Friday, December 9, 2016

That's Not Me

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, reading some very lovely posts - gifted quilters waxing philosophically about their quilts, charged with meaning. I love reading those posts and sometimes they even touch me where it counts. But again, I came to the realization that that's not me. Very few of my works have meaning in that way. I find fabric I love and create designs that I love, using techniques that I love, and it all feeds me in a very real way. But anything deeper than that? Not usually.

I sometimes ponder whether or not someday that will be me. When the fullness of the work day doesn't in some way follow me home at night. When the weekends aren't so drenched in simple relief at being away from it all. When the focus isn't so much on recharging for the coming week. I wonder.

But meanwhile I sew. Just because. Any deeper meaning is rarely an impetus. I just sew.

45 comments:

  1. and the things you make are more inspiring to me than some of the long, mushy posts of others! who needs words? your best nine is so beautiful (and so much green!)

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  2. Deep meaning or not, your work is beautiful! And you're not alone. Some of the things I make are meaningful because of the people I make them for, but it's the gift overall that is meaningful not the quilt.

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  3. I agree with Ellen. Your quilts speak for themselves and don't need lyric philosophy to make them meaningful. Your best nine are great, but strangely enough, my favourites of yours this year are some of your other ones!

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    1. Oops Ellyn...darn autocorrect ...

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  4. ME TOO! it's nice to hear someone else say this. I just like making.

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  5. I just sew. I just sew. Exactly how I feel. Especially this past month! Have to leave home for a night and wonder what I will do without my machine! Thank you for your pictures.

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  6. I quilt for the meaning and relief that it brings to me -- some of the projects are very meaningful and others are because (like you) I love the fabric and creative process. I've seen some quilters that it seems every piece they create is life altering and that comes across as overdone and fake at times. No matter the reason (or lack of) your quilts are awesome and inspiring.

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  7. or you leave us to figure out the meaning. Great quilts!

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  8. Not every quilt is made for a deep and meaningful purpose. Or out of the need to express a certain feeling. I think it's great that people almost therapeutically quilt. But that makes those quilts not better or worse than those which are just created for the fun of it.
    Your quilts have a great lightness and are very inspirational, they don't need a deeper meaning. They're awesome the way they are!

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  9. I am with Allison. It's the making that's the thing.

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  10. I love this as an honest observation. One is not better than the other IMO and I feel the same way most of the time. I view "deep meaning" as just another element to challenge myself. I think the value of make for the sake of making and fulfilling a joy should be held with high praise.

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  11. I agree! And aren't we lucky that you "just" sew!

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  12. I waiver back and forth on this one. It's usually the events taking place while I make a project that gives it meaning. Like I'll remember my the summer of 2016 while I was stitching my Cross Cut quilt. I've made a table runner using my mom's old hankies and that one holds dear to me because it will always remind me of her. I think sometimes it's important to remember that our projects create meaning for others when they receive them, too!

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  13. A picture is worth a thousand words. You take great pictures. Others have a talent for story-telling. Both have their place in blogland!!! Thank you for sharing all that you do.
    Preeti.

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  14. You sew because it feeds your soul, it doesn't need any more meaning, it just satisfies a need and gives fulfilment. Some quilts stay with us for specific reasons, most don't. I love the first quilt I ever made, the quilt with wonky seams full of flaws. The Baltimore quilt that took me three years to make I keep trying to get rid of, it doesn't mean anything.

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  15. I agree with your sentiments completely. I sew because it satisfies the creative part of me that needs release. Rarely do I start with some deep meaning. I just love to sew!

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  16. Bravo! and 'Yes' to that!
    I am therefore I sew.

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  17. For me it is all about inspiration from the fabric choices or shapes I want to work with. Even though I might remember what I was doing when making each quilt there are no deep feelings or themes portrayed in the quilt. It is the fun of playing with color and design and nothing more and there is nothing wrong with that.

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  18. I have friends who like to refer to me, in reference to my quilting, as an artist; I prefer crafter. They assume I am being modest or self-depreciating, but that's truly how I feel about it and kind of how I prefer it to be, for me. I greatly admire quilt artists, and would love to be one myself, but that's not me. :) Often it's nice just to be, just to do, and not have it be anything other than itself.

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  19. Thank you for this post. I quilt because the fabric is pretty and it calms me after a full week at the office. Yes, the end result brings joy to someone but that's just the cherry on top. For the past couple of weeks I've wondered whether I should stretch myself more and make more intricate things instead of my fairly easy quilts but the easy quilts bring me joy. I do some more intricate things occasionally but they don't bring the "relief" I seek when I pick up fabric to "just sew." So probably a combination is always best. Sort of like balance fries and veggies!

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  20. Haha! Me too...I just sew! Now the hubs, HE sometimes wonders what it all means!

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  21. I love all your projects, feeds my creative soul.....

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  22. Well said! And thank you - for being you and for sharing all your wonderful creations after the stress of work!

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  23. What an interesting observation, you may not think you are making something with a specific meaning, but your quilts certainly express a distinct style and your own voice and vision, which is meaningful in itself.

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  24. I think everyone has a different source of inspiration. Music, personal stories, nature, books, feelings, color, art or other visuals. One isn't any better or more worthy. You say, "what if" a lot. What if I choose mid-century mod as a theme? What if I choose bacon? What if I chop up this block? What if I try piecing a layered, improv curve? To qualify what you are doing with a *just* does yourself a great injustice.

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  25. I totally agree... when I read quilter's waxing poetically about their quilts and their meanings and symbolism, etc. I think that's nice but I just want to play with pretty fabrics and make simple quilts. I'm not creating one of a kind heirlooms, I'm making quilts that make me happy and that is more than enough for me!

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  26. I like this, and I like how it's got me thinking about my own quilting. At times I've felt deficient, because I don't think I make philosophical or artistic statements with my quilting. Then again, maybe I do, in preferring frugal and upcycled fabric choices. I think you make artistic and inspirational statements in your improv work. But the making of things, tactile and visual pleasure of fabrics, using tools and techniques, and thoughtful processes are the real joy for me, too.

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  27. "Just because" is sometimes the best reason of all! (And whatever, bacon has a deep and meaningful message to me. Baaaaaaaaacon.)

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  28. Who says there has to be more? Keep sewing!

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  29. I love that you've written about this. I really and truly believe we should all make what we love, and what we need to do. Some quilters prefer to make meaningful quilts in which they pour their love, sadness, anxiety, etc. And I love that they are able to do that. I've read some of those posts and stories and some of them brought me to tears. I am like you - I sew because my "day job" is stressful and spending time in my sewing room in the evening and on weekends is how I release the stress, how I forget about work for a while. And I've never felt less of a quilter because my quilts don't have a great story behind them... just like you - that isn't me!

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  30. I think every quilt has a story, no matter if it was made with a powerful meaning or just for the sake of meaning. You have a specific style, Debbie, and it shows! I see your quilts as a part of you.

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  31. I love this! I agree - I sew just because I enjoy it and there is no deeper meaning, so thanks for encouraging me that that is okay! Love all your work, and I especially love your newsletter :-)

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  32. LOVE your style and quilts in any case :-))

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  33. I love to sew and sew and pet fabric and collect fabric. It doesn't have to have a meaning for me either. As long as we enjoy it that is what counts! I don't need long wordy posts and I try to keep my post short. It takes time to write posts, I love to show my work, I love to look at what others create but I don't need to hear every word out there about it!! Happy Holidays

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  34. You just summed up my quilting journey too! I'm a 'quilt' in the moment person. I do what I feel or what I feel like. Rarely is there a design or finish that grabs me by the throat or heart. I love quilting. It's my creative outlet.

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  35. Whatever inspires each person is great. I'd probably be incorrect if I said there was never a deeper meaning behind at least some of my quilts. But most of the time, I just like to make stuff. It's nice to know I am not the only one.

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  36. Isn't making something beautiful enough? It's energizing, soothing, exciting, calming, & satisfying all at once for me. 'Nuff said.

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  37. Sewing/quilting makes me happy and fills me with peace and joy. I'm glad to read that many others feel the same. The bonus is my heart smiles when a recipient is surprised (and delighted) when they receive from me. I'll sew and give until I no longer can.

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  38. Same here. I like my quilting to be as shallow in thought as possible. For me it is a stress relief and I just make things for the sake of making them or that I liked the color. 😀

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  39. Same here. I like my quilting to be as shallow in thought as possible. For me it is a stress relief and I just make things for the sake of making them or that I liked the color. 😀

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  40. I'm so with you on this, I have problems coming up with names for my quilts let alone a story when it comes to entering into shows!

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  41. I don't think anyone can say there isn't a deep meaning behind the bacon quilt. Bacon is always deep. ;)
    I do both, and I don't think one is more right than the other. This year I desperately needed an outlet for all the stuff going on, and quilting was it. But that doesn't take away from what you do at all and shouldn't.
    I find some of the comments here interesting and a little dispiriting. Everyone has their own stories and their own reasons and it is no reflection on anyone else or what they should do. Follow your own muse and enjoy it. There's enough shit out there without feeling pressure to make according to someone else's story and place within it.

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  42. Same here! I love designing and making quilts. I admit the peer pressure to "be deep" was beginning to overwhelm me, naming my quilts is difficult enough, so it was great to read I'm not alone. Thank you!

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