So we're into the deep freeze up here in Winnipeg,
and in the depths of the creative season on the Canadian Prairies.
My city has vibrant and creative cultural communities--
writers, musicians, artists, artisans--
and lots of people say its because of a long winter where we have time to perfect our art or craft.
I certainly sew and quilt more in winter than in summer
and my creative output often prompts the remark:
You get so much done!
or I can't believe how much you make!
or another variation of that.
I don't want to appear defensive,
but why do I have to defend making stuff?
I've been doing it since I learned to sew doll clothes at age 6
on my mother's new Elna Supermatic,
I've had really productive times
and times that are less productive,
but face it, I'm a maker.
I also hear the subtext of their remarks that they don't have time to quilt.
I hear that it's not important to them to take time,
and maybe even that I have nothing better to occupy my time with.
Do musicians and artists and novel writers get those kind of comments?
I don't think anyone is telling Miriam Toews or David Bergen,
two award wining writers from Winnipeg,
that they like their books, but (sigh) they don't have time to write.
I like turning bits of fabric into something
and touching fabric
and figuring out how to make an idea in my head come to life.
My son is studying engineering, and taking courses on design
and reverse engineering, and material properties,
and project management.
Those are all skills quiltmakers have.
But I'm not despairing. Just wondering.
I'm energized by making stuff
and I like sharing my makings with others.
But I'm tired of the comments about my output.
One answer is I have a really fast sewing machine and I know how to use it.
Another is that I have 50 years of making stuff,
so my hands are practiced at what they do.
Maybe it's just the speed of social media
and how quickly a finished project can be shared with the world.
That's why I'm not posing this question on Instagram,
where I have followers not interested in quilts (gasp!)
but here in Blogland,
where only quilters hang out because they care about making.
I love being a maker.
I don't want to feel guilty about being fast or good or prolific.
Makers gotta make, right?
What do you make of my makers's questions?