Sunday, July 5, 2009

Homemade-real, not perfect.

We can buy factory made bread -each loaf exactly the same as the next, standardised and reliable, or we can make our own bread which comes out different each time -a bit lopsided, or a bit wonky.

We can purchase factory made clothes and decorator items-clean and shiny and perfect. Why make things by hand, when it is slower and the product is a bit wonky? (unless of course you are a master craftsperson!)

I have just finished my first quilt and yes, it does look like it was my first, if you get up close to examine it. In my sewing class we discussed the struggle we all have with the contrast between what we imagined before starting the project and what our hands were able to achieve. This contrast between the perfect and the real is what often causes people to give up and just buy something instead.

The simple life is one which usually asks us to become more self-reliant -more skilled -at making things rather than buying them. Why?

  • We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint caused by shipping things thousands of kilometres.
  • We are trying to move away from the effects of the consumer mindset which says that 'there is always another one in the shops' so we regard everything as disposable.
  • We are wanting to rediscover the pleasure of making things for ourselves -the satisfaction of achieving a new skill, the home grown pleasure of keeping oneself busy with traditional tasks rather than rushing about spending money in search of new experiences.
So I have been going to quilting classes during my long service leave and struggling to learn all the tricks and techniques of this craft. I have been a learner again and occasionally dissatisfied with what I can do. I have unpicked rows of stitching. I have learned to keep going when it is not perfect. And I have finished my first quilt and my 'practice table topper' too this weekend.

This has been a very useful process and now I am ready to try something a bit more complicated and I am sure that there will be challenges in the process. However the satisfaction of completing it ' all by myself' is something that cannot be found in a packet on a shop shelf!

So-because I really like the effect-here is both of my completed projects in their home setting and I think it they look pretty good and quite real!

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