Monday, April 29, 2013

Colors :: Prints :: Stacks :: Happy

It's Monday morning. Geoff and I are sharing a little toast and jam, before he leaves for his office. In front of me is my basket of sorted, pressed, cut, folded, and stacked fabrics from my stash. I gaze at them. I drink them in like a mellowing cup of tea, and they calm me. Soothing colors, and prints, comforting little stacks of success and potential. Geoff sees my content and peaceful state, and knows I am in a happy place...

Last week I got a wild~rebellious notion to play... to skip laundry, to forgo sweeping, to swim away from the riptide of Internet surfing. I grabbed a box (just one of my scrap stashes), and pinking shears, and made my way to the barn. The chickens were about, the goats were curious, the bunnies were lounging, and I had some time all to myself to do nothing or anything... to play.

I thought about making a really simple, minimal effort rag-tie bunting. Just strips of color tied on twine to festively hang in the chicken run, or around the barn. Then I started pulling out the colors and prints that were most appealing, and when I realized that I have more, much, much more, than I will ever need, or want, I began a new sorting theme: Mine and Their's. I filled two bags with prints and scraps that I can let go of, that I would like to share. My thoughts were accompanied by the chickens making their curious clucking and cooing sounds. I imagined having a Make gathering, inviting friends to come by with their own pinking shears, and an extra sewing machine, or two, and we could plow through the colors and prints and make all sorts of little things with fabric!

So, I've been daydreaming about all the sorts of little sewing things that would be fun to share, like yo-yos, and bunting. Bunting are those festive fabric decorations, like the ones I made for Halloween or have hanging around the house. We could sew fabric trees, blocks, and scarves. I like having fabric snack bags around, and those are small and easy to make. Anyway, you know how daydreaming can go... one flitting thought leading to another. Lovely.

And while Geoff and William continued the Chicken Run work they started Saturday, Maria had an al fresco ironing lesson.

"Do you like ironing, mommy?" she asked. I remember when I loved it. When I was young, like her, and pressing little somethings. I thought it was a marvel to see the fabric relax, to be doing something grown-up. Of course it's lost some luster over the years. I do still enjoy ironing when there is no deadline, when the point is preparing for some pleasant sewing. "I like it," I replied, "when I don't have to iron, and there's no hurry." She understood.

She was excited to learn, to be big enough to manage the hot tool, the buttons, and steam. I was happy to share time this way. We talked about the colors, the long pieces and scraps, the pieces she recognized from her dresses, skirts. We marveled at the power of the iron to smooth everything out, as it let out a steamy sigh.

When we had a great number of contenders all sorted and pressed, I invited her to plow through the stash of fabric scraps and choose her own favorites. This was another hour of happy engagement. She was dividing and sorting, debating and delighting, while I began cutting the pieces I chose.

Lovely choices. Some leftover from sewing projects. Many from the big bathtub at Starry Night Hollow, where Maria had often been invited to fill a bag for herself.

Like a mellowing cup of tea.

Geoff and William added to the framing of the Chicken Run, the chicas milled around me and Maria. Alex and Bambi were enjoying their time together. Max read The Odyssey. Maria sorted and played with the scraps in the box, and I began cutting random lengths of strips, then folding them in halves.

Cutting, and folding, and arranging them by colors, and prints, and daydreaming.

I can see another long and festive length of bunting, mini-sized. Bright and cheery, like summer. Like beach days, and slow dinners on the porch... content and peaceful.

And just gazing at them brings me to a happy place.


judy in ky said...

I am so with you, Natalie! I have bundles and scraps and projects-in-waiting too. I love working with them and matching them up. It carries me away from everyday cares, into a creative space in my mind. I hope you will show us your results!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

It's wonderful just looking at all that color and design! Ah yes, the love of ironing when we were young - I remember that too. Wishing you well with your burst of creative energy and plans!

Lady Cordelia said...

I get it!
(and what pretty material you have there.)

Miriam said...

Oh, I know exactly what you mean about just having to look at them in order to feel happy - I feel the same way about yarn, and printed papers, and coloured pencils. So much colour, and so much possibility! I can't wait to see what you do with yours.

Jennifer said...

I hope you make a regular habit of giving yourself the time and the place to play and enjoy and plan and be happy....