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.
Anita Jones CZT#30 on
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
Anita Aspfors Westin on
Martha Boccalini on
Leslie Hancock on
Debbie 'onna' Smith 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!
CLARA A BRUNK on
Lianne Woods on
georgianna klein on
Daria Kreher on
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
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
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
Sue Leslie on
Just stunning!!! The tile AND the hassock! ❤️
Carol McKenzie on
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
Nathalie from Québec City
Nathalie Paré on