I used to obsess over music. Look down my nose at people who didn't like what I like. And then I met my husband, who, let's face it, is the awesomest person I know, and he loves EVERYTHING. Even music I disdained. (Sometimes especially.) And he loves music like that unapologetically. And I had to rethink my prior stance of "well if I don't like it, it must be crap", because making the people you love feel bad for liking what they like is kind of a jerk move.
This guy. Love him to bits. It was his birthday yesterday! We went out for breakfast, then bought some fancy whiskey, then tried to go to a speakeasy (!) but they were closed. I think he had a good day.
It took a little while longer to figure out that people liking what they like is way more awesome than people liking what I like. Hello, adulthood! Goodbye, hipster sensibilities.
I am thinking of this today as I go through my fabric stash. I'm putting it onto comic book boards for easier viewing, but hoo boy, I have a lot of fabric. And so much of it I bought for a specific idea that was lost. Or because it was on sale (ugh). Only in the last year have I really begun what I called considered buying: buying what I love, buying for an exisiting project, or buying for specific stash-building (but still fabric I love).
I love having so many options with my stash. I do. I love knowing I could go and make an entire quilt with the contents of my sewing room and not bat an eye. I love being able to play with color and form in a way that shocks and surprises. I like playing with the traditional and I love being modern.
But that's just quilting. Art (or music, or books, or any number of things) is such a deeply personal thing. It occurs to me that what we like is as important as what we are like (okay, maybe Nick Hornby said it first) but that what we like directly informs what are like. My fabric stash is unique to me. No one else has the same history with it that I do. I have fought for many pieces in my collection (Mendocino, Ruby Star Rising) and some I've acquired at the right time just out of sheer love (Sophie by Chez Moi for Moda). Some are trades, swaps, challenges, or combined purchases (Washi, Nicey Jane). Then there are the fabrics I just don't love and aren't in my collection (pretty much anything by Tula Pink). But I can see how people get there, which is the important thing. Just as I can go into a traditional patchwork shop and find something to admire, I can appreciate modern fabric that, for whatever reason, does not appeal to me. (I'm sorry, Tula fans! She is amazing and her designs are great; they just don't speak to me!)
Music is the same. I have loved Bon Iver since my not-then-sister-in-law told me about the song Skinny Love. (A song that is permanently stuck in my brain as the song on my wedding day, because she had it playing in the car as she drove me to the house to get ready.) I find myself drawn to artists who can say more than just one thing. I listen to, and pay attention to, music that has meaning and that can draw my focus outward. Music that has layers and secrets and things to nut out.
But then I tried to get into, like, Mumford & Sons, and I just couldn't. (And guys, my dad plays the banjo, so I should have loved the heck outta Mumford.)
So it's personal, and who knows why we like what we like? We just do. And that is great. Because if everyone had my fabric stash, everyone would be making my quilts, and what would be the point of that? Then I wouldn't get to create something. Or be inspired by what you create. And I count on that inspiration. I buy that inspiration in book form.
This week, it's this book, from this blogger, and I'm going to cut this quilt out ASAP. And listen to Bombay Bicycle Club while doing so. Because music inspires me and I am getting ready to undertake a huge project with an eight day deadline (eek!). So watch this space. It is going to get real.