Variant Title has been added to your shopping cart.    View Cart   or   Checkout Now
Not Your Classic Hassock

Not Your Classic Hassock

In the quiet confines we find ourselves in at this strange time, I try to make sense of it all and work on projects that I just never seemed to get to.  It was an old oversized hassock/coffee table that was in dire need of a new covering.  With no fabric stores open, I went hunting in the next best place (or perhaps it was the best place, after all) my sewing room closet.  There, I found some old, used tapestry from a pillow that I must have felt was too nice to toss. Without thinking, I threw it in the washing machine ($50/yd Tapestry!) and waited to see what would come out.  It was perfect! The fabric was soft, the colors aged like an old Oriental rug. I did not have enough to cover the hassock in the traditional way, so I began my search to find a “creative way” to make this project happen.  I was able to cut 3 triangles, that pieced together so beautifully, you would have thought that it was the only way this could have been done.

Then, the next day, I was admiring my handiwork and noticed the similarities between the pattern of the tapestry and a tangle. First you draw the stripes, then every other one would be blue, the other would be a combination of purk and Sampson.  Easy peasy, right?   I ran and got a tan 3Z Tile and went to work reproducing the fabric.  I even did the string the same way, triangle in triangles.  

But when it was done, I noticed a dull, structured exactness to the composition.  It did not sing to me. Heck, it didn’t event speak to me!   So. . . I set off for my studio, away from the hassock.  Let’s try this again. I grabbed a Zendala, and went off in another direction. I wanted to create a tile that was inspired by the tapestry, but not copying the design.

It was definitely more fun to tangle, and I did not have to keep looking up to see the tapestry. I had the image in my mind, my heart. It did not look much like the hassock, but it had soul. Energetic lines dancing a tango, back and forth clasped hands before them, directing them across the parquet floor, changing directions in an elaborate, showy flourish!  Wow! When I was done, I felt as though I had run a marathon, albeit in a tight red dress, high heels . . . and a flower in my hair.

Maria Thomas


  • I have been using my old fabric as of late too, washing it layering it with a proper filter and making masks with intention. It was challenging making them without going to the store and no elastic. I now have plenty of both thanks to generous donations I have been able to make 350 washable masks and surgical caps and gowns for my daughter, her colleagues, funeral homes and treatment centers. I was missing tangling because I felt too busy, so I started tangling on some plain ones for myself and what a relief, I am back, getting ready to do some zoom classes. Thank you so much for your inspiration. Love to All, All for love

    Anita Jones CZT#30 on

  • wat mooi deze tegels en ik vind ze allebei te gek!

    Ineke Voortwist on

  • My husband thinks I’m nuts when I save bits of fabric like that but sometimes, as you said, they are just too nice to throw away! These are gorgeous – both the hassock and the tiles.

    Kelley Kelly on

  • Love this story and the result is beautiful!😍💗💗🙏

    Anita Aspfors Westin on

  • I love this. I still have in my closet 40-year-old that crossed the Atlantic three times! If you search though YouTube, you will find an ottoman crafted by a woman who took her husband’s old ties and made it in a round ottoman with fringe. It is stunning. Perhaps someone wants to work on that.

    Martha Boccalini on

  • I so enjoyed this Blog , both the hassock and the tiles. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Leslie Hancock on

  • Gorgeous hassock fabric and gorgeous tangling!

    Debbie 'onna' Smith on

  • I love what you have created! I love learning Zentangle from tutorials on

    Kathleen Lehnhard on

  • You are the “Eveready” tangler. Your batteries never wear down and now we add another gift to your repertoire, upholstering!! I am so blessed to be one of your students!


  • Maria, your creativity and inspiration always amazes me and it was a timely reminder as well. I have spent a lot of time, during this weird time of confinement, copying tangled pieces of other people. Only this morning, as I tangled, I just went with the flow & was more happier with the results. We see such beautiful artwork on the web that we aspire to and forget that we too are capable of such creativity if we allow. So for me its back to my own creative spirit that I had forgotten to use for some time.

    Lianne Woods on

  • Thank you for this wonderful blog post. I love the contrast between how you felt while doing the 3Z and trying to get it ‘right’ and your Zendala where you followed your heart!

    georgianna klein on

  • I’ve just taken a break from watching the horror that is happening in our country and found your post and images filled with hope for US. Your image of a beautiful fabric put together perfectly on the hassock reminds me of were we’ve been. Thinking that it would be beautiful to copy and keep it the same and then realizing it didn’t have the same comfortable and magical look (where we are). But then taking all the wonderful elements from the original, shaking them up and making them dance – homage to your tango reference – results in a more vibrant and special image (hopefully, where we will be someday). HOPE. Thank you once again, Maria. I am so grateful for knowing Zentangle Method – art and life lessons.

    Daria Kreher on

  • Did you draw the Orbs on the tapestry fabric of the hassock?

    CYnthia on

  • I too am getting to artistic projects that have been in limbo for years but still calling out to me. Fun to see the progression & fun you went through from the 3Z to the Zendala tile. Personally the calmness of the 3Z tile speaks more to me but I appreciate your dance. Thanks for sharing. You bring me joy.

    Rimona Gale on

  • Ok, I admit to sewing recently. I made myself a mask and I fixed a hole in my wife’s shorts. Neither is really fit to be worn outside the house. I hadn’t sewed anything since 6th grade (40 some years ago)!

    So my first WOW was your hassock cover. It’s gorgeous!
    And then your work with the tiles is beautiful too!

    Kim Kohler on

  • It’s always fantastic when you have a good idea and can create what is in your mind. You have done here a great job on the hassock and on the tiles. They look beautiful and as you wrote, they go wonderful together with your carpet! Thanks for sharing with us Maria!

    Ria Joris-Matheussen on

  • Somehow I think there is a kernel of another everlasting tidbit of Zentangle philosophy in this blog. You know what I’m talking about – No mistakes. One stroke at a time. Adding life to second chances. Or something like that. I certainly know that has been my experience along the path of The Zentangle Method.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Linda Dochter on

  • Oh how fun and beautiful this is!! ❤️😍 Love the tiles!!

    Vandana Krishna on

  • I love the creative process you described. I love the sustainability of reusing the old pillow tapestry. Your hassock sings as do the tiles!

    MKay B B Watson CZT17 on

  • Wowsers! Great inspiration-thanks for sharing Maria.

    Kathy Y on

  • Oh what fun. Thanks for so many inspiring posts and videos for all of us during these trying times. Love the Zentangle family and what everyone does. Keeps making me smile!

    Sue Leslie on

  • Just stunning!!! The tile AND the hassock! ❤️

    Carol McKenzie on

  • Your tile is stunning, to use the word of others. Love your creativity and inspiration! many blessings to all!

    Cleo Thompson on

  • This a stunning piece Maria! What I love about this is something I tell my students all the time. We are not copy-machines. When I try to copy I feel like I am stifling my creativity not letting go where it wants to go. This is a perfect example. The first tile is interesting and showed potential, your second try is amazing, you can feel the movement and the joy of tangling shining through. Thank you for sharing this story and these tiles (BTW your hassock is just wow!)

    Juliet F, CZT on

  • I really like your Zendala. Thanks for the post and for keeping in touch during this difficult times!

    Nathalie from Québec City

    Nathalie Paré on

Leave a comment