Because apparently, wanting to make something just for sheer enjoyment of the creative process and seeing the finished product is not the right answer. Nor is “I need the practice.” Or “I just like playing with pretty fabric, ok?!”
Hmmmph.I still consider myself a novice quilter and, although I’ve learned a lot so far, there’s still a lot more to learn and I’m trying to enjoy and examine the whole process of quilt-making as I go. Most of what I’ve made so far has been (or will be) given away and has a defined purpose, but I’m starting to find that there’s a certain pressure that comes with crafting projects for others. Will they like it? Will it be done in time? Do I dare try a new technique and end up potentially ruining someone’s gift and having to start all over again? Sometimes this pressure is a good thing – there’s nothing like a deadline for getting things done and crafting for someone else’s tastes can present an interesting challenge when it pushes me to use colours or techniques I might not otherwise have chosen. And quite often I do try new techniques (because when you’re this new to quilting, it’s hard not to!). I’m finding baby quilts are quite good for that (plus they’re small so they’re usually done fairly quickly!).
However, as I learn more, I’m finding that there’s still a bewildering variety of techniques and inspiration out there, not to mention concepts and ideas I’ve come up with myself, that I’d like to experiment with. Obviously, you can’t do ALL the things ALL at the same time (especially when quilting is your hobby, not your day job!), but when I get a chance and a stronger-than-usual prod from the creative muse, it’s nice to have a go at something new without feeling stressed about its reception by someone else or fretting over mistakes or avoiding new techniques because “OMG, it’s a present, I mustn’t mess it up!” I like making things for other people, I promise I do, but sometimes I crave the freedom to craft for craft’s sake.
So please, dear family, STOP asking who or what a project is for. STOP asking me to justify every creation. Sometimes I like to make things for themselves, no more and no less. And maybe their value is only what they teach me. The fact that something potentially snuggly and/or decorative may emerge from the process is a happy bonus.
This video here is relevant:
(I’m still firmly in the “has good intentions, implementation kind of sucks” stage. It’d be nice to get out of it at some point.)