We are not doormats

The first public showing of Mesdames Myrtles and We are not doormats rug exhibition, some of which are History 51-inspired, is taking place in St Just this week! Please come and support this innovative and deeply creative way of recording women's lives. Here's Diane Cox:

Come and have a cosy time surrounded by fabric and cakes.

An exciting exhibition of contemporary rag rugs by the 'We are not doormats' and 'Mesdames Myrtles' hooking groups. All in aid of a women's refuge.


St Just, W.I.Hall


Friday 7 June to Sunday 9 June ,10.30am - 4pm.

What else?

Vintage tearoom with lots of homemade cakes, craft stall, and a rug raffle in aid of buying craft materials for the Women's refuge.

There will be a big frame set up for people to have a go.

Come and have a cosy time surrounded by fabric and cakes.

Rug biography, inspired by History 51 and Hypatia

Myrtles playday: Ancestors in rugs

The Myrtles are back with an update before their next playday and a sneak peek at some of their work. Here's Diane Cox: The Myrtles are having another Playday this week to work on our individual figures of Cornish women. Here is a pic of mine in progress....she will represent domestic tasks and also several of my husband's female ancestors,all ordinary working class women from the Newlyn area.

I am enjoying how much this project has stimulated my mind, and how I have discovered many little gems of information along the way, and met some wonderful people too!

Inspired by Newlyn ancestors (credit: Diane Cox)

Myrtles playday

More news from Mesdames Myrtles rug hookers, History 51 contributors.

Our 'playday' on Friday was really fruitful.

Talking, using different media, letting ideas flow freely, drinking tea and eating cake allowed us to finally make a decision on our communal project, which is great.

It will be fairly large hooked pieces, possibly with some embroidery, depicting Cornish women's occupations, starting with Alice De Lisle [Yes, yes, yes! Ed].

Our individual projects seemed to come together too...more about these at a later date, but one of them involves eggs, dressing up,and following in someone's footsteps...!

Mesdames Myrtles rug hooking group of Penzance discuss representing Cornish women's history (credit: Diane Cox)


Inspired by Cornish women's history (credit: Diane Cox)

Mesdames Myrtles, Penzance (rug) hookers

An example of Myrtles rughooking work (credit: Diane Cox)

Guest blog post by rug hooker, Diane Cox, History 51 Contributor

The Mesdames Myrtles hooking group has been together for many years in different hooking groups, but formed 2 years ago as a small group who wanted to stretch ourselves creatively and have unusual projects on the go! We spent an afternoon throwing names around and the Myrtles just seemed to fit! We are all in the Penzance area.

After the initial meeting at the Hypatia Trust we met to discuss how we would approach a visual response to acknowledging unsung Cornish women.We had a great afternoon chatting,but it became obvious that we all had differing ideas,and so the decisions made afterwards were...to visit Helston museum to get a feeling and a sense of ordinary women's lives,and that the whole subject was so enormous that the project wouldn't be as easy as we initially thought !

Yesterday we had our visit,and were so impressed by the museum..a real gem!

Over lunch we threw ideas about,and it seems right that we do one communal project,with the option of each of us,should we wish,responding with other more personal pieces.

We all agreed on 2 things...we wanted to emphasise the hard work and sometimes sheer drudgery of domestic work over the centuries,with the aim of showing how women have held everything together,and that we need to simplify our ideas for them to be effective in a textile work.

Work by Diane Cox

We realised that a written piece and a piece that is purely an image have to be approached totally differently!

So,we are having a creative day next week to play with ideas and hopefully end the day with the beginnings of our communal piece!

View a gallery of Diane's rug hooking work

[Thank you Diane and Mesdames Myrtles for your guest post, we can't wait to hear more about your progress! Ed]