Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why sewists sometimes quilt.

Followers of my blog (at least those few of you who are not related to me by blood or marriage) do so mostly because you are fellow-sewists. Some of you may wonder why anyone who can fairly quickly sew up clothing - fashions - that can be worn out, shown off, embellished and enjoy publicly and privately might want to spend the considerable time (and money!) making a bed covering that will never see the topside of a red carpet. (okay, neither will any of my clothes, but the theoretical possibility exists!)
Truly, there are as many different reasons for quilting as there are quilters. Certainly the same is true for sewists. I can only offer you some of mine:
1) Creation/re-creation. There is something oddly satisfying about taking a lovely solid piece of fabric, hacking it into little bits, attaching it in differing ways to other hacked-up bits of fabric, and having, as a result, something completely different than any of the originals, but as equal or more, lovely than the originals.
2) Challenge. Saying that quilts are hacked-up bits of fabric, attached to different hacked-up bits of fabric hardly does justice to the plethora of innate talents and learned skills involved in creating something pleasing to the eye and touch.
3) Documentation/memories. Saving bits of the clothes you have made for yourself and your loved ones to later be sewn into quilts is a lovely way to keep those memories alive.
4) Expression. Few things say "I love you" more than tangible evidence of time and talent spent creating something warm, soft, cuddly and beautiful.
5) Personal satisfaction. There is an inestimable, and indecipherable "itch" in artists that causes them to be inspired to creation by seeing other lovely creations. As a flower or a sunset inspires painters, architecture inspires fashion designers, nature inspires architects, etc & etc, so quilters are inspired by each other. Towards this last, I offer the following image:

I received an advertisement for this quilt kit in an E-Mail, and immediately thought, " oo-oo-oo. I must make that!" Not: 'I must buy that' or 'I want to have that' but 'I must make that.' Yes, of course, I want to have it. But more than that, I want to make it. I want to hack up those pretty, pretty fabrics, and re-attach them in such pleasing ways, so that I can have both the pretty colors to look at, and the satisfaction of knowing that it is so, because I made it happen.
So, then: we are quilters, sewists, artists, creators, because we are hopeless narcissists?

I can live with that.