to represent My Canada. For our family, CBC is present every day of the week. As a country, CBC has, I believe, strengthened our national spirit by providing Canadians with both a local and national voice on current events, politics, literature, music, and sports. Whether it is Peter Gzowski to Paul Kennedy—from Vicki Gabereau to Terry O’Reilly; from Paddy Gregg to Costas Halavrezos to Norma Lee McLeod—CBC inspires us, informs us, makes us laugh and cry! From the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927 to the Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey in 2014! CBC IS Canada to me!

Maple Leaf Rug

Maple Leaf Rug

Maple Leaf Rug, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Mary Mason, 2017.

I have been fortunate enough in my life to live where I could see a Maple Leaf flag flying with water in the background. I grew up with being taught to respect the Canadian flag. My parents flew the Union Jack, then the Maple Leaf. I now have the Union Jack, which we flew when Princess Diana passed away. My husband, Clinton, and I have a 33-foot flag pole and Maple Leaf flag on our property between our house and the Saint John River. It flies from spring until November 11th, Remembrance Day, as we feel veterans should be honoured. I could not decide what to hook for our country’s 150th birthday. Looking out my window, I thought I would hook our flag plus some music notes. I enjoy singing “O Canada” with great pride. So, with thoughts of the past and present, I hooked my block to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Chickadee

Chickadee

Chickadee, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Doreen McClare, 2017.

In considering what I would hook for a contribution to the “My Canada” project, I thought of all the beautiful icons of Canada, such as trees, water, wildlife, and hockey. Then one morning, as I was looking out my kitchen window at the chickadees swooping to the bird feeders and back to the nearby trees, I decided, “There’s a Canadian icon in my backyard.” The chickadee is seen in every Canadian province, it was a runner-up in the “Name the Canadian Bird” contest, and it is the New Brunswick provincial bird, so it quickly became my choice to commemorate “Canada 150.”

Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Louise McGrattan, May 2017.

I chose the fishing boat as my Canada 150 mat because it represents the fishing community and people that are a huge part of my life. I love the views, sounds, and smells that we get from life on the saltwater.

Dories

Dories

Dories, 9" x 9", recycled and hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Carolyn Munro, June 2017.

Dories are a part of our heritage. We are a coast-to-coast nation, and these simple little boats have been used for centuries along our coasts. Building these wooden boats has been a proud Maritime tradition.

I’se the By that Catches de Fish

I’se the By that Catches de Fish

I’se the By that Catches de Fish, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Audrey Norman, 2017.

I’se the By’ that Catches de Fish is my Canada project, symbolizing the fisheries from coast to coast in Canada. In particular, the East Coast of those fisherpeople, who wear the sou’wester hat. The water at each end and throughout our wonderful country gives many hard-working families a living. In the North, to the South, East, and West, fisherpeople do what they love to do to provide for us to “take ‘em home to Liz’er.”

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights, 9" x 9", 100% hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Doris Norman, June 2017.

My Canada is represented in the Northern Lights. They flow and move freely over a large area of the land as our people move freely from coast to coast to coast. The Lights are multicoloured, as we are. Every skin colour is represented in our population, all are welcome to our shores. Sometimes the colours of the Lights and of the people are bold and bright, sometimes muted and soft. I have seen the Northern Lights in Newfoundland and in other parts of Canada. I would love to see the Lights in “Our True North, Strong and Free.”

PEI Landscape

PEI Landscape

PEI Landscape, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Sandra Palmer.

This mat depicts the red shore of PEI, with the dunes in the background and, of course, the provincial icon, Anne of Green Gables waving in the foreground. It is a familiar and beautiful destination for all members of our family at least once in the summer, preferably when the lupins are blooming.

Winter Scene

Winter Scene

Winter Scene, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Sandra Palmer.

This mat depicts two young people playing our national sport of hockey, in this case, “shinny” hockey, where it all begins. There is no pretence of fancy arenas or hockey gear, not even helmets are worn. If we live in Canada, we must embrace winter, and young people know how to do it!

The Chickadee

The Chickadee

The Chickadee, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Ellen Phillips, May 2017.

My Canada is represented by the chickadee. Like me, the chickadee is a year-round resident of this great land of ours. This little bird can be found from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, bringing joy to the hearts of people from every race, colour, and creed. On a cold snowy winter day, I love to hear “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” and to look out my window and see a number of my faithful friends at my bird feeder.

Polar Bears

Polar Bears

Polar Bears, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Ann Price.

With so much discussion on the environment and protecting the habitat, it seemed a good subject. The polar bears are moving further south, and we need to think of working on climate change.

Canoe Mat

Canoe Mat

Canoe Mat, 9" x 9", hand-dyed and recycled wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Diana Rayworth, 2017.

This is “Canoe Mat” number 2 for me. The first, a memento of the many times my husband and I have enjoyed being on the water, paddling our beautiful streams and rivers. I decided to hook this mat for our 150th Canada project, as it symbolizes the offerings of Mother Nature in our vast country—whether a pristine lake or a walk in the woods. What a privilege to enjoy our waterways for pleasure and relaxation—the same used by our pioneers 150 years ago as a prime means of transportation.

Mosaic

Mosaic

Mosaic, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Cheryl Robertson.

The moment I heard of the “My Canada” project, I immediately thought “mosaic.” To me, Canada is composed of a variety of cultures, religions, and ethnicities. In this country, we encourage all citizens to honour and celebrate their diverse backgrounds and heritages, while still proudly embracing their Canadian identity. With the increase in immigration due to world turmoil, and in my personal experience with a Syrian family who moved to Fredericton a year and a half ago, we are now more than ever a nation of diversity and multiculturalism: a beautiful mosaic. This is one of the main reasons why I am so proud to be a Canadian.

Hudson Bay Point Blanket

Hudson Bay Point Blanket

Hudson Bay Point Blanket, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Helen Rufelds, 2017.

Our first Hudson Bay point blanket was a wedding gift from an aunt and uncle 61 years ago. Our second one was a crib-sized blanket, a gift for our baby boy. Both of these blankets were white with black, yellow, red, and green stripes, and they are still in use. In the early 1970s, we bought a log cabin in Quebec, and our first purchases for it were two Hudson Bay blankets, both red with black stripes. They were on sale at Ogilvy’s Department Store in Ottawa. Since then, we have acquired several blankets, mostly red, at antique sales and shops, as well as from family members. If we see one, we don’t seem to be able to resist it! They are all in use at our cabin on the beds or thrown over chairs. We love them!

Our Canada

Our Canada

Our Canada, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Wilma Shephard, May 2017.

I hooked this so I would have a remembrance of something I created that was for Canada’s 150th birthday. I chose the design of a maple leaf with the words “Our Canada.” The maple leaf symbolizes Canada’s people. According to many historians, the maple leaf was a Canadian symbol as early as the 1700s. Today it is in our flag. The maple leaf symbolizes unity, tolerance, and peace. People are recognized as being Canadian when they display the maple leaf, regardless of where they travel. The Canadian military have displayed the maple leaf on their uniforms. These are some of the reasons the maple leaf makes me thing of Canada. To me, it symbolizes “Our Canada,” and I am very proud to be called Canadian.

Double Double

Double Double

Double Double, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Caroline Simpson, spring 2017.

As a former hockey/soccer parent, Tim Horton’s was my go-to spot for coffee to keep warm at the rink and on the sidelines of the turf. Plus, my daughter had her first part-time job there. So, when it came time to think of what “My Canada” looked like, Tim’s (and the familiar order “Double Double”) came to mind immediately. I chose the multicoloured background to represent the diversity that Canada strives for.

Pond Hockey

Pond Hockey

Pond Hockey, 9" x 9", 100% dyed wool and metallic-fused wool (product by Ania Knapp) on linen. Designed and hooked by Caroline Simpson, spring 2017.

Hockey is our national sport, and it doesn’t get more Canadian than a game of pond hockey on whatever frozen surface you can find. What could be better? Fresh air, great scenery, and plenty of exercise.

Hockey

Hockey

Hockey, 9" x 9", fabric and Briggs and Little yarn on rug warp. Adapted with permission from a design for Hockey Canada and hooked by Cathy Smith, April 2017.

My Canada is represented in one of Canada’s national sports–hockey. The design is the logo for Hockey Canada and is hooked with their permission. The design includes the maple leaf, which to me, depicts a sense of national pride and a commitment to working hard with a strong sense of team spirit. To me, these elements were and continue to be strong and essential building blocks for Canada. Watching hockey is very nostalgic for me as it reminds me of seeing my two sons grow up playing hockey, and now my two grandsons. The hockey tradition has been passed down by their father/grandfather, who continues to play at the “gentleman” level.

Maple Leaf, Coast to Coast

Maple Leaf, Coast to Coast

Maple Leaf, Coast to Coast, 9" x 9", Briggs and Little yarn on linen. Designed by Sharon A. Collett and hooked by Sandra Stewart, spring 2017.

The maple leaf is a Canadian symbol known around the world. In 1700, it was used by the Jean Baptiste Society, found in the Quebec flag, and later used by the Northwest Mounted Police. The changes in the colours each season represent, to me, the changes occurring in Canada today, tomorrow, and forever.

1951 Mercury

1951 Mercury

1951 Mercury, 9" x 9", unknown material on linen. Designed and hooked by Carol Williams.

I have had a love for automobiles for as long as I can remember. There was a shaded spot at our back yard where the grass did not grow. As a child, I would spend hours there making roads for my toy cars. About 15 years ago, I did a lot of bicycling, and we were looking for an antique auto when we came upon this 1951 truck. I could cycle ahead to car shows, and my husband could come along and pick me up. The unique feature of the truck was that it was original and only made in Canada.

RCMP Horse & Mountie

RCMP Horse & Mountie

RCMP Horse & Mountie, 9" x 9", 100% wool and yarn on linen. Designed and hooked by Barb Goodine, August 2017.

I hooked the RCMP horse and rider as I have always had a great interest in the RCMP. Growing up with horses, the RCMP Musical Ride is always beautiful to watch. The RCMP is a great symbol of being Canadian.

Hudson Bay Co. Stripes

Hudson Bay Co. Stripes

Hudson Bay Co. Stripes, 9" x 9", wool strips on linen. Designed and hooked by Madeleine Scott, August 2017.

It was difficult to decide what to hook for our My Canada 150 project. I have always loved the Bay. It has been around since 1670. The blankets were originally made to wear as a coat. There were stripes on the side to indicate the size. Many people, including me, thought the stripes indicated how many animal pelts were traded for a blanket. There were different colours which appealed to different regions of this great land. I thought the stripes would be easy to hook as “how hard can it be to hook a straight line?"

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