white welcome: II

The weather forecast is predicting the arrival of cool fall breezes and even the possibility of rain. Perhaps the rose bushes will bloom once more- a final farewell to another hot, dry summer. In such an arid place, this provides a perfect reason for celebrating . . . and baking.

Since childhood I’ve enjoyed baking, most especially pies, breads, and cookies. Baked goods have often served as a featured element in my gifts- tins of cookies for our children and a variety of homemade breads packaged for our friends. Now, with the promise of fall in the air and the crafting of welcome gifts on my mind, I shall combine these favorite pastimes to greet the new season and any guests that might appear on our doorstep.

While I have some standard recipes I utilize for most of my gift giving, for the past few years I’ve been experimenting with patterns for the fashioning of gift bags and totes. One of my favorites is Simplicity’s Soft Bags from their Sewing Patterns for Dummies line. Its “dummy” designation makes me chuckle and keeps me humble. Additionally, the simplicity of the design serves me well, because my creative desires often arise in the most unanticipated and untimely moments. Moreover, this pattern is easy to alter, accommodating any number of gift giving purposes.  It can be resized and supports a number of fabric combinations and finishes. For my present purpose, I reduced the pattern’s dimensions, crafted it from some fabric remnants, and embellished it with a quilted diamond design and a treasured vintage rose.

This bag will be filled with tasty treats and reading materials, intended to foster a quiet, relaxing afternoon or perhaps a bedtime snack. The chosen contents (a bottle of water, cloth napkin, small book, and a tin of my friend’s delicious molasses cookies) are easily acquired and can be produced or purchased well in advance of any visit.

So another simple white welcome comes into being, as joyfully created as joyfully shared. With it I say, “Welcome Fall. Welcome friend. Welcome to our home.”

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