quilt by the silly boo dilly via flickr
There’s a saying around craft circles: If you’re a quilter quilt.
Sounds pretty obvious, right? It’s meant to stir up questions about what the creative process includes. In the medium of clothing for example: Can it start with a blank t-shirt made a world away or does it start with a bolt of fabric?
The blank was someone else’s vision. Someone else’s design. Sure, you can treat it like a canvas and print a rocking design on it. But can you be called a clothing designer when the clothing was designed by someone else?
ceramic espresso cups by fatstudio
The saying is about owning your process. From start to finish. No shortcuts.
Is it more labor intensive? Sure. But being a maker is not a 9 to 5 job anyway. It’s better. It’s more flexible. You have to work hard for it and you’ll be rewarded by your triumphs.
Think about it like this. If we were talking about literature instead of craft, and you started with someone else’s form and added your embellishments or pieced it together, it would be considered plagiarism.
Do I think you should plant and harvest cotton? Or raise sheep for the wool? Or dig your own clay? I think its a great idea but no I don’t expect that. But you should know where your materials come from.
And if you are digging your own clay like 85+ year old Mary Ellen Yearick from Shamokin Dam, PA, you’re my new hero. You should be screaming it from the hilltops. It’s a great story to share.
Making things from start to finish makes them yours. It’s your creative vision, don’t let someone else’s design dictate your creativity’s destiny. It’s your quilt.