Sarah Mistele Bechler was born in Oklahoma but raised primarily in Michigan where she lived in a 1860's farmhouse. With an artist mother who loved to shop for primitives out East it was only natural for Sarah to be drawn to all things primitive.
Sarah began doing shows in the mid 1980's with cloth dolls she made and dressed in vintage clothing and antique shoes. She traveled to Atlanta, Nashville, and Sturbridge but it was at a show in Michigan where she first saw primitive hooked rugs. She fell in love instantly and signed up for classes with Beth Sekerka, founder of Hooked On Rugs, who just happened to live in the next town over!!! And there began the journey of Old Glory Woolen Co.
Sarah now lives in a small historic town in Michigan where she hooks and produces her rugs, chairs and purses. "It is a very satisfying art form and working with hand dyed wools and linen takes me back to my primitive roots," says Sarah. She has published several pattern booklets that are suitable for applique and punch needle. She was also named One Of America's Best by Early American Life Magazine in 2015. Soon after she began the furniture branch of her business and enjoys working with individuals as well as interior designers to create one of a kind pieces for private homes and businesses.
She also teaches rug hooking and has enjoyed opening her home to many Japanese women whose husbands have been assigned to work in the US for 3-5 years. These woman are so talented and take to rug hooking immediately! It is so bittersweet though as she has to say goodbye when they are assigned back to Japan. But new members join and new friends are made.
Rug hooking allows Sarah to connect with the past while also making sure this amazing craft continues on for future generations.
I grew up moving around, my father was in the Air Force. I married my hubby while living in California and after a few years he returned to the Army. We moved around, with two tours in Germany and stateside in Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas. I know reside in Lexington, Missouri with my hubby of 47 years. We live in a pre civil war home dated about 1841-1845. I have 2 grown daughters with their own families and wonderful grand children for us to enjoy. Last year we finally got ourselves a West Highland Terrier puppy names Lulu, she really runs the place, we only pretend that we're in charge!
I would say my style is primitive, designs simple. Color and design are what I usually am known for and are most important to me. I enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and love to share many timesaving tips I have found. I love the whole process of a project from design to every loop or stitch. I like to incorporate other fabrics into my applique, I even added some velvet to a hooked mat once. I have been tearing and cutting my wool strips, I began to do that years ago when I was trapped at home due to a bad snow storm. I'd just started to hook with a 9 cut (about 11 years ago) well I haven't ever gone back. I like the look of torn strips in my rugs.
I have been making wool applique projects for 20 years and nearly have hooked rugs that long as well. I learned rug hooking form Emma Lou Lais, she was a wonderful teacher. I have had the opportunity to design applique projects for Linda Brannock of Star Quilt Co, Renee Nannaman of Need'l Love, Blackbird designs as well as Blackberry Primitives. I have written 8 books with the Kansas City Star. I have also been published in American Patchwork and Quilts magazine as well as Primitive Quilts and Projects and Quiltmania, a French publisher bought my first two books to publish in France. I have traveled around the country to teach, which I enjoy very much! I went to France in 2012 as well to promote my books and taught 3 workshops while there. Thank goodness for interpreters!!! I am working on a new book this year!!!
Aubrey was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and has grown up in the small town of Northville, Michigan. Her passion for photography started in a dark room developing 35mm film when she was in high school. Although it started as an artistic hobby, it quickly grew into a passion for people.
After high school, Aubrey decided she wanted to pursue photography as a career, and that lead to her enrolling into a full time photography program in Massachusetts. Since graduating, Aubrey has grown to love working with high school seniors and giving them a greater sense of confidence! Aubrey also enjoys working with couples as they start a new chapter in their lives, from their engagement session to their wedding day and anniversaries to come! She enjoys meeting new people, getting to know their stories, and displaying their individuality through her photographs. She is grateful to have a job that allows her to document such special moments for others.