Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gros Point


Everyday little surprises pop up in my in box.  Products and services that folks are trying very hard to sell and promote.  Sometimes they are quite good and I pass them along.  Yesterday I received a notice that the newest issue of St. Louis Seasons, a regional magazine, was available on line.  "Oh!  I like St. Louis!  I'll check it out."  
  
Aren't there times when things just come to you and all of a sudden you realize why?  One of the features of this month's issue was on a Ladue resident who makes me look like sloppy seconds when it comes to needlepoint.  She stitches rugs.  Really.  Big rugs and a lot of them.


"When we moved into the house 54 years ago, I couldn't afford an Aubusson rug, so I decided to make my own."  That first rug was actually designed and made by someone else, but then the owner began to design and stitch rugs herself.  Fourteen so far.  Some she has made for her own home, but she comes from a long line of women who have acquired things with generations in mind and she has stitched for her children as well.
 

The top three images are her dining room and the rug pattern was based on her wedding china.  In addition, each chair cushion is stitched with the initials of a family member.  The entry rug is based on a French garden design and the runner, above, features the blooms from her garden as they appear through the seasons.


The first rug took her seven years to make.  Her partner in craft is First and Last Stitch a nationally known (for people who know these things) needlepoint shop.


The rug above and below is her daughter's dining room and, again, the pattern is based on wedding china.


She says she is never bored and finds stitching soothing and I must say that is part of the appeal for me as well.


This is the daughter's living room and the pattern was based on Chinese Export pottery that has been in the family for several generations.



When asked how she's cares for her rugs the daughter replied, "You hope someone spills something and then you don't worry about it anymore."

"Everyone should enjoy their things."  That came from mother to daughter as well, I bet.  To read the text and enjoy the rest of the magazine, click here.

All images courtesy of St. Louis Seasons.  No, really, this time I asked.

25 comments:

David said...

The design, the artistry, the sheer patience...they're amazing pieces on a number of levels. The daughter is probably right when she says her mother doesn't realize how talented she is.

Linda/"Mom" said...

* All I can say is: JAWDROPPING MAGNIFICENT (!!!), and I also have a question, please: How does ANYONE... and I mean ANY, ONE PERSON on this EARTH... MANAGE to have/find the PATIENCE (let alone the OTHER virtues!) to tackle (and so breathtakingly "WIN"!) such, for want of a better word, "projects"??? I just can't even FATHOM it all!!!~~~~~~ And thennnnnn, to also make them for her daughter?!?! She is DEFINITELY MY IDOL!!!~~~~~~ Thank you sooooo much~ this is so INSPIRING!!! (And maybe, just MAYBE, I really CAN sew that button back on to my DH's shirt instead of having the dry cleaners do it!!!)~~~~~ Best & warmest, Linda in AZ *

Penelope Bianchi said...

completely and utterly lovely!

back to our core values!

why is this font so small?

does it know I have never had a savings account?

Penny

ps I don't know how to change it....but my email is penelopebi@me com

Karena said...

The runner is gorgeous! Susch talent and a labor of love.

Debra said...

What I wouldn't give..... to have one of those magic carpets!

Kathy said...

I've been known to tackle a needlepoint pillow or three, but those rugs. . . wow. I think the runner is my favorite.

ArchitectDesign said...

I have to agree with the last part of the article. Everyone should enjoy their things! When it comes down to it, everything is just a 'thing' and replaceable! Take out the good rugs, china and silver!

pve design said...

Feeling like a "slacker" - wow! I am off to stitch!

AlwaysMe said...

Love Linda's comment!

I was wondering how she was able to transport the needlepoint to work on it and the article that you linked explained that - thanks!

Very, very impressive. I hope that if her children don't appreciate it they donate it to a museum so many can appreciate the fine work she has done.

erika said...

It's almost unbelievable that someone made these... they are stunning. Can you imagine the time involved? And the carpal tunnel? I am blown away!
Gorgeous!!!

linda said...

I am swooning!

Tracy said...

Holy cow.
Really impressive and so beautiful. Love the blue one and that they're all based on family china patterns. What a gift she has given to her family... and I don't mean the rugs.

Dickie said...

There are no words...

Renovation Therapy said...

OMG! I am speechless.

thevinylvillage said...

I am in awe of all of them! I can't even fathom the number of hours of work that go into those. Their homes are just gorgeous.

Cass @ That Old House said...

I too am speechless. These rugs are beyond beautiful, they reach all the way to sublime.

Amazing talent and patience. I wonder if she would adopt a very nice 56-year old New Jersey woman as her daughter too?

I taught needlepoint years ago in NYC -- but never have I seen anything like this. Words fail me. And that's rare!
Cass

Homer's Odd Isn't He. said...

A GREAT post and what an amazing talent. I'm lucky enough to have a Mom who has needlepointed all her life too and have some swell belts that are treasures to me..I just keep asking for homemade slippers..Maybe if I'm a good boy this year. I remember her deciding to do the dining room chairs and realizing the amount of work involved she did them in a bargello stitch. They still turned out amazing and looked great forever..Love ya Mom. Cheers, Homer.

Mrs. Blandings said...

I agree, truly amazing. And I must say, in response to the "how?!" this is obviously a woman who enjoys the journey and is not just focused on the destination. Also a lesson in itself. I'm so happy that her family gets it and appreciates it. Who knew someone could get as sappy as I over a rug?

GrannySmithGreen said...

Devotion and talent! Impressive. I'd like to see her putting one of these together. I'm off to read the link now. Thanks.

Renee Finberg said...

the area rugs are so very great !!
they make for a happy place !

xx

Justin said...

Mrs. Blandings,
Thank you for posting this feature. We really enjoyed reading these comments and will pass them along to the homeowner and her family. It's such a great story– Thanks. Justin Nangle, Saint Louis Seasons Magazine.

Sanity Fair said...

The blue and white rug is EXQUISITE. Breathless. I want it so much!

soodie :: said...

I sent this post to an old college friend of mine. She has been working on a rug since the 90s! She is great at it and your post will give her inspiration. Needle pointing is a dying art. And these rugs are beyond incredible.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

What a gorgeous blog. These rugs are amazing. I simply wouldn't have the patience.

I'm following the lemonade stand award round the net after I passed it along and your site came up. Glad I visited. Will certainly return.

Rebecca
http://rebeccawoodhead.blogspot.com

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Yes -true needlepoint is a dying art. In the 70's it had elegance in use, color, pattern, etc. and was relaxing to do. These rugs are awesome - and HUGE. Mine in my Creative Needle line (from antique Oriental porcelains) were more "throw rugs" and not room sized. They took no longer to stitch than some of this stuff people now do on Congress Cloth - and one has something really worthwhile to show for the time. Mary Martin stitched a whole staircase runner - shown in her book of the early 70's. I have Maggie Lane's gorgeous books - and am looking now at "Rugs and Wall Hangings" which I found again on e-bay, as I had lost my original copy. Well worth looking at.