Friday, February 12, 2016

A Whirling Dervish In my Sewing Room

I've heard that artists can get so lost in what they are doing, their studios become a disaster area and they lose entire days to their craft, not coming up for air until their pieces are done.

Lunatics, I've always called those people.

Until I look at what happens when I sew from an idea in my head.  If I'm using a pattern, I usually am pretty good about having everything ready and ironed and while I make a mess and get caught up in what I'm doing, I can take a break and do things a normal person does.

But, when there's an idea in my head that I'm finally giving a try, all bets are off.  I have no idea how my room ends up like this.  In this picture, my sewing machine isn't even on the right table and I can't put it in its proper spot until I move everything, including that dustbuster...  How did that get there?  Clearly no cleaning was taking place in this room.

I see everyone "pull fabric" for a project and they have these lovely folded fabrics, looking like fat quarters with their neatness.  They lay them out, line them up, check out how everything goes together and take pictures for the rest of us to see on pinterest.

When I "pull fabric" it's usually out of the bottom of some pile and it takes a lot of "pulling" to get it out from where I want it!

Let's take the rainbow quilt as an example.  I've had this idea swirling about in my head for years, and finally decided to act on the idea.  Many of the people I follow on instagram would have not only been able to pull all of their rainbow colors and arrange them in a neat pattern first, they would have actually had their rainbow colors arranged in such a way that they knew exactly where everything is.

I do have a great color organizing system for big pieces of fabric and that has been one of my best ideas.  But, I knew the the rainbow quilt was going to be made from a lot of scraps, so there was no neat pile of colors.

No well ironed pieces ready to be cut and sewn.

Instead, there was a half hour of digging through my scraps drawer, deciding on the fly which widths I'd use, based on the most common widths of the scraps I had.  The less cutting and measuring, the better.  I did pull out pieces and arrange them in rainbow colored piles, but they were not ironed and in some cases, they were still attached to other pieces that I had to tear out and pull apart.

Definitely not pinterest worthy.

Next in the mayhem that is my sewing from my head, I had no real plans for how big this quilt would be.  When I'm winging it, I have no preconceived measurements, no idea how much fabric I will need, no idea what I will do when I get 3/4 of the way through and don't have enough of some crucial fabric.

Because, when it comes to making something, I JUST WANT TO SEE THE FINISHED PRODUCT!  I've usually been thinking about it for so long, I just can't wait to see if it will come out the way I want.  I won't take the time to prethink all of the math.  I let the fabric and ideas speak to each other and off I go.

It's like I'm sewing without protective gear.  

Hours go by.  I have to go to the bathroom, but I wait until the last possible minute.  I set a timer, but then turn it off.  I set limits, like after this CD is done, after this episode, etc., but I still I keep at it.

I would hardly call this the same sort of frenzy that artists like painters or potters get themselves into when they are one with their craft because I don't really think of quilting as that sort of art.  But something definitely overtakes me when I'm trying to make something I've been dwelling on for a while and I lose all sense of everything:  time, common sense, reasoning, speed.

It's like I'm a hippy, all free and going with the flow!

Once I finish my imagined item, I can come up for air and think about cleaning up my mess.  Sometimes, I return my sewing room to its normal state.  But sometimes, I don't have time and off I go, leaving my room looking like a bomb went off, and it might stay like that for months.

I fall over things, have to clear space to do the smallest task and get annoyed with it all and wonder how I can be such a mess.

And then the next idea strikes me and it all starts again!

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1 comment:

  1. Ha, I know this scenario all too well. I work with a variety of mediums and can very easily have a handful of ideas simultaneously dancing in my head. When all hell breaks loose I give myself permission to delegate a disaster area (kitchen table), and ride out the storm until it's over. I often clean the rest of my house prior to a storm so that I can find respite in other rooms. Compartmentalized mess, that's my motto.


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