Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Sensuous Fabriholic


We all know some people collect things out of greed [you cannot be too rich] and some people collect from a neurotic impulse [I don't feel safe without an arsenal in my basement]. But most people collect things because they have a sensuous relationship with them [mink and sable and chinchilla are SO soft and warm]. We fabriholics collect out of love and sensuusnss, or I do. Guess I should shift into the first person here.

I've got the usual number of senses and like many people some are more honed than others and some were never very sharp. Much as I love music I do not have a natural ear. My piano tuner tunes entirely by ear. I cannot comprehend what 440 vibrations really are. I only know the piano sounds really nice when he's done. Artists have an eye. I don't know if I might have had some nascent talent once, I enjoyed drawing in high school but we did not have art. I learned the history of art and now I struggle when I quilt to understand the laws of design and color. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes not. As for taste and smell I think I'm average, I know some people who are more sensitive in both areas than I. Touch -- I assume we all have about the same nerve endings but some people CARE about touch and some seem not to.

However I think the sensuality of textiles, and in this case in quilt appropriate fabric, is a combination, partly physical, partly intellectual. Friday the mail brought a wondeful swapped-for box of fabrics -- see above -- and a second package of plains which were part of another swap. I don't know how many yards of fabric arrived color and usefulness.

But the prints - ah! I couldn't wait to look at their variety, their colors, their designs. What a wonderful lot of visual pleasures! This morning I sat down with the pile and a pair of scissors and gleaned selvages for the current and future selvage quilts. Cutting into a beautiful fabric is something difficult, we worry, will we do the design justice as we use it? But cutting off the selvage is simply preparing it for use. How delighted I am! This is beauty that is mine to have and to use as best I can. This is fulfillment and challenge at the same time. It is not static pleasure but dynamic with expectation.

Actually I don't know quite how I'm going to fit it into my already crammed shelves but where there's a will ... How, how I wish I could add an extra six or so hours to each day so I could make some of the quilts that I thought about as I unfolded and refolded these fabrics! I'm smiling and feeling wonderful just thinking about sorting the fabrics by colors and fitting them into the appropriate collections. Smile! Sigh!

1 comment :

Stephanie D. said...

Oh, I can relate! I'm not particularly fond of ironing, but let me get some new fabric, and I can't wait to get it washed and dried so I can iron it, run my hands over it, fold it and put it on the shelf with the others.

Non-sewers would never understand.