Saturday, May 2, 2015

Start at the beginning, an introduction of sorts

I am a maker and an autodidact. (If you're not familiar with that term, you can listen to Adam Savage discuss it here, or, you know, Google it ;) I'm one of those people who always has to be doing something, working on something... my boyfriend can attest to this, and my best friend from high school has many stories of the times I would frustratedly proclaim "Let's DO something!". If I'm not doing something, I need to be planning something or learning something... I like to keep busy, and I like to have something to show for my efforts.

When I was little, I really enjoyed building, creating, drawing... anything creative. So when I got to university, it took me about 30 seconds to realize I needed to major in art. It probably wouldn't get me a job, but it was what I needed to do, so I did. I took the usual drawing and painting classes and realized... eh, I wasn't that great at it. Then I discovered photography and mixed media and the lightbulb went on.

I've done two art degrees (studio art in California and art education in Quebec) and I eventually found my way into a 'fiber arts' class to fulfill a requirement and, ironically, I hated it. Or rather, I hated the professor. As a person, she was lovely and interesting, but the class she taught was disorganized, vague, and incredibly frustrating for me. To this day when I see a weaving loom, my blood pressure goes up... I'm not even kidding.

Horrible experience aside, I started to get the itch to do more things with fabric and yarn. Over the past few years I have made heaps of knit scarves and hats (my friends and family are well stocked come winter), crocheted blankets and even have a set of double-pointed needles, some sock yarn and a pattern sitting by the couch awaiting my sock-making attempts, and likely much swearing.

I've also slowly taught myself to sew and quilt... I am not the most patient person, so there have been many (_many_) hurried and half-assed projects along the way. I eventually, and grudgingly, realized that my usual impatience was not helpful in this particular arena, so along with all other skills I have had to develop my patience and willingness to do things 'properly'. At the moment I have the various bits and pieces for a Vivian travel bag strewn across my work table as I work my way through the pages of instructions. A few years back, I would have rushed through making it so as to get to use it as quickly as possible... and likely would have been frustrated with the sub-standard results. Considering the cost of supplies, I have learned the value of taking my time and doing things right :)

I will wrap this up with a picture of the first quilt I made for myself. It has become known as the Tim Burton quilt and is also the quilt I sleep with every night. I simply chose four fabrics, cut into squares and put them together completely at random. The quilting was kept to a simple grid and it has held up wonderfully over the past few years... it remains one of my favorites:

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