Vermont Harvest Folk Art by Doreen Frost
~Fine Needlework, Written Publications & Finished Goodes.~

Tucked in a valley, at the foot of Round Mountain, among the graceful Maples & Oaks you will find our Little Brown House. Smoke billows from the chimney seven or eight months out of the year, a river rambles nearby, sheep & cows graze in the meadows and turkey's forage along the olde stone walls.

"I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions" ~ Augusten Burroughs.

"People aren't longing to be impressed; they're longing to feel like they're home. If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they'll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd." Shauna Niequist.

Monday, April 17, 2023

New Wool Applique Pattern & accompanying Willard Inn Story :) HELLO FRIENDS!

The Willard Inn~ A Brutal Winter

By Doreen Frost 

Hannah woke in the middle of the night to the hush brought on by snow.  Graham lay next to her, a mere lump under the large pile of quilts.  He had only come to bed a short time ago but was already deep in sleep.  This winter had been the coldest they had ever experienced, and, for that reason, their routines had changed much!  Not wanting the fires to die down, as they typically would overnight, he was now staying up into the small hours to keep them going strong. Hannah lay there, feeling his warmth next to her, grateful he was getting some much needed rest. 

Though Graham had stoked the fires just recently, Hannah could still feel a deep cold seeping into the room.  Despite the many efforts they had made over the last two months of bitter, bitter cold, it still managed to force its way into their home through the olde windows and doors and anywhere else it could manage.  They, along with everyone else they knew, had rolled fabric and placed it beneath the doors, and hung quilts or blankets, if they could spare them, over each of their windows. 

Winters in New England could certainly be harsh but this one was particularly brutal.  Three feet of snow lay thickly over every surface, and though it presented challenges as far as getting around, it was welcome during this winter of brutality, as it helped to insulate the homes and barns.  Hannah and Graham spent these winter days like their neighbors, doing all they could to keep themselves and their animals warm and fed.  Everyone in the little New England village had suffered, some most desperately, but the town had come together and helped one another so that everyone was faring well now.  People with a little more shared with those who needed it; food, clothing, shelter, wood & encouragement.  Neighbor was helping neighbor in the most wonderful way making a very difficult time, a little easier to bear. 

Hannah, now fully awake, sat up and eased her way out from under the quilts and woolen blankets and lit the bedside lamp.  A warm glow encircled the room as she tucked the quilts more snuggly around Graham.  She put another pair of wool leggings on, under her flannel nightgown, slid her stockinged feet into her slippers, put on her robe, and wrapped her wool shawl around her shoulders.   Taking the lantern, she made her way down the stairs, through the quiet house, and into the warmth of the kitchen.  She put the kettle on for coffee, lit candles, and lanterns, and tended the wood stove in the main part of the house before returning to the kitchen to fill the cookstove and add wood to the great stone fireplace.

When the coffee was ready, she fixed herself a cup, spread butter and jam on a biscuit, and pulled her rocking chair closer to the hearth.  She laid a blanket across her lap and took her stitching from its basket.  She had been working on a new rug, this one made from small and medium circles cut from olde woolens that were no longer able to be made into anything else.  She had gathered the faded greens, reds, browns, and creams and stitched them together, placing smaller circles on top of larger ones, creating small stitched “stacks”.  Once the stacks were all stitched, she laid them out on the table and pinned the stacks in rows of different sizes, onto a burlap backing.  She took a sip of the hot coffee, and a bite of biscuit and laid the rug across her lap, and smiled contentedly to herself.  Her stitching is always a wonderful distraction during difficult times.

Far too quickly the warmth of the fire began to recede as the cold began to make its way across the kitchen floor, wrapping itself around Hannah’s ankles. She stood up, placed her stitching on the table, and made her way from fire to fire, this time filling each one heavily with wood.  After making sure the doors and windows were covered snugly, she returned to the kitchen, made herself another cup of coffee, and took up her stitching again. She would continue her fireside vigil for another hour, and then, as dawn approached, she would put a pot of beans on the fire, start a batch of hearth bread and put some bacon to fry.  The kitchen would be welcoming and snug when Graham awoke after another short night. ~ by Doreen Frost   

*This story appeared in the January/February issue of The Little Brown House Gazette ~ I thought it would be fun to share it here with all of you, as I incorporated this penny rug into the story  & included this story, in the pattern :).

IN THE MOSSY WOOD ~ a wool applique pattern, is now available on my website :).  

Greetings friends ~ It is GOOD to see you.  It has been far too long since my last blog post.  I have lots of updating to do and more blog posts to share with you ~ stay tuned.  Enjoy the day, Doreen

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