Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In the beginning

Somewhere around 1996 quilts began coming into my dreams and demanding to be made. Did I know how to quilt? No. Still, they kept appearing, geometric forms and colour. This was exciting and I really wanted to make them. I signed up for a quilting class at a near by gift shop. The teacher insisted that this was a TRADITIONAL quilting class. No evil art quilts. All sewing was by hand. I had never heard of art quilts and thought traditional quilts were beautiful art. ( There is a rant here. I will save it for another post) Naturally, I bought fabric in many shades of purple and, voila, my first sampler was born.
I was then dealing with a hyperactive thyroid condition that made me irritable and nervous all the time. The healing process included complementary as well as traditional medical approaches. Quilting however was the most healing thing I did for myself at that time. I found hand sewing to be very soothing; something about that needle rhythmically moving in and out of the fabric, the texture and colour flowing through my hands. I know it had a calming effect on my nervous system. I had 2 young children and being able to pack up the work take it with me was wonderful. Instead of grinding my teeth while my brain was buzzing with"How long can it possibly take to put on a pair of boots?", I was happily making something beautiful.
After that sampler, the wall quilts demanded to be born. Our living room wall was covered with a large piece of white felt and I began playing with squares and triangles of colour. This was so much fun! Just like kindergarden. I remembered the joy and creativity I had as a young child.
Somehow with quilting ,unlike many other areas of my life, I was not at all attached to outcome. I didn't care when I finished a project. As long as I had something to work on, I was happy. I didn't feel worried about making a mistake since I didn't know how it was supposed to be done anyway. I was making it up as I went along. Seeing that this often resulted in beauty helped me bring this childlike quality of play and creativity into more of my life.
There were always obstacles. The colour in my mind did not show up in fabric. My daughter will tell you of the time I went after her nightgown with scissors because it was the perfect shade of blue. It was getting too small for her anyway, I said. Each idea I had seemed to need a technique I didn't know or materials I had never worked with. This sent me off on the long and continuing journey of learning and creating. This involved books, magazines, online classes, machines, tools and of course lots of FABRIC. I look forward to sharing more and would love to hear about others creative journeys.

No comments:

Post a Comment