Hookie, Proggie and Pojagi: making connections, developing ideas

A rag rugging (hookie) sample – made by me during the Braintree Textile Fair 2022

On Saturday, I was one of the EASTies attending Braintree’s Textile Fair and demonstrating rag rugging – a traditional technique that is perfect for up-cyclers. There are some more images on our EAST Instagram page HERE.

The very next day I attended Chelmsford in Stitches (a local stitch group) where our speaker was Mary McIntosh, who I also had the pleasure of chatting with at Braintree. The talk was about different approaches to design – and was very inspirational. But it also had a connection to our EAST rag rugging activity. Mary had produced some work inspired by her Northumberland granny who was a mat maker. Mary’s granny made hookie and proggie mats as a way of making a few extra pennies. What was particularly interesting was how Mary had taken this very traditional technique and developed it in a very contemporary way.

Work by Mary McIntosh – Out of the North East

Taking that simple idea of threading fabric through a hole either as a long strip (as in my example above) or from small pieces as used with clippy mats, Mary produced some fabulous quilted pieces with fabric threaded through buttonholes. It’s difficult to explain, but I think you might agree this technique, as well as her fabulous rusting and dyeing were a real treat to behold. Mary very kindly gave me permission to share images of her work on this EAST blog but to learn more about her work you may wish to visit her own website or blog.

Work by Mary McIntosh – Out of the North East
Work by Mary McIntosh- Out of the North East
Work by Mary McIntosh- the central blue piece is a further development inspired by Mary’s granny’s proggie mats

Then as a final treat I also wanted to add some images of Mary’s Pojagi’ work – it is a form of Korean piecing using run and fell or French seams. It was not something I had heard of before and there is an interesting blog about Pojagi (or Bojagi) HERE.

Pojagi work (detail) by Mary McIntosh
Work by Mary McIntosh- pojagi jacket detail

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