Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Overwhelm of Meta-crafting

Crafting in today's world - i.e., The Future - has become glorious yet strange. And I'm really feeling the strange these days.

Allow me to do a thoroughly unscientific, completely unresearched, and not at all valid bit of analysis to make my point.

Let's just use quilting as our example, because it's easy. Back in the day, quilts were mostly function. Some style, sure. But mostly function. The steps involved were the following (according to this made-up history I'm constructing):

1. Gather up fabric items that are damaged beyond repair and/or outgrown.
2. Cut said fabric up into useable shapes.
3. Sew useable shapes up using needle and thread to make new useable item.
4. Put useable item to use.
5. Repeat from 1 when appropriate.

In the future (you know, the time we are living in right now), the steps can be very different. And by different I mean overwhelming.

Now, I know that in many places the traditional 5 steps are not only necessary, they are the only steps. The overwhelm I'm describing is absolutely, unequivocally a First World problem. I am clear about that. Please don't think I'm unclear about that.

That being said, here are the Steps in Quilting Today that will lead a person straight to Overwhelm City.

1. See fabrics and quilts on the internet or on crafting shows that you've recorded on TiVo.
1a. Leave an effusive comment if the quilt you saw was on someone's blog.
2. Find book or online information about how to create quilt using many techniques.
3. Order fabrics online and/or go to quilting/fabric store to buy brand new fabric.
4. Wash brand new fabric to remove sizing and to make sure colors won't bleed.
5. Iron washed fabrics.
6. Gather equipment for cutting fabric - rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler.
7. Cut fabrics with equipment using patterns and/or precise measuring.
7a. Replace cutting blades regularly.
8. Sew fabrics with sewing machine or by hand.
9. Iron as you sew.
10. Take photographs of process using digital camera.
11. Upload photos onto computer.
12. Modify photos using photo software.
12a. Create and maintain a set of photos on Flickr to capture the workings of this project.
13. Blog about process.
13a. Write clever and/or useful commentary.
13b. Include photos.
14. Check for comments on blog.
15. Respond to comments on blog.
16. Continue to sew quilt.
17. Repeat 10-16 until quilt is complete.
18. Figure out whether to turn quilt into useable item or hang on wall, as Steps 1-17 have taken two years.

It should seem pretty obvious that there are many places where the whole thing can fall apart, what with all those steps. I get lazy just looking at all those steps. If I'm honest, it's the 13s that are really killing me. Well, 13 and 15. Oh. And 16. Whatever.

But Dr. B., it doesn't have to be that hard. Just make the quilt and don't worry about all the extra bells and whistles. Don't let the meta-crafting interfere with the crafting-crafting.

If only it were that easy. Once you're into this thing, you're in. {sigh}

Quiltie, hang in there. Mama's gotta watch her TV shows and do some more blogging before she can get to you. But you'll be ok. You've made it this far. Just think, some day you and I will reach 17 together, and we will be so happy. Won't that be great, Quiltie?


The Future!


Nora said...

Oh, how true!! Surge forth, my friend. We'll be here, waiting, fingers poised on the keys...

Step 18. Bask in the aftermath of commenters praise as you wrap quilt around your body and dance around the living room.

tiennie said...

I think this is why I'm much more into knitting now. The projects go so much faster! But I do miss it.

Stacey said...

So true!!! I guess by it taking a few years you have prolonged your blog fodder for a while! :)

Nano said...

16a. Feel guilty for not blogging about project more often.

I've been on a part self imposed and part due to life circumstances craft hiatus. It's killing me.