My friend Michelle shared the above link recently and posted about her own crafting history. This has inspired me to think about how I reached the point I am at in my creative life and to ask you about your own crafting journey.
Making things was normal in my family when I was a child. Nanny and Mummy knitted, Mummy made our clothes and her own. Both Grandads were excellent with wood and could always "knock up" something that would do the job. Nanny taught me to knit and Mummy helped me with dressmaking. At school we began with cross stitch and basic embroidery on binka and wove with wool on shoe box looms. At secondary school my projects included a nightie, a rather wonderful fabric bag and then a rather less wonderful yellow corduroy trouser suit. Then I discovered Clothkits and gorgeous folky creations followed, I especially remember an elephant print padded jacket.
Things came full circle when my children were born and I knitted for them and made quite a few clothes for them. By this time, however, it was becoming very expensive to buy wool and fabric compared with buying ready made items and I had a housekeeping budget to manage.
I did quite a bit of cross stitch, including samplers for the births of David and Sara, but usually from bought patterns. When I returned to teaching in primary schools I did as much art and craft as I could, preferably at the expense of P.E. and anything with a lot of marking. When time and energy allowed I started to explore various textile-based crafts. I joined the local branch of Embroiderers' Guild and enjoyed some exciting residential courses. I tried glove making, Mountmellick, tablet weaving, gold work, box making, beading, some rather progressive workshops that just seemed to produce raggedy looking pieces but were fun, and finally started patchwork on a project inspired by a stained glass window in Cornwall. Patchwork and quilting has been my craft of choice for several years now and I have enjoyed exploring Japanese textile traditions, some fabric dyeing and some very inspiring workshops. What was your path to where you are now?
Today I am celebrating a finish. At Country Roads Quilters last week I finished The Wedding Quilt (with the exception of having some quilters' chalk to remove). Wow, with seventeen days in hand, I'm impressed with myself and so grateful to bloggers who persuaded me from a Double Wedding Ring quilt, especially Susan Briscoe who said a medallion quilt was much more period appropriate with the passion of the bride for Jane Austen. So, here it is:
Thank you to everyone who wrote comments and sent message of support following Mummy's sudden death. Her funeral was on Monday and it went well (as well as a funeral could go) and Daddy was happy with it all. The funeral marked a line and on this side of that line we will live different lives, without her in them but with the memories.