Sometimes it all comes together. The weather turns, the wind changes to a gentle breeze, the sun angles perfectly, and the blossoms unfurl...
This is the Hood River Valley -- full of fruit orchards, right on the Columbia River Gorge between two snow covered mountains, and on the cusp of the lusher, wetter climate of western Oregon and the dry, more deserty eastern part of the state.
We visited a nursery there which was the picture of bounty -- they also serve lunch with fold away windows that open wide on all sides to views of this:
There's friendly cats -- and twisty vines on tree trunks...
These uncertain blustery days seem to require a particularly cozy and cheerful response -- the beautiful promise of spring is blossoming out, but there is definitely still a chill in the air. So it's with this in mind that we've been working up our spring quilts. Cheerful colors in light cotton prints mixed with wool batting and Pendleton wool backings, simply tied with pearl cotton -- here's one:
And here's a happy purple and orange quilt for a baby or child -- featuring orange print cotton flannel, Liberty print applique flowers, and warm wool batting:
Finally, this is a crib sized vintage piece that we reassembled with cotton batting, and rebound with that pretty blue edge, and retied with pearl cotton:
And we will be listing more in the coming weeks...Stay cozy and bright!
Oh dear, 14 more!
When I am going to sleep I think about what sewing project I will do the next morning, and when I wake up I review my plan. After my coffee, I go to my sewing room to begin -- and that is when I change my mind. It is freedom for me to do whatever I want, and this often means being spontaneous. This explains my pile of (just of few (!)) projects to complete.
This morning my plan was not to make more tea mats. But since I am incapable of tossing fabric away when a project is finished, there was fabric left in the basket, and I had to use it or find a place to put it – yes easier to use it. (In fact, the tea mats I had already made were from left over fabric from other projects).
Oh sewing dilemmas (spontaneity vs. unfinished projects that fill up my storage and that inability to discard extra fabric)! Are mine the same as other sewers out there?
I discovered the tea mat at a meeting of my book club. I was handed a cup of tea and a mat. It’s a little larger than your average coaster, and smaller than a hot pad would be – just the perfect size for a cup of tea. Being somewhat of an authority on spills, my anxiety about dripping on the fine table next to me, or the carpet was dispelled (phew)! These lovely tea mats were washable, they wouldn’t stick to the cup (as coasters sometimes do) and they were made of my favorite thing: fabric. I said to myself: “I will make some of these”.
I did. First some holiday ones from left over quilt squares that have been around since 1995. I have been using them around my house since December. Next, I made ones with hearts but they were hardly done by Valentines Day, so I stored them away. Last week, I made spring tea mats with some bright vintage polished cotton print fabric, and quilt leftovers paired with Japanese print scraps found at an estate sale. I’ve found that these tea mats have many uses -- they are very well suited to holding a steamy bowl of udon or ramen soup.
It is quiet in the woods in January, though forests are naturally hushed places with their pine needle carpets, and the confluence of branches that seems to gently hold in the sound.
It was just a short walk down an access road. As the sun descended and the fog lifted, and morning moved toward mid-morning...
Beautiful winter forest! In places, autumn leaves have fallen, and midway down some become ensnared, on a bare branch, or by a tuft of spindly Spanish moss, they remain suspended there like strings of ornaments -- they decorate and catch the light.
In the winter, some of the lichen on the tree trunks is flush with brilliant color – a surprising spring green.
The Spanish moss was everywhere: encircling branches, hanging from wire-like twigs, its gauzy aura backlit. The sun in beams – making the depth and nuance and layers of the trees distinct, complex, present.