Virginia Kraft was my grandma. It’s not the whats in her life that made it extraordinary but the hows: how she loved without condition; how she chose joy in the hard times; how she made the mundane beautiful.
Summers were spent on her farm getting lost in corn fields and snapping beans on the swing. Her food was simple and delicious, and she whistled in the kitchen – a whistle so enchanting that anyone within earshot found themselves wanting to help with even the dirtiest dishes. She would tell her stories (which usually involved a joke at her own expense), throw her head back and laugh. Christmas at her house was like a post card – more food, more laughter, the light from the windows making the frigid trip from the car more bearable. She was always the first one to greet us at the door. As I got older I realized it wasn’t the gifts that excited me, but the time that I got to spend with her.
It wasn’t a picture perfect life that allowed her to be happy. Being a farmer’s wife and mother of four came with hardships. She was joyful in spite of them – forever forgiving, loving, and full of God’s grace.
Though her 81 years here never felt long enough for me, she left us with love, grace, and beauty sufficient for ten lifetimes. It’s my hope to share them with you and my community.
For every yard sold, $5 will be donated to The Virginia Kraft Fund which helps supports women in organic and sustainable agriculture.
I started early as a maker. Creating accessories for my dollhouse, a favorite activity, was more fun than playing with my dolls. New Crayolas and coloring books were my favorite gift, and now as an adult, l get just as excited about fresh sketchbooks, pencils, ink and fabric.
Those childhood interests waned as I went through school. It never even occurred to me that I could make a living at creating things. I was on the college track to whatever would get me a good, steady job. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that my passion for making was rekindled.
I was on bed rest with my second child and had just discovered blogs. I had no interest in writing one, but I read any of them that discussed art and design. One such blog had an interview with a fabric designer. Until then, I'd had never thought about the creators behind the bolts of fabrics that I loved perusing at the local store just to get a dose of color and pattern. That moment began my journey to becoming a fabric designer.
Sketchbooks started piling up around the house as I filled them with any and every idea that popped into my head. I researched schools and read anything I could find about textile design. I joke about how so much of what I've learned came from the University of Google! In 2008 I signed up to sell designs through Spoonflower, a digital print-on-demand company. My first line, Domesticate, was born and has been seen in HGTV Magazine, Domino, Women's Day, Country Living, and on numerous blogs. While Domesticate gave me a great start, it involves a lot of time on a computer and I began to miss working with my hands.
I wanted to create a line that comes with a history already built in - a story of the hands that drew, carved, and placed every motif. It was also important to me that it be created here in the USA. I'm honored to be a part of the "maker revolution", where good things like food, furniture, or family and conversation take time and love to create. As my grandmother showed me, all the best things do.