I love quilting. I will always love quilting. I will always quilt.
It brought me out of a darkness. It gave me a new language of skills. I can actually write and think in pattern speak. I love design. I'm a pretty good designer, and designing quilts is fun, and interesting, and challenging, and can be a little magical to see a drawing or a print off of something that you worked up materialize itself on your wall and in your hands. With fabric you designed, no less!
I come from the best.
But I at the same time, I have never really known where I fit. Its always been as if my stuff was too designed, or too different to really hit it. I think I've been focusing a lot on the subtext of things, I do that, and I don't know if that translates as well in a moderately mass produced pattern as it does a limited edition hand pulled piece of art. I take that back, I know it doesn't.
So that made me question the validity of my producing fabric designs. You see I've been waging a bit of a war with myself. Is there a reason to keep producing this. Will people get it. Will people care. Is it too weird. Does it make sense that I keep doing this? Keep investing in this? Some people really seem to like it...
Things have really grown, and I have really grown. And I love my peeps. LOVE. I love you here. I love you on instagram. I love you on twitter. I even love the handful of you Facebook.
but I want to let you in a discovery I made. This is not a goodbye. This is not my signing off. This is something I have been working towards understanding for some time now.
My fabric makes sense to me when I make clothes. Fabric seems to make more sense to me when I make things that I wear, or sisters wear, or friends wear. It comes alive. And there are parts of me that I don't always get to use, like my secret engineering side, the side that can look at flat pattern pieces and assemble them in my mind, work out all the kinks, redraft the bust (obviously), and then assemble a beautiful thing. Making a new thing to wear is all of my favorite things about the creative process. I love the planning, I love the math, I love the problem solving (I especially love the problem solving), and I love the details.
I also really love clothing, especially dresses.
What's odd is this is something that I have wanted to do for years. I knew I could be good at it. I knew it was in me, but I just didn't do it. But it's my dear friends like Karyn, and Virginia, and Jana who cheered me on when I said... ok I'm gonna make this now. And then I did, and there was more cheering. Maybe I just had to work it out, or get to a place, or be in the care of people who could take down the road blocks that I had assembled as I had internalized the pros and cons of my ability for years.
And now it's something that I have been doing, and gaining speed at for almost a year.
So I will continue to design quilts, because I love them. I love designing them, and I love making them. But I'm also going to keep making clothes, and I am going to get really really good at that. And we are going to see where that takes me and my fabric designing.
But above all what this discovery has led me to better understand, is that I am not putting limitations on myself anymore. I am not going to draw lines in proverbial sand about who I am and what I am allowed to create and for what purpose. That's done, and I am happier for it. So I'm going to do the things that make sense to me and call it good.