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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


  • Oh, well done. Yes. I agree with your conclusion. Fabric and paper are different. The lushness of the fabric is reflected in the dancing Zendala lines. A reproduction does not communicate the same “feel”.

    LIsa HOesing on

  • I especially love the way you made the tapestry fit by cutting and stitching the 3 triangles. Brilliant way to use what was available and at the same time draw attention to your unusually shaped hassock. Brava!


  • Both you and the zentangle family are such a blessing during this heavy weeks! So keep on posting and make us smile!!

    Eefke, Breda, the Netherlands, Europe on

  • I have such hassock envy, I feel quite ashamed but love everything about your post, the amazing job you did, your beautiful tiles and your evocative words… thank you, Maria.

    Annie Taylor CZT on

  • “Energetic lines dancing a tango…” I am attracted to the words you use to describe your creations. Thank you for passing along your energy to us.

    LIsa Barreto on

  • Oh that hassock is adorable. I expect we would all adore one of those in our homes. Those tiles, I love them.

    Chrissie Frampton on

  • Wow! Maria, you are such an inspiration in so many ways. Your tangling, your imagination and your story telling are all just amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    Brenda Shaver CZT 8 Ontario Canada

    Brenda Shaver on

  • Your hassock, your tangling and your story are delightful as always. Thanks for taking us along to the dance.

    Sandy Kelley-Jones on

  • That’s Stunning! There’s nothing more creatively satisfying than noticing a lovely thing in your home that inspires you to make beautiful tangles with it on a Zentangle tile!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Jfe on

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both tiles are breathtaking but the evenness and order of the first speaks to me!

    Elizabeth Youngs on

  • Well, Maria, the one thing I really did learn at my CZT classes was that the Zentangle method does not try to replicate an object. So, your second (the Zendala) is truly using the Zentangle method. And it is gorgeous and full of your energy. Plus, the hassock turned out great, too!

    Mary Kay Cass on

  • What a wonderful experience! Both the hassock and the tile came out beautifully!

    GInny Lockhart on

  • Tango tangles !

    DEbinflag on

  • That is absolutely beautiful. The Tangle and the hassock.

    Debbie Murphy on

  • I love it ! And what a feeling to have felt like you ran a marathon in a red dress and fancy high heels. Now, I wonder what kind of flower was in your hair ?

    Jackie on

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