On Making Stuff

I get antsy if I'm not making something. It doesn't have to be a novel, although often it is. Things I've made (or worked on) this last weekend include -8 squares of my epic string quilt (126 squares done, only 270 to go!) -some hexagons for a much much smaller quilt -pumpkin soup -a proposal for an anthology -new spaces to put things

I think we all like to make. My friends make TV, clothes, blogs, tweets, plans, postcards, music, stories, babies and amazing food. My dad makes environments where bees can make honey. My mum makes books and giant charts of our family history.

It's something that's pretty hard-wired into us, but something that we don't all get to do every day in our jobs. I mean, I made a really complicated project schedule and gantt chart at work the other day, but it's not nearly as satisfying as crocheting a scarf or putting up a shelf.

Here's Henry Jenkins on craft:

We might think of quilting as a kind of remix practice. She took bits of cloth left over from other sewing projects, sometimes drawing on the shared reservoirs of the female community, to create new works. In doing so, she was also building on a shared tradition with its own patterns and formulas. And she was producing an artifact which was designed for sharing -- often the quilts were made as gifts to mark social occasions of significance in the life of the community. My grandmother would have known how to engage with a participatory culture.

Which makes it unsurprising, then, that there's such a huge online crafting community. It's one of my favourite things about craft, is trawling through my favourite crafty blogs and finding inspiration, support and advice. We may not all sit around the fire together with our needlework (I tend to sit around the TV with mine), but I love the way that old traditions have adapted to the shape of our new world.

Some of my favourite crafty blogs:

Badskirt

Craftzine

Film in the Fridge

Moonstitches

mummysam

Penelope Waits

Red Pepper Quilts

Sewtakeahike

What do you make?