Valley Grove Tapestries: The Woven Animals Become International Instagram Stars

Some people get lots of likes on Instagram for glamorous selfies in fancy restaurants or resorts. On my feed, the Valley Grove animals became minor social media stars. We’re not talking influencer status, but still, 724 people liked the coyote.

I was really worried that the pocket gopher would just look dumb, but more than a thousand people hit tapped in a like for him.

People really like chickens, apparently. This chicken from the second tapestry received 1341 likes.

The fox has the best story. My tapestry fox will hang on the Valley Grove stone church wall, but he is also appreciated on the other side of the world. Shortly after I posted this photo I started to get many new followers with names in Persian script. An Iranian woman sent me a direct message, commenting that my weaving was lovely and I should watch out because someone was posting my work without attribution. She sent me the site of an Iranian rug dealer who was actually taking orders for my design, adding that it would work well as a table mat.

Here’s a snippet of his instagram posts, showing the fox among the other rug patterns you can order. Over a hundred people had complimented the work on the rug dealer’s post, and some asked about what the whole image looked like.

I was more curious than miffed–good luck copying that whole tapestry. I wrote the dealer asking him that if he wove a fox rug with my image, whether I could get one too, in exchange for using my pattern. I didn’t think he would ever respond, but he did! I’m positive he ran his note through an automatic-translation program, with amusing results. 

“Hello dear, I am Teheran, the administrator of the kelim weaving page of my kindergarten page. I apologize for coming and putting the cartoon photo in my pajamas without your permission. I got the suggestion of weaving this work from several people, but because there was no weaver around me who could weave as clean and beautiful as you, I did not reject the order and rejected it. What is the price you suggest for the texture of this beautiful work? And how to pay through digital currency.”

My husband suggested bitcoin. Ask for just a few bitcoins. Instead, I wrote and said it is not for sale, but if I ever weave more foxes, I’d let him know.

I am launching into the home stretch with the Valley Grove project. I will be posting here about the fourth and final tapestry, but if you would like a few more updates, be sure to watch my Instagram feed as well, at @robbie_lafleur.

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