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“Hook & Stitch an English Cottage” 


HookingProddyHeather Ritchie

Reeth, England 

Dates: 1 day – Saturday, August 21, 2021 
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Class Fee: $150.00 / Sauder Village Member $140.00  
Supply Fee: See below
Location: Heritage Inn – Heritage Rm
Teacher’s Website:

Ritchie-W1Description: In this workshop, Heather will show you how she designs and works with several textile methods and a variety of materials. The project will be a small mat featuring a charming English Cottage. And what English Cottage would be complete without a garden, so she will show you how to add some lovely proddy flowers too.

Students will make a small mat which incorporates many of the techniques Heather is teaching in her 4 day Retreat, including: hooking, applique, stitching, and proddy. She will show you how to select and use materials, in addition to wool, such as scraps from your scrap bag, like cottons, silks, woolen fabrics, sewing and embroidery threads along with embellishments. This is a great way to use up supplies from your own projects, borrow supplies from friends who are textile artists, and recycle too! The end result is dimensional, creative and unique!

Heather’s philosophy… No rules! But the more the merrier, when it comes to creating texture and dimension. 

Proddy is a favorite technique of Heather’s, combined with hooking, it adds wonderful dimension. Over the last few years, Heather has been adding appliqué to her designs, and then hooking around it to create delightful pictures or pillows. 

Ritchie-W2Since Heather can’t bring lots of fabrics all the way from England, students will be given suggestions of what supplies to bring and then everyone can share in class. Students may also source supplies from our extensive and diverse Vendors and the Sauder Village Quilt Shop too.

All cut sizes can be used for this project. You will be able to select from one of Heather’s cottage designs or your own. In class, students will transfer designs on backing and customize their cottage from a selection of proddy flowers. You will feel like you have been transported to beautiful England while working on this charming mat and listening to Heather’s delightful English stories!

Ritchie-W3Teacher will contact students prior to class:  Yes

Level: Basic – students must have basic rug hooking and hand-sewing knowledge & experience. No prior proddy experience required. 

Supply description: Since Heather can’t bring lots of supplies all the way from England, students will be given suggestions of what supplies to bring and then everyone can share in class. Students may also source supplies from our extensive and diverse Vendors and the Sauder Village Quilt Shop too.

Students Need to Bring: Basic hooking supplies: a frame, scissors, hook, cutter, & blades. When Heather contacts students, she will give them recommendations for proddy tools, as well as a list of fabric, thread and embellishments options, bring what you have or can find and we’ll share them in class.

Ritchie-W4BIO: Heather Ritchie lives in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in England. She has been hooking since 1971, when a local farmer’s wife showed her how to make rugs to warm up her old stone cottage. Her first rugs were made from lisle stockings on old sacks. Many years later she was introduced to fine hooking and wool dyeing. From then on, she was thrilled to be able to replicate the beautiful country scenes of her beloved Dales. 

In 1997, Heather was a student at the Green Mountain Rug School in Vermont. She found she was spending all of her free time demonstrating proddy techniques. At that time, few American rug makers knew about this technique. Heather uses proddy to introduce mixed textures into her work. Many friends were made in Vermont, and soon after, Ann Ashworth rang her from America. Ann invited Heather back to Vermont to teach a class the following year. Heather was so excited - it was like winning the lottery! That was the start of Heather’s many years of traveling to teach in many US states, Canadian provinces and Australia too, including Sauder Village in 2009. She reckons the students like to listen to her soft northern England dialect. Heather also has a video and book called Rug Hooked Story Telling

Ritchie-W5In 2004, Heather read about the plight of blind people in the African country of Gambia. The blind were having such a dreadful time, with poverty and begging as a big part of their lives. As a former social worker and occupational therapist, Heather felt compelled to travel to Africa to see if she could help them. So, with her daughter Chrissie (who is a rehabilitation officer for the blind) they set off to Gambia to see if they could teach them rug hooking. Hooking enabled the blind to provide for their families by selling their rugs. Rug Aid (a not-for-profit organization) was started. Heather’s goal was to make a difference to some of the poorest communities in Africa by providing people with the opportunity to bring about change in their lives “from the bottom up”. Every year since, Heather and Chrissie travel to work with the blind students. A workshop was established, where students could meet, work, and sell to the public. Rug making is helping blind families pay for essentials, like food and school fees.


Registration starts at 10 am on November 18th, 2020
Follow this link for information on the registration form:
Workshops Registration