Remember '70s wall hangings—the shaggy kind that went with lava lamps and beaded curtains? Australia native Maryanne Moodie, 37, is too young to recall all that grooviness, but four years ago while on maternity leave from her job as an elementary school art teacher, she came across a '70s-era tapestry on eBay that changed her life. She found the textural piece so "swoonworthy" that she began making her own, experimenting with pastel hues to craft subtler, softer versions.

Moodie's hobby quickly spun off into a full-blown business. Six months after she started weaving plush tapestries, she was featured on a design blog. Soon local boutiques were requesting her work for displays. "My pieces have current and vintage appeal," says Moodie. "They're new, but also like something your nana would have hanging in her home."

Now based in Brooklyn, Moodie spends two to three days on each piece, using three to four skeins of yarn ("I try to keep the yarn contained, but it somehow creeps into every room of the house!") in different colors to create contrasting textures and contemporary shapes. "I used to sketch elaborate designs," she says, "but eventually, I just started following the flow of the fibers."

Moodie accepts orders from clients who specify colors and size (up to seven feet wide). And she's back to teaching, holding workshops across the country for novice weavers. "It's just weaving. Anyone can do it," she says. "Eventually, I'll branch out to rugs and place mats, but I think I'll stick to tapestries for a little while longer. It breaks my heart to imagine people standing or eating on my work!"


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