I’ve always loved antiques and textiles of all kinds. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother are and were needle workers and they passed their love of quilts, crochet and tatting to me. Unfortunately, I was clumsy with a needle and had no patience for sewing tiny stitches and only made tangled knots from crochet thread or yarn. But I’ve always loved the textures of textiles. After many years of appreciating and collecting needlework, I discovered primitive rug hooking. Because a primitive hook was large enough for me to hold it in my hand, it didn’t take long to become “hooked” on rug hooking.
After taking a couple of rug hooking classes, I realized it was an art/craft that needed lots of containers for storing wool, hooks, cutters, patterns, foundation cloth and all the essential equipment needed for a project. My work space was always a mess and traveling to rug camp or a monthly gathering was quite an ordeal. I had to have lots of bags to put everything in, a car to haul them in, muscles to carry them back and forth, and lots of space to spread everything around within arms reach.
About this time my friend, Rita Runquist of Rita Runquist Tours, who was an excellent needle worker, was also getting into rug hooking. I kept telling her we needed something to put everything in to keep our projects organized and contained. She agreed and said we would keep an eye out for a solution.
We began to look for things we could use for our ever-growing rug hooking projects. Rita often took her tour groups to visit an Amish family in Lamoni, Iowa. She and I and 25 other ladies happened to be there on September 11, 2001. As we stood outside the bus listening to the radio broadcast of planes flying into the World Trade Center we had a surreal moment as an Amish buggy pulled across the road from the Iowa State Welcome Center in Lamoni.