Heart of the Country Show & Sale

Blithe Jensen

Blithe (Forbish) Jensen was born in Portland, Oregon and has continued to live there all her life. She attended DA. Grout Elementary School, Cleveland High School, and Portland Community College.

During elementary school she learned to crochet, knit, sew and make punch-needle rags

In 1975 Blithe taught herself to spin using a drop spindle. After completing a bulky, " thick and thin" sweater for her brother, she graduated to a spinning wheel.

In 1985 Blithe had the opportunity to learn to weave on floor looms.  A36"-wide loom  was borrowed from an otherwise-busy friend, and a 50"-wide loom was acquired_ soon after. A number of other looms in various sizes and styles have joined the family in the intervening years.

Blithe joined the Portland Handweavers Guild in September of 1985 and has been an active participant their annual sale.

For a time she wove for a local weaver, producing table linens, pillows, lap-robes and coverlets in traditional colonial "overshot" patterns. Some of this work appeared in two issues of "Early American Life" magazine. During this time she also had a lap-robe chosen for a temporary show at the Smithsonian museum.

In 1997 Blithe became a member of the Larch Mountain Country Artisans. She continues to enjoy her association with them. In 2002, while visiting a friend, Blithe was introduced to the craft of basketry. Having limited space and time, she has enjoyed what little she's been able to do and looks forward to challenging herself more in the near future.

Blithe strives to produce affordable, practical items to be used on a regular basis, rather than "special occasion" pieces. Her -fun is in creating with color, fiber, texture and pattern, then seeing things find a good home.

Sewing, weaving, knitting and other textile techniques play a big part in the "fabric" of her life.