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Kris McDermet

original rugs and wall hangings combining hooking and braiding

Connections of the Hearts  

   
2014
7 ½ feet by 4 feet
Linen
Wool and Silk
Wool dyed by Norma Batastini, Nancy Jewett, and Kris
Designed, hooked, and braided by Kris McDermet

Connections of the Hearts started with an idea Beth McDermet, my sister in law, and I had about creating a Story Rug.  We had seen the rugs in progress of Debbie Walsh, Gail Ferdinando, and Amy Korengut and fell in love with the idea.  We hired Norma and convinced seven of our hooking friends to gather in Vermont to learn the history of Azeri’s and the art/craft of creating our own stories in wool.

I was convinced that I would only hook houses and “things” that were important to my husband Stewart and me but soon realized that a rug without the “Hearts” or people would be missing the most important element.  My rug had to have braid incorporated into the design and our pond, though often losing water here at home, could be the center of my rug, braided, and full of water!

I love Nancy Jewett’s vibrant colors, especially these blues, and Norma’s lovely 17 shades of pink/reds for the background.

The adventure started with Norma’s wonderful history of Azeri’s and the sharing of ideas and seeing the patterns with our seven friends.  It was fun over the winter of 2011 to plan, discuss, and worry with Beth over our designs, as we wanted to be totally ready when Norma arrived.  Suddenly I had to add people and the rug just grew, as did my concern over trying to hook faces, a skill I admired in others but had avoided.  You can see that in the end I didn’t hook any faces except the eyes of my brother Sean and the eyes of our wonderful pets.  Norma taught that the designs may only create the essence or a hint of reality-that was for me.

My favorite parts are my sister, brothers and their families, our houses that Stewart has lovingly restored, my close friends, and the scene with Beth and I sharing our love of all things having to do with hooking, including our drinking coffee, and eating Dove candy.

Honoring our parents was important but the rug mainly concentrates on our generation forward but represents our important beginnings.

Though my rug may look finished, it is not!  Now I will begin the hooked borders with more “Connections”.  They will be 6 inches wide with a braided granny square in the four corners.  The hooking will represent all the “things” I love to do, make, cook, holidays, our community of Brattleboro, Vermont, neighbors, our Hospice and Humane Society organizations, my art groups…..and the list goes on.  What fun it is to think of the next stage.  There will be 3 rows of braid to finish it off.

I wondered about how to portray the more difficult parts of my life as those events also have shaped me and they are there too-just invisible to the eye but very much part of Connections of the Hearts.  My rug makes me laugh, makes me remember, and makes me realize again what a full and fortunate life I have had and am having and Rug Hooking and Rug Braiding are a part of it!

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kris life

This is our house in Vermont-it was built in 1794, made of brick and unusual due to its location in the woods. We moved here because it was old and needed restoring by Stewart-little did we realize in 1986 that Brattleboro was such a wonderful community. Stewart’s eye for transforming old discarded “junk” has provided us with many antique treasures. Thank you house for bringing us to Vermont!

connections of the heart

This is my friend Vicki Simpson-her Mom, Janet Earl, introduced me to hooking- though I never thought of doing it during college, I liked the look. Vicki and I went to college together and both have had wonderful careers as Occupational Therapists. She is from Bath, Maine and holding her family’s small sail boat-The Tuna. Vicki is wearing her Boston Symphony outfit-she has taken me there every winter for many years. The initials are for her husband Hank and grown children Julia and John. The hook is for our love of rug hooking and for her Mom.

connections of the heart

 

My family in wool and my first attempt at a faceless face except for my brother Sean and his kids Wyatt and Celeste Belle. His wife, Delphine is wearing the outfit she wore when Sean introduced her to our not very fashionable family. Delphine is French but she is very much a regular jeans wearing woman too! My sister’s daughter Rosemary, pictured in her wedding dress with her husband Tony. They had their first baby last Feb. and I will add Billy to one of the new borders. All of my siblings and families are surrounded with things that remind me of them. Their names are Lynn, Rosemary, Tony, Tim, Robin, Michael, Dana, Paul, Windham, Hugo, Alex, Sean, Celeste Belle, Wyatt, Delphine.

connections of the heart

This is Beth and me wearing the wool we dyed in Karen Schellinger’s dye class at the Green Mountain Rug School. Karen had all her students “dress” up with our dyed wool for the Show and Tell. I’m on the left, Beth on the right-the wool used in her dyed clothes are from the pieces of wool she dyed during class-my wool is long gone! In our beginning days of hooking together, we loved to stack the wool and just feel the softness-Stewart and his brother Staley, Beth’s husband, loved laughing with us at our silliness. Hooked here are 2 stacks of wool with a hand on top of each. The designs above our hands represent designs in a rug we were each working on at the same time. And finally what would Hooking Mondays be without coffee and red wrapped dark Dove chocolate for Beth and blue wrapped milk Dove chocolate for me.

connections of the heart

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"rugs that combine unique shapes with hooking and braiding"