Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you all have a fantabulous 2011! I feel that this year will be a year when hopefully you will see a more focused and organised Monty. Last year was more of a transitional year for me, with many changes and projects and yet not a huge amount of time for decisions and planning. I achieved a lot, including becoming a magazine editor, which I love, and finishing a book that aims to teach children to knit (above), which I have wanted to complete for many years. However, as a freelancer, one always feels that no offers of work should be turned down, as you do not know what the future holds, so I have often wasted energy working on things that I have little interest in. I hope 2011 will be the year when I may complete fewer projects, but base them around themes and goals I have always wanted to achieve, while also working on having a lot more relaxation and personal time! (I am hoping that a long awaited holiday is on the cards this year!!)
Before I move on totally from 2010 however, I have just found a whole camera full of pictures from the end of the year that I never got round to posting about. So, over the next few posts, I shall give you a quick round up of those things, and some other important parts of my 2010.
Way back in the spring, I went to see the Quilts exhibition at the V&A with a very good friend who I did my textiles degree with. I really enjoyed this show, and surprisingly I loved the older quilts more than the modern versions, some of which I feel lacked the beauty and intricacies of the antique blankets.
However, I adored Sara Impey's Punctuation (above) and I have always loved Tracey Emin's quilts. At around the same time as the exhibition was on I read a great interview with Emin in Vogue where she stated that:
'...there [is] a contraditction within the quilts: the message [is] immediate, but that message would have taken a painfully long time to put together.'
This is what I love about Emin's and Impey's work, as well as that of the older quilts. The messages are important and instant to the viewer, but when you begin to look closely at the stitching and fabrics, you see the maker's hand and processes and the piece takes on a whole other importance, life and meaning. In Impey's work the negative space is as important as the stitches, as the lettering is made from the plain, unstitched fabric and the words chosen derive from a personal, family letter. Some of the older quilts were displayed so that you could see the reverse, with the templates the maker had used to create the quilt still visible. I love this reverence for the skill, process and time involved within the craft. As a textiles designer, I have always felt that the making is as important as the final piece with involved and time-consuming crafts, where the thoughts, conversations even relationships you have as you make a certain piece all add to the final product. As Emin stated in Vogue:
'It is not just the words I make that are sewn onto the blanket that are important. It's the thoughts and the words that are spoken as the blankets are sewn.'
This is a great way to end this post, as it refers back, in some way, to what I was speaking of at the beginning of the post; I am going to give myself the time and space to concentrate on my knitting, crochet and sewing this year and hopefully the decisions I make while creating some fabulous pieces will be all the better for the added time and care I have taken over them.
I still have some more pictures to show you from 2010, here's hoping I can learn more about where I want 2011 to lead from looking back at those, too!! More soon.


Gingerknits said...

Happy New Year Claire. Wishing you more YOU time in 2011.

claire montgomerie said...

hi Ginge!! happy new year. xxx

Anni said...

What a cute pic of those girls and all the yarn. Love it. I know all about not turning down work. 2010 was too busy for me, especially over the summer as I said yes to too much. I did have a holiday but worked through most of it. LOL.

claire montgomerie said...

oh dear, Anni, what are we like?!! aims for next year - going on holiday and not bringing ANY knitting. I want to bring a book or two...oh to be able to read a book from cover to cover....x