A Maker's Journey - The Project

Lifting The Anchor

It’s Sunday, 31st of October 2021, and I feel like I’ve been here before. And in many respects I have. Here, referring to my sitting surrounded by a huge stash of fabric. But also to being in a place where an elaborate idea still just is exactly that; an idea in my head.

It was March this year, when I declared I would go on a journey with my fabric stash. I vowed to turn the meters and meters of cloths, discarded clothes and holey garments that had accumulated in our home into useful items. And I said, I would write about it here with some regularity. But 7 months later the pile of fabric is still here and the journal empty.

Of course, I have sewn a few things in the past months. Namely, summer hats for my girls, a blanket cover, four meters of buntings and only yesterday I turned an old leggings into bat wings for my eldest. I have also written a few things. Overall, however, I must admit that me and my idea never got of the platform or out of the harbour.

Subsequently, if the Englishman was here seeing me type these words his scepticism about my attempt to rejuvenate this project would be palpable. Although at least this time I didn’t make him haul the pile of fabric up to the allotment, for a picture in front of the hawthorn hedge.

Still, I can’t say I haven’t earned it. The pile itself is a physical testimony to my track record of unfinished, failed or forgotten projects. It consist of about four baskets and two bags of textiles. Scraps, remnants of past sewing projects, never-attempted clothes repairs and fruitless intentions manifested in over 20m of yet to be used bought or gifted fabric.

Thankfully despite all the visual evidence of my lack of success, my enthusiasm for this project hasn’t seized yet. Which brought me to the desk today. There is still a voyage of making and writing to be taken; and I am keen to lift the anchor.

As past travel arrangements clearly left me on dry land, I’ve established two simple rules of way-finding: to sew at least every Tuesday for an hour and to write here every other Sunday, come finished sewing project or not. May this lead me to a place, where the home studio space is clear and the journal is full of words.

It’s a sunny spot in my mind. Freed from all the fabric that has accumulated around me over the past 10 years and freed from the mental shackles that keep me tied to my past ideas.

I’ve often longed for a life where I make meaningful things and write meaningful words for a living. It is the very reason why this blog was originally created in 2016 and why time and again I bought fabric and accepted donations that might one day become something.

This time, however, I’ve taken money out of the equation. Neither the pile of fabric nor the blog will be about making a living anymore. They will be about the way I live. The rules for this project, therefore, are simple: Make and write about it.

Yet, in some respect it’ll be much harder than that. For one year, starting from today, I challenge myself to prioritise something that won’t potentially earn money yet will take time away from my responsibilities as a mother and home keeper.
Using my resources for other things than the immediate comfort of my family has seemed utterly indulgent for the past years. Hence the Maker’s Journey is quite the daring invititation to myself to become an intentional maker and storyteller simply because I long to be.

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