Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13 - WIP

The handquilting is complete. I found that I LOVE the process of the handwork. I think that may be why I turn to cross stitch over and over. As I continue working on the ATC for my indulgence project, I find myself wanting to pick up fabric, needle and thread. I find myself drawn to the tactile feel of the different fabrics, to the texture the thread creates, to the rhythm I find when the "zone" is reached. CraftApple posted her gorgeous baby quilt after the washing, I am even entranced by the puckering and wrinkling that a quilt takes on after that first trip through the washer and dryer.

I am exhilarated by other processes and mediums, but I find myself coming back to the needlecrafts again and again, so you will continue to see those types of creations here with much more frequency.

The nights here have turned cooler. I found myself reaching for the heavier covers last night. And many of our regular customers have talked about that this morning. There is an honesty about handmade quilts that you cannot purchase at the big box stores. The materials chosen by the artisan, the weight of the materials, the tedious hand stitching. Everything about a handmade quilt was a decision by the maker. With "production line" beddings, that personal touch is gone. The quilt may be just as warm physically, but it sure doesn't have that warm the soul feeling that my emotional side responds to. A crocheted afghan has that same feeling to me. Someone took the time to sit still and work with her hands to create this. Handknits - same thing.

The older I get, the more respect and admiration I have for handcrafted items. There have been times in the past that I would buy the "production" items because of the prestige they had. I gifted people with store bought items for the same reason. I didn't think anyone would really appreciate a handmade gift from me.

As I have become more adept at my creations, I have begun giving them as gifts. I have learned that the time I spend thinking of the recipient, praying for them, planning for their gift occasion, and loving them in the process is really more important than the gift itself.

I have also started to purchase more "cottage industry" handmade creations and art pieces. Sometimes from the elderly who supplement their income, sometimes kids trying to make a little extra spending money, sometimes artists who make their living bringing beauty into the lives of others.

As I refine and develop my own process and aesthetic in my creations, I hope to find a cheering squad out there to encourage me. I hope to be a part of many cheering squads for others. I have discovered that the creative community is always willing to share, cheer, encourage, inspire, and purchase with and from each other. Thank you all who have cheered for me so far. Thank you all for allowing me to cheer for you.

Take a look back at the toile print in the quilt photo. I can imagine those two ladies sharing thoughts, tears, laughter, and encouragement. That's how I think of each one of you who touches my life. As someone I can sit and share a conversation with. A conversation we both can learn from.

Sit and share today. Encourage an artist. Purchase an item. Make you own item just for your pleasure. Share an item you made with someone. To borrow a phrase from NIKE : JUST DO IT. (Sorry Mr Randolph-I know that's Tiger's brand).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Vallen said...

Beautiful quilt, inspirational blog. Thanks

shula said...

that quilt is beautiful.

linda said...

I can't believe you quilt by hand. That is a skill that I may never master! Your quilt is pretty - simple - I like simple. It will be neat to see the finished piece.

I really enjoy making things for people as well. I imagine them using it and there is really love put into a project like that.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

wow!!! By hand!! That is wonderful!! Alot of work, but nevertheless wonderful!! Toile du Jouey, so French!