my fiber arts passion

Because color isn’t enough. Because there has to be texture. Because you can combine those two elements into something to wear. Wearable art.

After all, there are just so many blank walls available after you hang up all the photos of your family and friends.

A friend of mine emailed me recently about some books she was reading that approached knitting as meditation. For me, that’s just what knitting, crocheting, and sewing are — a way to calm my mind and surround me with serenity.

I have constructed several items of my own design over the years, and I’m working on more. Since this kind of activity is even a greater part of my life that blogging, I’ve decided to begin putting together a page about my fiber art experiences, which will have a link in my sidebar.

I was inspired to start thinking in that direction by my fascination with Rebecca Clayton’s multi-faceted blog, Pocahontas County Fare, which reflects Clayton’s many passions. Usually I post here about politics, caregiving, and assorted other issues and events that cross my screen along the way. (And if b!X ever has a chance to explain how I can get my “categories” to show on after my posts, I will have a way to organize access to those topics.)

While I’ve posted a few pieces about my knitting and crocheting projects, I really haven’t given the kind of blogspace that reflects just how much a part of my everyday life playing with fiber arts is.

I used to sew most of my kids clothes when they were little (even b!X’s). The last real original sewing project I did resulted in a quilted jacket that was so labor intensive and came out so beautifully that I don’t think I can equal anything like that again. The project was an assignment for the one quilting workshop that I took, wherein we used a sweatshirt as the basis for quilting a jacket. Because it was my first try, I used a yellow sweatshirt that I found in a dollar store. The jacket I created was unlike anyone else’s in the class, since they all followed traditional block-style quilting. And, unlike my classmates, it was a total improvisation as I went along. I had no final concept in my head about what it was going to look like.

The only thing I don’t like about my jacket is the yellow backing. Otherwise it’s the most self-designed item I’ve ever put together. Instead of using the sweatshirt sleeves as the backing for a quilted topside, at the last minute I decided to knit the sleeves and sew on crocheted strips at the collar and hem, picking up a color from the fabric. I also sewed on a crocheted pocket. I used six or seven different fabrics, no piece larger than the black squares with the flowers. I also did free form machine quilting stitches over the whole front and back.

I haven’t tried another quilting project since, mostly because I don’t have a large enough expanse of space and a large enough expanse of time to devote to such a project.

And so these days I’m mostly knitting and crocheting because I can work in a small space and in small segments of time.

What an appropriate metaphor for my life right now — finding small satisfactions wherever and whenever I can fit them in around my mom’s schedule.
I made the quilted jacket five years ago, when I was able to live outside this box. I can’t imagine ever doing anything like this again.

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3 thoughts on “my fiber arts passion

  1. Beautiful jacket! I wish I could quilt. I did try not long ago, but with achy joints , which are getting worse, it is hard to do. Some days, even writing by hand is challenge. Hoping to see more of your work – I do remember seeing other projects you used to put up on the blog before.

  2. This is wonderful! And you don’t have to do anything like it again. Sometimes we knit, sometimes we sew somthing we need, and sometimes we make glorious art like this.
    It’s interesting you had this “up your sleeve…” You can see by today’s post that something related has been on my mind for a few months. I haven’t been planning a masterpiece like yours, but I’ve been looking at some simple garment patterns to use as “canvas” for some decorative stitching.
    Thanks for the kind words about my blog, and for the jolt of creative inspiration!

  3. How nice to read more about your fibre passion. The jacket is truly amazing and sewing is something where I definitely have a lot to learn and little patience/time. I’ve been exploring fibre art more and more now that I have a partner who knits with me (how cool!) and have begun to learn to spin yarn. Fancy a yarn swap sometime? 🙂

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