Spring has finally sprung on Long Island. The daffodils and hyacinths are fading, as the tulips are blooming. I love watching the cycle of bulbs and perennials, as each flower comes into its season.
I have to admit I have a particular flower, which happens to be a tulip, that I am so moved by each spring. I don't know its name, although I am sure that some of you can fill me in. Tall and graceful, with elegantly pointed, deep-pink petals–I think of most tulips as cute, but this one is chic.
When the landscape designer put them in a few years ago, she said that they would likely last only a season. Long Island has more than its share of devout gardeners, and I know a few who plant new bulbs each fall or, even more impressively, dig up their bulbs to preserve them. I have been lucky, and so far these lovely tulips have come back each season, and each time I am moved to photograph them.
Tonight a particular bloom captured me. In the cool early evening spring light, it shone luminously, ready to unfurl its petals tomorrow, but still clutching them tightly tonight. I marveled at the lovely lines and had to take more than a few pictures to preserve the memory of its beauty, as well as its sisters.
I love to take this beauty, maybe not literally, maybe just inspirationally and bring it to my sewing. I know that this same love of beautiful things is what moves me to sew, what drives me through the technical challenges, to create something to be loved by me or someone else.
When I was a beginning sewist, I would always begin a project with a vision. I knew exactly what I was aiming for. I could see it in my mind's eye. And while my technique may have been lacking at first, enough of the vision came to be that I would try again and again. And by trying again, I became a better sewist.
Now I have been sewing off and on for over four decades, but that first vision, the thing of beauty that I am setting out to make, the picture I see in my mind's eye that inspires me is still the same passion. It gives me the patience to endure long hours, late nights, and painstaking machine- and hand-sewing. Thank you, spring, and thank you, lovely ephemeral tulip for reminding me again that it is the vision of beauty that sparks my imagination and sits me down in front of the machine.
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Do you have beautiful things that inspire your sewing, either literally or conceptually? Can you think of a literal way I could incorporate this tulip into a bag design? I would love to know what you think.