21 December, 2010

Just Because

There are presents to wrap, a tiny bit more shopping to do, some making to happen, and some renewal of the family with Hubby now home. Instead, I'm working on a "Just Because" quilt.

I actually get quite annoyed when I'm asked what a quilt is for. I understand that people are being curious and I shouldn't get annoyed. The question, however, implies that all quilts have to serve a purpose or have a recipient in mind. It's a narrow view for those of us who feel a compulsion to create. I always answer, "It's just a quilt."

But it isn't just a quilt. There is always a reason to make. Sometimes it is simply to act in the process of making. Sometimes it is because you have an idea stuck in your head on repeat like 'All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth' (my apologies now). Sometimes there is a more guttural reason but you don't want to share it just yet.

So, even with all this stuff do to in anticipation of Christmas celebrations I'm plugging away on this particular Just Because quilt. I need to work on it and I need to have it done. Just Because.

(Go here to see the entire top and the inspiration.)

23 comments:

Johanna said...

I have also made a lot of just because quilts. And then I don't know what to do with them and try to sell them :) Unfortunately, here in Germany, quilts are not a tradition like they are in the states and people don't really know what to use them for :)
But I feel better with them having somewhere to go ( in my shop that is) :)

~Michelle~ said...

I call it a "just because" project too, only I'm usually too selfish to give it away... so it's a "just because I like to make myself pretty things" project! :)

felicity said...

Ugh. I get the "what/who is THAT for" question too often. I like the "just because" response. "I needed to make this" works too.

p.s. looking forward to Workshop starting up in the new year.

live a colorful life said...

Most of the quilts I make seem to be "just because." It's a good enough reason for me. And I remember your inspiration. I think we talked about crayon rocks before. They, uh, rock!

elle said...

It is just because I want it! 8^)
Oddly enough it isn't always the practical people who ask the question! So- go quilt, Cheryl and may you have a happy holiday!

Exuberant Color said...

Most of the quilts I make are 'just because' quilts. I rarely have an end destination in mind. That is how an artistic person works.

Lee Ann said...

Oh, I so understand!

Andrea said...

most of my quilts are just because as well...just because when I am 'told' to make a quilt for something, my creativity, impulsivity (?) and passion for quilting fizzle big time, and nothing gets done. I need to make a just because this week. :(

Esch House Quilts said...

People who ask me that question usually get a confused, silent look as my brain says "for?... Is there supposed to be a reason?"

Sometimes I recover myself enough and say "It is what I do."

beth said...

"just because" quilts are one of my favorite kinds of quilts....and my personal favorite way of avoiding all that needs to be done. I'm doing the same thing over at my house and it feels sooo good. ;)

Miriam in KS said...

"Just because" is a great answer! Beautiful quilt too.


You did make me laugh with the song reference! For me, the song brings memories of my youngest son when his two (already loose) front top teeth were helped out of his mouth by him falling into a friend's 16 year old sister's knee at a spring outing for cub scouts. After we cleaned him up, he looked up at me, flashed a smile and quipped, "Look mom! My garage door is up!"

Everytime I see a newly vacant two front teeth space in a young mouth, I remember B. and his delight at his "garage door" being up! :)

Megan said...

Amen, sister!

Susan Being Snippy said...

this seems to strike a cord with many of us -- when asked why or what a quilt is for -- my current answer is, cause I wanted to see how these colours work together, or I wanted to see if I could fit triangles and squares together...

Most people have no reply to that answer...

wishes, true and kind said...

Oh, my gosh! I feel the same way! In fact, my daughter knows this very well, so when she sees bits and pieces going up on the design wall, she knows that it's probably still up for grabs and claims it before anyone else does. It's all about the idea and the process for me. If someone asks me to make a quilt for a specific use or purpose, I often get a block.

Christin said...

That is my moms first question when I tell her about a new project. She taught me everything I know and I admire her quilting, but she has lost the "just because." I don't know how to help her find it. Suggestions?

Kristen said...

I love the "just because". I think 99 percent of my projects start out that way, and as they start to come to life I find the who or the why. I rarely know it when I start. It feels less organic when I have an actual plan in place. :)

MariQuilts said...

So great to hear I'm not the only one that gets annoyed with that question....and I really really get annoyed when they continue on and ask what am I going to do with all those quilts (you know the ones that ask with that little bit of a tone). I can happily say none of my quilting buddies ever ask such annoying questions. I was also quilting like mad last week in order to avoid all of my holiday to do list.

Lauren @ Craft My Life Away said...

Oh you make such a good point! When I get asked... why are you making 30 mug rugs? And my response is why not, people look at me funny. You do it because its awesome!

Merry Christmas!

brown robin said...

Happy holidays, friend! BTW... scrolled down to your values quilt and it's magnificent. Just beautiful.... as is this glimpse of the one you shared in this post. Have a great time with your family. Hugs!!!

Trudi said...

You hit the button right on the nose! (again!) Nobody ever asked the great painters why what or for whom, so why does it matter to a different creative process. Just sayin! Today I had to move the pile of 'just because' so my son has somewhere to sleep, we made a pile in my daughters room and it's taller than her chest of drawers and almost as tall as me! I guess I have a lot of just because moments :) Merry Christmas to you and yours Cheryl

Angie said...

Very pretty quilting - I like the designs. I am trying to get past the stippling stage.
It is nice to know that I am not the only one that gets annoyed when people ask, who is the quilt for? I normally don't have a recipient in mind until the very end - but everyone asks!

The Tulip Patch said...

As a mom of twins, I think I've had enough repetitive and intrusive questions to last a lifetime. It helped me to remember that these people just wanted to share in something they saw as unique or special. It's the same way when they ask about your quilts. They just want a glimpse of how your mind works or just insight into that process. I don't think it's something to take as an affront. They are showing an interest in you and your work. That is not a bad thing.

Romney said...

I always make quilts for a specific purpose, but then a) I switch to other crafts if truly there are none that need making and b) I'm so slow I never catch up with all the people that need quilts. Its great to be in demand!