Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Jenny Hall and I’ve lived most of my life in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia. I’m married to a wonderful and supportive husband, have two jumbo cats and a dog. I love working with threads and fabrics in all the range of colors from bright to muted.
Life can be too serious sometimes, so in my work I tend to keep things lighthearted. Oh yes, I also have a corny sense of humor, and it comes out especially in my other shop, Bubbletime.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
This is my day job, as well as being a caregiver to my mother. When I’m not working I like to garden, paint, or ride my bike down to the duck pond.
What would be the title of your memoir?
A Work in Progress because this is all still new to me and I’m discovering new facets and techniques all the time.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I find much inspiration in gardens, fields and marshes. There are so many types of plants, birds and insects hiding in there and I’m always fascinated by them.
What does handmade mean to you?
For me, handmade means that by making use of my God-given talent I learn to appreciate the time and details of a work I might have overlooked otherwise. It’s fulfilling.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My father taught me about art and my mother taught me to sew. One year for my birthday, my husband and his parents cleared out the spare room and set up an art table with an adjustable lamp for me. If it weren’t for all of them I’d never have the confidence to put my work out there.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I suppose I’ve always known. Ever since I can remember I’ve enjoyed drawing and making things, especially hand sewing.
How would you describe your creative process?
Most of my designs are of things one might find in a garden. This would include things like birds, bees or the occasional gopher. I like to pore over old botanical prints and photos of my own garden for ideas. I’ll draw a design in my sketchbook and from there decide if it would look better embroidered, in felt or on some pretty fabric.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Oh dear I have to pick only one? I would have to go with Albrecht Dürer, or Prince Charles of Wales. Also, what a delight it would be to have tea in Tasha Tudor‘s garden along with Beatrix Potter. Though these people aren’t closely related, I admire their work and am quite fond of the way each renders a natural scene.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a red and white patchwork rabbit with jointed arms and legs that I’ve had for years. When I saw it in the shop I knew I had to have it. No offense to factory-made bunnies, but this had a charm and class that I’d never seen in any of them. It sits on a shelf overseeing my work every day.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Usually by that point I realize I haven’t weeded the garden in quite some time. So while I’m out there deadheading flowers or pruning the rosemary, I inevitably run into a colorful bug or some chattering chickadee and that sparks me all over again.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I guess I don’t really think that far ahead. I love what I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else now.