Four friends joined together for a beginner class in traditional rug hooking during the spring months of 1995. We embraced the craft with unbridled enthusiasm! Norma Batastini was one of the four and she moved forward, attending as many classes and worshops as time would permit. She became a McGown certified instructor and served as the Director of Northern Teacher's Workshop for seven years.
Norma directed Heart in Hand open hooking sessions in NJ for many local hookers. She wanted to share the joy of hooking with as many folks as possible, and these sessions were filled with many local friends each working on their individual projects - with cookies and consultations from all!
Norma was an active member of the Alice Beatty Chapter of ATHA, serving as President for many years. She brought new program ideas and wonderful teachers to our guild. She was inspired by the heritage of Alice Beatty teachings, as were many of us, and we explored recycled wools and primitive rug styles.
Norma began designeing patterns and teaching early in her rug hooking career. Her favorite class choice was to teach "topical" classes. She developed patterns specific to native inspired Molas, Magdalena Briner primitives, Rufus Porter landscapes, individualized "story" rugs, geometrics, and most recently, table runners. She loved doing research about her chosen topics so she could fill class time with knowledgeable lectures in addition to color planning and fixing knotty rug problems.
For over 18 years, Norma and I directed Rugs by the Sea camp in Cape May, NJ. September at the NJ shore is a fabulous place to be, and her classes filled quickly. We were fortunate to have a wide variety of loyal teachers through the years, each bringing their unique skills to our school. Students and teachers alike will share fond memories of Norma, searching for beach glass, and finding the perfect piece of wool in the Shop.
My best firend, Norma, fiercely battled cancer for over two years. Her positive attitude never deserted her and we were planning many future adventures. Her illness overwhelmed her very quickly and she died August 14, 2020. She will be missed by all who knew her, especially me. As you read these words, think back to your favorite memory of Norma and share a tear with me. I am thankful Norma played such an important part in my life and in yours as well.
With great affection,