For reasons I'm not going to elaborate any further at the moment, I've been thinking a lot about why I do the things I do lately. Why do I quilt? Why do I knit, sew, paper piece, crochet, blog, and so on?
Why do I quilt?
I'm not an expert at doing what I do. I'm not particularly good, a designer or a professional. I'm OK at what I do. I make things that I like, I get ideas and I like to learn/test new things/techniques.
I haven't entered many competitions, and I've never won any of the ones that I have entered. I don't quilt to win prices - I quilt because I like it, I think it's fun - and it gives me something in return (peace of mind, an outlet for my creativeness, mug rugs or wallhangings or quilts to use).
And I'm in it for the fun of it.
I've entered swaps before, and I will enter others in the future, and I strive to always send something that I'd like to receive back. If not, then I will start again. (I have experienced receiving something that I'd never ever send, I'd be too embarrassed, but luckily that's only happened once or twice.)
I have entered a quilt in a competition now, and I'm looking forward to getting the judges comments on it - but I don't count on winning first prize, or second prize - or any prize. My only expectation is to get feedback from the judges, perhaps they'll be able to point out things I need to work more on - actually, I hope they do. Of course, what matters the most, is what I feel about this quilt - not what everybody else thinks.
I guess the thought of entering a competition, solely to win, is a silly thought. Expecting to win, counting winning as a certainty, using this as the only reason to create something and enter the competition, to me this is just wrong. To me, this feels like someone who's completely misunderstood the reason for creating a competition, the reason for making something to enter in a competition. The reason to create.
A competition should be created with the purpose of seeing how many, and diverse, interpretations and solutions that results from the given theme, content, and so on. And the products created for a competition should be made to show a persons interpretations, or a technique, something the creator is proud of, something this person would like to share.
The quilt I have entered in this competition, is a quilt I started to think about right after I heard the theme for the competition about a year ago. I thought about it for a long time, and started sewing a few months later. The last stitches were made around Christmas last year, and I am proud of the result. It's not perfect, far from it, but it has soul. There's a story behind it, it's got roots in history, and at the same time it's personal. (I can't wait to have it back, to hang it on my wall and just enjoy it.) I loved the process of making it. It challenged me to try techniques I've stayed away from. I learned from it. I grew. And I know that I will not win a prize for it. But, hey, it doesn't matter.
I made this quilt because right now I love to sew. I love to create - sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet - I need it, crave it, dream it. (I wonder, can I add breathe it to the list too?)
And when the time comes and I don't feel this way anymore. When looking at patterns, fabric, yarn, and so on isn't fun anymore - when all of this becomes a have to, a duty. Well, guess what..
I'm in it to have fun. And when it's not fun anymore - I quit.
Why do you do the things you do?