At university H. (of Cameo Curio) and I formed a club borne of our shared loves – the quilts and cider club. It was a truly wonderful club that, as the founders, we excelled in. Well, alright then – we excelled at the cider part. To be fair, we talked about the kinds of quilts we were going to make, drew a couple of sketches, and even got round to looking at books and fabrics. We just never really got round to the sewing part…largely due to excelling at the cider. We talked a good talk about the kind of creative crafters we’d like to be but never really got round to the hard part of getting down to making.
One of the things that I have been most inspired by in 2011 is H. starting up her own business and properly taking the plunge into the world of the self-employed artist. Although I consider her to be incredibly talented (it’s true, just take a look over here) what I really admire about her is that she has been determined to put time, effort and a lot of hard work into focusing on her creativity and doing the work of drawing, sewing and making pretty much every day. As part of Cameo Curio, she and T. launched and supported the ‘Month of Marks’ which encouraged a few of us to really get to grips with the heart of creativity. And, looking back over the year, it’s a time where I learnt that true creativity isn’t just about being ‘inspired’ but about giving yourself permission (and often a swift kick in the rear) to get on with the plans that you’ve made in your head. This reminded me of all the plans we’d had for sewing, and that I really didn’t have a good reason not to make some submissions to the quilts and cider club archives.
The first quilt I made was for the birth of my little nephew and it was a tied quilt with clouds and birdies and leaves on it in lovely blues and greys. Sadly, I have no pictures of it, because I got so excited about taking photos of the cutest little man alive that I totally forgot to give two hoots about taking photos of a quilt. I’m quite sure you’ll understand.
The second, pictured here, was a Christmas pressie for my sister in law, F. I can now post these photos because Christmas has indeed past and it is no longer a secret. I really had to take baby steps with this quilt because I really didn’t have much confidence in my creativity or in my sewing abilities. I took me about three months to stop just sitting and staring at the fabric, convinced that I would ruin it by trying to make something out of it, and finally grew a spine and cut the fabric. I didn’t have a pattern or a plan, because I’m really sensible like that and I always try to make things easier for myself. It ended up being a mix of improv quilting (for the strips and the hand stitching on the white sections) and a plan that I doodled up during a lecture.
I’m glad to finally make my first formal entry to the quilts and cider archive, and to have overcome – for now – the jitters I had about trusting my own creativity and competence for craft.
Does anyone else get the creative jitters when it comes to actually putting ideas into reality? Or rather, pen to paper; brush to canvas; scissors to fabric? What do you do to try and get over it? Does it get better with experience?
Details: the main fabrics in the strip quilt are from the ‘beyond the sea’ collection from Cloud 9 – a lovely eco fabrics company – ordered from M is For Make. The white fabric is a basic quilting cotton from Mandors, and the backing fabric is Klona Cotton in Pink from Backstitch. Both M is for Make and Backstitch are excellent – prompt service, beautifully wrapped and a lovely handwritten note.