Sunday, April 13, 2014

Random Rant: Quilts

I try very very hard to keep things super positive here... but sometimes a girl needs a break to complain about things that are totally unimportant.  Case in point:  The modern quilting hobby.

I *said* it was silly.

Quilting is a uniquely American craft.  It was born of having lots of little scraps of leftover fabric - and it took those bits of fabric, some time, some skill, and made beauty.  That's the *point* of quilting.  You take something you can't use in its current form and you transform it into something useful for generations.  IMO, that skill and craft contributes substantially to the beauty of the finished product.

Every step away from the original function takes something away from the craft itself.

I don't mind the new quilts.  Okay.  Sometimes I do.  But ... I mind that half of them aren't big enough to cover a child's bed - and aren't meant to be washed and cried on and hugged.  They're just for doing, just for pretty.  Maybe hang on a wall (but aren't our homes well-enough insulated?) or over a couch-back.  They can be pretty.  Some of them can be stunning.  But - if you bought a kit, and stitched it up right quick, and didn't even quilt it down yourself... is that even the same craft?

See, crafts are taking something raw and making it better through the skill in your hands.  That skill takes time to develop.  Time is something that no matter the craft, I see people uninterested in developing.  And *that* is destroying all the crafts.  There are legions of people who can do things to the "quick and simple" level, or a few steps up.  There are so few who are willing to cry and swear and sweat over the "doing it from scratch" moments.

This has been bugging me since my days (more than twenty years ago) when I worked in a craft store.  I'd watch people pick up disposable bits and pieces and walk out the door.  All they wanted was something to entertain them for an afternoon or three.  Waste of time.  Waste of material.  All because it was easier.  -shakes head-

There are so many true crafts, at all levels of skill, and they all make for beauty you can keep for generations.  Am I the only one here with embroidered tea-towels, special linens for holidays, latch-hooked rugs, quilts... I even have a christening gown (and we don't do christenings)!  (It's stunning white embroidery on white batiste - drool).

There is substantial beauty in taking simple things and making them lovely.

Rant over.


3 comments:

  1. We have embroidered tea towels and bread basket liners, embroidered finger towels for the half bath, antique doilies under lamps, an antimacassar on the back of an armchair, special linens for holidays (and a tablecloth and napkins with our monogram, embroidered by a dear friend for our wedding present!), handmade pillows and curtains, pictures on the walls, a family christening gown with beautiful embroidery, and many other handmade, beautiful things that I attempt to include in our every day life.

    My mother quilted and some of hers were decorative but all of my babies had handmade quilts for their beds, I have a summer quilt and a winter quilt for my bed, which is used every day. I have a throw quilt on my sofa that all of us pull on top of our feet when we get cold. Why have these things if not to use them?

    I get your rant. I use antique china, linens, etc. because otherwise they are just collecting dust. Life is too short....

    Magistra

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    1. Yes, exactly. I remember the day a customer asked me for a pillow enhancement project - so I showed her cross stitch. She asked for puff paint. -pulls hair out- Sigh. :/ Craft stores, where "the customer is always right" occasionally makes you twitch.

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  2. While I see your point, I can't say I completely agree. How is having special linens for holidays different from having a quilting wall hanging for the holidays?

    I don't have a problem with any craft (even puff paint), as long as the end product is used. I made a quilt for a friend (with new fabric) and she said, "Oh, it's too beautiful to use! I'm going to put it away!" THAT upset me. But otherwise... not so much. If you have the money to afford new fabric and that's what floats your boat, why not? Slap wall hangings all over your house if it makes you happy. Just don't shove it in a box somewhere.

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