Kincardine rughooker provides artwork for 2015 Pan Am Games
in Toronto

By Liz Dadson

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Margaret Humphrey is an artist and is proud to have her artwork become part of the Pan American (Pan Am) Games in Toronto in 2015.

The Kincardine rughooker is part of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild and when she received the group's spring newsletter, she saw an article about the Pan Am project.

There are 41 countries registered for the games and the guild wanted its members to do 41 rughookings to be used for advertising throughout 2014, and then presented to each of the countries at the games.

Humphrey contacted the guild president and said she would be glad to do up one of the pieces. After seeing the various designs, she selected one by her colleague, Jayne Nevins.

"It is a beautiful design and when the athletes receive it, they will know they've been in Toronto," says Humphrey. "It features the CN Tower, a maple leaf and a running shoe, complete with a shoelace which gives it a 3D effect."

Margaret Humphrey displays the designs she used to complete the rughooking

Humphrey drew the pattern on "red dot" material which she used to transfer it to pure linen in order to complete the rughooking.

She then contacted Nevins to ask how to complete the periphery of the design. Nevins said it was to depict the Canadian flag, with red bars on each side of the design.

It took Humphrey three weeks to complete the piece. She used regular stitching for the maple leaf, the shoe and the CN Tower, and then used reverse stitching for the background.

She had to purchase pure white wool for the proper shade, and then dyed two values of purple for the lettering, as well as gold for the running shoe, and black for the shadowing. "That completes the colour-wheel and tells the viewer that the piece is finished," says Humphrey.

To complete the artwork, she did a whip stitch around the edge, and sewed gussets on the sides to insert pieces of flat wood to keep the piece flat.

She plans to present the rughooking to Marjorie Duiser, past-president of the Ontario guild, at the "Hooking in the Park" event Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Victoria Park, Kincardine.

"It feels great to have my work going to the Pan Am Games," says Humphrey. "I feels as if I'm part of the event! I might be 84 years old, but there's no slowing me down!"

An accomplished rughooker and instructor, Humphrey learned the art in 1967 and has been a qualified teacher in Canada since 1970, and in the United States since 1975.


Margaret Humphrey holds up her rughooking artwork which will be part of the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015

The rughooking made by Margaret Humphrey of Kincardine

A charter member of the Victoria Park Gallery in downtown Kincardine, she has several pieces on display there. She also makes Izzy Dolls which she gives to Katrena Johnston of Kincardine who forwards them to "Doctors Without Borders" to give to children in third-world countries.

In addition, Humphrey makes pneumonia vests for hospitals in Africa, and sun dresses for little girls in Haiti and Africa. And, in her spare time, she makes smock bonnets.

She also enjoys spending time with her family, including her three children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandsons.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013