Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Return to Fiber?

I'm not doing much with fiber arts these days.  Once upon a time, I was a quilter.  I made quilts that looked like this:

Here's a detail to show you the quilting:

Not only that, but I did interesting experiments with fabric scraps, threads, and beads.  I created pieces that looked like this:

Or this:

I was also making lots of baby quilts.  My friend and I wanted to go to arts and crafts shows and sell our work, just to see what would happen.  We planned a schedule for late fall.

This all led me to a different phase in my artistic life, and for some reason, I've been thinking about it lately.

Five years ago, I was working on these:

I started making these because I had some green fleece, which reminded me of making Christmas trees out of felt when I was a child.  I made a more modern version, with fleece and beads that I sewed on with metallic thread.

I kept making these because I thought it would be good to have small things to sell at our Autumn craft shows.  I also kept making them because it gave me an excuse to play with beads and to have fun with glittery objects. 

People reacted with curiosity, but also as if I was a bit daft.  I told people that I was getting in touch with my inner kindergartner.

I miss my inner kindergartner.

In the end, I made dozens of these and sold precisely three.  I gave away some for Christmas presents.  Then the dozens sat through the winter, spring and summer. 

In the end, I mailed them all to my mom, for her women's circle's craft sale at their church in Virginia.  She tells me that they all sold and were very popular.  Maybe that thousand miles further north made the difference.  Maybe people are just more willing to spend money to support a church craft sale than the kinds we have down here.

Lately, I've found myself with a hankering to make something with beads and shimmery yarns and interesting scraps of fabric.  A Christmas ornament or something more abstract?  A flat piece or something with dimensions?  Something collagey?  Something that might also support my new chapbook?  Hmmm.

Stay tuned!

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