Dana Ailer is Terribly Crafty

Staunton, Virginia



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Dana Ailer

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Dana Ailer


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About terriblycrafty

Sales 44
On Etsy since 2010

An Appalachian tradition lives on

My rugs and accessories are created using a method handed down through generations of strong and resourceful women in Appalachian Virginia. My great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Brinkley, was a mother, school teacher, mortuary beautician, farmer, barber, and artist. Minnie learned to make these rugs from her grandmother, and she taught my mom the craft during summers Mom spent on her farm. My mom handed the craft down to me when I was in elementary school, and I've been making rugs ever since.

Minnie Mae created rugs from scraps of cloth, feed bags, and outgrown clothing; anything she could find in depression-era rural Virginia. In keeping with her spirit of adaptive reuse, I use upcycled and reclaimed materials in my own rugs. I've retained the same 'rugging' technique generations of Virginia women have used before me. In this way, I hope to continue a tradition we have been exercising for generations – using something tired and worn out to create something beautiful that provides comfort and simple luxury to our families.

This traditional method is more time consuming, but produces rugs that are durable, machine washable, and finer (thinner) than other rugs created using similar techniques. Each of my rugs and accessories is a piece of Virginia folk art, inspired by lively summers spent on the farm, the soothing view of the Blue Ridge, my mom’s vibrant flower and vegetable gardens, and the sturdy permanence of Virginia’s historic architecture.

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  • Dana Ailer

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator

    I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley - which is the most beautiful place on earth. (I may be a little biased.) Previous generations of my family rolled down out of the Appalachian mountains and I'm proud to be part of their stubborn, creative brood.

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Last updated on February 3, 2011

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