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The Tree of Peace

Hooking for the Community

By: Beverly Levine

Peace, 72" tall and 17" to 42" wide. Designed and hooked by Friday Friends, installed at the Colchester East-Hants Hospice Society, Truro, Nova Scotia, 2016. 

Rug hooking groups often donate mats to a community group. Some are raffled off to raise funds; some are designed to bring warmth to a place of caring and healing. Each one is special in its own way. This is the story of one of those special pieces.

Friday Friends is a rug hooking group in Truro, Nova Scotia. We decided last year to do a group project for the Colchester East-Hants Hospice Society in Truro, Nova Scotia. I was attending a presentation at the hospice office. On a tour of the office before the meeting began, one section of the wall seemed to jump out as I walked by. I knew instantly there needed to be a hooked piece there. The mental question “What?” was answered immediately with the words, “a tree trunk.” Inspiration.

The Hospice Society responded to my suggestion enthusiastically. I took measurements and sketched out the rough dimensions. At the next group gathering I taped the sketch up on the wall and presented the idea to the group, asking if they were willing to do the project. All were on board.

The bare lines on newsprint sketch was taped up during hooking for the next few weeks. Soon the ideas started to flow. Gladys said we couldn’t have a tree without a fairy door. Next came the bird, followed by discussion (from the knowledgeable bird people) as to what kind of bird it should be. We chose the American goldfinch because they are very plentiful in this area. Kathy said we needed mushrooms, and since she is the mushroom hunter, she determined the variety. Barb suggested a red squirrel, as they are plentiful here. Lynn, an avid gardener who not only looks after her own property but volunteers at a community flower garden, led the way with choosing the flowers, which really brighten up the tree roots.

The most difficult decision was how to sign the mat. None of us wanted our signature to take away from the tree, but we felt that it should be signed and dated. Phyllis pointed out that people have been carving their initials into tree trunks forever. We loved the idea, and decided on “carving” our initials, FF, and the year 2016 into the design.

After more discussion and deliberation, we moved our signature to the roots of the tree, using cursive writing and colors that blend in with the surrounding hooking. We moved the date to the opposite side of the piece, again blending it in.
The basic pattern was finally done and ready to be put on the backing. We bought the linen, and then everyone brought in wool and yarns to use for the hooking. It took a couple of trips to the car to get it all home.

The next day Kathy, who has an excellent eye for color, came to my house, and we divided the materials up into piles for each of the elements of the project. We divided the materials for the trunk into three piles: light, bright, and dark. Then we hit the dye pots. We dyed, overdyed, married, spot dyed—you name it. It took us about 10 hours, and we ended up with some luscious colors! 


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My friends series on my way to get the kids out there!


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