22 April, 2013

Letting Her Play... Or How I'm Learning to Let Go of my Fabric


It was like a floodgate. So much just pushing on the doors, screaming to bust through and wreak havoc on anything in its path. I let her in, I really let her in the sewing room and now I can't keep her out. No longer content to arrange and make a mess of my jars of scraps she is now turning to me stash. She pulls out her favourite colours, determines just the right combination, then grabs my embroidery scissors, and hacks away. She's discovered fabric glue and fabric markers. With no input from me, and little regard for my fabric she is churning out butterflies and more.

It was one thing to let her pick and play when making her quilt. I still had some margin of control over that. Now? All I can manage to keep her from doing is hacking through some favourite fabrics with random cuts down the middle. But it rips at my quilter's gut and every now and then my heart, the heart that is tied to obsessions with fabric gets broken. She listens to me when I vehemently insist that she leave THAT fabric alone, then turns around and insists herself that she knows what she is doing and won't wreck my fabric because she is making something more beautiful.

She does this while I sew, while I write, while I cut fabric for her sister's quilt, while I play around on the internet. She won't touch my scraps, preferring to attack the bins of fabric in my stash. Did I mention the heart palpitations? Then I remember what Amanda said, It's All Just Fabric.

So we've had repeated discussions about cutting from the corner, not the middle, and how Mama gets final say on whether she can use that particular fabric. And when she wanted a big piece on which to attach a swarm on butterflies I let go and said that it would make a perfect garden.

10 comments:

Leanne said...

You are growing a textile lover, I am sure you are very pleased underneath it all. I say just put your most favourite and special pieces in a hiding place and have fun watching her, you might learn some things about how she sees it.

Lee D said...

Never too young to start stitching. She has good taste, I have the same purple fabric. ok well I guess you have great taste too since I am sure you bought it in the first place!

Amanda K said...

I feel your pain! My 2 year old daughter is the same way. I had to get her a plastic pizza cutter so she could pretend it was a rotary cutter. Now she is after my sewing machine...eek!
Amandak@whatthebobbin

Nicole Hannah said...

I totally feel your agony. Good, reasonable guidelines you've set down.

One day she'll look back and think "my mom let me do what I want. She didn't restrict my ideas." And that is a parenting lesson you can't buy.

Beth said...

I expect that you will have a lot of trouble hanging on to stash fabrics as she continues to create. ;) Perhaps before too long she will be sewing with you.

cambric cotton, pins and needles said...

I've been through this awhile ago, my girls have left home now and I miss this time. I set aside a box that was fabric mostly chosen by them, with a limit of course. They could take anything from their box and use as they wanted, I also purchased scissors that were theirs only. Good luck and enjoy, not long before they have also left home.

deemallon said...

this is funny... (and not). when I was teaching young children, I learned not to say, 'pick anything' because guess what? They have an absolute eye and feel for the best stuff... and I wanted them to have good stuff, just not necessarily those colors/prints I was currently obsessed with... so I made up bins for them to chose from.

pinkbrain said...

One lesson I learned in becoming an art therapist? Provide the best materials. Crappy dollar store crayons make crappy drawings. So that's exactly what you're doing. Giving her great materials to make great art. If nothing else, it gives you a good excuse to buy more fabric.

Lysa said...

This reminded me of when my mom agreed to let me use her sewing materials. I was pretty young and even though I had asked, I was half shocked and half honoured. I never gave it a thought what stomach turns I must have made my mom feel. I was to busy making beautiful things, just like your daughter and I bet she will appreciate it just as much as I did! I have to go call my mom now :)

mindingmomma said...

what sweet memories you are making