A few years ago I did an image search for “primitive hit or miss rug hooking motifs”. The simple spiral intrigued me and I immediately started experimenting with it. It was only some time later that I learned, to my embarrassment, that this was not a traditional motif but one born of the creativity of Primitive Spirit Rugs. Lesson learned—always click through the images! That being said, I just kept playing with the motif in my head over and over when I found my self staring at the nautili we’ve had propped on a shelf for a very long time. I started seeing things in multiples. Everything just grew from there.
My recent design rabbit hole started with a desire to create a historic looking mural for our home. Somewhere in my search for folk art painting techniques I stumbled upon one Mr. Rufus Porter and the rug hooker in me took over. His motifs struck a chord. While I’ve yet to paint anything, I’ve been enjoying designing rugs inspired by his work. This little footstool is the first of many to come.
I swore I’d never dye. I have so many stashes and work stations and the rest, I just didn’t feel like taking on one more endeavor. But a dearth of sunny yellows and primitive reds for some of my post popular designs, in addition to a pile of unsuitably colored specimens culled from my cashmere box lots, pushed me over the edge. The days are barely warm enough to venture outside for more than a bit at a time, so I hunker in the workshop and hobble together tools and supplies. I barely follow the directions, but am feeling successful with my first efforts nonetheless.
I had a wonky little scrap of antique linen, so I made a peculiar little nautical needle book.
Stitching has become calming and meditative for me. I seem to be turning to it more and more.
I worry that over time my stitching will become too practices and regular, when what I love is the Wabi Sabi, Come as it May process.
It was an unusual early February day yesterday. The temperature hit the 50s. It was sunny and beautiful. So much so that I left the oversized slider in my studio open so I could enjoy the balmy air. My dogs clustered on the threshold as one side or the other of it would show too much commitment on their part. I worked at my hooking bench– I hook standing up– barefoot with a mug of hot vanilla milk tucked nearby. And I finally figured how to handle the border of a loosely geometric design.
It’s a new year, and I’m trying new things. Boro style textiles have captured my imagination, and sashiko stitching can easily be embraced by those of us who are daunted by the skill and precision of traditional American dainty little quilting stitches. I’ve received such a positive reaction to my first piece and have gotten many questions, so I’m just going to lay out my process here. And remember, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just doing, and this was my first piece. I have graduated to my second, however, for whatever grandeur that might lend to my resume.