finding my way into winter

November 1st. After morning chores, we’ll go over to Anderson Creek today to see if the chum salmon are running. These are good days to be outside. Leaves are falling, the last of the geese are heading south, and our woodshed is slowly filling. Slowly, because our division of labour has shifted slightly due to a rogue medical adventure of John’s last week so I’m the one stacking the fir chunks into rows in the woodshed, trying to keep my stacks as tidy as those behind them—the alder already cut and stacked earlier by John. It’s a kind of learned skill, how to choose pieces that will fit snugly against their neighbour, how to wedge and balance. Not unlike other things I do, not unlike the patterns I look for when I’m eyeing a stack of fabric and thinking about quilts, though I have to say that stacking firewood is a bit more physical.

I took the wax out of the final length of indigo-dyed fabric the other day. I confessed in an earlier post that I realized before even unwrapping the length after its immersion in dye baths and long period of overnight oxidization that it wouldn’t look the way I’d hoped it would. And it doesn’t. But it has moments. This one, for example:


And the eel-grass areas at the four corners of the fabric, because of the way I’d folded and wrapped and bound the sheet around a length of pvc pipe:

eel grass

I’m glad to have done it, to have learned things, and to have something now to work with. And there are pieces from this last dye lot that have surprised me with their beauty. This one will be a single-cloth quilt on its own, maybe backed with deep red cotton, and quilted with red sashiko stitching:


Once the woodshed is filled and I know I can count on a winter of warm fires to work by, I’ll begin the process of turning this into a quilt. And all the other fabric I dyed? Well, it’s waiting too. Everything is gathering—the imagery, the ideas, the hours themselves, and my own need to spend time stitching and thinking, finding my way into winter.

5 thoughts on “finding my way into winter”

    1. Oh, thank you so much. I love the process, loved the immersion in it (a kind of relief printing), and am always kind of surprised at results. Never what I imagined — if I actually imagined anything specific. But just home from the local creek where I didn’t see any fish though I surprised a bear on the other side. All part of it, somehow…

    1. I wish I could say my garden has been put to bed but only parts of it are ready for winter. The garlic bed, the cucumber boxes, the areas where I grow tomatoes, for instance. Have been caught up in writing and fabric work and somehow it seemed more important to follow through on those particular inspirations. But there’s time….!

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