do you sew/run/create for a ‘reason’?

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My friend Christine Haws runs for a reason. Every summer for more than 15 years, she has trained, begged donations, and flown herself across country to participate in an endurance event to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer.

She’s been there, done that, and got the tshirt. Over and over again. And this year she’ll do it again.

It’s her thing, and I applaud her for it.

So when she asked me to craft her a quilt from her souvenir shirts, I said sure. She offered some money. I said OK. Not because I like to sew for money (I don’t) or because I thought it was enough to pay me anything above minimum wage (it wasn’t), but because if I was doing it for free it might never happen.

And I did actually want to make this quilt. To honour Chris, and the effort she puts in for her worthy cause. I usually sponsor her each year, but twenty-five bucks is peanuts compared to sewing a quilt (as you sewists out there can appreciate).

As it was, it took a long time. I pieced the top late last year sometime. I had plenty of excuses to leave it sitting in a crate for months. Breakups, overseas travel, moving, business trips. There’s always a reason to procrastinate, right?

But this morning – ta da!! – I finished the damn thing.

For that, I have to thank Mookie. I had planned to visit her in San Francisco this weekend, but she let me know a few days ago that she was up to her armpits in alligators, and it wasn’t a good time for me to come.

All of a sudden, Christine’s quilt rose to the top of the list.

So here’s my question to you: Do you sew (paint/craft/insert other artform here) for a reason? Or just for the joy/learning experience/satisfaction of the act itself? Or is it a mixture? What do you get out of it?

What’s your motivation?

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6 Comments

  1. I knit for others, but find that making knitted gifts benefits me greatly.. It’s sooo relaxing to me! I am learning to draw, for me at the moment. I’ve always wanted to be good at it. I write to be creative & to share. I hope that my writing is worthy of reading. mylaughlines.wordpress.com
    All of my creative outlets feel therapeutic & YOU, my dear friend, helped me learn or expand on all of them. So they also remind me to be grateful <3

    Reply
  2. I sew for me mostly. I love the process of learning at my own pace and in the order new things fall into and out of projects. I love that there are so many ways to be involved in sewing – books, sewing groups, friends, the internet, fabric/sewing stores and many many more not to mention things/places fashion and style related. I love seeing the things I’ve made for my family worn and loved. I love wearing things I have made for myself. Yes I think I sew for myself. Hell I’m far too slow to sew for money, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  3. mookie

     /  May 29, 2012

    I’m glad crazytown could serve a higher purpose.
    The quilt is BEAUTIFUL.
    When you are open, solutions happen.

    Reply
  4. I’d love to see a pic of the whole front, it looks like that snuggly-soft minky material on the back – I bet it’s going to great in winter months.

    My mom is part of a cow-girl’s group and a quilt guild and so she is always sewing for a cause, putting her heart, creativity, time and money into these projects. I am so proud that she does so, selflessly, just to be doing for others. I have only contributed one project myself. I was part of a GOOD (magazine) charter to help homeless women; we created custom designs for clothes and goods. We made patterns and taught women that were interested at the shelter to then make the items. They learned skills and then had a product at the end to sell to earn extra money.

    It felt amazing to be “doing” it, but I’m not going to lie, I didn’t sign up for a second round – it was incredibly time consuming, intense (creating and teaching patterns for illiterate or non-English speakers took many rounds of revisions and a lot of problem solving and there were many volunteers to navigate). Sadly, I know I ran away from that project liking that I HAD done it, but didn’t like the process of DOING it.

    Reply
  5. Tui

     /  June 3, 2012

    I sew to feel like someone. Not just Tui, but Tui that quilts. Although I have just started my journey, I have discovered that I love to gift my work. It will probably be a long time before I make one that will stay at home. That is fine. What is special is that a part of my heart goes with every quilt that leaves in a box. Its comforting.

    Reply
  6. redhedphotogirl

     /  June 17, 2012

    I absolutely LOVE this! It brought tears to my eyes when you showed it to me and I love looking at it, knowing that you made it for me and for all that it represents in my life. Thank you, my dear friend for giving me that. XO

    Reply

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