Across Three Generations

Reader's Gallery

By: Shannon Erickson

Roses and Scrolls, 35" x 70", #3-cut wool on burlap. Possible McGown pattern; hooked by Maggie Ethel Lindsey, Mayfield, Kentucky, 1955.

The year is 1950, and the scene is a familiar one. A little girl sits in her great-grandmother’s kitchen, warm and cozy, pots bubbling and steaming on the old stove. Grandmother stands, stirring, murmuring, adding a pinch of this, a dab of that. The simmering pots hold the ingredients for her great-grandmother’s treasured recipes, which will follow the little girl, Phyllis Lindsey, into the next 50 years. 

These are not typical family recipes for soups and stews and sweets. They are Cushing and Putnam formulas for glorious colors: Seal Brown, Turkey Red, Reseda Green, and Aqualon Blue. Phyllis Lindsey’s great-grandmother, Maggie Ethel Lindsey (Ethel to her friends), was born in 1884. An accomplished painter, pianist, and botanist, Ethel pursued rug hooking with passion. The exquisite rugs that she left behind tell her story.

This article is from the September/October 2013 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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