I had lunch today, and a good visit, with my dear friend Joan. I met her through sewing, and we have been good friends for almost 12 years. We are so totally different in so many ways, and maybe that's one reason our friendship has been so solid.
Our approaches to quilting are absolute opposites, too. She has been at it a lot longer, and her work can be said to be traditional and meticulous. (No one would say either about my work.)
Before we left for lunch, her husband mentioned how much she had enjoyed one of our challenges that we issued to each other. This photo is Joan's piece in answer to my challenge that we each do something that is "not a rectangle and that has a feature that you have never used before."
Drawing on her own expertise in learning styles, she describes herself as "field-dependent." This beautiful piece, she explains, is an example of that, because she sewed it using a "doodle" she had in her sketchbook. I was in awe of her piece, and of the beautiful craftsmanship and creativity. Look at those curves!!!
We both used fabrics that I chose for the challenge, and my piece ended up a self-portrait, and was in the shape of a trapezoid, and I tried some prairie points, and used hundreds of beads.
During our conversation, I talked about artists who imitate their teachers until they "find their own voice."
To that Joan said, "I don't want my own voice. I just want to make quilts. I find comfort in the repetitive rhythm of piecing."
I think that is a wonderful insight, and for many, it is that
repetition that is comfortable and comforting about piecing and quilting.
It is why I enjoy beading so much. I find it meditative and immensely relaxing. It is beading I turn to when I need a break, or need some time to reflect.
I feel sure that is why people enjoy knitting, crocheting, hand-quilting and other repetitive tasks.
I think that also points to why quilting has become so popular - there is something for everyone. There are patterns for people who enjoy the structure, and there are fusibles, fabric paints, and all sorts of other things for people who want to take risks and who have a more creative bent. And there is everything in between.
I have thought a lot about her comment. While I believed that "Finding one's voice" was something to strive for, I can see now that not everyone wants to or needs to. Some people have their own voice ALL ALONG!
So in addition to having a wonderful visit and a good lunch, I learned something, too!