Oregon is turning 160 this year. And where there are birthdays, there are presents.
In June 2018, amateur upholsterer Seth Patterson teamed up with Portland-based photographer (and friend) Tom Baker to create “the most Oregon gift ever.” Settling on the idea of a wool blanket, the duo turned to the state's iconic Pendleton Woolen Mills. (That company celebrates its 156th birthday this year.) Patterson and Baker connected with Pendleton's custom blanket program, which allows individuals to submit design ideas for approval. Then—if Pendleton's looms can physically make it, and the order is large enough to warrant production—Pendleton will craft it. All Patterson and Baker needed to do was drum up the capital for a sizable-enough initial order.
Their design, of course, was already in the bag: a monochromatic take on our state flag.
“The font of the lettering feels very vintage,” states Seth. “The elements of the flag show the oxen, the mountains, the history of Oregon, the Oregon Trail.” The finished blanket displays the Oregon crest, recreated on heather gray wool, with two sets of black stripped tracks to represent wagon wheels on the Oregon Trail.
After a road trip/photo shoot across the “Seven Wonders of Oregon," the pair created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first run. The objective was to raise $20,000 in thirty days. Within seven hours, they'd already reached that goal. (As of this afternoon, the campaign has raised more than $64,000.)
“It’s been wild since we launched,” says Patterson, who adds, “it doesn’t feel like work. It’s super fun. Everyone wants to jump on board, and I feel like that’s a good sign.”
You can still purchase the blanket via Kickstarter for $295 until Thursday, March 14. When the Kickstarter campaign ends, the blanket will retail at $325 here.