Last night I was at yet another guild meeting, being in two guilds and it being the holiday season, and we were once again talking about all things quilting.
It is slowly dawning on me that maybe other people who enjoy the same hobby as I do haven’t been doing it as long as I assumed and maybe don’t even partake as often. Challenging my own assumptions here as I too insist I am not the fuddy duddy old grandmother traditional muddy fabric quilter.
Talking to other ladies who do not have dedicated sewing rooms and who do not sew almost every day but maybe get a couple hours in once a week, if they’re lucky.
Talking to other ladies who make maybe six quilts a year, slowly and with a purpose – for a son’s wedding, a new baby, an older child off to college. A reason, a means to an end.
How do you do it, they ask, and I see half the question in their eye of “why?” as well. “You’re so… driven,” they remark. I make light sometimes, saying I don’t really clean my house, who likes cleaning right? I’d rather sew.
Sometimes, if I think we have time, I tell them a small story.
Do you know any writers, I ask? I work with some writers, I know some writers and a musician. The thing is, they have to write. The words, the music, it is there – in them – and it has to come out. There’s no reason, no reasoning, it just is. The music wants to come to life, the story needs to be written.
That’s how I quilt, that’s how I sew. I have to.
In every house we’ve lived in, no matter the state of renovation. In any stage of life – babies underfoot, teenagers borrowing the machine, no room dedicated and yet there I was, sewing in a corner because I had to.
I look at a scrap of fabric and get ideas. I see the garment, I see the quilt block.
I look at quilt tops unfinished, and see the quilting.
I close my eyes and there it is – yet another design. I try and record it somewhere, a scrap of paper, notebook, sticky notes at the side of the bed on the nightstand full of half asleep scrawls and rustic sketches I look at sideways with awake eyes.
I moved my work desk and laptop to our sewing room / future office, to make room for the Christmas tree. Only temporary for the holidays, I said. The busy holidays where less sewing happens. But I’m here, surrounded by piles of fabric in various stages of design and completion.
It’s been four days since I’ve sewn anything. I’m feeling the pull.
Four days, and I tell myself if I just swing my chair across the room and sew for ten minutes on a work break, I’l be fiiiine and hope I don’t forget I have a day job.
Because I can’t not quilt.