I’m a quilter, a knitter, a sewer (that is a sewing person, not the thing that carries sewage away), a quilter, a crocheter, a pianist, a flautist, a wife, a step-mother, a foster carer, a grandmother (I prefer being known as nanny) – there are so many different aspects to me.
Each of us can be defined in so many different ways; ways we define ourselves, ways others define us. Should we confine ourselves to the things we have always done? I don’t believe so – and that is why I choose a crafting life.
My crafting life started way, way back, many years ago, when my mum taught me how to knit. Later, in school I remember doing some weaving, and then making a hand puppet, an embroidered place mat using binca, a swimming bag with handles. A few years later at Guide camp, I did some lace-making, some pyrography, learned how to make Dorset buttons, God’s Eyes. I went further with the lace-making, as my mum started to learn; I learned how to do crochet granny squares. I have done a lot of crafts – and learned a few musical instruments as well.
My first piece of lace-making – made at Guide Camp in 1985
I continued with the lace-making
As you can see from the previous photo – and this one, I’ve always loved colour!
The glove puppet I made in year 2 – in Mrs Milburn’s class I seem to remember
This is what happens when a quilter decides to teach herself to crochet…there are no rules that cant be broken!
I remember telling my flute teacher that I would quite like to learn to play the saxophone – she made a comment about being “Jack of all trades, master of none”. I don’t know if that always has to be the case; after all – those of us who make quilts sew in a variety of ways – we do paper piecing, foundation piecing, hand piecing, machine piecing, patchwork, applique, hand quilting, machine quilting, embroidery. Should we limit ourselves to one craft or one aspect of a craft?
As a musician, I like many different types on music, and enjoy playing pieces from the charts, classical music, rock music, music from the musicals. Should I limit myself to only one style – and only one instrument? I may not have yet found the instrument that suits me best.
Last year I was lucky enough to win tickets to the Craft4Crafters show at Shepton Mallet – in both April and October. This was a fantastic opportunity to try some new crafts – and buy presents for people as well. I loved the foils and glitter at the Tonertex stand – and I was swayed by the marketing; I’ve used the foils on cards and also on fabric postcards. Marbling for fun with Craig Joubert also grabbed my attention – and I bought a kit; I’ve not yet used it, but the possibilities are endless, and will allow me to create my own fabric designs. I’ve tried beading – which lends itself well to presents and also to quilting; I love embellishing postcards and other pieces of work, and the craft shows are ideal places to find new and different beads. Buttons are another great embellishment, and I have a few quilt blocks that have buttons to enhance the design, and finish it off.
Great fun playing with the Tonertex foils on fabrics (another UKQU Postcard swap contribution)
Buttons to embellish another contribution to a UKQU postcard swap
In October I tried foiled stained glass – making ornaments using copper foil, pieces of cut glass and solder. I ended up buying a soldering iron – I already have a FabricMaster type soldering iron, so the new one is purely for working with solder and stained glass.
The wall hanging I made at a workshop, at Craft4Crafters, Shepton Mallet
An angel wall hanging, made at home, after I’d bought the equipment!
You may have seen the review I wrote of Craft4Crafters at Exeter in February. The Exeter show led me to buying yet another soldering iron – one with a much finer tip, which will be used on fabric and mixed fibres. I indulged in materials for needlefelting, and also threads and fibres for embellishment.
There are so many experiences out there for the taking – so many things to have a go at, so many things to try. I don’t believe we should limit ourselves; if we limit ourselves, we never know exactly how far we could go. It is often said that at the end of our lives, we will regret the things we didn’t do more than the things that we did do. With that in mind, I am glad that I have chosen a crafting life – I may not choose to try every craft, as not all appeal to me. However, as long as I am able, and as long as I have the facility and desire to try, I will continue crafting (and trying new things; I’ve just started tap dancing lessons again!) – without any self-imposed limits.