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Michele Wise Retreat
The Queen of Rug Hooking



Michele Wise
Seabeck, Washington

“The Queen of Rug Hooking”

4 Day Retreat: 

Tuesday – Friday, August 12 – 14, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
$350.00 / Sauder Village Members $330.00
Heritage Inn – Gathering Rm - B


Wise-Michelle-purple-woman-OneThird-2020In this retreat, you will be making a 24" - 3-D sculpted "Queen" with a hidden compartment for your hooking necessities like scissors, hooks and chocolate. Each student will select their own color palette to make the Queen distinctly their own. The pattern is on Monks cloth, which is softer to sew and has the ability to stretch as needed. You also have the option of the pattern on linen. With this project, you can use any cuts or styles. Michele used cuts #3-8 in her Queen.

Michele will show you how to paint a face with inks, and applique it to the background. If you prefer, she will show you how to hook the face using a small cut. Michele will show you how to use different fabrics to add to the pattern such as: sari ribbon, fleece, metallic yarns and ribbons, fur, beading, nylons, velvets and lace. You will learn how to use Sew Shrink Fabric to make the puffy additions to the hand dyed wool. Michele likes to use a variety of techniques to make textures, including special stitches. She will instruct and demonstrate using a wide variety of embellishment techniques, and provide finished examples of each. She will also show you how to make your own laminated wool for the Queen’s crown.

Each day new materials and methods will be shown. There is some hand sewing involved in putting the queen together and adding the sculpted areas using a doll needle. The bustle is hooked separately and then attached to the body. This is done to hide the secret compartment (a Pringles chip container). Michele will also show you how to finish the bottom of the queen. 

Michele will have a variety of materials available but students are also welcome to bring any mix media objects to incorporate into the project, to make it your own. For example, she has made a wire hook for her Queen's crown, and a wooden hook for the scepter.  There are 2 patterns for students to select from: the Queen and the Queen of Hearts, techniques and methods vary slightly, but they are both 24” tall. Written instructions will be included to guide you from beginning to end of the project. At the end of the retreat, you will have learned many techniques to use on future projects, whether they be single or multi-dimensional.



Intermediate – students must have basic rug hooking and hand sewing knowledge and experience.

Basic hooking supplies: a frame, scissors, cutter, cutter blades #5-8, hook, neutral colored buttonhole thread, #22 chenille needle, and an empty 9.25” tall Pringles chip container. Optional: Bring any wool, fabrics, embellishments, or other media you may wish to use in this project. 

Twenty-two years ago Michele was learning to quilt and in her favorite quilt store she spotted a hooked pillow. The shop offered a traditional rug hooking class to make that pillow, so she signed up. As a result of that class, many of Michele’s quilted tops have been sitting unfinished and aging for 22 years.

Michele had a 30 year career as a high school teacher and is a life-long learner. In order to learn all there is to rug hooking she attends many workshops and became a McGown certified teacher. She feels that hooking is a great outlet for creativity and as a teacher she believes in sharing all she knows through demonstrations, visuals and examples. Michele likes to problem solve and her interests in rug hooking vary from small to large cuts and various styles. Her students develop their own style through encouragement, humor and fun. She believes that the whole process, from designing to hooking, should be enjoyable.  

Wise-Michelle-queen-front-2-OneThird-2020Michele has taught nationally and internationally as well as in her studio in Washington State. She believes in promoting rug hooking through her memberships in TIGHR, ATHA, McGown, and Australian Rug Guild. Michele likes to use different materials and teaches many classes on using embellishments. Other classes and interests are 3-D, upholstery, hooked books, portraits, purses, room sized rugs, primitives, pet portraits, landscapes, indigenous patterns, zentangles as well as non-objective art. She also teachers needle felting, wool applique and dyeing.

Michele is a former director of Western McGown Teachers Workshop, current co-director of Puget Sound Rug School, director of the Reiter Retreats, and former treasurer of ATHA Region 11. She has written many articles for Rug Hooking Magazine, Rug Beat, ATHA, Australian Guild, TIGHR, Wool Street Journal, and the McGown Guild newsletter. She has been a judge for Celebrations and the Virtual Re-imaged Tour. Her rugs have been featured in Celebrations and many published books. She has won awards at Hooked in the Mountains, local and state fairs, fiber events and two of her hooked books are on permanent display at Bainbridge Art Museum.