Just Cross-Stitch Reprise

When I was about seven years old, my mother gave me a cross-stitch kit for Christmas. Along with several skeins of embroidery floss, it had a piece of cotton fabric stamped with the pattern of a little house, some flowers, and the motto “Home Sweet Home.” Oh, I struggled. I didn’t know to make all […]

Lost Cloth

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

I heard from a dear friend earlier this week on her way to South Africa. She and I tend to check in with each other when we head out on the road—compare notes, give encouragement. Before I set out for a long trek in Africa years ago, I sold her my old Jeep truck. Later, […]

Mother and Daughter

Accha Alta A little more than ten years ago, I was visiting the breathtakingly high, beautiful Andean village of Accha Alta. This very traditional small community was still farming potatoes the old way, tilling near-vertical land with handheld hoes. They were still weaving sacks (costales) of handspun llama wool on backstrap looms to take those […]

The Once and Future Museum

Avenir Museum

In our monthly acknowledgement of an institution that works to preserve and celebrate traditional textiles, we present a special museum close to home in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the lobby of the Colorado State University Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising hangs a plaque that reads, “Avenir means future . . . Thank you for helping us weave […]

Cloth Is a Language

inkuy ToCloth is a language

Since Linda and I returned from Peru a couple of weeks ago, where we were hard at work on a future Thrums book, Peru has occupied much of my brain space. Visions of sugar plums and all that fun holiday stuff were nudged aside by images of Andean peaks and Inca ruins and textile–ancient and […]

Dateline: Cusco

Chinchero

Dateline Cusco I’m in Cusco, Peru with Karen Brock and Joe Coca. We’re working on a new book with Nilda Callanaupa, Diana Hendrickson, and the weavers of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). This book is beyond the conception stage, beyond the zygote stage, well into the fetus stage. It grows and changes […]

Saving the Story of Cloth

Textile Museum of Canada

When we touch the time and place of cloth, we begin to know the story of its maker. When we preserve that cloth, we are preserving our collective stories—our celebrations, our suffering, our families, our culture and history. Thrums Books would like to acknowledge important institutions around the globe who diligently work to preserve traditional […]

Guatemala Revisited

Gautemala Revisited

In 1946, when WW II had just ended, Mary Meigs Atwater went to Guatemala to look at textiles. Considered the “dean” of the American handweaving revival, she wrote up her experiences in a monograph titled Guatemala Visited, and published it under the Shuttlecraft Guild imprint. You can still get copies today. It makes for fascinating […]

An Endless Thread

I was adding some photos to our Pinterest pages this week, which gave me the chance to look carefully at Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories, again. I’ve read this book so many times, and I’m still fascinated by it, still learn something new each time. This book was one of Thrums’s earliest projects, published in […]

A Woman’s Room

Woman's room

A Wedding Room We went to a wedding in Kandahar: my travelling companion, Mary Littrell, and her co-author, Rangina Hamidi, and I. It was not a village wedding, because it’s not especially safe to go out into the Afghan countryside now. It was in a hotel that specializes in hosting weddings, and this was wedding […]

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