Sewing Another Map

Dear Liza,

Basic map, showing West Hills, downtown, Willamette River with Hawthorne Bridge, and the East side

This lockdown is very odd. Some days I sit like a bump on a log, my mind a blank, until I am needed to do something. Other days I wake up motivated and DOING… studying Duolingo or softening butter for cookies, being useful and having fun.

I have picked up a project I started last year, an appliqued map of Portland. Making maps is one of my favorite things, but they always require so many decisions! How much of the city should I show? How big should everything be? How much artistic license can I take?

The West Hills getting forested, with room for roads

For this one, I decided to show the parts of the city I know and love best, running east-west from the West Hills to Laurelhurst Park, and north-south from the Steel Bridge to Ladd’s Addition. I am trying to stay true to distances, while allowing myself to make actual locations and objects bigger if needed.

Downtown and Eastside parks getting some trees

When I sew, I call it “working” on the map, but it’s really playing. The artistic process of “do this thing, walk away, come back, have a look, change it, come back later…” is definitely happening, and it is nice to be so completely in charge of something at this odd, “out of my hands” time.

I hope you are having fun, too.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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