Sunday, February 7, 2016

Raw Edges

My friend Allie at Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life posted a wonderful and thought provoking blog entry yesterday.  You can read it here.  I've been thinking about what she wrote during the last 24 hours.

The first thing Allie addressed was how overwhelmed she feels from all the ads screaming at us when we visit websites or blogs.  I wonder if the "Modern Quilt Movement" and "Slow Stitch Movement" are a reaction to the chaos and excessive messages that the internet has brought into our lives.  Don't get me wrong, I love the ease of communication and research the web provides, I just want to keep the extraneous stuff at a minimal. 

For years when I worked at a local college, I would only listen to music without words.  I heard enough words at work and just wanted to listen to my internal process at home.  The problem with overstimulation and over-accumulation is that it stifles our own creativity.  


What is your creative process?  I appreciate so much Allie's thoughts about this and can relate to her comment:

"Frugal quilting, which I have no choice over, forces my creativity.  I have to use from my stash, and work with the tools I have."

If there is one thing that I learned from old quilts it is that our ancestors didn't much think about the things that the quilt police or leaders in our field.  Often they just did what was right for them in their circumstances.  Take a look at this piece that could be criticized in today's world. 

 The seamstress did raw edge applique and fastened the pieces with a blanket stitch.  Afterwards, she would cut the extra pieces of fabric off the applique:

She did what she knew how and the block is still beautiful. 

In today's society, there is a lot of pressure to accumulate and "follow the leader."  This year I'm on a stashbusting mission, mostly because I just don't have a lot of space in my tiny house and I simply want order in my life.  I think that Allie is on the right track of "using what you have" and making do with what you can.  I think the biggest message she has is that you follow your own path and choose the road that is most comfortable for you.  
For me, I'm just rejecting a lot of things because sewing is my escape and refuge.  I don't care about the quilt police or any of that because I'm just too old to give a fig.  I'm not that interested in a lot of gadgets because I know what I want to sew, I have more than enough here to keep me busy.

So although I like many of the ideas of the "Slow Stitch Movement", I'm rejecting the idea of a legacy piece.  If I feel like making a quilt that seems "Modern" it will be a coincidence because I am sewing what I love.  
Tomorrow, I'll talk about what some of us our doing here in my inner circle in regards to our stashes.


  1. Thanks for this and the blog from your friend. Loved them both, especially the photo of woman and man on porch. I wish I could have known them both! Wonderful.
    I wasn't aware of the slow movement when I decided to hand quilt, and the quilt police scare me, but I admit I love to buy fabric.

  2. Great post Mickie, and I love the raw edges on that block - there's a charm to vintage quilts that I find lacking in today's quilts, and I think it's because everybody's worried about "doing it right"! You can make a quilt any ol' way you want. I'm making a conscious effort to drown out the "quilt police" voices this year, I'm going to make something because I want to. Love it.