Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio

So many times I have heard people that rug hooking changed them. As they started rug hooking they began to see the world differently, started noticing beauty around them. Hooking rugs allowed them to express themselves, to use their time wisely and creatively, and opened up a whole new community of people to them.

Rug hooking is full of possibilities. It has changed my life, and been a powerful force in changing the lives of the people I have met through it over these twenty five years.

It has made me who I am. I started out as a therapist, thinking that was how I would spend my life helping people, but rug hooking found me and helped me find myself.  I have learned that craft and handmade can totally change the way you view the world and how you feel about it. I believe that I have helped as many people by teaching them how to hook rugs and embrace their own creativity as I would have as a therapist.

My style of rug hooking, with it's meditative qualities, and it's freedom from rules adds beauty to our world and is therapeutic on it's own. It is joyful, powerful and transformative. My style of rug hooking is not about being perfect, it is about creating beauty everyday.

Today people come from all over North America for my workshops in my studio. My rugs are in major private and public collections, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization and The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. I have written six books about rug hooking. 

Community Work
At the studio we produce a calendar to raise money for community mental health, and consider giving back to the community an important part of our work. We also raise funds for the local transition house through our cutter rental.


How I started, who I am and what I believe......

I am a woman who lives on seven acres in an old farm house with wooden clapboard that is lifting in the wind. I walk a few miles each day, most days, because it clears my head, and stretches out stiff limbs that have hunched over a rug frame. I am alot of things in no particular order, a mother, sister, wife, artist, writer, teacher, reader, thinker, talker, friend, fool, dreamer, buddy. I am good at all of these. I am also terrible at all of these because sometimes I am being one of them when really I want to be one of the others. In my work the thing that matters most is making great rugs. I hook nearly everyday. I cannot stop myself. I like the feel of wool slipping through my fingers. 

I want to write more books. I want them to be both worthwhile and beautiful because writing is another thing I found that I liked to do. I dream that a small stack of books that I wrote myself will lay on my office shelf. I love land, especially fields. I find that a bunch of scrub and brush is a beautiful thing. It changes all day long with the light. I love the smell of fresh air on a person. It makes me want to hold them. I want to hang onto as simple a life as I possibly can. I do not find that easy because there are so many charms, that are like a ruby to a crow, but it is my goal to live simply, and make hooked rugs that are unmistakably art.

I say my prayers everyday, and believe that faith is an essential part of my work and my life. I feel blessed to be able make a living as an artist.

I have a rug hooking studio in downtown Amherst, Nova Scotia where I show my one of a kind hooked rugs, create rug hooking kits, patterns, host workshops, and sell supplies. It is there in that warm colourful space that I write my books on rug hooking, and create designs for kits and patterns. It is a big creative space with a dye kitchen in the back where we transform old clothes and fancy wools into hooked rugs. We hand draw the rug patterns, and create the kits right there.

We have a big sign on the highway outside of Amherst.....

I love to spend time there, touching the wool, making tea, and playing in that lovely space. It is a dream come true for me. I have written four books about rug hooking. We welcome visitors to the studio. If you drop in we'll teach how to hook rugs right on the spot, and send you off with a new passion for creating hooked rugs. If you cannot drop by, please peruse the site watch our videos so you can learn how to hook rugs.


I grew up in Freshwater, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, the youngest of seven children. My mother and both of my grandmothers hooked rugs as a past time, and as a chore of necessity. By the time I was born both my grandmothers had died and my mother had long since abandoned rug hooking as a chore of poverty. In Newfoundland in the late sixties, and early seventies very few people were hooking, though there was still a scattered mat hanging about peoples back doors. For the most part it was out with the old and in with the new. I can still see a Rita Murphy, my friends mother, sitting in her back room, hooking away on her mats. Her floors were a carpet of many multicoloured hooked rugs. At the time to me it seemed an old fashioned thing. Little did I know that I would spend years doing exactly the same thing.

I learned to hook rugs because I wanted rugs for an old farmhouse where I had settled. It began as a purely practical craft for me, and later turned into an art. Though I did not know how to hook, it was something I had always been familiar with. As a teenager, I began seeing rugs for what they were. I marvelled that a woman's' hand had pulled up every loop in a rug that lay on the floor of my sisters' farmhouse. In my mid twenties, I went to an annual meeting of The Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia, and Marion Kennedy taught me the basics. How to cut your wool, and how to pull up a loop, then she told me to get to it.

As soon as I started hooking rugs I knew it was for me. It was a simple technique, and I could see my progress. I finished my first little stamped pattern with in a week and so it began. For me, Marion was the right teacher. She gave me the supplies, showed me the basic stitch, and said, "Now do it, finish the rug." Her simple style of teaching made a huge difference in my learning. She did not try to direct me but let me learn as I hooked. I learned that I could tell stories, and express myself through rug hooking. This is what really got me involved with it. Each time I make a rug I create a new design. In many of my pieces I tell stories or express ideas about the world. I work full time as a rug hooking artist. Each piece I create is different from the last. I use recycled cloth, gather old wool clothing from real people in real communities. The clothes are washed, dried and torn apart. It is then hooked loop by loop on a a backing of burlap or linen.

Artistic History

Recent History


  • Collection of  22 Rugs, The Very Mention of Home acquired by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • Keynote Speaker at ATHA  Biennial in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Published Book with Rug Hooking Magazine, Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick
  • Group Show , Canadian Textile Museum, Toronto, 2016
  • Chosen as Canadian Rug Hooker of the Year 2016
  • Published Fourth Book with Nimbus Simply Modern
  • Received 2015 Gold Medal at Independent Publisher Book Awards for Simply Modern
  • Cover Article Rug Hooking Magazine June/July 2011
  • Article in Quilt Country about my work, a magazine from France
  • Nova Scotia Export Acheivement Award 2011
  • Website reached 1 million page views
  • Work appeared in Uppercase Magazine
  • Illustrated a  Children's book with Sheree Fitch  in Fall of 2013
  • Nominated for Lillian Sheppard Illustration Award, Spring 2014
  • Hosted Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mabley in Amherst for lecture and Workshop Series, Summer 2014
  • 2005 to 2011
    • Solo Exhibit, The Woman In the Mat, at The Mary Black Gallery, Nova Scotia Centre For Craft and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia
    • Keynote Address, for 450 members of the American Association of Traditional Rug Hookers
    • Second book published, The Secrets of Planning and Design published by Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania
    • Chosen for CBC Artspots
    • Opening Address of The Newfoundland and Labrador Rug Hooking Guild Show at The Rooms Provincial Museum and Art Gallery.
    • Third Book Published, East Coast Rug Hooking Designs by Nimbus
    • Third Book Nominated for Best Published Book in Atlantic Canada, and an Ippy Award, 2007
    • Guest Speaker, at the Mary Black Gallery, during the 2007 Atlantic Book Awards
    • Group Exhibit, Hooked Rugs ,curated by Denis Longchamps at Musee des maitres et artisans du Quebec, Montreal
    • Solo Exhibit, The Art of Visiting at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. Johns, Nfld(2009),touring currently
    • Produced Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick DVD
    • Produced Audio Book, Deanne Fitzpatrick:Art, Life and Creativity
    • Fourth book published by Nimbus,2010 Inspired Rug Hooking


    • 1990 - Began hooking rugs
    • 1992 - Work is represented by private galleries
    • 1993 - Work is represented at The Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival, a juried show of authentic Nova Scotia Folk Artists.
    • 1994
      • Work is purchased by The Nova Scotia Art Bank for their permanent collection.
      • "Village" a large rug was purchased by The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia for their permanent collection.
      • Six rugs included at the Spring Folk Art Show at The Susan Whitney Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan.
      • Work is chosen for The Marion McCain Atlantic Canadian Art Exhibit, which opened at The Beaverbrook Gallery and toured internationally.
      • First Solo exhibit, From Freshwater, held at the Cumberland County Museum Amherst, Nova Scotia.
      • Red Island , a large rug was purchased by The Canadian Museum of Civilization for their permanent collection.
    • 1995
      • Work is exhibited at The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as part of the Permanent Collection.
      • Awarded B grant for professional artists from the Canada Council.
      • participated in Art en Direct, Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, New Brunswick .
    • 1996/97
      • Solo Exhibit at The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, One for Sorrow, Two for Joy, which toured seven galleries throughout Atlantic Canada.
      • Work purchased by The Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador.
      • Work purchased by The Nova Scotia Art Bank.
    • 1998
      • Work is exhibited at The Canadian Museum of Civilization show Hooked on Rugs, and selected as artist to speak at opening reception.
      • Work appears in Piecework, and Rug Hooking Magazine, two American fibre arts publications.
      • Work accepted for Visual Arts Nova Scotia Show, Far and Wide, which toured provincially.
      • Appeared on CBC National Radio show, Morningside.
    • 1999 - Hook Me a Story, a History and Method of Rug Hooking in Atlantic Canada is published. It is now in it's fourth printing.
    • 2000
      • Solo exhibit at Justina M. Barnickie Gallery at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
      • Appeared on CBC National Radio show, This Morning, with Shelagh Rogers.
      • Appointed as member of the Editorial board of Rug Hooking Magazine.
    • 2001
      • Solo exhibit, The Common Soul, at Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville Nova Scotia.
      • Film on work created by Eastlink Cable Television for Nova Scotia Provincial Television.
    • 2002 - Selected for Playing Card Rugs, a show curated by Linda Rae Coughlin.
    • 2003 - Work featured in A Passion for the Creative Life,Textiles to Lift the Spirit by Mary Sheppard Burton.
    • 2004 - Work featured as a CBC Television Program, Story with a Hook, on Land And Sea. This airs nationally April 18, 2004. Feildworks, June 2004, a exhibit with Barbara Hill Taylor at The Lunenburg Art Gallery.

Notices Reviews and Articles

  • The Halifax Herald
  • The Globe and Mail
  • The Toronto Star
  • Uppercase Magazine
  • The Evening Telegram
  • East Coast Living
  • France Quilters Magazine
  • Century Home Magazine
  • Select Homes
  • The Halifax Daily News
  • The Austrailian Textile Forum
  • Canadian House And Home
  • Weaving New Rhythms, 2001
  • Piecework Magazine
  • Rug Hooking Magazine
  • New Brunswick Reader
  • A Passion for The Creative Life, by Mary Sheppard Burton
  • Studio Rally by Robin Metcalfe
  • Timber Living
  • Chatelaine Magazine
  • Saltscapes Magazine
  • Textiles Now by Drusilla Cole


  • CBC National Radio,This Morning and Morningside
  • CBC Radio Atlantic
  • Harrowsmith Country Life Television
  • East Link Provincial Television
  • CBC Television's Land and Sea
  • CTV News and Canada AM

Permanent Collections

  • The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • The Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • The Nova Scotia Art Bank
  • The Art Gallery of Nfld. and Labrador