I remember well the first time my mother and I made quilts together. We had each decided on a different pattern and were just starting to choose our colors from the amazing assortment of fabrics that my mother had collected over the years. She had sorted the fabrics by color and neatly folded and packed them in several labeled boxes. We always loved working on projects together but I had been somewhat hesitant to make something as large as a quilt because I really do not enjoy hand sewing… but I do love color and texture and design… That day the more pieces I unpacked the more enthused I became about making the quilt and I was totally involved in putting colors together… when I suddenly “felt” a great silence in the room. I can still remember my mother staring at me with the most gentle and loving… but completely incredulous… look on her face. Only then did I see that, in my enthusiasm, I had unpacked and unfolded practically every piece of her fabric. My mother thought the whole thing was hilarious.
Obviously nothing much has changed and my creative chaos that has become such a family joke over the years is still alive and well. I spent an hour this morning before anyone else was awake finishing this gigantic basket I have been weaving. Whenever I make a basket, I always start by carefully laying out all of my tools and organizing the coils of reed according to their widths, and I make sure I have a big container nearby to throw my clippings in. And for a while I’m very conscientious about keeping everything in order as I work.
Years ago I realized that perhaps creative chaos is a stronger compulsion for me than it is for most people. I try to fight this “character trait”… I really do… because I like “things” to be… and to stay… neat. But somehow I still always eventually turn into an absolute slob when I become completely engrossed in the thing I am creating. Today was no exception… when I came up for air and looked around, somehow clippings, masses of uncoiled reed, and scattered tools were EVERYWHERE.
But I thought the basket turned out well!!!