There is a wooden box in my parents’ house that sits in the hallway between the two guest bedrooms. It has a pecan finish and glass on all four sides. Peek through the tiny windows and you’ll see a dozen quilts, each handmade – hand cut, hand sewn, and tied together – by my grandmother.
Downstairs, there is an old antique ladder that leans serenely against the wall nestled between a large bookshelf overflowing with volumes and a white window that looks out on the overgrowth and the many creatures that call the Maine woods their home. Covering every rung of this ladder is a quilt, each handmade – hand cut, but machine sewn, still tied together – by my mother.
And in my old house nestled on a street corner in Denver, Colorado there is a battered old suitcase my husband found at a Brooklyn flea market for $5 that serves as our coffee table. Flip open the lid and you’ll find a whole pile of quilts, each handmade – hand cut, machine sewn, but still tied together – by me.
This love of creating and crafting began with my grandmother on a large agricultural farm north of Minot, North Dakota. Here, she taught my mom the intricacies of using your hands to make something for your family that will last. This was a time before fast fashion and quick trips to Target. This was North Dakota, the state with some of the harshest winters in the US. My grandmother’s quilts, with their perfectly cut squares and mismatched fabric was what kept my mother, her two siblings and my grandfather warm through those unrelenting winters. The fabric and filling were cozy of course, but there’s something about wrapping a handmade blanket around yourself that can warm you up in a way that a store-bought blanket can’t. Something about my grandmother’s quilts that didn’t back down to days, weeks, and months of below-freezing temperatures.
40 years later, in a small town in Massachusetts, my mom stood behind me while I threaded a sewing machine for the very first time.
It’s been 10 years since I made my first quilt and in that time I’ve expanded to sewing clothes, crocheting, scrapbooking – anything I can make with my hands for my family and loved ones that they can use and love everyday.
And now, together with my mother, we bring you Kota Crafted. Named for the state she grew up in, and the state I spent every summer as a child indulging in my grandmother’s donuts and fishing by the town lake with my grandfather. We aim to bring that same love of hand-crafted items from my grandmother’s farm into your home. So take a look around our site where every item is handmade by one of us for you.
“We don't value craftsmanship anymore! All we value is ruthless efficiency, and I say we deny our own humanity that way! Without appreciation for grace and beauty, there's no pleasure in creating things and no pleasure in having them! Our lives are made drearier, rather than richer! How can a person take pride in his work when skill and care are considered luxuries! We're not machines! We have a human need for craftsmanship!”
― Bill Watterson, There's Treasure Everywhere: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection