Gathering textiles has an Instagram!

My NEW brand “gatherings ” has an Instagram. Stop by sometime! I would love to hear your thoughts about my textiles and what you would like to see in the shop!

Gathering Textiles new instagram!

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Working on new linens and towels for the shop! Updates in May. I’m excited to share with you all.

About ‘gatherings’ :

I have a minimalist yet classic style. Gatherings started with a simple idea. I moved into my own place and wanted to create and design textiles that would fit into my personal lifestyle: Down-to-earth and simple yet stylish, elegant and classic. Having friends and loved ones over for brunch, dinner or coffee made me realize the importance of table linens, napkins, aprons and towels. Instead of looking for textiles that would suit our simple and elegant gatherings in stores, I decided instead to design and create them.

Gatherings is a brand inspired by moments of coming together for conversation, good food and drink. The most precious moments are those we spend with people we enjoy and these textiles add an additional spark of classic and timeless elegance. We engage with textiles during a gathering the way we engage in conversation and I believe it’s important that the fabrics we use during our special gatherings should speak to comfort and elegance and should be made from natural, warm fibers.

Gatherings is about the most important moments in life. The times spent together sharing a drink, good food, conversation and time.

Natural, earthy and classic, the objects I make are designed with all different types of gatherings in mind. Time together with family and friends are moments that I treasure and love most. I want to bring my love of gatherings to you and your own moments of food, drink and conversation.

I hope you enjoy my shop and feel free to drop me a line!

**Tessa

Gatherings- Side project made of linen

Linens for special gatherings.

Gatherings is what I’m naming this new undertaking. It was born out of my desire to have fabric napkins I could use when I had guests over for gatherings. Paper towels and little cloths work just fine, but I’m a maker! I can make napkins.

Determined, I wanted to create a napkin that I could use for gathering and I wanted to use my favorite fabric; LINEN! Linen is a beautiful cloth often used and worn in the summertime because it keeps the body cool and fresh.  Linen is clean and simple. It’s natural and earthy.

So my sewing machine has been kept busy sewing linens to create napkins and tea towels but I’ve also been creating half aprons, full length aprons and kitchen towels as well. I hand dye the fabric to match moods and personalities and decor. Cloth napkins add a nice touch to a sweet dinner or gathering for tea or coffee. It adds a pop of color and handmade feel.

My hope is to push this to the maxwith organic linens and natural dyes but for now I’m having a lot of fun experimenting, designing and creating.

So here’s to linen and gatherings both big and small.

Come see my etsy shop! gathertextiles.etsy.com

Sky Blue Napkins1

Summer tea towel

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Sky Blue Napkins tied up with a bow

Napkins

Sky Blue Napkins

Sky Blue Napkins 4

Summer tea towel2

Summer tea towel 3
cups

Countdown to Alaska

alaska

 

I am gearing up for my trip to Alaska next week with two of my brothers and my dad. Planning, packing and cleaning my apartment is top priority today. Last night I made maple scones and this morning I had one with some coffee while looking over trip itinerary. I had a dream last night that one of the cabins I booked near Denali National Park couldn’t confirm my reservation because I didn’t pay them on time. I woke up in a sweat! I double checked. They have us on record. phew!

It feels cooler today. Low 80’s here in eastern Pennsylvania. In Anchorage the highs will be in the low 60’s! Looking forward to a quick return to autumn temperatures and wearing a sweater at night…..annnnnd the serene beauty of theAlaskan wilderness, seeing the start line for the Iditarod, cabin living in the middle of nowhere, glaciers and Mount McKinley of course!

It should be one heck of an adventure.

 Here’s to the coming weekend, my birthday (Saturday) and adventures in Alaska!

scone and kusadasi

Maple scones!

Bread Making – Start small!

It’s officially summertime and with summer comes extra time to be creative and create! Today, I chose bread!

This is a recipe that I love for one small loaf of bread. Good for one person or couple.  If I eat bread, I try to eat homemade bread….that way you know exactly what’s going into it. This bread requires 6 ingredients. That sure does beat the list of ingredients on the bread at the store! Have you ever checked out the labels on bread?  I think you’ll be shocked to see the list. Try to say some of those ingredients out loud…good luck trying to pronounce things like “azodicarbonamide.”

So! Okay. You wanna make bread and we’re starting small.   The thing about bread making is the zen like quality about the process. Also make sure you have a good 2 1/2 hours on your hands to dedicate to this process. This is a handmade bread. No mixers required! I

 

t takes time and  a little elbow grease. You have to put the love in if you want to get love out. Remember: All good things come to those who work hard!

 

This is the extent of the ingredients you’ll need. Milk, honey, yeast, flour,salt (it’s hiding behind the oil in the picture) and oil for coating a bowl. OH! And I forgot the butter. 1 TB of butter. That is all. No azodicarbonamide necessary! Lets get started. ingredients Pour 3/4 cup of room temperature milk into a large bowl. It’s important that it is ROOM TEMPERATURE because it needs to be warm to excite the yeast.

1 cup of milk

Next add in 2 tsps of honey. Sweet, sweet honey.

1 tsp honey

Melt 1 TB of butter. Let cool for a few minutes and then pour into the milk mixture. Butter melts FAST! Keep an eye on that butter…you don’t want it to burn.

butter

The last ingredient will be the yeast. Add in 1 tsp of active dry yeast.

1 tsp yeast

Did I forget to mention salt? SALT! Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the mixture. If you left it out, the bread wouldn’t know the difference. So your choice my friends….your choice.

salt

Stir the mixture together and add in 1 cup of flour to start with.

1 cup of flour

After mixing it should still be a wet mixture. This is good…this is GREAT!

after 1 cup flour

Add more flour until your dough forms a ball. There is no secret amount here. Just keep adding flour until the dough is not sticking to the sides of the bowl. Allow your dough to become a free-wheeling ball of flour, milk and yeast.

It should look a little something like this.

form a ball

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured, clean surface. Ready!? Time to knead. Roll up those sleeves and get ready to work.

dump on flour surface

Knead the dough for about 4 minutes, adding flour lightly if it feels sticky. When the dough is forming a ball and is no longer sticky….stop. You’ve done it. Now you and the dough must relax.

form a ball2

Looking good. This is such a sweet, small loaf of bread. I can taste it already! Now grab some oil and lightly oil a glass bowl. This is where the dough will rest.

oil a bowl

After lightly oiling the bowl, put the ball of dough in the bowl move it around on the oil and then flip it over so the top of the dough is slightly oiled. Place a light towel over the bowl and keep in a warm place. Let the dough rise for an hour.

An hour of waiting for bread to rise is an hour reading in your favorite chair, getting some house work done, or taking a run around the block. Or…you can rest…like the dough.

let sit 1 hour

After an hour your dough should be doubled in size. Aw! It’s growing!

after 1hour

So for the next part you will need a fist. Any fist will do. Your own, call over a child, ask your significant other to lend a fist and then punch the dough down into the bowl. This will release some bubbles that were created during the rising process.

punch

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface again and…you guessed it. KNEAD! Another four minutes will do. This time, listen closely to all the popping bubbles that have formed in the bread during rising. Make sure you get all of the bubbles out of the dough. Knead until the popping stops…and you’ll have to listen closely!

knead bubbles out

After about 4 minutes, form the dough into a ball shape again and prepare a baking pan or a bread stone.

bubbles out

Place the bread on the baking surface of your choice, cover with a light cloth again and let rise for 45 minutes  in a warm spot.

bread on sheet

rest 45 mins

After 45 minutes, the dough should be doubled in size. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the bread into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. I like to set the timer for 20 minutes and then check in on it every 5 minutes.

rise dough after 45

After only 25 minutes, I decided the bread was finished. Voila! A beautiful small loaf of bread make from 6 simple ingredients. I encourage you to try this recipe! If you’re interested in making your own bread, start small! But get started!

Think of the winter snow storms spent making bread instead of braving the roads to go pick up the last of the loaves left on the shelf! You have all summer to practice !

bread voila

Enjoy with some preserves or jam and a strong cup of coffee or tea !

Finished bread

What’s YOUR favorite bread recipe. This summer I want to explore bread making, so if you have a recipe please send it along or post it in a comment!

Honey Bunny Sweet Loaf

3/4 cup of (ROOM TEMPERATURE) whole milk ( milk can be replaced with low-fat or dairy free milk or water)

1 TB of butter (melted and cooled)

2+ cups of flour

2 tsp of honey

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of active dry yeast

oil to coat a bowl

1.Pour 1 cup of milk into medium bowl. Add yeast, melted and cooled butter, honey and salt to the milk and mix. Add 1 cup of flour and mix. It will be a sticky dough. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms a ball and does not stick to the sides of the bowl. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes and form into a ball.

7. Coat a large bowl with oil and place dough in the bowl. Flip the dough so the oiled surface of the dough is face up. Let rise in bowl for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down and dump on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 4 minutes or so making sure to release air bubbles. Prepare a bread stone or a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into a ball shape and place on the cooking surface. Let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

14. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place sheet with bread into the oven and cook between 20-30 minutes. Start checking the bread at 20 minutes and take it out when it is browned around the edges and top. Let cool on cooling rack and then eat and….

ENJOY!