Every year, someone in our family participates in the Make It Yourself With Wool contest. This year, Eleanor and Margaret, with Amelia’s amazing and generous help, completed outfits. A couple of weeks ago, they participated in the state contest.
Aren’t those matched plaids awesome? Amelia is one great seamstress and we are blessed that she is willing to coach the girls as they learn new skills. They even learned how to use the serger this year!
Yet, despite all they learned and despite the fact that the clothing they made fits them perfectly and despite the fact that they will wear these outfits all winter, there was a measure of disappointment when they didn’t place in the contest.
Now take a look at what I made recently with some wool.
And I used bits of leftover wool from previous Make It Yourself With Wool garments.
I love this necklace! I learned new techniques making it. I will wear it a lot, all winter. And there is no disappointment in my not “placing” with it.
I started thinking about these two different experiences making things with wool. It seems that the greatest value in our participating in the Make It With Wool contest over the years lies in setting a deadline for completing a garment. We end up making outfits that we like and wear frequently. And, we’ve met fabulous people who have become friends. Yet, there is always the angst involved in being judged for our work. Although Amelia is an absolutely amazing seamstress, even she doesn’t know all of the “rules” that the judges are basing their placings on. The “rules” almost seem like they are a kind of secret to those of us who are not professionally trained seamstresses.
On the other hand, when I made that necklace, I didn’t even think about anyone else judging it. I didn’t think about how it varied from the original pattern. I wasn’t worried about trying to figure out “secret rules.” I just made it. I enjoyed the process and I’m enjoying the product.
And that enjoyment is another benefit I’ve received from participating in the Silver Bella community of crafters. It seems that it might possibly just be totally acceptable to “do your own thing” in the crafting world. There are no “secret rules” or set patterns. I can truly create what I like to create and be welcomed into community. At least that’s been my initial observation. And I hope it holds true.