Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sandra's Soapbox

I'm on my soapbox today.  I know Christa has a regular "Christa's Soapbox" on her blog, a feature that I do enjoy reading.  I am not starting a regular thing, nor am I copying her, but a couple of things spurred me on to writing this post on a topic that has niggled at me for oh, probably years.

"Who do you make your quilts for?"
  "What do you do with all your quilts?"  "Why do you make so many quilts?"

I've been asked these questions many times over the years.  And I often feel a twinge of guilt when I respond:

"For myself."

"Some I give away."

"I love to drape them over chairs, over a bed, hang them on a wall."

"I sleep under 2 or 3 in the summer months, and 4 or 5 when it's colder."

"I just do."  (make them)

" I love to play with fabric, love to sew, love to play with colour, try different patterns."

A lovely pile of some of my quilts!

The first thing I heard that inspired me to post this today was a portion of the commencement speech that Mike Myers gave last night at Humber College in Toronto.  Here is a snippet of this quite profound speech that I furiously scribbled as Tom Allen, host of CBC Radio 2's "Shift" read aloud this afternoon:

"Fame is the industrial disease of creativity. . . Do spend your time making things. Time spent making things is never wasted. Creativity is a subject fit for study. . . . You will be a student of creativity for the rest of your life."

You can find the entire speech here.

Creativity.  It's what makes our world a better place.  It makes me a better person.  Time spent making things, ergo, making me a better person, is never wasted.

I also read that the author of Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes, died today.  How I loved that book the first time I read it!!  How I loved teaching it to my grade 10 English class!  Here is a quote from the book that accompanied the announcement of his death:
"I am afraid.  Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it, as if I had never been."

And it hit me:  this is a huge part of WHY I create quilts.  I do spend some time thinking about them outlasting me, where they might end up, in another 100 years or more, and those thoughts warm my heart.  My quilts all contain vibes, thoughts of the person they are for, or the feelings I have as I work on them, and often when I look at an old one, I am transported back to the moment (okay, often months) during which I made them.  So I will "have been", I won't have wasted my life, my quilts WILL carry on, long after I'm gone, each of them a veritable fabric child of mine.

No longer will I feel even a twinge of guilt for this passion of mine.  It feeds my soul.  It makes me feel alive, part of something bigger, part of the creativity bubble that encircles our Earth.  Tapping into it, whether through creating quilts, literature, music, paintings, stained glass, pottery, beautiful cars, or beautiful buildings, sculptures, and on and on, is such a rush, such a high, such a burst of sheer joy that nourishes, energizes, captivates, and uplifts my soul, my essence, my ME.

And this is just a small fraction of them



  1. Ooh! I love the alliteration of Sandra's Soapbox :-) I think you should keep it going!!

  2. I'm shocked you ever felt guilt - this does such an injustice to the quilts themselves. Nothing that beautiful should ever have an emotion such as guilt attached to it.
    Wow, this is one powerful blog!! The emotions I went through, sniff!! How poignant to imagine the quilts living on after your demise. As distraught as the thought of your future demise makes me, I suppose like you, knowing the lovingly stitched quilts will live on as your legacy does warm my heart. . Someone somewhere unrelated to you and with no clue who you are (were) may end up with your quilt - and a part of you lives on. My heart twists into knots with the thought of you being "no more", but I understand how this all brings comfort to you and a sense of self, and worthiness, and purpose. I then reflected on my own much-loved lap quilt here, and both the kids' quilts, and how the quilts will always be fondly and lovingly associated with you, our beloved sister and auntie.
    Thank goodness it's too late for you to be sent to an early grave, given your (advanced) age and all, so that's one comforting factor at least.
    Ha! You had that coming, making me so emotional. That nipped THAT in the bud, didn't it? LOL

  3. Ha ha, funny post above this one! Some people don't understand the enjoyment of making something for just that - the enjoyment of making it!

    1. Jacky - I'm Sandra's ("much" younger I like to say LOL) sister, so that's why I feel free to tease her relentlessly on her rapidly advancing old age HA!

  4. I love this. As you know I've been reading through your blog posts from the beginning. Last night after I read this one, I closed my computer... to ponder... This is an entire conversation that I'd love to have. I love this post. I love the main idea of it. I love the specific thoughts. I love the way it was written. So... thanks.
    I do have a question. Which do you love more? The process (of quilting)? or the product (the quilt)?

  5. So glad you pointed me to your post here - can totally relate, and am thankful for that!