Ask any group of textile artisans—quilters, knitters, weavers, dyers—why they spend time doing what they do, and sooner or later you will hear the answer, “Well, it keeps me out of trouble.” The correct response at this point is to smile politely at the idea that these mild-mannered people would otherwise be engaging in hooliganism.
The answer, though, is only half true. Textile projects are nothing BUT trouble, from start to finish—but it’s the kind of trouble you take in order to do a thing right.
It’s the trouble you take to select just the right fabric, interfacing and notions for that particular sewn garment; to unknit row upon row of lace stitches to fix the mistake you made in your shawl a week ago; to decide the best way to spin that beautiful hand-dyed camel/silk roving; to add just that touch of embellishment to the art quilt you just finished. This is the kind of trouble that makes the whole process worthwhile, and it’s a lot of fun.
There are other kinds of trouble, of course, which usually involve balances on Visa cards, or figuring out where on earth you are going to store your immense and growing stash.
It’s the fun kind that will concern us here.