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Friday, October 2, 2009
I am taking the day off from hiking because it is raining all day. I'm at the house of some new friends relaxing with such amenities as chairs, electricity, cold soda pop, and a bed. What luxury!
But last night he, Steve, showed me a family treasure. His grandmother made this, and he believes that the 1946 date is the year she completed it. This is a handicraft that was popular in the 1940's, rug hooking. His grandmother designed this stair runner to reflect things that were important to the family. She salvaged used material from worn clothing or where ever she could to cut the strips. I'll tell you about the sections. This is a lot of pictures for one post, but I just had to show you, and Steve gave me permission!
Each picture was framed on one of the stair risers, so they weren't walked on. The variegated sections were on the stair treads, so they did not show the dirt or wear as much. The top picture is of the church they attended where she played piano and organ. Next down is a tea service. Steve thinks it was probably the only real china she owned
Then we see the flower garden with a wheelbarrow, and some of the fish which their clientele were hoping to catch.
They lived near Lake Erie, and there was a freshwater marsh between their house and the lake. They made their living by renting rooms to hunters and fishermen, so the next two panels show the marsh and some ducks.
Next are their fist names, Ray and Eunice.
Followed by the family name, Boller, and a picture of the house. Steve says it looked just like that and was made of red tile. The family lived downstairs and rented the upstairs to the clients.
At the bottom is the date, and then a rose. I've seen quite a few commercial patterns for runners like this, and I think the rose might be the one design in the rug that Eunice took from a book.
Finally, here is the underside of the rose. One can tell the quality of work such as this by how neat the back side looks. This is flawless!
I have always wanted to make something like this, but the amount of time required has actually kept me from starting yet another project. To stumble onto this work of folk art is one of the highlights of this trip for me. The runner is made in sections, so Steve plans to separate it into halves, build a vacuum sealed case, and create two wall hangings.
See Irene's Afghan is Done
See Fun and Frustration