Friday, December 14, 2007

Slow Cloth, Medium cloth and PDQ Cloth 

Sharon B has initiated a discussion on "quick" crafting and slow cloth (done with deliberation,care and thought).

How I stitch and craft depends entirely on the purpose of the finished piece. Some stuff is stitched PDQ (pretty d**n quick) to be used as a model or as a simple bit to add to a card or a stocking stuffer. Or the time my Gram and I offered to knit 100 dishrags for a church bazaar. Production crafting/stitching. Produced for a commercial purpose.

You would not believe how many models taken to classes and consumer shows get touched and mauled and lost by carriers and how often they have to be unmounted, washed and re-matted. I don't frame models as they are heavy to ship and I don't pay to have the mats cut for them. I have a professional mat cutter and whack out the mats myself. The stitching gets stuck on with masking tape and bob's your uncle they look decent enough to be hung in a booth.

Medium stitching is done with deliberate care and reasonable efficiency but not with agony over the placement of every stitch or I'd never get anything done. Hemstitching towels for everyday use or knitting a sweater for the sole purpose of wearing it to take out the garbage falls in this category. Utilitarian but time enough spent so they last. Produced to satisfy a practical need.

Slow stitching is saved for special gifts, for projects I hope are treasured or those I do because I enjoy the process or am trying out a new technique. They are designed and redesigned. Thought about and poked at. Samples are stitched and supplies gathered. They are produced to satisfy my soul.

One of the arguments I have with scrapbooking is that many of its practitioners and teachers don't seem to promote the rich effects that could be achieved by scrapbookers in working with mixed media. It all seems to be "you can complete 250 pages in 3 hours". Scrapbookers buy sets of stickers and bits that are all coordinated for them and then they stick them down with a few photos. Things like this are what I classify as "I have nothing better to do and I'm bored stiff so I'll fill the time with no-brainer stuff". I don't scrapbook but I do crosswords and play an online computer game to fill this sort of bored itch. These sorts of projects could be classified as therapeutic crafting in one sense. They engage the brain just enough to dull the little grey cells from chattering on about the bills that need paid, the clothes that need washed, the floor that needs swept, the errand that need run. So therapeutic or escapist crafting. Pleasant but often meaningless.

Climbing down from soapbox and getting out the flame resistant union suit.


great post Linn and the point about the role a piece is to serve in our life is very well argued and taken on board
Hi, Linn: You've concisely summed up how I tend to work. I generally have some quickies ongoing but also some slower projects percolating away, too. Thanks for adding to a very interesting discussion. Marjorie
One year at the Knitting and Stitching show there was an exhibiter I talked to with a lovely stage costume that i wanted to examine in detail. She was embarrassed (maybe because of the venue?)and downplayed her acomplishment. What fascinated me though, was the way she had been able to use quick techniques to give such a rich effect from a distance. Who wants to spend hundreds of hours on a costume for a school production that will only run one or two weekends?

MarthaJeanne (Yes I'm connected again. Merry Christmas!)
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