Friday, February 07, 2014

Snow and the Blue Dress

It really is a little silly how excited we get about snow here in NW Oregon. It is a rare occurrence and we get kind of giddy and anxious at the same time. I know people in other parts of the country that are buried under it must be rolling their eyes at our stupefaction, but it is kind a big deal here. Beautiful, to begin with. Just so beautiful. And then treacherous and  truly dangerous when you are out in an automobile because our cities and our cars and their drivers are unprepared for snow. Snow plows are nonexistent and nobody has snow tires and everybody has chains, but I'll be darned if you can find them because they haven't been used in, oh, eight or so years. And that was a different car and the chains, when you do find them, don't fit the current car. Then what happens is when the snow starts to look like it is sticking and going to be coming down for awhile everyone panics, the schools close and everyone gets in their cars and heads out for groceries or to pick up kids or leaves work to get home before it gets really bad and all 2.25 million residents of the Portland metro area are on the road at the same time.

Yesterday I went to pick up Sofia when her school closed and it took us 2 hours to get home. It is normally a 15 minute drive. It wasn't the snow. It was the traffic. Part of our route was past the Nike World Headquarters and everyone there was deserting the premises en masse as we crept past the grand campus.

This is the corner near our driveway. Off and on all day yesterday and today there have been police and tow trucks there because drivers heading up the hill road on the right keep sliding off the road. I just looked out the window and there is another tow truck there right now.

But once safely at home it is something special, that snow. It really is. My grandchildren, who had no school today, spent the whole day sledding and joyously playing in the snow. I spent the morning drinking coffee and watching the birds at the feeders out my front window, then I went to the studio in the afternoon.

I am making progress on my "blue" quilt. A blue dress was what finally got me interested. A memory of a blue dress that I loved—that I wore to school on the first day many years ago. Did you ever have a piece of clothing, as a child, that seemed just right? That blue dress was it.

Of course there will be more—a whole story as it were. But I started with the face, and then the dress. When there is a person in your work I always think that is the place to start. You want to know, right off the bat, who you are dealing with. So, face, dress, arms, legs, pencils and shoes.

It's a start.


  1. Obviously I am of the same vintage as you, but although my mum made many dresses like this it was the pink and purple hot pants I remember! I love how it also has quilting reference with the "pieced triangles" This will be amazing when it is done.

  2. Ah yes, complete with the anklets that always disappeared into your Mary Janes! My favorite dress was a white spaghetti strapped sundress with large cobalt roses that my grandmother bought for me. I now suspect her purchase, as she had a mad obsession with cobalt! Love this piece.

  3. Oh! she is wonderful. I had a red corduroy dress with embroidery on the bodice. I wore it for my first school photo.
    Sandy in the UK

  4. The triangles in the ruffle really do make you think you are seeing ruffles! Wow! We were just talking about this the other day. I love(d) anything with a sailor collar - shirts, dresses - and if it was blue, all the better. I didn't have Mary Jane's until I was in my Aunt's wedding. Saddle shoes until I revolted in high school. :) Snow is one of those things I like for 2 days, then I am done with it. Since we are in the "city" (such as it is, lol!), our sidewalks have to be cleared 24 hours after the snow stops and we live on a corner! So, we have beautifully shoveled walks and snow up to the bumper in the road. The city doesn't have the same requirements for themselves. Aren't birdfeeders the best TV? Stay toasty!

  5. She brings back those long ago memories of elementary school, I really like the way you have incorporated "pieced triangles" throughout, its a very charming quilt.

  6. My grandmother bought me a very "fancy" dress for my 9th birthday. I felt like a princess in that dress. I have pictures of me wearing the dress and the smile on my face--wow. My mom wasn't happy about the dress. I think I may have been allowed to wear it one more time, for a special school program. Then the dress was gone. Thank goodness I still have the pictures. It was a very, very pretty dress.

  7. I just hopped by from another blog and was looking at your post. My heart did a flip when I saw the sewing machine with snow on it. I imagine it was a gonner and you are using it as art...first time I've ever seen this and I like it and wish it were in my front yard :)


  8. Slowly catching up on reading some blogs. I loved this post and love the blue dress.