Sunday, September 28, 2008

Going commercial

I wouldn't say I'm an artist. To me, it would be like saying, "I am a genius." It may be true, but people laugh and scoff when a person clames such a title for themselves. I suppose you're really only ever an artist or a genius if other people say you are. Art is what other people make. I have hobbies. However, my hobbies allow me to creatively express myself, so maybe therein, I am an artist.

I love to quilt. Mostly I love fabric. I love to look at it, smell it, feel it, unfold and refold it and then I like to cut it up into little bits. Unfortunately the only thing you can do with little bits of fabric (unless you're into fiber art mosaics and playing with glue...hey! glue is fun...) is sew them together to make bigger pieces of fabric. I espeically like to sew random bits together to make scrappy quilts. It is a very soothing and relaxing process to me as long as the tension on my machine is correct and I don't run out of bobbin thread.

Now it seems though that I too have taken a love and a passion for something and figured out a way to capitalize on it. It appears Charlie Brown was right when he cried that everything was going commercial. It began back in March when I had been making a large quilt out of lots of batik fabric and had been throwing all my scraps from cutting it out into a seperate container from my "regular" scraps. One of my sisters has a bohemian influence about her and so for her birthday I threw together a tote for her out of some of my batik scraps. In all reality, I think a muse decended because it was incredible! I filled it full of nail polish, make up remover, eyeshadow, etc and instantly something I could have thrown out became an awesome birthday present.

I thought to myself that I enjoyed making the bag, she enjoyed toting the bag, so maybe someone else would enjoy buying a bag. Each quilted bag I make is one of a kind, they all have a kind of personality to them. I sit down with my scraps and just let them tell me which to use, which not to use and then how to quilt them. Some scraps that I originally think I'll use get bypassed for ones I hadn't even considered. They really do take on a mind of their own. Then when both sides of the bag are done and quilted I can decide which fabric to use for the lining, the strap and what kind of button it needs. They are like little quilts in that they speak to me as I work on them and the finished product is always unique and surprising. I love it!

So you're right Charlie Brown, I am yet another retailer, doing something I love and reminding people that "Christmas is coming!" and I'm sure they have a hippy loved one who would just LOVE to tote around their treasures in one of my batik bags.

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