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Wildflower Rug

Curated Submission
Winnipeg, Manitoba
1940 - 1950
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
216 x 145
Materials & techniques
Wool, jute; Rug hooking
Marilyn MacTaggart
Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library 70.00
This rug, which pictures 12 Manitoban wildflowers, was made by the Crafts Guild of Manitoba’s rug hooking group between 1940 and 1950. The rug was designed by Sophie-May Osborne, and each wildflower square was hooked by a different member of the group under the direction of Marilyn MacTaggart. Group projects like this one were a regular occurrence in the guild; not only were they a way of fostering community and displaying talents, but also they offered an opportunity for learning. Some guild members were meticulous about recording these communal projects and many of the original notes and minutes from meetings relating to this rug survive. The groups would explore new techniques together and pass this knowledge on to other members through classes held regularly at the guild. The hooking group’s notes document their research into fabric and design sources, as well as record the dye formulas developed through extensive experimentation.
A list of the flowers represented and the woman responsible for hooking each has been preserved. Unfortunately, owing to the social conventions of the 1940s, many of the women are known only by their husband’s initials. Beginning from the upper left corner: columbine – Mrs. G. Newman; lily – Mrs. H. Goodman; iris – Mrs. K. Gibson; thistle – Mrs. M.D. Young; clover – Mrs. N.B. MacTaggart; anemone – Mrs. Ashton; orange lily – Miss Tagg; wild rose – Mrs. Crombie; lady slipper – Mrs. McBeth; goldenrod – Mrs. Ross; Indian paintbrush – Mrs. E. Dowton; marsh marigold – Mrs. W. F. Lowe; and black-eyed Susan – Mrs. Grant.
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