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the art of gifting with ethel gardner

ethel gardner, grandmother to scarpa's owner amy gardner, took up needlework in 1956. a mother of 7, she was finally able to find the time to dedicate to the craft when her youngest turned 20. her work depicts maps of the united states and motifs of items associated with various states and regions, intricately stitched in soft colors on creamy canvas.

see ethel’s embroidery & read amy’s reflections on her grandmother below.

a note from amy

hanging in the newly expanded store are two heritage works completed by my paternal grandmother in the 1950s. for me they’re a reminder of the importance of craft and family and being tenacious. ethel gardner probably had time (finally!) to sit down in 1956 and 1957 and do needlework because her 7th child was turning 20 around that time. the wife of a coal miner she had those seven children in southwest pennsylvania without the benefit of indoor plumbing or electricity. bathing happened weekly and as my first cousins and I remarked at dinner just recently ‘think about all those diapers’. so I look at my grandmother’s needlework lovingly not only because I find maps fascinating but also because I see a woman who was always working, getting it done and getting it done well. I hope you find inspiration and joy in your family, inherited or chosen, this holiday season.


warmly, amy