Like many of you, mask making has become a significant part of my daily tasks. When I finished yesterday’s allotment, I realized a low grade fury had been building as I worked over my sewing machine. I grabbed discolored and worn antique flannel and a scrap of quilting cotton from the late 1800s and made my Vote mask. Born of scraps and anger.
Stay safe. Be well.
Nothing may signal the height of summer more than a robust tomato harvest. Rich ruby reds, sunset golds, and greens that yellow around their shoulders while their bottoms blush pink as they ripen— so many varieties are in the garden this year, I couldn’t tell you them all. I’m a big fan of the variety pack, and love the surprise begotten by both a lack of knowledge and no memory of what I ordered way back in February. Each of the fifty tomato plants, plus the volunteers we let grow, is a surprise package. I never know what we’ll get. One thing for sure, though, is that we have bounty! My day falls into a a comfortable rhythm: tomatoes are quartered and slow roasted for hours while I hook or scribble out ideas for new designs. Packaged, frozen, and start again. We gather ponderous bulb trays full of these juicy beauties from the garden, and they even travel with us when we escape to camp for a few days of respite from everything but our tomato chores. In the roasting, the tomatoes’ flavors mingle, intensify, nearly caramelize. While we can enjoy the fresh flavorful fruits of summer right off the vine now, come fall then winter, these roasting days of tomato summer will sustain us.
A few years ago I did an image search for “primitive hit or miss rug hooking motifs”. A simple spiral that came up 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 from the inspiration of Primitive Spirit Rugs. It’s a beautiful little shape that I became addicted to hooking for a time. 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.
Coastal style is my rug hooking inspiration. I’m busy hooking seaside textiles for your home and cottage. Coastal style pillows, rugs, and more.
I don’t live far from the coast and its majestic views and working waterfronts. What I take in on my daily jaunts to the seaside percolates in my mind’s eye until the perfect new rug hooking design comes into focus. From there, it’s just a matter of time before the right material, the right color, and the pattern itself come together into my textile version of the coastal scene.
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.