Inspired by Nostalgia

Reader's Gallery: Postcards and advertising reimagined

By: Tamara Pavich
Photography by Joanne Thomason

What’s for Dinner?, 18" x 24", #3 and 4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a recipe pamphlet of the 1940s, designed, and hooked by Joanne Thomason, Newton, Iowa, 2014.

“I saw this cover and thought it was so cute,” Joanne said. “It’s a recipe booklet, and there was a lot of lard in those recipes!” With fresh lipstick and not a hair out of place, this lady of the forties is all glamour and composure, even as she considers what to make for the evening meal. Joanne’s clear colors are virtually primary: variations of red, blue, and yellow, along with flesh and neutrals. The border is done with bark cloth, “to add to the vintage look,” Joanne said.

When she’s not hooking rugs or caring for her grandchildren, Joanne Thomason of Newton, Iowa, can often be found trolling through antique stores. While she likes vintage furniture, ’50s' fabrics, and all things retro, what she’s really after is a certain kind of image from days gone by.

“I love bright, clear colors,” Joanne said. “That’s what I find in the graphic designs on old brochures, advertising pamphlets, and sheet music illustrations. And there’s something about the ladies in those illustrations that especially speak to me. They’re so charming and feminine. I see an illustration, and I just know I want to hook it.”

Tamara Pavich has been hooking rugs since 2008.  She loves searching the rug hooking world for interesting stories and designers and has written frequently about creative rug hookers for RHM. If you have an idea for a story, write to Tammy at

This article excerpt is from the November/December 2016 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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