Wednesday, March 23, 2011

inspiration returns

OK, enough whining. Let's get on with it, despite a new head cold, strep throat, and snow this week. There is so much talent around me, it's staggering.

The mom who, having finally discerned that the reason her daughter hated wearing hats was because of the preferred hairdo of said daughter (2 long ponytails, perched high, then braided), decided to knit a two-ponytail hat. (And it's not underpants, GooneyBird.) Adorable and innovative.
~another friend loves me by mail~

And frankly, there's some real fashion-forward/fashion-freedom happening in the 6th grade, my son's class at school. I love that it seems to stem not from boy-craziness or "I'm so cool," but in a true spirit of Makership and Art.

We have the delightful innovator who has been wearing her family's wool, appliqued Christmas Tree Skirt (you know that skirt that fits round the base of the tree?), every year since first grade as a festive winter assembly skirt. You can imagine that it was ballroom length when this started, and it has slowly gotten shorter as she has lengthened!

I spotted a very sweet Leprechaun hat perched atop her head, just recently in honor of St. Patrick's day. Fashioned out of felt and about the size of a cupcake, it appeared to be fastened to a headband.

In the same 6th grade, there is also E. You must remember her from previous posts. We like to swap things we Make. E. is a sewist, crafter, and Maker of things. She makes bags out of repurposed plastic shopping bags, fused together, then sewn. She might get a whim to make pants one day...and just make them, and wear them the next day to school. Or she creates shorts, using an old tee shirt. A Christmas skirt from some crazy South American woven fabric she found. She totally pulled it off: the sewing and the wearing.
The point is, E. has no fear. She has an idea. She cuts up the fabric and then sews it up. Simple. And OK, so the hems are not usually finished. And sure, the pants ended up with a split seam. Disasters are part of it, part of learning, part of creation. Is this a person who asks herself if she has a knitwear needle? Or who stops in her tracks because the thread isn't an exact match? No fear of failure.

People try their whole lives to unlearn the fear of failure in Making. They spend $100,000 at art school to learn to innovate. Or thousands of dollars in therapy to unlearn that "can't" is a total mind construct. I do hope this gal ends up at art school someday. And someday, she'll finish a hem, I just know it. She recently used a pattern!
remember this sweet new friend?
made for me by E., from a pattern!
You already know Denyse Schmidt, fabric designer, quilt designer, and inspired Maker. She gives workshops ("Improvisational Patchwork"), too---she was even at Alewives. Her quilts and designs have this quality of asymmetry and freedom. Some of the blocks I have seen, like this one, have been tickling the back of my mind. When I got her book though, it was all so measured out and instructions and.... It stopped me. It didn't match the idea I had of what the process and spirit of those quilt blocks were.

This weekend I had the itch of Making. I dumped out all of my scraps and started piles of scrap friends. Pretty soon, I was thinking of Denyse Schmidt and E. My inner rule-follower wanted to call those gals at Alewives right up and ask them for tips. Instead, I pretended I was E. I chose the Scrap Friends pile that excited me most in that moment, cut up a rectangle and found a strip to sew along side it.

The rule-follower said: "Wait! Don't you want to save your longest pieces for the outside of the square??? Be sensible!" No thanks, I want this fabric, and I want it right now.

I measured nothing. I set aside the cutters and the rulers and used scissors. I just had fun playing with fabric and sewing. Following the fabrics and who they wanted to rub shoulders with. At the end of it, I trimmed it down to about a 15" square. Next time, I'll try being even more radical with my cuts and slants.

"Is it a pillow? What's it going to be?" They asked me.
"Don't know. Don't really care. I think it looks pretty good tacked up on my inspiration board for the moment."

::Look at this:: More inspiration from someone who's under 18.
::Reading this:: Because my very liberal liberal arts education denied me the pleasure of reading classics.
::Watching this:: When I was so sick that I couldn't do anything, this was the perfect escape. The costumes! The BBC! Swoonful.
::Listening to:: Manu Chao station on Pandora.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, dear wife!
    Love your dear husband,